Nov 19, 2007

Anastasio's November 19 All Hand's Meeting

Could someone who attended please post a summary here? Lots of folks are on holiday travel, and in any event I'd rather not rely on the LANL PA version of the story.

Thanks,

-Gus

**Update, 2:45pm**

From the comments submitted so far, it looks like 500 - 750 staff will need to be RIFed. This number does not take FY'08 funding uncertainties into account, it is merely the number that will need to be RIFed because of the higher cost of doing business that LANS has brought to LANL (award fee, management bloat, manager bonuses, GRT, JB Weld expenses, as well as numerous other 'efficiency improvements' that LANS has implemented during their inaugural year up on The Hill) .

Other notes sent in by readers:
  • Site Specific 3161 plan still not approved.
  • SSRIF schedule
    If 3161 Approval this week:

    Announcement of SSRIF: 11/19
    SSRIF application period: 11/26 - 12/05
    Rescission period: 12/06 - 12/10
    Approval of SSRIF 12/11 - 12/19
    Notification: 12/20
    Employees depart 1/10

    Involuntary RIF "follows quickly" after SSRIF
  • Mike "remains excited" about the future of the Lab.

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

bohica!

Anonymous said...

500-750 to be RIFfed.

Anonymous said...

Site Specific 3161 plan still not approved.

Anonymous said...

SSRIF schedule
If 3161 Approval this week:

Announcement of SSRIF: 11/19
SSRIF application period: 11/26 - 12/05
Rescission period: 12/06 - 12/10
Approval of SSRIF 12/11 - 12/19
Notification: 12/20
Employees depart 1/10


Involuntary RIF "follows quickly" after SSRIF

Anonymous said...

Mike "remains excited" about the future of the Lab.

Anonymous said...

Double dippers get full credit for years of service for severence pay purposes!

Anonymous said...

Somebody asks if there is an appeal process in case you get denied SSRIF. Peals of laughter ensue. The answer is "no."

Anonymous said...

SSRIFfers will lose their accumulated sick leave.

Anonymous said...

Did Anastasio explain where he got the 500 - 750 RIF figure? Does he have a crystal ball that told him what the FY'08 budget for LANL is going to be?

I'm sure pleased that he "remains excited" about working at LANL.

Anonymous said...

The 500-750 RIF is independent of the FY '08 budget.

If FY '08 budget warrants, there may be more.

Anonymous said...

Somebody asked what the incentive is to SSRIF if the severence package is the same as for involuntary RIF. Answer is if you're ready to leave and you want the severence, better to take the SSRIF, since you might not get selected for involuntary RIF!

Anonymous said...

Involuntary RIF plan has not even been submitted yet.

Anonymous said...

If the FY'08 budget comes in the way Congress wants it to, we'll hit that 2,500 mark easily.

Anonymous said...

does this number include current contractors and limited term employees? or is this number ON TOP of the non-LANS regular employees?

Anonymous said...

This plan is for full-time LANS employees ONLY. However, it does not preclude layoffs of limited term or contractor employees in the future.

Anonymous said...

Yes it would be good to know if the RIF will be LANS employees or are they going to let the contractors go first.

Anonymous said...

Also, it was specifically mentioned that postdocs and students are not eligible for this process.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to know if the RIFs are going to finally target the so called employees who come to work late every day, do nothing everyday, and then leave early everyday. These same employees have been protected by their management for years and even when they have been reported by others, nothing has been done. No jeez.... what am I thinking.... nothing will happen to the protected ones.

Anonymous said...

how can they RIF regular employees and keep contractors, who cost a hell of a lot more than regular employees?

Anonymous said...

Sadly, 4:31, and you're (note the correct usage of "you're" vs the deprecated, 5th-grade vernacular of "your") going to have to dig your (again, note) head way far out of your (again) ass to hear this:

LANL staff, at an FTE rate of $450K per cost *way* more than any contractor.

Ok, you can go back to your (ag..., oh, never mind) warm happy place again.

Anonymous said...

an SSM LANS employee doesn't come close to costing that much... plus the procedure AM 114 or whatever it is clearly states contractors have to go before they can touch regular employees... it's a condition of the RIF....

and drop the snide snotty tone... everyone is not a 450K TSM (talk about overpriced)

Anonymous said...

does anyone see a YOUR vs YOU'RE issue?

let's dwell on the drivel, shall we?

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disappoint, 5:36, but the average TSM FTE cost *is* about $450/year. That is what LANL has to bid on any work that is done for DOE, or any (rare) WFO sponsors.

Granted, SSMs and TECs cost less, but not TSMs. Contractors rent out for about half, to two thirds of a LANL TSM.

Anonymous said...

OK. I'll bite.

750 people yields $300,000,000 in savings only if everyone RIFed is a staff member.

Otherwise you need a lot more people.

Can someone explain to me which 750 staff members can be let go without destroying the Lab?

Thanks

Anonymous said...

"Can someone explain to me which 750 staff members can be let go without destroying the Lab?"

Too late, it's already been destroyed. Say goodbye to LANL. Say hello to the new NPPF (National Pit Production Facility).

Anonymous said...

5:46pm: Care to provide a verifiable source for that $450k number?

Anonymous said...

I'm in the pool guessing a low number of volunteers. Those who already have jobs lined up or who were going to retire and call it quits anyway.

We'll see if the 60 days notice or pay in lieu of happens for the involuntary.

Also, question about Guest Scientist status needs clarification:

AM 1203:

Former Employees - .07 - Employees who terminate because of a reduction-in-force may not serve as Laboratory Guests.

Anonymous said...

5:36, I don't see anywhere in AM114 that it says "contractors have to go before they can touch regular employees". The Lab CAN consider that, but it's in no way a requirement.

Also, let's be clear that while TSMs cost $450K apiece, we only see $150K of that as salary. The rest goes to "overhead". This is the same regardless of if your money comes from the Lab or external grants. Now, if somebody figured out how to reduce those costs, maybe we wouldn't need a RIF.

Anonymous said...

5:59 PM,

No.

Now that a private corporation runs the place those numbers are proprietary. You will only get the actual cost breakdown for a LANL TSM if some disgruntled LANS bean counter decides to publish it here.

However, when I left LANL in 2005, the average rates were already $320K per, so $450 today is likely to be pretty close to the actual number these days, what with all the additional cost burdens LANS has added.

--Retired, 2005 (and damn glad)

Anonymous said...

At one of his recent briefings, Terry Wallace said that volunteers for the RIF cannot work at any DOE site for a year, but would be allowed to seek unpaid guest scientist status at the lab during that period.

Anonymous said...

These numbers are significantly lower than I was expecting. I figured at least 1000+ out the door was a given.
We'll see how the numbers given today hold up when the involuntary RIF comes around and the budget has been decided (assuming congress can actually accomplish that this year).

Anonymous said...

most of the RIFFED will be SSMs not TSMs so the FTE cost will be FAR less than 450K per head

Anonymous said...

There seems to be a lot of confusion about what the $450K/yr “cost” of a TSM actually means.

Let me reiterate what 6:07 PM said. The $450K/yr number is the TSM’s cost to a program, not to the laboratory. Programs are charged for the TSM’s salary and benefits (something less than $150K total) PLUS OVERHEAD. (And yes, the $450K/yr number is correct, at least for someone like me making $130K/yr.)

What is overhead? Overhead consists mostly of the salaries for all those other people, who are not performing science and engineering, but have to paid for somehow. So, for accounting purposes in dealing with the sponsors who actually foot the bill, the laboratory tacks their salaries onto the “cost” of a TSM. These overhead people include managers, admins/secretaries, facility managers, janitors, etc. Plus there’s some overhead that goes for things like paying the electric bill, taxes, etc.

The upshot is that when a sponsor pays LANL to perform technical work, it pays for the TSMs who actually do the work the sponsor is interested in, plus, whether they like it or not, for about $300K/yr worth of managers, secretaries, etc. So the TSM “cost” actually pays the salary of the TSM, plus two or three additional people per TSM.

LANL will not save $450K/yr by RIFing a TSM, unless those 2-3 overhead people are RIF’ed as well. RIFing a TSM without RIFing the associated overhead folks will only save LANL the ~$150K/yr of salary+benefits, and furthermore will result in the “cost” per TSM of the remaining TSMs increasing (because now we’ve got more overhead folks per TSM).

Get it?

Anonymous said...

Almost 6:58, except you forgot the 500 or so staff doing LDRD which is also part of the overhead budget. I assume they are doing science, no?

6:28, it sounds like LANS needs to update AM 1203 to agree with Terry.

Need clarification on options for how to run out vacation balance if taking voluntary.

Anonymous said...

11/19/07 5:46 PM said:
"Granted, SSMs and TECs cost less, but not TSMs. Contractors rent out for about half, to two thirds of a LANL TSM."

Ok, so the solution is simple. Just get rid of a bunch of TSMs. At $450K a pop, we'll be operating back in the black in no time. And don't tell me anything about TSMs being the bread and butter of the institution. With nobody doing much of anything anymore, TSMs are as expendible as a cockroach these days.

--Brilliant HR Analysis Of How To Fix the Problem

Anonymous said...

Mike has made it clear to people on the LA school board that he does not give a shit about this community or the people who live in this town or the families of those who work at LANL. Everything he says is a lie. He has learned well from Wallass.

Anonymous said...

"Almost 6:58, except you forgot the 500 or so staff doing LDRD which is also part of the overhead budget. I assume they are doing science, no?"

I said overhead consists "mostly" of non-scientific functions. LDRD is 6%. With overhead rates well over 200%, I think "mostly" is pretty accurate.

Anonymous said...

"Can someone explain to me which 750 staff members can be let go without destroying the Lab?"

Why that would be limited term employees, unless you have a sugar momma or daddy ...

Anonymous said...

"6:28, it sounds like LANS needs to update AM 1203 to agree with Terry."

No worries, Terry will deny he ever said anything like that - this is why he won't provide copies of this slides or tape his "performances" when he is going out to talk to the troups at LANCE and the like.

Anonymous said...

7:32 PM - Mikey has said the same things around the halls at LLNL. Get used to it. He is a selfish bastard who just wants to make money.

Anonymous said...

11/19/07 6:07 PM, pretty dumb for a smarty pants TSM, aren't you?

The overhead mostly (70%) pays for people. Cut the overhead, you've still got the same 10,000 people on staff, unless you hold a RIF.

Cut just the support side? Sure, we tried that here in 1995. Lab Legal's got Mikey by the balls on this one.

Anonymous said...

Mikey seemed very nervous today... lots of pauses and mispronunciations

Anonymous said...

LAW SUIT CITY.... no matter how they cut it, it's LAW SUIT CITY

male vs female
anglo vs other
tsm vs ssm
old vs young
vested vs unvested

unless they have "cause" the selections for RIF have legal actions

Anonymous said...

"Need clarification on options for how to run out vacation balance if taking voluntary."


They have to pay you for unused vacation. Instead, use your accumulated sick leave, if this whole situation is making you ill.

Anonymous said...

Another simple question.

If I bring in lots of money or have a critical skill (as determined by LANS) and they give me a worse deal than someone who does not have these attributes, isn't this involuntary servitude (slavery?) and subject to endless successful law suits, ERISA being only part of the laws that are broken.

My guess is that "You can't work for any other part of DOE" is also illegal since, for instance, you do not work for DOE at the moment. You work for a private company and did not sign a non compete clause or anything related to it. Antitrust laws, anti monopoly laws, collusion laws etc. would seem to be relevant.

Any lawyers in the audience who are willing to comment.

Anonymous said...

7:32 PM wrote "Mike has made it clear to people on the LA school board that he does not give a shit about this community or the people who live in this town or the families of those who work at LANL. Everything he says is a lie. He has learned well from Wallass."

I guess that explains why Mike is excited about the future of LANL. Watch it burn to the ground baby!

Anonymous said...

So, you can volunteer to take severance now or simply wait and take severance in March if you're RIFed.

My guess is we are only going to see about 50 or so people take the SSP. Most of these will be young, bright mid-career TSMs that are already lining up outside jobs. The SSP severance will help them pay for their moving costs. They still have time to salvage their careers and don't want to stick around a dismal workplace like LANL for much longer.

Some of the double-dippers may take the offer, but I'm guessing most of them will decide to stick around and collect their large 401K match. There is no pressure on them to leave and working at LANL fills up their time during the Golden Years.

Anonymous said...

4:27 pm: "would be nice to know if the RIFs are going to finally target the so called employees who come to work late every day, do nothing everyday, and then leave early everyday."

Hehe - did you just wake up from your long nap? You want to "know"? The answer is "No!! No one tracks those employees(except maybe you) and so no one knows who they are unless you tell them. What's been keeping you silent?

Anonymous said...

"Mike has made it clear to people on the LA school board that he does not give a shit about this community or the people who live in this town or the families of those who work at LANL. Everything he says is a lie. He has learned well from Wallass."

Source for this, please. What School Board members? When? Where? How?

Anonymous said...

"At one of his recent briefings, Terry Wallace said that volunteers for the RIF cannot work at any DOE site for a year, but would be allowed to seek unpaid guest scientist status at the lab during that period."

This is Bull Crap.

Anonymous said...

No financial enhancement. Bah! Narf! Even so, 39 weeks of severance pay, combined with retirement, could be a sweet deal for some. What about those with low seniority? The best strategy might be to figure out a way to get on the Phase 2 RIF list. Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Anonymous said...

nonymous 11/19/07 5:55 PM said...

"750 people yields $300,000,000 in savings only if everyone RIFed is a staff member.'

NO! This calculation is based on saving the fully-burdened $450K annual cost when you RIF a person.

In fact, all that you save is the annual salary and cash fringe costs. You do not save the overhead part of the fully-burdened cost.

SO, for a TSM with a $100K annual salary, the savings is only aoubt $130K. Thus, RIFFING 750 TSMs will save about $100M.

Anonymous said...

NO, 12:07, it is not "bull crap." Mike said that there would be no changes to the guest scientist policy. It is up to line management to bring someone back as an unpaid guest scientist, and that decision and discussion cannot happen before someone volunteers. They are two independent matters. You may not like it, but that is what it is.

Anonymous said...

Was Mikey at the Lab yesterday?
I thought "Bring a Turkey to work" day
was today.

Anonymous said...

7:25, did you read AM 1203 - as it currently stands?

Anonymous said...

hmmmmmm....Class Action comes to mind.

to add to the list how about

competent vs token

Anonymous said...

Tomorrow is a New Mexico Legislative "Oversight" Committee Hearing at the Round House at 10:00am, Room 321 to discuss the LANL Reduction in Force and its impact to Northern New Mexico. The only one right now scheduled to speak is M. Anastasio. Let me suggest that employees pack that room and speak their concerns!

Anonymous said...

Excellent idea, 11:40. I'm concerned that there is no free day care at LANL; this might be the ideal forum to air the issue and discuss its impact on the area!

Seriously, it's too late! The time to discuss issues like this was three years ago when DOE announced its plans to re-compete LANL's contract. The cost factors (award fee, GRT, higher manager salaries, etc.) of allowing a private, for-profit contractor to take over LANL operations were all known then. But did anybody do anything three years ago? No. LANL staff just wandered the hallways muttering "I want UC to win the contract so that my benefits are preserved," and "We need free day care."

You can go whine to the New Mexico Legislative Oversight Committee all you want, but that is not going to change the fact that we are in the state we are because we allowed our situation to progress to where it is today.

Anonymous said...

"Tomorrow is a New Mexico Legislative "Oversight" Committee Hearing at the Round House at 10:00am, Room 321 to discuss the LANL Reduction in Force and its impact to Northern New Mexico."

We're saved! NOT!!!

Anonymous said...

11/20/07 11:55 AM said: "You can go whine to the New Mexico Legislative Oversight Committee all you want, but that is not going to change the fact that we are in the state we are because we allowed our situation to progress to where it is today."

Quick...mark this day and time on your calendar! It's marks the moment the greatest understatement in history was recorded!

Anonymous said...

Here's how the legislative oversight committee hearing will conclude

Rep Nick Salazar: Thank you Dr. Anastasio. We know this is a very difficult challenge you face and trust you will do everything in your power to ensure the layoff is done fairly.

Rep Jan Wallace: I agree with my distinguished colleague Representative Salazar. Our prayers are with you Director Anastasio, during these challenging times.

Sen Phil Griego, Committee Co-Chair: The Lab is an valuable resource to our State and to the Nation. Many small business rely on the Lab for its survival. I support small business. I myself am a small businessman. So I know you sometimes have to get rid of people to remain viable. Plus it give us all an opportunity to clean house. You have my full support Dr. Anastasio.

Rep Bobby Gonzales, Committe Co-Chair: Ok. That's marks the end of today's hearing. I thank you all for attending. Let's all be friends now as we enter this season of thanksgiving and caring for one another. Let us join hands now in prayer...

Anonymous said...

Correct!!! 11/20/07 1:17 PM

Ben Lujan - Daughter is "Acting" Chief of Staff (No Degree)

Nick Salazar - "Conflict of Interest" - Works in the Government Relations Office as an affiliate; Incompetent, unqualified member of Board of Governors for LANS; Son doesn't have to worry about being RIFed.

Jeanette Wallace - Son is Terry Wallace, AD. Before LANS earned $232K now earns $420K.

etc., etc., etc!!!

Anonymous said...

How will the RIF's be spread among the TSM's (PhD - vs - non-PhD), Techs, and SSM's?

Anonymous said...

11/20/07 6:19 PM

It's all in who you sleep with. Competence went out the door long ago.

Anonymous said...

It's all in who you sleep with. Competence went out the door long ago.

Interesting thought to ponder when one thinks about how TSMs with no management experience become ADs, Deputy ADs, or LDRD program managers at LANL ...

Anonymous said...

As of Tuesday, the RIF plan was still not approved. Unless something changes before the holiday break, don't expect any of the Self Selecting to begin next week. And, HR people were given a script to use for anyone asking questions.