Dec 22, 2007
A total of 430 employees will leave Los Alamos National Laboratory next month— a figure that's short of the 500 to 750 positions that the lab has said ultimately need to be cut for budget reasons.
Los Alamos will now assess its flexible work force— made up of regular employees on limited-term assignments and subcontract workers— and make any necessary "adjustments," lab director Michael Anastasio said Friday in an employee memo.
The lab is in the first of two phases of a work force restructuring plan. The second phase could involve involuntary layoffs of regular employees if not enough cost savings is found through phase one's voluntary departures and the changes to the flexible work force.
"Although we have made good progress toward avoiding an involuntary separation, Phase I is not yet completed," Anastasio said in the memo provided to the Journal.
Anastasio said 495 employees had applied to leave, though 65 later changed their minds. Official last days will come Jan. 10.
Employees who leave the 11,000-employee lab voluntarily or not will earn a severance package based on their years of service and qualify for unemployment compensation benefits.
The job cuts are necessary because of rising operational costs under the lab's new corporate manager and flat revenues.
Anastasio said in his memo that at the end of Phase I, managers will evaluate the number of people leaving the lab, skills needed for the future and the latest budget information before determining what further action is needed.