Nov 16, 2007

Post October 1 RIF News

Until we hear anything new, here's the post that you may use to submit comments that contain any information about the current evolving RIF situation. I will be filtering all off-topic material from this post.



1 – 200 of 374   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

10/1/07 5:51 PM (in the other RIF thread) said:

> As the number of staff decline the
> physical size of LANL does not
> decrease and the costs to keep the
> doors open do not decrease.

Did you forget about the "footprint reduction" project? A RIF is one way to clear out offices, so that whoever's left can be consolidated into fewer buildings.

Anonymous said...

Suggestion: LANS, why don't you host a huge job fair this month? Invite all the well-known technical companies, who might actually salivate over your trained (but excess) workforce. Given opportunity people will probably leave on their own...

Anonymous said...


That would cost LANS money, which would come off their bottom line. Why would they want to do that when they can just RIF?

Anonymous said...

The CR has provided LANS with an opportunity to take advantage of a 'politically correct' waiting period before actually starting to hand out the pink slips. LANS will bask in the glow of their 'adequately attended' Fall Festival' for a month or so before taking the meat cleaver to LANL staffing levels.

Ok, now that I've gotten the obligatory "Post 10/1" RIF comment out of the way, here's a question: what good is this blog any more? I get the sense that most LANL staff don't read it. Those who do read it, so what? DOE, NNSA and LANS all have their game plan for making LANL the pit production place. Is providing a last refuge for late bloomers and die-hard complainers the fianl goal that his blog aspires to?



Pinky and The Brain said...

The blog is about LANL. The only thing that has changed since it started is that it has grown in readership. Many thanks to our readers, by the way!

What's the hurry to get rid of it?

Anonymous said...

No hurry, Pinky. Just wondering what good your blog could possibly do at this late stage of LANL's march towards a dismal future as the nation's new plutonium pit production factory.

Anonymous said...

Doth Guthie thtill thpeak with a lithp?

Gussie Fink-Nottle said...

Good question, 8:01. I've been wondering that myself. Don't have the answer yet, but I'm beginning to suspect it's "nothing". I see very little to show for all of Pinky's efforts in keeping this blog alive.

And no, 8:41. That's just for show.


Pinky and The Brain said...

I haven't really done anything to try to stop pit production at LANL. Not that it would make any difference. But if you're interested, I do agree that its a very bad idea. Pit production has a dismal future if it is sited at LANL. LANL's future looks dismal to me either way.

Anonymous said...

Hey, do you mind, we're trying to keep a thread on topic here. As if the rules don't apply to the blogmeisters too?

Anyway, here's what scares me most about the RIF: They lay off 9.2% of the Lab and then realize they STILL don't have a plan for what to do next.

Anonymous said...

10/1/07 7:25 PM, you may be on to something. If we RIF'd all the people who refuse to get out of the old Admin Bldg, it would not only allow us to get that square footage off the books, but it would also help alleviate our overabundance of Associate Directors.

Anonymous said...

This blog continues to be very useful. LANS management keeps us in the dark. This is a useful place to exchange information. AND, if LANS Management and the DOE have any sense at all, they will be reading this blog regularly as there are some good suggestions regarding the RIF and there is a very good opportunity to see what the workers think of things.

Anonymous said...

GM just announced an early separation incentive for its employees of $35K. You'd think the Lab could do as much (hopefully better), as opposed to shredding people's lives to bits using another disaster-in-the-making forced lay off of hundreds, if not thousands. The Lab couldn't do it right in 1995. So why would anyone honestly believe it can be done right this time? As has been pointed out many times on this blog, basically the same "monkeys" are in charge today as were in charge back then. So what else is new?

Eric said...

With respect to RIFs, Pinky and Gussie have been very consistent in running this blog.

They have said repeatedly that they provide a forum, but blog readers have to be proactive in providing a solution.

Where is the proactive behavior?

Just a thought and a support.

Anonymous said...

$35k? Would get more if I wait for the RIF and got riffed. So the size of an incentive (IF offered) relative to hanging on would appear to affect the self-selection pool. Which brings up the question: Who is really going to self-select an incentive?

Perhaps obvious are those who are planning to leave over the next few months (retiring, new job).

Probably a pool of people who could be coaxed into leaving if the incentive were right for them (could retire, have enough resources or could find another job easily). People in this group leaning toward wanting to leave have to weigh the strength of their desire to leave against not getting chosen for an involuntary RIF. Others in this group who are leaning toward wanting to stay need better than the severance they would get if involuntarily riffed.

Who else is going to self-select?

Anonymous said...

Interesting that we haven't heard a peep from UPTE about this coming RIF.

The UPTE website was last updated on April 1, 2007.

SPSE is pushing hard for signatures on authorization cards.

Anonymous said...

If no RIF news is available (and may not be for the duration of the CR), what are the RIF rumors? I'm sure employees are hearing things in their organizations, whether from supervisors tryng to keep morale from tanking, or from coworkers in other groups, etc. This blog thread seems like the obvious place to be a clearinghouse for comparing, vetting, debunking, sharing advice for preparation, or whatever.

Anonymous said...

I'm a (1) UC retired double-dipper, so the extra UCRP retirement money allows me the freedom to (2) stash huge amounts of my current LANL salary into a sweet TCP2 LANS-matched 401k, and also, (3) my many years of services means I have the maximum 39 weeks of severance awaiting me if I ever get RIFed, and (4) my many years of service mean I accumulate both sick leave and vacation at the maximum rates.

Given this sweet scenario, why in the world would I ever want to voluntarily leave LANL? It's much more profitable for me to just wait it out and then take almost a full year of severance pay if I'm given the boot. Life is good.

Anonymous said...

Poster 12:03 PM forgot to add that since he's an older staff member, in addition to severance, he'll be able to sue LANS for age discrimination if RIFed, win, and then get back wages with penalties and continue on with the good times at LANL for several more years.

Anonymous said...

Exactly 12:03.

Arguably, you would volunteer only if you wanted to leave and thought you might not get riffed. Since you sound like you're not in a hurry to go anywhere, even 39 weeks upfront isn't going to register on your screen.

I'm not in your situation, but working at LANL is fine by me. Barring a substantial incentive, I have nothing pressing to lose by waiting to see if I get riffed. I'll max out my retirement, cut my expenditures to the bone (even easier since TBC is gone), maximize my savings, and continue applying for jobs in the meantime.

Eric said...

Pick your RIF Number.

It is still a worry to me that the LANS is apparently $300,000,000 in the hole in operating funds for this last fiscal year. Can anyone explain where this money might come from?

Assuming that they are $300,000,000 in the hole for last year and will be more in the hole for this year, can LANS be run at a loss for a few years?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Many companies do this for strategic reasons.

How might the debt be made up?

All of the answers that I can think of are bleak for LANL staff. The simplest involves many more RIFees than any of us had counted.

Does anyone have credible cash flow, income sheet, or balance sheet numbers for LANS?


Anonymous said...

12:03 pm:

I conclude that you are either 1) in one of the very few organizations at LANL where life is still tolerable; 2) have assiduously avoided anything remotely like supervisory or management jobs; or 3) have an incredibly high tolerance for greed, corruption, and BS in your work environment. I was in your situation, but after a while, none of the above were true anymore, so I bailed. No regrets.

Anonymous said...

In reference to the double dipping: I know people who retired from UC to, of course guard their pension, but came back to double dip because many of these people never went on social security. Instead of paying any social security tax for decades (I assume they just pocketed the money) these people are now concerned about the cost of health care. So if I understand right, they can work so many quarters and then get on social security which enables them to take advantage of Medicare. Or if they can't get enough quarters in, they can buy into SS plus Medicare. I don't know if I have my facts right and perhaps someone can clarify the issue. I have never read anything about this on the blog and my curiosity is just getting the better of me. Thanks:)

Anonymous said...

At least some federal contracts at a NASA national lab are trying to fight the system... from

JPL Employees vs Caltech, NASA and Department of Commerce Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12

Date Released: Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Federal Judge Indicates He May Issue Temporary Limited Injunction

Judge Otis Wright suggested he may issue some form of a limited temporary injunction in the next few days in the case of 28 employees of Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory who filed suit against Caltech and NASA for over-intrusive background checks that are being conducted in association with issuing new identification badges for access to JPL.

Judge Wright set a hearing on the question of a permanent injunction for October 19, at 3:30 PM in Courtroom 11 of the United States Courthouse in Los Angeles. The judge said he had particular concerns about a question regarding drug use that employees had to answer on United States Office of Personnel Management Form Sf85.

In addition to the 28 plaintiffs, hundreds of JPL employees have taken issue with the background checks. Caltech attorney Mark Holscher conceded in court that only 4100 of JPL's 7500 employees and contractors have begun to fill out the forms.

The deadline for completing the process for all employees is October 5. A small number of JPL employees who have security clearances do not have to complete the Sf85 form. This form is intended only for employees who are not doing classified work

Robert M. Nelson, lead plaintiff in the case against NASA said, "I am encouraged to learn that some of the concerns that my colleagues and I have raised over the last two years about this intrusive investigation process are beginning to receive judicial review. We are a nation that was founded on a principle of checks and balances between the branches of government. The judicial branch has begun its job."

Further information and all court documents are at the website

Anonymous said...

Managers on the top tier have tripled since LANS came in. On the second tier there are four times the amount of managers. On page 7 of the Mercer Human Resource Report it states that LANS Managers earn 130% above the market value than any one else in the country.


Mercer Human Resource Report
Date: March 3, 2007
Title: Total Compensation Design and .....
Prepared for LANS

By: Marsh and McLennan Company

LANS Line Management Structure:
Accounting Manager
Assoc Center Dir
Assoc Director
Associate Deputy Dir
Associate Director
Benefit Plans Manager
Budgeting Group Leader
Budgeting Manager
Center Director
Center Leader
Chief Info Officer
Construction Manager
Dep Principal Associate
Dep Program Dir
Dep Project Dir
Deputy Associate Dir
Deputy Center Dir
Deputy Center Leader
Deputy Chief Information Officer
Deputy Director
Deputy Division Ldr
Deputy Group Leader
Deputy Lab Counsel
Deputy Office Dir
Deputy Office Leader
Deputy Oper Manager
Deputy Proj Director
Division Leader
Executive Director
Executive Staff Dir
Facility Ops Manager
Finance/compliance Manager
General Counsel
Group Leader
Group Leader/fac Mgr
Office Director
Office Leader
Operations Manager
Principal Assoc Dir
Principal Dep Associate
Program Director
Program Manager
Project Controls Manager
Project Director
Project Manager
Property Mgmt Manager
Team Leader
Technical Director

LANS is anxious for a RIF because they over employed their own people that have been displaced from other locations. Their hiding behind the budget crises because Congress does not realize the amount of key personnel brought in since last June 2006.

LANS new hires impacted the budget with their salaries, relocation costs, expedited security clearances, etc.

Re-location Expenses:

Conservative Estimate: Approximately 1,000 Bechtel (BWXT, etc) employees have come to LANL. $30,000 (Conservative No.) X 1,000 New Employees = $30 Million Dollars

TSM = $300K X1000 = $300 Million Dollars (Fully burden cost)

The current budget can not sustain this level of new hires with their salaries, relocation costs, security clearances, etc.

They are staying at LANL at a minimum of one year. Several managers including Doris Heim, Mallory, etc. are leaving in December.

Expedited Security Clearances:

The expedited security clearances requested by LANL for incoming LANS (Bechtel, BWXT, etc) personnel has risen. The price for these types of clearances is approximately $25K - $35K.

Qualifications are questionable:

Their bumping existing employees for these management jobs, paying travel expenses, being paid above market and don’t have the educational background.


Brett Knapp, Principal Associate Director – double insurance

How many key personnel managers are getting double insurance coverage? Which means paying for their family out of state and for the manager in state?

Anonymous said...

10/2/07 2:22 PM

It's not the drug use question that was bothering people so much as it was that they were also subject to questions about their sex life, finances, and politics. I believe that religion was left out, though not many people have anything to hide in that dept.

Anonymous said...

This blog seems to be long on postings from people who feel like they are victims. What's occurring at LANL happens every where in the civilized world. Businesses make business decisions. The idea of a job fair in order to give people and opportunity to leave proves the point. You don't need anybody to do anything for you. You can simply do it for yourself.

I think the RIF should be conducted like Survivor. The employees can vote people off the island. Everyone I've talked to readily admits they know slackers in the organization. This way, management won't have to be trusted or right. The workers can clean house.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that'd work real well. "Everyone in your group thinks your a slack-jawed idiot and wants you to go away. Please don't come back."

While there are a few people I'd love to see that said to, in general, it could be considered a little cruel.

Anonymous said...

I think that anonymous at 10/2/07 12:03 PM should just stick around to piss them off. And, if s/he is RIFfed, this would be prima facie age discrimination. LANS can have its "employment at will," but that does not exempt them from various laws regarding discrimination.

Anonymous said...

12:03 seems to be counting on 39 weeks of severance pay, but AM114 (or whatever the right policy is) tables indicate the most anyone at LANS probably can receive is 34 weeks because the longevity clock got reset to zero on 10/1/87. Apparently the only way to get 39 weeks of pay is if one came aboard in 1964 or earlier. Not many graybeards are that gray.

Anonymous said...

Pinky-Brain-Gussie-nottle-finkster.This is not a rif comment but does anyone have any info regarding Todd Kapula.Did UC ever do the right thing?


Pinky and The Brain said...

I don't know. The latest I have is from the comments in the Two Years Ago Today post.

Gussie Fink-Nottle said...


No they did not. The last time I met with Sarah Kauppila (Todd's widow), the UC lawyers were offering her a pittance for Todd's death.

This is not off-topic: once you are fired, RIF'ed or otherwise let go by the lab, rightfully or not -- you are on your own. Lab management has no moral compass in this regard.


Anonymous said...

From 10/1/07 10:07 PM, "If we RIF'd all the people who refuse to get out of the old Admin Bldg, it would not only allow us to get that square footage off the books, but it would also help alleviate our overabundance of Associate Directors."

I believe this is what the new LANS management refers to as a "win-win". By golly, 10:07, I think you have management potential in you!!

Anonymous said...

33 comments - still no "RIF news", huh?

Today's October 2...let's see; I guess around 500 comments by the time this thread runs out? Yikes.

Anonymous said...

Anyway, here's what scares me most about the RIF: They lay off 9.2% of the Lab and then realize they STILL don't have a plan for what to do next.

10/1/07 9:58 PM

Oh there is a pan for the rest. probably more RIF every year from now until DOE gets that work force down to a minimum. For the amount of work we have coming there are far to many people. The same is going to happen in Ca.

Anonymous said...

There's no RIF news because Mikey's Fall Festival extravaganza distracted everybody's attention away from it. Plus the CR give LANS 60 more days to figure out how many people to let go. Think of the period between now and November as sort of a false honeymoon. RIF? What RIF?

Anonymous said...

We sure are not getting much info on the RIF. Nothing from the GL. A few people have asked her and she says that she is getting nothing from the DD.

My guess is that the RIF is going to be each Division RIFfing some proportion of their personnel (Director's Office and ADs' Offices exempted of course) so there is really not going to be any significant change in the way that we do business. Very obviously the tax rate will go up.

Anonymous said...

Bechtel's normal mode of operating is that there are no formal RIFs.

People are just let go in order to make budgets balance.

Anonymous said...

12:46 pm:

"Bechtel's normal mode of operating is that there are no formal RIFs.

People are just let go in order to make budgets balance."

When more than a few people are "let go" at the same time for that reason, it's called a RIF.

Anonymous said...

St. Pete is retiring next year wonder what that will do to the number of RIFees.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else think it's especially quiet out there right now? Not a peep about the plan - even at the high level!

Anonymous said...


Senior U.S. Senator Domenici will NOT run for re-election.

Anonymous said...

Btw - we saw the NTS Restructuring plan and the announcement by Van Prooyen from Sept. 20 that LANS submitted a resptructuring plan for LANL to NNSA. Has this plan been approved or does anyone know about the status of this plan? Neither the LASO nor the NNSA site show any obvious annoucement in this issue.

Mike Anastasio said...


We have no plans for a RIF.


Anonymous said...

At the Lab, large scale reductions in the number of employess have been called RIFs, especially when these reductions in the number of employees are targeted at specific groups or divisions.

In most places, adjustments of the number of employees to meet the individual current needs of lots of different projects are not called RIFs.

So, LANS does not have to call a reduction in force a RIF nor does it have to plan for it or announce it.

I mention this because I do not expect the word RIF to every be mentioned by LANS even though the work force at the Lab decreases. I also do not expect LANS to let everyone go at the same time. Dribs and drabs of leaving employees between now and next March would be a smarter plan.

Just a thought.

Sweating it out said...

This just in from a big division directors meeting:

A voluntary severance plan will be offered first.
Those who take it will receive severance pay.

If you wait to be RIFed you will still get severance pay plus unemployment.

Anonymous said...

St. Pete retiring means Governor Bill gets to run for Senate. If he does, he'll probably win.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the new Bechtelian overlords at LANL will view this as bad news, since "Pit Dementia" Pete was a strong supporter of turning LANL into RFP-South. As a lame duck now, his word won't carry much weight as he argues to increase LANL's funding, which means the RIF situation just became more serious.

Regardless, I won't miss "Pit D." much.

As you once told LANL staff, Pete, "Just get over it!"

Anonymous said...

St. Pete Headin' Out

Anonymous said...

They told him he couldn't wear his jammies on the Senate floor any more.

Anonymous said...

I agree, 5:28 PM. With Sen. Domenici now a lame duck with his announcement to retire, the situation for LANL just became much more serious.

The downsizing is likely to be more severe and there with be little additional funding from Washington to ease the diversification process into non-weapons areas.

We are most definitely screwed. Start planning your escape with more urgency.

Gussie Fink-Nottle said...

Ok, in recognition of the fact that Senator "Pajama Pete" "Pit Dementia" "St. Pete" Domenici has recently announced that he will not run for re-election, I've put a post up. Please direct all Domenici-related comments there.


Anonymous said...

On Monday TR management met with Beason where he announced that TR will RIF 6.5% of the workforce and it was stated that this is one of the lowest % in the lab. There will be an incentive that is probably similar to the severance rules as far as dollars go. The interesting wrinkle is people are put in either a protected or not protected class and if you are protected you are not eligible for the incentive. So in other words if you are in a well-funded group they are not going to allow all the senior people to bail with 39 weeks pay.... only the groups in trouble. Announcement is soon. Total lab layoffs in this first wave are stated as 750, with possibility of more later.

Anonymous said...

Stop whining!

I'm investing a lot of money in McNeil-PPC, Inc. - the parent company of K-Y Jelly. I should make a small fortune when NNSA is finished with us.

Anonymous said...

Did Bechtel, UC, LANS, NNSA or any of the other players plan on Domenici's retirement?

Anonymous said...

The weapons budget is under fire, so LANS says let's RIF Threat Reduction, which has nothing to do with weapons production and is probably one of the better funded and more dynamic directorates at the lab? Well, we'll only RIF 6.5% instead of 7.5%, that's showing some real business acumen.

Eric said...

I expect to get flamed for this, but the announcement seems worthwhile to those who are not flamers.

I continue to get a few hundred requests a week for people with the skill sets represented by LANL personnel.

Anonymous said...

"GM just announced an early separation incentive for its employees of $35K."

GM is a billion dollar company. LANS is a nickel and dime outfit. Do the math.

Anonymous said...

Think its time Congress takes charge and get rid of NNSA. This whole scheme of creating mahem, and threatening to lay-off your Nations brightest scientists, is a strategy taken only by a cowardess individual in DiAg. NNSA has always been an experiment, and what do they have to show for it?

PS, Was there a struggle between the Ambassador and DiAg, in which the labs supported the Amb, and hence this effort to dismantle the labs?

Anonymous said...

So it looks like perhaps 6.5% layoffs for TR and maybe a general 8% figure for other parts of the lab, including the support orgs? Of course, this is just the beginning. Additional layoffs coming later in the year could boost the numbers even higher.

Based on this scenario, you can deduce that the RIF will probably hit a much larger percentage of direct funded TSMs than the RIF of '95. When it is over, the ratio between direct/indirect will be even worse than today and our FTE rates may go even higher, though overall budget spending will be lower.

Thanks, LANS! Heckavajob! This should do wonders in helping LANL bring in bright, new scientists, diversify our project base and gain new customers... not!

Anonymous said...

What's a good ORC score, one that should keep you safe from a RIF?

Anonymous said...

I think we can now count Domenici as being effectively out of the picture, and I suspect this puts the budget forecast in a completely different light. Whereas we could have expected him to do his usual job of lobbying for restoring LANL's funding prior to his health announcement, I suspect that is not going to happen now, and the more draconian budget alternative that will lead to ~25% of LANL's being RIF'd is a real possibility.

Anonymous said...

Saw this post over at:

The last sentence really got to me, because I think it's probably true.

This is worst than private industry... at least in the private sector there's a change of profit sharing and bonuses for a job well done. The only ones at LLNL that will get a "taste" of the LLNS incentive fee will be the "key" managers (PADs, DD, George)... as far as regular LLNL employees, get prepared to be regularly and repeatedly raped by the Parent Companies - get use to them taking credit for your hard work and passing your intellectual property/capital back into their operations. Bend over and take it with a smile...

Look at the double stand on the UC website ( where they still get to flaunt their "management" of both LLNL and LANL, while we have been ordered to strip UC's image and name from every LLNL document, website, sign, flagpole, and business card at LLNL... Worst yet is the local NNSA office flexing its new found muscle and beginning to "direct" and approve day to day work at the lab.... We'd have more rights and benefits as government employees in a federally run lab than in this fictitious sham of an LLC.

October 4, 2007 8:55 AM

And then there was this rather ominous post...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Reduction In Force Started

LLNS has only been in charge for three days. This morning there was a meeting at 10:00 AM. By noon 13 people were out the gate and 18 more by Friday. Some were full time employees and the others were contract personnel. We hear that there are more to come. The word is 1,700 by Feb and most of them before Christmas. Anyone who wishes to give out some information please post the facts.

I have also been told that LLNL can expect this to be a yearly event until DOE / NNSA /LLNS get the manpower down to a manageable level, so if you have an account number by now you most likely will be fine for a FY 2008, if you don't, you could be in a world of hurt. Regardless, the way LLNL does business and the type of people LLNS is interested in keeping will soon be seen. Just watch closely and you'll see what I mean.

Anonymous said...

For 8:55, and the Ayn Rand fans here,

Do we really want to become "The State Institute" even more than we are now? Thats certainly what we would become if we federalize!

I'm certain that John Galt has left the building by now, but who wants that selfish b@$+@rd anyhow?

Its time for us to do two things: make certain we make certain the bad guys don't build stuff to blow us up; and second, make certain that LANS doesn't succeed at turning our beloved Lab into a husk of rubble, as the inheritors did with 20th Century Motors!

Anonymous said...

Now that RIFs are coming has anybody seen the actual LANS TCP1 plan?
Apparently a staff member suggested that benefits post it on their website and was told "we're not trying to hide anything, but on advice of lab legal we're not posting anything". Also the reason nobody got an annual financial statement was that LANS "didn't consider people were really in TCP1 until May 2007"! Anybody else a bit worried?

Anonymous said...

"Apparently a staff member suggested that benefits post it on their website and was told "we're not trying to hide anything, but on advice of lab legal we're not posting anything".

Effing Phil Kruger. I sure hope he is one of the first people RIFd.

Anonymous said...

9:26 pm:

ANYONE who chose TCP1 from LANS should be VERY worried. You put your eggs in the LANS basket, with a company that had been in existence for less than six months when you made that decision, with most folks saying something like "well, NNSA won't let LANS screw with my pension". Keep an eye on the LANS severance package as regards the pension plan.

Anonymous said...

I would never put any eggs in a basket being watched by the likes of Rich Marquez and friends. Get ready for RIF II, the sequel. Last time Mr. M. sat at DOE and directed the butchering from a distance. This time he holds the ax himself. What a sweetheart!

Anonymous said...

How's this for a LANS "incentive" to get people to leave:

Leave now and you'll get to keep your full TCP1 pension plus the retirement medical benefits.

Stay on and you'll soon find that we plan on drastically reducing the TCP1 payouts for those who have yet to retire and eliminating medical benefits for future retirees.

That should just about do it.

Anonymous said...

"The only ones at LLNL that will get a "taste" of the LLNS incentive fee will be the "key" managers (PADs, DD, George)... as far as regular LLNL employees, get prepared to be regularly and repeatedly raped by the Parent Companies"

LANS managers refer to this as having a "shared fate."

Anonymous said...

An electronic copy of the LANS Defined Benefit Plan can be had by anyone qho calls the Benefits Office and asks for it. A number of employees have already done so. Also, if you are in TCP1, you now have access to the YPR pension website which has a full explanation of the pension plan, and you can call the Pension Call center as well. We have enough to be concerned about at LANL without these uninformed scare mongerers adding unfounded concerns to the mix.

Anonymous said...

Someone on the Domenici to Retire post brought up, "...the constant low morale is taking it's toll on the lives of many staff members."

I guess we'll get an indication of the link between between morale and action if there is an incentive offered for a voluntary RIF.

(IMO the number taking an incentive, if offered the same severance benefit as getting RIF'd, will not be as large as many hope.)

Anyway, not many people I've spoken to seem to think they'll be RIF'd.

Anonymous said...

We hear of huge salaries and bonuses for those at the top of the LANS executive staff, while they hide their actual payouts under the banner of "proprietary information". You can expect these same NNSA's obedient little LLC puppies to carry out the upcoming RIFs with ruthless abandon, year after year after year. It's what NNSA wants of them. It's why they were hired.

At one time, all LANL staff were members of the UC academic community. We had the protection of being under the large and secure UCRP pension with fantastic benefits. The management expense of running LANL was only about $8 million per year and any meager "profits" were plowed right back into the labs. And our UCRP pension? It was free. It cost DOE nothing!

All of this is has now been utterly destroyed by the idiots over at DOE/NNSA and Congress. Soon enough, NNSA's continuing RIFs will wipe out any remaining vestiges of the LANL you once knew. The new costs associated with the "for-profit" management fees will be paid for on the backs of all those who will be RIFed.

People will hang on for the declining handouts from LANS, but the former soul of the LANL workforce has now been sucked out. We are a workforce of sad, 9-to-5 zombies living in fear for our next paycheck. And one of the saddest part of all this that many of the LANL "newbies" who came to work here in the last five years don't even seem to realize what has been lost. They have little concept of the LANL that once was and will never be again.

But, don't fear, my quivering LANLites. Everything looks fine through the green glass of the new Emerald Palace. Just remember the words of the Chief Ewok and trust in his memorable quote:

"No RIF, and no plans for a RIF. How many times do I need to say this?"

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or do the latest responses by LANS/HR's Lou Polito over at the LANL Reader's Forum bother others, too?

His latest response to questions about declining health care benefits from UHC seem to really stink. A 'stealth' reduction in our health benefits seems to be occurring.

The true reason for the current health care clamp-down is probably so that LANS' doesn't have to eat into their potential profits, which come out of the operating budget.

Same goes for the coming RIF. It's largely a protective action to save cash for the LANS for-profit fees. At least that's the way in which LANS executives probably views it.

Anonymous said...

TCP1 pension plans are OK folks.
Whats not to like about all those
MBS, CDO and other highly leveraged
products linked to the real estate and
derivatives market. Nothing to worry
about, since the UC pension plan is
full of them too. Must be ok...

Anonymous said...

Could anybody who has an electronic copy of the LANS TCP1 plan please post it to this website so we don't have to get put on HRs troublemaker list to see it??

Anonymous said...

You are an idiot. Just call benefits and get the f'ing plan. They are in the same boat as you in fear for their jobs, you moron.

Anonymous said...

The LANS RIF plan is out at:

it looks the same as the NTS plan without as many typos.

Anonymous said...

I see the RIF plan is on the LASO site (
How nice of them to post it after 5pm in hopes nobody would see it until Tuesday. You have until next friday to comment on it.

Anonymous said...

Hey 5:09
why don't YOU get the plan from HR and post it. Then see where you land on the rif list.

Anonymous said...

(a) I was not stupid enough to sign up for TCP1
(b) Why should I help those who won't help themselves?

Anonymous said...

Do I understand correctly that only employees hired prior to Sept 1991 get the 3161 rehiring preference if they are RIFfed?

Anyone have a guess what fraction of the LANL workforce this represents?

Anonymous said...

Using the only data publicly available, the UPTE May 2006 salary list, and the simplest form of accounting without reconciling any known retirees, the number appears to be about 2,800.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone have a guess what fraction of the LANL workforce this represents?"

Me!!! Thanks be to Allah!

Of course, there will be no new hiring done at LANL for a looooong time.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you can run the new web page program and see what you theoretically should get under TCP1.

What the above posters seem to be missing is that LANS has not filed a full financial disclosure of the status of TCP1. Indeed, we may not see one until May 2008. The TCP1 plan was declared 10% underfunded June 2006 by UCRS, but they pointed out that LANS needed to do their own accounting.

The bet is that LANS has contributed nothing since then (where would they get the $90M per year?). TCP1 is another management crisis waiting. But if we RIF a bunch first, before the disclosure, the damage may not be as great.

So wait for May 2008.

Anonymous said...

My management sources agreed about the above post about "protected" and "unprotected" classes, voluntary RIF, 7%, etc. But they are under strict instructions to not discuss any details, even if it was already posted on the blog.

Part of their problem is that everything is highly tentative, until
DOE first speaks.

Anonymous said...

Whatever LANS and DOE have planned for layoffs, please get it done this year! If that means going to 7% rather than 10%, then so be it.

The staff can't take the constant anxiety of worrying about their job security year after year. We need some stability for awhile after this current RIF is completed.

If that means upping the RIF figures up a bit to have some elbow room over the next few years, then do it. It's cruel and unusual punishment to keep a RIF alive as on ongoing threat to the workforce and you'll get no motivation for good performance if RIFs become a yearly affair.

Mikey Claus said...

Outsourcing RIF Notifications

Did anyone catch this? Too funny!

I think I'll go compose a letter to Santa myself...

Anonymous said...

Typo -

Of course, what was meant was "going to 10%, rather than 7%".

The point is well taken, though. LANL has been through enough and the troops are demoralized and worn out.

Get this RIF over with so that the remaining LANL workforce can have some small amount of sanity back in their lives. The worse thing NNSA could do would be to institute RIFs on a yearly basis. No one wants to work at a crappy place like that.

Anonymous said...

I would guess there is at least a 10% deadwood level within the TSM staff. Support and management could use some healthy paring back, too. They've grown as bad as the weeds that now litter the LANL campus.

Getting rid of some workers at LANL wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Of course, the key is getting rid of the right 10%.

LANS will likely screw up the RIF and remove the wrong workers. I expect they'll also do nothing about the incredibly bloated management structure, which I find most disheartening.

Anonymous said...

Sig Hecker collapsed the upper management structures after the '95 RIF. LANS should do likewise. Let's see the top brass sweat a bit to keep their jobs.

Anonymous said...

10:19 pm:

"Sig Hecker collapsed the upper management structures after the '95 RIF. LANS should do likewise."

Please, no. Not "flatland" again! Sig had between 25 and 30 direct reports (upper management reporting directly to him). That is NOT the way to go, as Sig will tell you if you ask him.

What we need is fewer organizations. fewer groups, fewer divisions, etc. Set group personnel level goals not to be less than 15 nor more than 100, and let diviison leaders have no fewer than 8 nor more than 12 groups. Let directorates have no fewer than 5 and no more than 10 divisions. 5 to 8 directors max. Structure by function, and where necessary, secondarily by funding source. Forget Facility Management as an overarching model. Give back facilities to the operating organizations, and give divisions and directorate staffs enough people to manage them. Yes, there will be safety-basis questions, but they can be addressed without the incredible bloated bureaucracy that now exists and has only gotten worse under Bechtel and BWXT.

The bloat is in bureaucratic layers, not necessarily in pure "managers."

Anonymous said...

Top management won't sweat jobs. Everyone else would be downsized but management oversight would stay the same. And if not here Bechtel will call them a success and they will move somewhere else higher and with more money.

Anonymous said...

LANS will likely screw up the RIF and remove the wrong workers. I expect they'll also do nothing about the incredibly bloated management structure, which I find most disheartening.

No - The workers work. The "Can't do" network.

Who do you think will be fired?

We'll just have a bunch of incompetents left standing around telling everyone how important they are, how hard they work, and how smart they are. The whole time not a damn thing will get done.

Anonymous said...

I've spent considerable time going throught the Workforce Restructuring Plan (WRP). I'm left feeling that its basically worthless (from an employee's standpoint) and it clears the way for NNSA to do whatever the hell they wish. The 'disclaimer' on the second page sets the tone immediately: "...DOE and NNSA reserve the right to change the terms of this plan. There is no guarantee that benenfits equal to or greater than...will be provided in the future."

The 'F' word (funding) is sprikled throughout, implying that many requirements of the 'Plan' can be ignored due to insufficient funding.

Under III B. "Timing of Notification..." reference is made to the 120 notice: "...with an OBJECTIVE of 120 days notice..." This doesn't say "at LEAST 120 days" and allows FAR too much leeway ("we were hoping to give you 120 days notice but we just couldn't--your services are no longer required, here's a check for 15 days pay, thanks for 30+ years of service, and have a nice day!")

III.C.1 "Skills Inventory" says LANL contractors maintain an inventory of the skills of their workfore and update it annually." It goes on to say "Employees should be encouraged to ensure that the information available accurately relects all their education, retraining, etc." I've heard that such an inventory exists but how do employees go about accessing it and verifying their data?

These are just some examples and there are many more troubling 'questions' that the WRP raises. Any employees that haven't read the WRP, PLEASE do so. Its painfully clear that NNSA (the judge) has passed sentence on us and they've hired LANS (the executioner) to carry out the sentence.

If anyone has ideas about how we can fight back, we'd love to hear them. Right now, I don't see ANY hope...

Anonymous said...

Re: 11:29's question about the skills inventory.

Once (and only once) about 5-8 years ago, my division office frantically called all of the group offices to get CV's from each employee. If I recall correctly, these CV's were posted on a link off of the division homepage. It may have been part of the workforce mobility at the time, or it may have been the requirement you cited.

I have not heard of anything similar before or since then.

Anonymous said...

Re: skills inventory, this was completed in a rush by division leaders (with help from their chiefs of staff, yikes!) the week before last.

Anonymous said...

If anyone has ideas about how we can fight back, we'd love to hear them. Right now, I don't see ANY hope... (11:29 AM)

NNSA (and in particular, Tom D'Agostino) will get everything they want. This includes plans for a radical downsizing of the NNSA sites so they can free up funds for Complex 2030. LANL will become a pit factory because that is about all NNSA wants of us. Most weapons design work will move to LLNL. The recent RRW award was just the first indicator of this thrust. There will be no savior coming in terms of new diversified projects because NNSA doesn't want them taking over the spotlight at their labs. They would rather see LANL downsize from 12,000 workers to about 6,000 workers with these workers all totally focused only weapons related work. The downsizing to fit this new vision begins this year.

Oh, and watch Tom. Someday soon, he'll end up as a high paid VP over at either Bechtel or BWXT. He's preparing a lovely nest.

Anonymous said...

In 2006, LANL employees were able to change a few issues on the RFP. They sent in emails during the comment period. The emails were 'binned' (separated by subject) into about 7 main points and answered by DOE. A few changes were actually generated...

LANL has had a very stable work force, so the average employee is probably about 47 with ~20 years of service. When RIFfed, this person is too young to retire outright. So they are forced out of TCP-1 (or TCP-2), lose their future retiree healthcare, and any accumulated sick leave (maybe 1500 hours per person.) Their pension will kick in eventually, but on a much reduced scale calculated on a 10 year old salary. The 10 or 20% chosen for reduction will bear a very heavy financial penalty.

I will try to compose an email to DOE and post it here. Maybe if DOE receives 1000s of emails from LANL, SNL, and LLNL we can at least reduce the consequences.


Pinky and The Brain said...

Could you post it here instead.

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess LANS is staffing up for the dirty business of conducting the RIF:

Anonymous said...

Yo've got to be kidding me. The Rif will be competence based - the competent will be riffed.

Anonymous said...

It can be difficult to tell who is really adding value to LANL's workload. Thus, you can expect LANS' prime consideration for the RIF to be:

(1) Does it avoid costly legal problems

(2) Does it take high cost workers off the payroll

Expect to see far more TSMs on the RIF list than in the past. This is going to be the real shocker. And because a high percentage of these TSMs live in homes on the Hill, the impact of this RIF on the economic life of Los Alamos County will be extreme.

The day the pink slips go out will be a very sad day, indeed. You'll see people crying in their offices and in the hallways, many in anger and complete disbelief of what just happened. The only consoling words to tell them will be that it was you this time, but it will probably be the rest of us in the next few years.

Really, if you have any way to get out of LANL, start looking at your options now. I fully believe that this RIF is just the beginning. NNSA has decided to shrink the LANL workforce in half over the next few years and to drastically reduce pay and benefit expenses for NNSA facilities.

Anonymous said...

Less people forget, let's review this little blurb back from this summer.

Tom D'Agostino feels suffering is healthy. According to Tom's views, this RIF should be seen as a useful character-building experience. It will spread hope throughout the community.

Too bad he can't come here and tell us about all this to our faces.
You see, Tom's a coward:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Church and state weren’t very far separated last week at the grand opening for two new facilities — the New Hope Center and the Jack Case Center — at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant.

In fact, I can’t remember attending an event at a government site in Oak Ridge with so many religious connotations. People commented on it, during and after the affair.

Following a ribbon-cutting, the 300 or so attendees gathered in the auditorium of New Hope, where Dr. Bobby Mullins, senior pastor at Oak Ridge’s Central Baptist Church, gave a lengthy invocation.

After that, Tom D’Agostino, a top official from the National Nuclear Security Administration in Washington, drew upon a Bible passage in the Book of Romans during his remarks to praise the work of Y-12 employees.

“We rejoice in our suffering because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope,” D’Agostino said.

Anonymous said...

One thing is for sure. The upcoming RIF will probably bring out some of the worst aspects in LANL's workers. It's gonna get ugly real fast.

Anonymous said...

Get ugly?

Uglier than a semi-hygienic physicist with lice in his (or her!) beard?


Anonymous said...

You mean that guy in X Division who wears polyester pants and sneakers and whose body odor can kill at 50 paces?

Anonymous said...

Check this out:

Does this apply to us?

Anonymous said...

Where is the news from our LANS management about the RIF planning. GLs all appear to be very tight lipped.

What's going on? We were all promised that we would be kept informed, but that is not what is happening!

Anonymous said...


Either the GLs themselves don't know anything, or they do know, it's bad, and they were told to keep a lid on it.

Anonymous said...

Mikey "No Plans for a RIF" Anastasio has clammed right up, hasn't he? Does anybody have any information at all on what LANS management is planning?

Anonymous said...

The GL's still don't know jack shit about the RIF plans.

Anonymous said...

IMHO, the current LANS plan for executing the RIF is unworkable. It's going to end up causing a lot of turf battles between the divisions and groups over exactly who has to leave. Some of the data to be used in the final selection process will be badly outdated and inaccurate. And don't expect to see any change in the indirect to direct funded staff ratios.

Of special note, it looks like this RIF is going to be brutal on TSMs. And this year's RIF is just the warm up. We're looking at back-to-back RIFs over the next several years due do an expected steady decline in LANL's weapons funding.

Anonymous said...

3:56pm: They're planning the Winter Festival.

Anonymous said...

Oh, goody! Back-to-back RIFs. So we can watch former staff members slowly descend into financial bankruptcy knowing that with the next year we, too, could possible join them!

Anonymous said...

10:01 pm: "IMHO, the current LANS plan for executing the RIF is unworkable."

Hehehe. "Unworkable" for whom? You think NNSa or LANS cares about your opinion about "workability"? Who the hell are you to make comments about whether the plan is "workable"? You will be the VICTIM, for whom the question of "workability" will be moot, and is right now meaningless and laughable. Get a clue.

Anonymous said...

Hello 11:15 PM - there is this thing called a class-action lawsuit. If the women and hispanics at LANL can file and win, so can myself and few thousand others at LANL. Lab Legal will ALWAYS settle, just ask Lab Legal or better yet, read a few newspaper story headlines over the past five years to find out.

Anonymous said...

It is not so clear that LANS (Bechtel) will settle lawsuits as readily as UC unless DOE pays the settlement costs.

Anonymous said...

Go back to sleep 11:25PM. Keep dreaming. You think it's easy to sue the Lab (or anyone else for that matter)...go for it.

PS Envy is one of the seven deadly sins. Walking around in women's underware doesn't make you a woman 11:25PM. Just like dying your hair and calling yourelf "Ewardo of Los Alamos" doesn't make you Hispanic. But keep trying Mr. Pathetic...keep trying.

Anonymous said...

"Lab Legal will ALWAYS settle" (11:25 PM)

I think Todd's wife would beg to differ with you on that one. And with LANL now being run by a for-profit entity, LANS isn't going to want to settle on any legal actions, as it takes money out of management's pocket.

Anonymous said...

Everything looks grand through the green glass of the new Emerald Palace.

- Mikey

Pinky and The Brain said...

Green glass?

Anonymous said...

We'll it's a greyish tint of green over at the NSSB.

Anonymous said...

"It is not so clear that LANS (Bechtel) will settle lawsuits as readily as UC unless DOE pays the settlement costs."

Oh this is so not true. Doug Chadbourne got paid off quite well back in April. And to think it was kept out of the papers! Now "that" is what Bechtel does well compared to UC/DOE ...

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons the management fee is so large is that LANS had to accept some liability. They've got the money to pay claims......

Anonymous said...

LANS has money from last year's award fee, and money from the parent companies. That's it. The former is well documented and public record, the latter is proprietary to the company and won't be released. Either way, I'm guessing that LANS management isn't saying "no problem with lawsuits, we can cover it."

Anonymous said...

You want to know what LANL's priorities are? Consider that it has on retainer every major lawfirm in the State. That little gem came out in a newspaper article a few years back. Now consider how much LANL spends on litigation. The numbers would dumbfound most folks. On average, it spends tens of millions of taxpayer dollars each year. Some cases could have been settled for as little as $5,000. Some for as little as $50,000. But the Lab instead chose to litigate to the tune of tens, and sometimes hundreds of times the amount it could settled for. Livermore has done the same. It's part of the UC legacy; meaning UC's ability to twist and warp every contract clause to its advantage, while the DOE, like a lap dog, justs keeps wagging its tail waiting for bone to be tossed. And every dime being wasted here is then reimbursed by you--the taxpayer. In other words, those litigation costs, utilizing the services of the most expensive lawfirms in the State, do NOT come out of the Lab's budget as some might think. As to what this sweet arrangement is due's do to the efforts of Plutonium Pete and weak-kneed Congressional oversight that has done nothing to reign in this monster of waste and abuse. It didn't start with LANS in other words, but continues with LANS. So if anyone thinks Lab management cares about wasting money on protracted and otherwise wasteful litigation, think again. There is zero (no) incentive to modify your behavior when no matter what, you'll always get your costs covered and you'll always keep you job. Or another way of saying this is power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely!

Anonymous said...

I believe poster 8:18 AM is poorly informed. It is my understanding that LANS now has to pay it's own legal defense expenses. The old days of UC's passing the costs on to DOE as a part of doing business are over. Likewise, any fines levied against LANL now have to be paid directly by LANS from the LANL operating budget.

Anonymous said...

Those who had hoped the RIF would be done and over by this year may be in for some disappointment. Word I'm hearing is that LANS plans to minimize the RIF numbers for this year but then they'll parcel out a system of rolling RIFs over the next few years, as needed.

I would prefer that we feel the full pain this year and then be done with it so LANL could begin to recover, but it looks like LANS prefers to draw things out. A multi-year RIF will only cause greater anxiety and morale at LANL to sink lower and lower over each of the next few years. It's bad management practice. It will also cause the real estate market on the Hill to be in a continual state of disruption so that those who get laid off will have little chance of ever selling their homes.

Anonymous said...

10/11/07 11:33 AM

Read the contract. Taxpayers pay out the legal fees for LANS!

Anonymous said...

What to do about RIFs is an interesting discussion.

Do we RIF very deep this year in the hope of avoiding near-future RIFs and stabilizing morale and the housing market?

Or do we RIF as few people as possible with the full expectation that we will be having a RIF every year for the next few years and accept continuing low morale, uncertainty, and a trashed housing market?

I guess that each individual's preference would depend strongly on whether or not the individual is going to be RIFed. If you are approaching retirement age, the finding another job would be tough and you would prefer to hang on as long as possible in order to maximize your salary and length of service.

But, if you are below the age of 50, then you might want to get it over as soon as possible and get on with your life.

If you are not going to be a RIFee then I would guess that your preference would be to get it over with so that morale can (hopefully) get back to a reasonable level and we can get on with doing some work.

BUT, none of this addresses the issue of having a workforce suitable to the laboratory's mission. Of course, nobody knows what that mission is.

Anonymous said...

I would appreciate discussions on number of people to be RIFed to be connected to budget numbers.

To me, you can't delay a RIF if you do not have the money to pay the people in the mean time.

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

The RIF could be a non event if employees where given accurate and complete performance appraisals rather than sugar coating them. You might actually be able to terminate people for bad performance. What a concept!

Anonymous said...

The longer that the RIF is delayed, the deeper that it will have to be. We are burning our FY2008 budget as we go thru the FY. Delayed decisions on the part of the Congress and the DOE are really going to hurt us.
But, the incompetence of the LANS management remains our worst enemy.

Just think, had LANS been in charge of the Manhattan Project we would be having this discussion in Japanese.

Anonymous said...

"If you are approaching retirement age, the finding another job would be tough and you would prefer to hang on as long as possible in order to maximize your salary and length of service."

If you were approaching retirement age at contract transition, you probably should have given more thought to going with TCP2. So your years of service would have stopped growing.

Anonymous said...

New Lab Slogan:

Litigation is a science AND an art at Los Alamos. We take spin to a new level.

Anonymous said...

3:51 PM

"I would appreciate discussions on number of people to be RIFed to be connected to budget numbers."

The number of LANS employees potentially affected by the RIF could be kind of difficult to predict given several facts/suppositions:

1) If you look at the House appropriation language, about $160 million of their proposed cuts would have been from three Line Item construction projects - CMRR, NMSSUP, and CEF. For CMRR, a majority of funding is likely going towards the construction contractor and its subcontractors. NMSSUP, if similar to past safeguards and security upgrades, probably funds quite a bit of LANL labor, but a lot also goes towards the purchase of equipment and hardware. With CEF, a big bulk of the funding is going to NSTec for modifications at the DAF.

2) With the proposed reductions in weapons-related funding, NSTec in Los Alamos will likely take some of the hit. Some of the LANL funding goes to NSTec via Cash Orders. The latest news at the NTS is that upcoming RIFs may be much greater than the 250+ initially mentioned by NSTec management - maybe due to secondary impacts of reduction in Cash Order revenue coming in from both LANL and LLNL.

3) It's likely the contractor ranks at LANL will take some more of the hits.

So it's not a simple math exercise.

Anonymous said...

From 11:33 AM ... "The old days of UC's passing the costs on to DOE as a part of doing business are over. Likewise, any fines levied against LANL now have to be paid directly by LANS from the LANL operating budget."

Not true. I know of two high-profile lawsuits that took place since LANS "took over" and each time they went to DOE for permission AND DOE ended up paying. THis is STILL a DOE site. DOE pays the legal fees and payoffs.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Late Friday afternoon would be the ideal time for LANS to rollout their WFR plans for the troops. You know, get the bad news out during the quite time of the weekend, like the Whitehouse, politicians and LASO are all fond of doing.

Stay alert, people. Something wicked this way comes.

Anonymous said...

To 7:57 PM

Thanks for the information. I did not think that it would be a simple math exercise. I did hope that addition and subtraction of actual numbers might be involved. ;-)

To 9:13 PM.

What does "This is still a DOE site" mean? For instance, if a retiree sues LANS for misrepresentation of benefits, does LANS just turn the case over to DOE, who then says "You can't sue us. We are immune. We are the goverment."


Anonymous said...

We are the govt. when you want to sue us and a private company when you want proprietary information.

Now quit making trouble and give us your name for the RIF list.


Anonymous said...

Expect to see the voluntary package rolled out next week, with "implementation" (i.e. volunteers gone) by Nov 30. The All-Managers meeting on Monday has been cancelled, which is further evidence that senior management is planning to roll out news to the workforce later in the week.

Anonymous said...

How do they roll out a specific plan before the general plan comment period has elapsed?
The specific plan is required to give a 15 day notice to DOE and maybe another week comment period. Does anybody really think the Nanos enhanced termination policies can be applied to 700 volunteers in a few days?

Anonymous said...

"Does anybody really think the Nanos enhanced termination policies can be applied to 700 volunteers in a few days?"

Given that the voluntary incentive package will be no more than the involuntary severance package, there probably won't be many takers. You'd have to already have been thinking of leaving anyway - if you leave voluntarily, you miss out on unemployment benefits, small though they are.

Anonymous said...

I hear that Mickey is willing to push this initiative forward and gamble. I think he will have some sort of all hands this next week and roll out a voluntary. 2 weeks to respond. A day or so to rescind if you want. And out within 2 weeks.

Anonymous said...

Got a flyer from a local Los Alamos RE agent in the mail today. Some of the interesting points:

"As of the end of September, roughly 1 home is sold for every 19 homes on the market (compared to 1 home sold per 5 listed in the previous year). Average prices of homes have decreased 4%. On October 1st, there were 285 homes in Los Alamos County on the market."

"Over the past three months (July to September), the average number of homes sold per month is 18, down from the summer high of 26."


"Last but not least, we are seeing some new people coming to town - some to retire here, some to work at the Medical Center, and some to work at LANL!"

So, my question is... who are these people who suddenly showing up in town to buy houses and come work at LANL? Even during the summer, Mikey had been saying "No RIFs till October 1st", so LANS had a pretty good idea the layoffs were coming. Who did LANS hire this summer during the preparation for the layoffs and why? I smell a story here.

Anonymous said...

Never believe real estate reports from a realtor, they work on commission. Newspapers are also a bad choice since they derive a lot of money from RE advertisements. The market is tanking but they'll still proclaim it's a "great time to buy" before you get "priced out forever". Take a walk around town and observe the for sale signs sprouting like weeds and remaining for months or even years.

Personally, I am a young TSM with enough saved for 20% down, but I have zero interest in committing financial suicide right now. I might need to live off that money for some time if the next few months do not work out in my favor. There are a lot more like me.

Anonymous said...

A young TSM not tied down to a home in Los Alamos with money to spare? Why are you still at LANL? Just curious about a newbie's take on the situation at the lab, 9:34 PM.

Anonymous said...

Why am I still at the lab?

1) It is generally looked upon unfavorably when one leaves a job so soon after starting it. Other employers will see this and assume I will do the same thing if they hire me on.

2) My skills, although useful inside the DOE nuclear labs, are not in high demand elsewhere. There just aren't that many jobs out there for what I do. A successful job search will likely take a long time.

3) Being a younger scientist, I don't have a large network of contacts built up to whom I can go and ask for jobs. Online applications, which seem to be the standard today, only lead your CV into a black hole or being summarily dismissed by a 20-something HR rep who has no clue.

4) The pay and benefits at LANL are better than what I would get at most other places (for now at least). So, it is an opportunity to build up some financial wealth before moving on.

5) I enjoy the outdoors, and the thought of living in D.C. or some other similar place, where jobs might be available, does not appeal to me.

When I do pack it up and hightail it out of here, I will take my 401k money with me and close the LANL chapter of my life and move on to something else. No big deal. You may find these attitudes common among Gen X'ers like me, who grew up with no expectations of job security or employer loyalty.

Anonymous said...

two pints...

A similar VSIP rousted somewhere between 400-600 in 1996 at LLNL.
Google (LLNL, warn, 3161, 1996) and look through the search. One is a 1998 report on the outcome. The plan description closely conforms to the recently released WARN plans from NTS, LANL and Sandia. The report says it spent about $40-45k per person in severance, but saved more than that in salaries. Figure double that in 2007 dollars.

The people who will take it were thinking about leaving anyway (6 months from retirement, good offer eslewhere, mistress in Shanghai or Mesa fever etc...)so a small financial incentive tips the scales. The self-select group will be those who think that they will not be RIFed but want to go. Perhaps 3-4% of the Lab turns 60 every year. Getting a six-month furlough something to consider.

But... I won't take the first offer. This is just another of life's negotiations and I'm betting there's a sweeter offer coming, so I'm waiting. The country really doesn't want seriouly pissed off employees here and other Labs. Annoyed and beaten down ok, but not postal or droolingly incompetent. The NNSA and Congress are playing the little brother game, "I bet I can piss 'em off just so much before they blow"...

jonny paycheck

Anonymous said...

"The country really doesn't want seriouly pissed off employees here and other Labs." Jonny Paycheck

Where have you been the last few years? You are delusional, my friend.

You will: (1) not get any better VSIP offers, and (2) the country doesn't care jack-shit about LANL or the morale of people who work at this place. Neither does most of Congress. Neither do NNSA or DOE.

That you can't see this by now is truly amazing. Some of the staff walking around the halls of LANL scare me based on their utter lack of perception and foresight.

Anonymous said...

jonny p,

I don't see App B in the report I looked at, which apparently describes the incentive. IF it was linked to the UCRP, then different ballgame of course.

One interesting tidbit,

"Voluntary reductions generally reflected the percent of employees directly charged to programs and indirect overhead employees (76 percent Direct, 24 percent indirect), indicating a proportionally balanced reduction across these categories."

A Direct:Indirect ratio of 3:1 (at the time for LLNL)? Any idea what LLNL is now? LANL is running about 1:1 (13:12).

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 10/15/07 12:46 PM writes:

"A Direct:Indirect ratio of 3:1 (at the time for LLNL)? Any idea what LLNL is now? LANL is running about 1:1 (13:12)."

Where does this come from?
I suspect that LANL is running a Direct/Indirect Raio of more like 1:2. And then there is all of the stuff that ought to be in overhead that we must charge our time directly to.

Anonymous said...

"the country doesn't care jack-shit about LANL or the morale of people who work at this place"

True. But you're being too restrictive. You guys are worried about a 15% cut? NNSA plans are to close Sandia entirely. Science is being phased out at LLNL.

NASA could not build a moonship if their life depended on it -- NASA's director is claiming that the Chinese will put a man on the moon before the US returns (maybe we can pay them to crate up some Apollo hardware and bring it back -- we could just outsource NASA).

We spend ten times more on one casino in Atlantic City -- two BILLION dollars -- than the late Dr. Bussard estimated it would take to bring bring his fusion ideas to fruition.

It's not LANL the public doesn't care about. It's science. LANL is at the tail end of a 40-year decline in public support for science.

Too bad for us, but not great for the nation, either.

Anonymous said...

3:18 pm:

"NNSA plans are to close Sandia entirely."

Care to post any evidence whatever for this ridiculous statement?

"We spend ten times more on one casino in Atlantic City -- two BILLION dollars -- than the late Dr. Bussard estimated it would take to bring bring his fusion ideas to fruition."

What do you mean "we"? I don't think the government builds casinos in ATC. DO you believe in free enterprise? Nope, didn't think so.

Gussie Fink-Nottle said...

Ok, boys and girls: get it back on-topic or I'm going to start deleting posts. As a reminder, comments here are supposed to contain news about the RIF situation.

In fact, I'm going to do some cleanup here of the more off-topic comments.


Anonymous said...

Didn't anybody read their email today? Anastasio's message "We are currently working closely with DOE/NNSA on the details of
the Specific Workforce Restructuring Plan. While I had hoped to
have more concrete information to report, the process is complex,
and it may be several more weeks before we have completed the
review process on the Specific Plan with DOE/NNSA. As soon as I
have assurance that our proposed plan is acceptable to all
parties, I will hold an All Employee meeting to provide you with
the details and process for executing the Plan."
Sure sounds like NNSA shot down the Wallace Lamborghini plan.

Anonymous said...

10/18/07 9:29 PM

So this should put to rest the rumor about lay offs before Thanksgiving and put them into December. I'm going to bet on anohter delay for around Jan or Feb about the same time LLNL should have their too. What I don't understand is why hasn't LLNL open their RIF up for public comment yet. Does this mean that LLNL get away clean and LANL suffers the most. How about it. Anyone have some information they'd like to share.

Anonymous said...

I apologize for discussing LLNL here, but the previous post raised some interesting questions.

First, why hasn't the LLNL 3161 document been released for comment? Note that all parts of the complex were supposedly notified by D'Agostino at the same time that the 3161 cycle needed to begin, and both Miller and Anastasio made similar announcements on the same day. However, while both LANL and SNL have had theirs up for some time, the LLNL plan-for-a-plan is yet to be released. Since all of the high-level 3161 plans have been pretty much cut-and-paste jobs, it seems all the more curious.

LLNL got an announcement on Tues past that they expected the plan by the end of this week, but I didn't see anything as of yesterday PM. One can only speculate on the reasons for the delay, but IMHO it may be because they don't want to admit that the first major "benefit" of LLNS assuming control is the need to reduce the workforce. Remember, LANS has been in business for a lot longer than LLNS's three weeks.

The another possibility would be that the LLNS 3161 is a entirely new document that required study. Since the plans seem pretty pro forma boilerplate at that level, with the content dictated by the 3161 itself, any variance is hard to conceive.

LLNS officially (in Tuesday's blurb and previously) still puts the need for the 3161 plan in terms of the FY08 budget uncertainties. There has been no open admission concerning the 20% rise in FTE cost, and what that portends as far as a WFR (if that's what they want to call a RIF now.)

As far as LLNL "getting away clean" I doubt it. All you have to do is look at the initial TCP-2 offering for LLNS, and how they tried to offer less that what was offered by LANS. Again, this is only my opinion, but the way I look at it is LANL is kind of the experiment that is then introduced as a solution at LLNL.

Anonymous said...

I've heard the Nevada Test Site specific plan is out and employees are already signing up for the self-select voluntary separation plan. Does anyone know what the plan gives them? I would guess it would be similar to what they'll offer LANL. I also heard LANL's first plan was rejected by DOE.

Anonymous said...

What exactly does this mean?

"I also heard LANL's first plan was rejected by DOE."

Does this mean that they tried to hold onto to many people and DOE /NNSA want deeper cuts? Someone please let me know.

Anonymous said...

All I have heard is that LANL's specific plan was sent to DOE and it was not approved. Maybe someone else has heard more detailed rumors?

Anonymous said...

I understand that the first submission was rejected. The rumor for the rejection was LANS not submitting the information wanted (needed?). No reading if this was omissions on LANS part, confusing guidance on DOE part or a combination of both. I question any process the local area office or the Albuquerque Office develops or gives guidance on.

Anonymous said...

Why are you idiots even trying to give any sympathy or kindness to LANS? When are you going to get it - Sue, Mary, Terry, William, Mike, Jan, Glen, Charlie,and the rest of the lot are out for themselves and could not give a damn about any of us below the AD level. They are interested in their bonuses and themselves. We are ALL expendable ... move on, start applying elsewhere. ANd for God's sake, quit trying to pretend these assholes even care about any of us.

Anonymous said...

The Oct.19 comment period has passed and the silence from LANS and NNSA is absolute. Did they screw this up so badly that they have to start over? Anybody have a clue what's going on?

Anonymous said...

"I've heard the Nevada Test Site specific plan is out and employees are already signing up for the self-select voluntary separation plan. Does anyone know what the plan gives them? I would guess it would be similar to what they'll offer LANL. I also heard LANL's first plan was rejected by DOE."

Today was the last day in the office for NSTec employees who took the voluntary separation. Tomorrow they will be processing out. They were offered the same as the severance package for involuntary separations (RIFs). Their package is nowhere near as generous as LANL - one week of pay for every year of service, with a maximum of 15 weeks pay. IIRC, LANL offers one week per year for the first 6 years of service, then 2 weeks per year beyond that, capped at 39 weeks pay.
LLNL is somewhere in between - one week per year with a maximum of 26 weeks pay.

Anonymous said...

So, what is the advantage to volunteer? Why not sit around and collect 4 months more pay, then get RIF'd with the same severance?

Anonymous said...

10/23/07 8:33 PM

Those that volunteered were probably going to leave of their own volition within the next 6 months to a year anyway. If it's a good time to head out the door, you go and move on. If you take your chance at being RIF'd and don't get sent packing, you may not have the chance to volunteer again.

Anonymous said...

Any data from this exercise at NTS?

Anonymous said...

And, remember, the sooner you go, the less you will lose on your house.

Anonymous said...

The rumor I heard is that LANS only wanted to offer a window of a week or two for people to sign up for the voluntary while NNSA said it should be 6 or more weeks - still pushing for this to happen before dec 31. don't forget that just because someone volunteers that it will be accepted - it is still up to management to approve or deny if you have a "critical" skill.

Anonymous said...

"Any data from this exercise at NTS?"

From what I understand, fewer than 50 took the voluntary separation.

"The rumor I heard is that LANS only wanted to offer a window of a week or two for people to sign up for the voluntary while NNSA said it should be 6 or more weeks"

The NSTec window for volunteers was one week. However, the window was delayed for at least a week - employees considering their options knew the details for at least two weeks before the deadline.

Anonymous said...

just got news that George Miller has decided to postpone all raises at LLNL as result of budget uncertainties. Of course he'll be keeping his generous raise package, the corpulent jack ass.

Anonymous said...

"don't forget that just because someone volunteers that it will be accepted - it is still up to management to approve or deny if you have a "critical" skill."

As Michael Corleon said in Godfather III, "every time I try to get out, they just pull me back in." Oh well, can't help it if I'm gifted.

Anonymous said...


Because of uncertainty with the federal budget and increased costs for fiscal year 2008, Director George Miller, with input from senior management, has decided to delay a decision on the implementation of the Lab's annual salary increases.

"I realize that delaying this decision may not be popular," Miller said. "But in light of the continuing resolution situation, we need more financial clarity in order to make an informed decision."

At that point, Lab managers will decide if there will be raises in 2008 and, if implemented, whether the increases will be retroactive back to Oct. 1, 2007.

"We've heard from a number of employees who have suggested we delay the implementation of our raises," Miller said. "In light of our budget uncertainty, I agree with them. It is my hope that this is just a delay, but we will make that decision in a few months."

The federal budget's current Continuing Resolution (CR) expires in mid-November. It is possible there will be another CR.

While LLNL employees have succeeded in "belt-tightening" in the past few years, resulting in substantial savings, the impact of national budget uncertainty, the additional contract costs associated with the management fee, taxes, health care and reduced attrition require that additional aggressive steps be taken.

Each Principal Associate Directorate (PAD) is developing a business plan that identifies scope and items that may need to be reduced or eliminated. LLNL senior management will then review the PAD business plans and prioritized work scope.

Anonymous said...

As Michael Corleon said in Godfather III, "every time I try to get out, they just pull me back in." Oh well, can't help it if I'm gifted.

is that you George? You turd.

Anonymous said...

billions of dollars for the Bush Wars about nothing.... the worst administration in history has flushed this country down the toilet in 7 years.... lies lies lies lies lies.... they even edit the global warming reports and we sit here with Mikey and get lies lies lies lies lies

Anonymous said...

Did anyone go to Charlie McMillan's restructure Q & A session today at TA-53? Did he say anything worthwhile?

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of the LLC lab, Livermorians. Don't expect your new LLNS executives to give up a dime of their big, new executive salaries. The LLC will squeeze all the required savings out of the paychecks of the general LLNL workforce.

Oh, and watch out about airing complaints to your new LLC management because they're eager to target trouble-makers for the LLNL RIF lists.

Pinky and The Brain said...

I'm on the RIF list for both labs.

Anonymous said...

I simply don't give a shit whose list I'm on. Fuck 'em

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard anything about exactly what our new TCP1 pension is invested in?

Is it holding any of the CDO securitized mortgage crap that I keep hearing about? Was any of the money turned over to private hedge funds? What sort of return is it making on the funds?

Why hasn't LANS been more forthcoming about the state of these assets? It was far easier to track what was happening with the UCRP assets.

Anonymous said...

I heard that LANS had decided early on to bet the whole TCP1 wad on Countrywide Finance and a few other subprime lending companies.

Gussie Fink-Nottle said...

News alert:

I delete all comments in which an anonymous poster calls another contributor a "dipshit" for posting anonymously.

You know who you are.



Anonymous said...

Speaking of TCP1 (this applies to LLNL too). Has anybody seen the TCP1 plan documents? I noticed LANL HR got real quiet when it was suggested they post them openly. Also has anybody seen a financial statement for TCP1? And finally, if TCP1 goes belly up and is taken over by the PBGC do the TCP1ers lose the medical plan fringe benefit like other bankrupt plans have?

Anonymous said...

LANL TCP1 assets were last seen in a black bag carried by a shady looking character who was catching a plane to Paraguay. I believe the name tag on this man's bag was Marquez, or something like that, but I'm not really sure.

Don't ask too many questions, as I'm sure LANS is doing all they can to help protect our pension by secretly moving the money out of the country. Heck, I just got a swell Email from a nice man in Nigeria who is willing to do the same for me!

Anonymous said...

So the latest rumor, for what its worth, is that Anastasio is having an all-hands meeting Nov.13 to roll out the VSP plan. Happy Thankgiving!

Anonymous said...

"So the latest rumor, for what its worth, is that Anastasio is having an all-hands meeting Nov.13 to roll out the VSP plan. Happy Thankgiving!"

The coward will cancel just like he has the last two All-Managers meetings.

Anonymous said...

I would love to be a fly on the wall during the meetings between LANS and NNSA over the planning for the upcoming RIF.

What, exactly, did NNSA see in the first round of RIF planning that caused them to reject the LANL submission?

I suspect that NNSA rejected it because the job targeting was too ill-defined and the payoff for those who leave was considered by NNSA to be too generous.

Anonymous said...

"You'll get nothing, and like it."
Judge Smails

Anonymous said...

10:44 PM ... "What, exactly, did NNSA see in the first round of RIF planning that caused them to reject the LANL submission?"

I heard it was because LANS was not eliminating enough "support" types. Their 1:1 scientist:support plan was not acceptable. In other words, NNSA wants a repeat of the previous RIF when lots of "support" folks got the boot. And of course the ones who deserved to get fired, sued.

Anonymous said...

Well, 9:14 PM, Terry has been going around at his meetings with staff telling people that LANS has no plan to change the science to support ratio using the upcoming RIF. If what you say is true, it seems to go against the game plan that LANS is preparing.

Of course, if by "support" NNSA includes our overpaid and bloated management structure, then count me in. I'm all for it! Let the cutting of the managers begin and start at the very top.

Anonymous said...

"Terry has been going around at his meetings with staff telling people that LANS has no plan to change the science to support ratio using the upcoming RIF. If what you say is true, it seems to go against the game plan that LANS is preparing."

This is idiocy. With fixed costs such as facilities maintenance, utilities, management fees, etc., a change in the ratio is necessary or we are going to see a TSM annual rate in escess of $750K!

Anonymous said...

$750K per FTE is OK. After all, DoE is paying the bill. If they wanna pay that much, who are we to complain?

Raising the FTE rate will help expedite the cessation of WFO, and it doesn't really matter what the FTE rate is when we have no WFO left.

Anonymous said...

Interesting point. Not saying that I expect it, but let's say there is enough slack in the caps and only TSMs voluntarily leave and the desired reduction is achieved. Would that mean no support folks would be involuntarily separated, thereby resulting in a decrease in the "scientist:support" ratio?

Likewise, say only TSMs voluntarily leave, but not enough to meet the goal. To keep the ratio the same, wouldn't the involuntary separation be more relatively heavily tilted toward the support folks?

Anonymous said...

Maybe a little off track, but perhaps P&TB and G will allow it.

When former NNSA chief Amb. Linton Brooks (USN, ret.) first came on the scene, he said the quantity of people employed at DOE Albuquerque would be reduced. Does anyone know if that happened or is happening? If the lab populations are going to be decreasing, one might think the number of DOE overseers could be reduced.

Anonymous said...

10/30/07 7:44 AM "$750K per FTE is OK. After all, DoE is paying the bill. If they wanna pay that much, who are we to complain?"

We are the taxpayers. We are the ones who fund institutions like the Lab. The DOE is just the intermediary that allows the Lab to keep screwing the taxpayer with the kind of waste that results in FTE costs of $750K per. So if you don't think you have the right to complain, think again.

Anonymous said...

NTS employees officially had only a week to make their VSIP decision.

LANL will be lucky to get two weeks.

There are lists of people or groups of people who will not be allowed to "voluntarily" separate and receive a severance package.

Expect an announcement before the
thanksgiving break.

Anonymous said...

People on those lists will also not be RIF'd.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 374   Newer› Newest»