Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 12:something -0600To:From:Subject: Terry Wallace's talk this morningHere are me notes from Terry Wallace’s talk this morning regarding the potential RIF. If you were present and would like to correct or add, please feel free.[I’ve added some editorial comments in brackets.]
One of Terry Wallace’s messages to us was that he *hopes* a voluntary separation plan will be approved by congress, and that there will be enough voluntary separations so that we are not forced to go to an involuntary reduction.Currently, the House budget is $188M low and the President’s is $80M low. The senate hasn't passed a budget.Another driver for a RIF is that fact that Los Alamos spends about 70% of its funds on labor and other labs spend less than 60%. We need to get our number down so that we have money for other things such as infrastructure.
Attrition as always been low at LANL. We usually run about 3% as compared to 6% at other labs. [Well duh, at other places people can change jobs without relocating their families.]Attrition over the past couple of years has been about 1.5% [Well double-duh, we can't sell our houses. Potential retirees at sitting back and waiting for incentives.]*If* a voluntary separation is approved, takers would get the severance pay and possibly some percentage as an incentive.Our severance pay rate is built into our contract. The Los Alamos severance is more generous than that of other sites. DOE does not like this, but can't change it until they are allowed to change the contract, which can't happen this year.*If* a voluntary separation happens, they want it done in 2 weeks. Basically, we will be given 2 weeks to decide. It will be a lump sum of money and LANL wants it paid out in this CY. (It’s cheaper for LANL to pay it out this CY, but it would mean a big tax burden on those accepting it.)There will not be anything like a 3+3 incentive. DOE is ultimately responsible for the pension plan (This is probably good news.), and they will *not* take on the liability of such an incentive. Also, I think Wallace said something about congress outlawing such incentives for government/contract workers sometime after the last ones were done, but I didn't quite catch what he said.The AD will make decisions about whether an individual will be allowed to take the voluntary separation. He may deny it because LANL has met its target or because the individual is crucial to a program. [So doing would simply create a disgruntled employee who will be leaving at the first opportunity anyway.]Note again that LANL does *not* have approval for a voluntary separation plan nor for an incentive. So, talk of such things is speculative.We have all been placed into job categories based on a skills inventory. They are broad like Physicist, chemist, and computer scientist, manager, etc. If an involuntary RIF happens, ADs will have targets (the number they RIF from a certain category) and they will be allowed caps (If they lose more than the cap, they can't complete the given function.)Deciding factors for an involuntary RIF are: performance, capability, and seniority.Some have been given exclusions – they won't be RIFed. For example, ADs and above are excluded from the RIF.
ADs will decide who will go in an involuntary RIF.Seniority counts in our favor if we want to take a voluntary, and counts in our favor should we find ourselves on an involuntary RIF list.LANL (out of LANL funds) will have to pay for both severance and incentives. (This is some carry-over money that would be used.)There have been rumors about a furlough – everyone go home for a while and not get paid. This will not happen.Wallace is concerned that we are still not paying our best people well enough, and that is something that they want to fix.Bechtel and the other contractors brought in about 210 people.
The average age of the Lab population is a little under 50.All internal transfers will be frozen during a RIF period so as not to confuse the job categories. If a voluntary separation succeeds in meeting targets, the freeze can be lifted at that point. If not, it may last longer.The director talked about the 120 clock from when we are notified to when an involuntary RIF and occur. When did or does that clock start ticking? Wallace wasn't sure, but he said that it may have started back when this process started – about 60 days ago. [This is *not* what the director said.]Wallace believes that if a worse-case reduction happened, for example, if we lost ¼ of the workforce all at once, then the Lab would have to shut down: Losing that many people would mean that we couldn't meet our compliance deadlines, we couldn't even do our regular jobs so everyone in that function would have to stop work, and that the internal taxes generated would not be available to fund other activities. Anyway, he doesn't believe that we will suffer such a drastic cut.Budget and headcount numbers--------------Over the years, weapons budgets have increased gradually. Under Carter, budgets increased and the money was earmarked for energy work. Under Reagan, there were bigger increases for SDI. In the late 90s that were increase for the LEP (Lifetime Extension Program). We hired like crazy during those times, and we still ended up with some carry-over because we couldn't spend it all. Over the past couple of years, we have been in deficit because of reduced budgets and this carry-over has made us solvent. There is some of the carry-over left and that’s the money that would be used for severance and incentive pay.In 2007, we have 8597 Regular employees, 359 Post docs, 1027 Students, and 454 ?. (Total 10, 437). The year before, the number was 11,034.
The total population is about 13,500 when you include PTLA, KSL, and other contractors.---Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do.