Nov 29, 2007

Well, of Course They Did

NNSA approves Los Alamos lab layoffs

updated 2 hours, 9 minutes ago

NM - LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) - The National Nuclear Security Administration has approved a Los Alamos National Laboratory plan to cut between 500 and 750 jobs. An NNSA spokesman, Bernie Pleau, says the plan was approved November 21st-two days after the lab announced the proposed job cuts.

Lab officials have said the number of jobs must be trimmed because of anticipated federal budget cuts and other factors.

Pleau says lab employees who decide to leave voluntarily have until December 6th to submit their applications.

Under the plan, workers-except those in certain critical jobs will be offered severance packages if they leave voluntarily.

The packages will be based on years of service. The lab would start laying off employees after that.


Eric said...

For your consideration.

My calculations of how many dollars LANS will save by the layoffs


Estimated LANS fee


Anonymous said...

it is all about greed.

lans is managed by greedly little digsusting money grubbing cronies

Anonymous said...

Personally, I would like to have a conversation about the effect of these changes.

While he gets rich.....we get poor.

Anonymous said...

Really? And this just happened? No, this situation has been in the making for over a decade. UC was the catalyst and guess what, UC is still in the picture! Blame LANS all you want but look behind the curtain and who do you see standing there with Bechtel? Who invited Bechtel and friends in our house if wasn't UC? Disgusting and greedy yes. But put the blame where it belongs. UC did this. We did this as well to ourselves because we didn't care how much UC f#(ked up so long as we had our precious retirement plan. Well now we don't even have that. Thank you UC, for giving us all a royal kick in the a#%! And thank you Marquez, for helping to keep UC in the picture, you filthy piece of s*&t! Happy holidays!

Anonymous said...

Even with only 7 years of service, I should of gone TCP2 - we're all (ok, maybe not the double dippers)screwed.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry about it, 9:25 PM. In another year or two LANS will freeze the TCP1 pension and you'll get the opportunity to make up for it by making huge contributions to your new TCP2 401k. Heck, LANS will probably even do a 1% match to help you along.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else here have the experience I did with taking TCP2 and getting scorned by anyone you told about the decision who was foolish enough to think that TCP1 was anything BUT a head-up-the-ass decision?

Anonymous said...

The packages will be based on years of service. Is it years of service at LANL assuming you had no breaks in servive or years in classification? We are getting conflicting information at LLNL. One division says it years of service and the other says its SKA and then we here not all terms and contracts will go but FTE will go before all of the others are eradicated. How was it done at LANL and how long did it take.

Anonymous said...

If we really do get 750 employees to take the voluntary RIF, my guess is that they will all be long-term employees with the maximum vacation (384 days) on the books and will get the full 39 weeks severence. The severance with the vacation will approach 50 weeks of pay. So, a lot of money will got out the door.

Anonymous said...

1:46am, yes i had the same experience, with only 7yrs service at the time. It didn't seem I had much to loose either way so I preserved the ABILITY to take the lump sum distribution from UCRP (didn't take it, just preserved the option by leaving it there) - TCP1 did not offer that option and the way lots of things are going it is turning out to be a very desireable option....

Anonymous said...

Here's the bottom line:

Voluntary separation gives you the severance pay package, makes you inelligible for 3161 hiring preferences, blackballs you from any DOE-related job for 12 months, and makes you inelligible for NM unemployment (according to the ABQ Journal).

Who should take this? People who are ready to retire soon, as they can take the severance package, cash out vacation, and get their retirement to boot. That's the incentive.

If you don't volunteer for the RIF and are RIF'd anyway, you get the same severance package, ARE elligible for the 3161 hiring preference at other DOE sites, ARE elligible for NM unemployment when your severance package runs out, and will have collected another three month's pay to sock away because the PHASE II won't kick in until March or April. It also gives you additional time to find another job while you're still getting paid.

Who should sit tight and wait it out? Anyone who isn't ready to retire. Make them come to you.

Anonymous said...

I have 9.5 yrs service and saw the writing on the wall and went TCP-2.
It was my "no-confidence" vote in the new LANS management. Plus, pensions are becoming a things of the past.

Anonymous said...

11/30/07 6:37 AM, I agree. I have heard three names so far and all are old-timers.

Anonymous said...

"Who should take this? People who are ready to retire soon, as they can take the severance package, cash out vacation, and get their retirement to boot. That's the incentive."

Great if you're near retirement, but others (myself, mid-50) not there yet ... but see writing on the wall (downsizing of lab). Would take the SSP and get on with life, but RIF package is little better (two additonal months salary, rehiring at other sites,etc). Question: Assuming you forego Phase1/SSP, can you "voluntary" yourself for RIF in phase 2 ???

Anonymous said...

Question: Assuming you forego Phase1/SSP, can you "voluntary" yourself for RIF in phase 2 ???

11/30/07 2:03 PM

No you cannot.

Just become lazy, take a day off or two every week, come in late all the time, take off early for Drs appointments and kid issues, make tons of mistakes, and that should set you up to get riffed in Phase 2.

Oh wait, stupid me. This is Los Alamos National Lab, it will not work here.

Anonymous said...

From AM 114

November 19, 2007
Personnel Employment Reduction-in-Force


...• Deleted section (.02d) relating to prohibition for employees to volunteer for RIFs.

Anonymous said...

"No you cannot."

CNN Headline: LANL EBA employee, fed up with management, wants to,
but unable to get RIF under Involuntary RIF Plan ... forced to continue as EBA under budget shortfall.

Anonymous said...

C'mon 2:50, I'm sure Ben Glover would tell you that just like the term reduction-in-force in AM 1203 Guest Scientists,
Former Employees .07

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

does not apply to voluntary RIFs, the deleted section (.02d) of AM 114 relating to prohibition for employees to volunteer for RIFs does not apply to involuntary RIFs.

Hey, and don't let the fact the Director said that Phase 1 was the voluntary portion of an involuntary RIF confuse you.

Anonymous said...

As you speak 3:48,

To/MS: All Employees
From/MS: Jan A. Van Prooyen, A100
Phone/Fax: 7-5101/7-2997
Symbol: DIR-07-344
Date: November 30, 2007

SUBJECT: Voluntary Separation Through SSP

We have received several questions about whether AM 1203.07
applies to participants in the Self-Selection Program. AM
1203.07 prohibits employees terminating because of a reduction-
in-force from returning as Guest Scientists. This provision,
however, does not apply to the Self-Selection Program. To
eliminate any confusion, effective immediately the policy is
amended to read as follows:

AM 1203.07: Employees who terminate because of a reduction-in-
force may not serve as Laboratory Guests unless the termination
was implemented as part of a Self-Selection Program.

Anonymous said...


Ravenfriend said...

What a huge guffaw I made out loud when I read Van P's email. (It just came out; I couldn't help it.)

But--the idiots haven't covered everything yet regarding this issue.

Can you predict the next obvious question???

Anonymous said...

11/30/07 2:19 PM

That is bad advice, if someone does that they are promoted to management and therefore don't have to worry about being Riff'd.

Anonymous said...

Here we go !

LANS (Los Alamos Numb Skulls) offers a voluntary program with LESS benefits than for those who will be riffed for poor performance ! High performers, who actually know how nuclear exposives work (as opposed to 99% of LANL staff), who self select will be denied the 3161 guaranties of preferred hiring at DOE labs, and penalized (by forfeiting their severance) if they contribute to National Nuclear Security in the next year (by working for an NNSA [National Numb Skull Agency] lab or contractor).

Posted by WTF is this country thinking?

Anonymous said...

I'm not worried about either Phase I (voluntary) or Phase II (involuntary) in the LANS RIF plan. It's Phase III (additional layoffs) that have me really concerned.

What's to stop this place from having continuous layoffs for the next few years? If this occurs, Los Alamos is going to start looking like one of those small Western mining towns where the mine has begun shutting down and almost everyone knows someone in town who is either in financial distress and declaring bankruptcy.

You can already see the desperation in the local business community. Metzger's has put up cheesy looking red signs all around town trying to perk up their declining business. CB Fox seems empty of customers on most days. The only business in town that is still doing well is Smith's, and even there you'll notice that people are buying far fewer luxury food items.

Even if you manage to hold on to your job, living in an economically depressed community is not going to be much fun. Let's all hope that this RIF doesn't end up having a Phase III component that lingers around.

Anonymous said...

So given that the likely "volunteers" will have the full 39 weeks and some vacation AND that they will leave after a quarter of FY08 is gone, LANS will not save any money. Then if the number of volunteers come in at under 750 and the "flexible workforce" can't make it up to 750 (anyone know how many limited term and non KSL/PTLA workers there are?)how is LANS going to save money for FY08?

Next year, yes big savings, but this year's dollars need to not run over budget (right?).

Phase 2 RIF's of long timers will not save any money due to the same reasons in the first sentence. Seems that the only way is to -GULP- get rid of small severance package folks.

Shutting down facilities won't save money due to decommissioning etc, at least in FY08.

And the big issue is the very likely cuts from congress, which to my understanding these RIFs are not addressing directly.

So in the inevitable Phase 3, how does LANS save another $100-300M w/o cutting small severance package folks???? Anyone?

I'll ask this one again as well, LANS cannot have cost overuns right?

Anonymous said...

I know, after Phase II they rewrite the severance policy to 2 weeks no matter your service credit is. Problem solved. I wouldn't put it past them.

Anonymous said...

The 750 FTE's are only to pay for the "new and improved cost of our management" the budgets cuts will come as soon as Congress passes the FY 08 funding bill for LANL, in that package will be the over-all funding for FY 08...No LANs cannot have cost if they decide to cut the budget by 15-25% that is how much they expect to down-size LANL, it's been well thought out...

Anonymous said...

11/29 9:14 pm: "Well now we don't even have that. Thank you UC, for giving us all a royal kick in the a#%"

You have to be seriously deranged to blame the current state of affairs on UC. UC had to include Bechtel, WGI, etc. (as "LANS"), in the bid, or the bid would have been rejected as not responsive to the requirement for a for-profit entity. It is more than obvious that UC hasn't been in the drivers seat since long before the bid was written, regardless of the "hierarchy" proposed to DOE. The actual bid was written in the Bechtel offices in San Francisco. During that process, UC personnel were rarely seen.

As for Marquez. I can assure you he was definitely not "helping" UC - he was and is a creature of DOE/NNSA. No other loyalty.

LANL's current problems are a result of long, detailed, and sophisticated planning by DOE/NNSA and their allies in congress, spun for the media and public consumption as resulting from LANL's security and management problems, but actually designed to retain the positions of several high-level administration appointees at least until January 2009, and to appease the congressional desire to appear to have done something about the so called "problems." Just that - politics at the national level.

Anonymous said...

7:44 pm: "I'll ask this one again as well, LANS cannot have cost overuns right?"

Get a clue - LANS will not be in "cost overrun" until it's entire $79M fee is eaten up. There is no way they will allow that to happen. RIFs will be employed to preserve the award fee at at whatever cost to the institution.

Anonymous said...

"I know, after Phase II they rewrite the severance policy to 2 weeks no matter your service credit is. Problem solved. I wouldn't put it past them." - 1/30/07 9:18 PM

LANS better not re-write this severance policy to reduce accrued severance after Phase II.

Those in the "exclusion" group are explicitly baned from being allowed to take their accrued severance by using the SSP.

If LANS cancels or in any way reduces accrued severance of staff at some later date, they'll be talking to outside lawyers soon after the event, I can assure you of that. At best, they can only reduce the accrual of severance from this date forward.

Anonymous said...

"Just become lazy, take a day off or two every week, come in late all the time, take off early for Drs appointments and kid issues, make tons of mistakes, and that should set you up to get riffed in Phase 2."

I am one of the few contractors left, and I see this everyday....NOW! These LANS (LANL originals) Have not got a clue! I will be RIF'd and suffer the same financial devastation....but these guys will survive. This RIF should take into consideration performance.....they all had low IPO scores. I have been a long time contractor, and realise my "chances". I try to give my best 9hrs a day, come in on weekends when needed and do whatever tasks I am asked to do. I have a home,kids and am invested in N NM. When I see these guys doing "business as usual" I am really sad, to know that I will be sacraficed.

Oh, did I mention they bring their dogs to work???? These are the people that represent the decline in our reputation. They should go out the door first!

Anonymous said...

Dear 12;30, "THEY" LANS, can do just about what they want to rid the Lab of employees....The plan is to down-size LANL by about 2000 employees in the next 1-2 years. This decision was made by our Congress. If needed they can tell us all to take a hike, we are all (At Will) employees....Save your money, to purchase food and shelter instead of lawyers...

Anonymous said...

What saddens me is that "This is what I do, not who I am". I love N NM and I want to stay here. Being a contractor, I doubt that my number will not be pulled, either this go round or the next.

We soon will see them "start to eat their young". Management will sit back, enjoy their protected status and watch the show.

Anonymous said...

In response to 12/1/07 12:30AM, you make it sound as though RIF benefits are a vested right? How so?

Administrative policies are just that: policy.

Anonymous said...

"We soon will see them 'start to eat their young'. Management will sit back, enjoy their protected status and watch the show."

That's been SOP in some divisions for years. Remember "Fix-X"? Well, they finally gave up. Now they're playing musical chairs on the Titanic again, so we won't realize how many people are missing when this RIF is over.

Word from management on severance pay is that we will cease to accrue new severance, not lose the severance we have already earned. But, hey, who believes anything management says now-a-days?

Anonymous said...

NNSA is already on record as being angry at the amount of severance that LANL staff receive. You can be sure that accruals, if any, will be very small from this point forward.

Heck, they could even decide to just allow two weeks severance for anyone with a year of lab service and freeze *any* further accruals for the rest of the work force (i.e., what you've got now is all you're ever going to get!). Don't put it past them to take this path. It's become very clear that NNSA hates their contract work force and enjoys attacking the benefits.

Anonymous said...

"What's to stop this place from having continuous layoffs for the next few years?"

Absolutely nothing, in fact that is inevitable if congressional cuts go as appear to be going.

A 25% cut is what NNSA is openly planning with every effort to discourage WFO. What part of that is not absolutely clear?

Wasn't it also clear that LANS was going to increase costs by >$100M? Is it really a surprise that LANS did not decrease costs?

Anonymous said...

Who brings their dogs to work, 10:15?

Anonymous said...

Can't say "who bring their dogs to work"....more than one does. I am appauled......this is why the rest of us are walking the plank!

Anonymous said...

I know a great way to boost the low morale at LANL. How about having LANL host a "Bring your dog to work day"!

We could show our dogs where we go all day while they patiently await their master's return.

I know my dog would gain a great deal of insight unto my life by being allowed to smell my work place up close, especially the rotten trash, mildew infected walls, and smelly dead mice that are found in many a LANL office. They would love it!

Anonymous said...

I know of (4)in 2 different TA's.
And we wonder why the outside thinks we are going to work as if it were a hobby?! Actions of some self serving individuals brings the rest of the Lab down. It does not matter how grand our Science is.....this is the "news".

Mike should take a "job walk" as he is filling out the pink slips!

Anonymous said...

Do the dogs have the correct clearances? Are there any pekinese dogs looking for secrets? :D

Anonymous said...

Workers at Google can bring their pets to work, and they seem to be doing okay. Seems like a good idea to me. But then, I'm one of those entitlement minded do nothing Gen-X'ers (like they have at Google).

Anonymous said...

Google believes that their most important asset is their workers, so they treat them very nicely.

Free gourmet lunches, dogs allowed at work, laundry mat on site, several hot tubs for relaxation, and the most important of all perks... on-site child care.

Here at LANL, of course, we believe exactly the opposite. You're lucky to even see sinks with hot water in the restrooms these days.

Looking at the impressive profit gains that Google has been racking up with each and every quarter, it appears they may be on to something.

Anonymous said...

Success -> getting to bring dogs to work. Not the other way around. Get a clue. Do you really think that you deserve perks for your recent history?