Oct 1, 2009

Comment of the Week

This week our COW will highlight some of the differences between LANL and ORNL. From the Saturday's UllrFest post:


Meanwhile, back at the non-profit managed ORNL, where the word "Bechtel-ization" is unknown and the motto "Shoes that GRIP!" has never been seen...

-----
Lab Director Says ORNL on the Upswing

By Frank Munger - September 28, 2009 (Knoxville News)

OAK RIDGE - Fiscal 2009 was a good year for Oak Ridge National Laboratory, with almost a 30 percent increase in science funding, and ORNL Director Thom Mason said he expects more good things in the budget for fiscal 2010, which begins in October.

On top of that, the Oak Ridge lab is receiving even more stimulus money than expected, Mason said.

"We're now up to about $310 million in Recovery Act funding, and there's still more out there in terms of things that are being competed and I think that will continue to grow some," he said.


What a difference it makes to be a DOE lab run by a non-profit organization as compared, of course, to being an NNSA lab managed by a PBI-based profit-hungry corporation.

--Doug

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

As long as LANL is associated with NNSA, nothing good is going to happen. NNSA was not created by congress to care one bit about science and basic research. NNSA cares only about one thing - nuclear weapons - and with the number of US weapons about to be cut in half along with the Russians, NNSA is only going to get smaller and less funding.

Anonymous said...

I understand the TA-55 Plutonium Facility was shut down today as a result of a fire code compliance issue involving the TA-55 fire suppression system. I hear at least a 5-day shutdown. Were people sent home since the fire suppression system compliance is potentially a worker safety issue? Can anyone provide details since workers were not informed of anything? Does this fire code compliance issue impact other category 2 or 3 facilities at the Lab such as Area G? Thank God for this blog, this Blog provides a vital communication service to LANL workers. I hope LANS appreciates this!

Anonymous said...

Battelle isn't a for-profit corporation???

Anonymous said...

4:45,

Hey Dipshit, do your homework before spouting your ignorance on the blog.

Yes, Battelle is a non-profit.

Anonymous said...

It's no wonder LANL has a reputation of being home to a bunch of lazy C students these days. 30 seconds of googling would have enabled 4:54 to learn everything he needed to know about Battelle's non-profit status.

No matter; LANL's reputation is already solidly in the shitter.

Anonymous said...

The reputation is not in the shitter. It passed through that stage years ago.

Anonymous said...

"The reputation is not in the shitter. It passed through that stage years ago."

With good reason, and a fair share of the blame rests on the (lack of) quality of the staff, not just the piss-poor management at LANL.

Anonymous said...

The COW hit the nail on the head. Bottom line: The one act of switching from a non-profit to a profit Lab was the beginning of the end.

Another item are the benefits plans. The UCRP was costing DOE zero. That crap about our benefits cannot be over 105% Of industry is bullshit. Congress stated that DOE or NNSA cannot dictate to contractors as to what types of benefits such as Defined pension plan UCRP or whoever vs a crappy 401K. NNSA themselves have a UCRP type pension plan.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty clear that the decline of LANL was fairly well self-deserved. At any point in the process the staff at large could have derailed the corporatization process, but they chose not to at every step.

Now we're left with a majority of NNSA-grade level of employees which virtually guarantees that the descent of LANL into the bowels of mediocrity is a done deal.

Congratulations, one and all!

Anonymous said...

1:34 pm: "NNSA cares only about one thing - nuclear weapons"

Yep, it's true, NNSA is the nation's nuclear weapon design and development agency. And LANL, SNL, and LLNL are the nation's nuclear weapon design and development laboratories. If you signed on to LANL without knowing that, you are really stupid. Sotra like the AEC and LASL - get it?

Anonymous said...

Poster 8:24 PM, your ignorance is showing.

Less than half of the work done at SNL comes from NNSA funding. Sandia selected a path of scientific diversification almost 15 years ago. But, like your buddy 4:54 with his stupid "for-profit" comment about Battelle, you're obviously too fat ass lazy to look up accurate info regarding SNL, right?

Anonymous said...

ORNL is managed by Battelle for only $10 million per year. It reminds me of the minuscule $8 million per year that the University of California received for their management of LANL (pre-LANS/Bechtel and their corporate profiteers).

Anonymous said...

8:24 PM

Half of SNL's work has nothing to do with nuclear weapons.

And according to Global Security Newswire last Monday there many be a December announcement that should rock the ground under NNSA...

"The United States and Russia have discussed eliminating two-thirds of their missiles, strategic bombers and other nuclear-weapon delivery systems in a successor to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said last week.

In July, Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama signed off on a reduction of nuclear delivery vehicles to between 500 and 1,100, down from the 1,600 allowed under a 2002 pact. Moscow has pressed for cutting to the low end of the spectrum.

"We are ready to move further and cut the number of delivery vehicles for strategic offensive armaments by more than three times, and this issue is now being discussed at the negotiating table with our American partners," RIA Novosti quoted Medvedev as saying Thursday during a U.N. Security Council session on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament.

"We are doing everything possible to sign a relevant document by December," he added. The treaty is set to expire on Dec. 5.

The leaders also agreed to cut their nations' respective deployed strategic nuclear arsenals to between 1,500 and 1,675 warheads under the new pact. The two countries are now required under the Moscow Treaty to hold no more than 2,200 operationally fielded warheads by 2012.

As of the beginning of this year, the United States held 5,576 nuclear warheads and 1,198 delivery systems while Russia possessed 3,909 nuclear and 814 delivery systems, according to a U.S. State Department.

-------

So can Congress really justify an NNSA that looks the same as it did with 2/3 more weapons?

Anonymous said...

9:52 pm: "your ignorance is showing."

8:24 pm here. Uh, ok, but you didn't identify anything I said that was false. Care to try again?

Anonymous said...

so much misinformation. The benefits level that LANS and LLNS offers was dictated by NNSA. As DOE competes contracts, they require the contractors to substantially reduce the pension and other benefit costs.

I've worked at both ORNL and LANL, and there is a significant difference in attitude towards fee at the two labs, but I don't think it makes a major difference in the management of the two labs. LANL is in a huge hole caused by years of operational problems from lax or poor management. Until it climbs out of that hole, it is not going to get back on track. It is unlikely that the current management team can accomplish that. No leadership, no ability to rally the troops (except maybe to lynch the current management), no ability to bring in major new programs, or deliver them on time and on budget if they do bring them in.

ORNL's budget has more than doubled since UT-Battelle took over, and it is clearly the fastest growing, most dynamic lab in the system right now, with PNNL running second. Battelle knows how to manage labs, how to cultivate and grow business, and how to position itself for both. Having said that, the guy who accomplished most of that is now gone from Battelle, so it is up for grabs whether the new corporate management can retain or sustain that growth.

Neither UC nor Bechtel know how to manage labs or grow business, although LLNL has done a decent job of diversifying its funding source over the years. For Bechtel, project management skills can only get you so far.

NNSA is an issue, but not the issue. As someone already pointed out, Sandia has grown and thrived under NNSA.

Anonymous said...

10:56 pm: "Sandia has grown and thrived under NNSA."

Only because NNSA has yet to fugure out how to curtail the WFO activity at SNL. It will happen, as soon as NNSA identifies an area where it can claim that the WFO work is interfering with or prevented progress on NNSA programs. Worst would be if NNSA makes a credible claim that some non-NNSA program caused missing a NNSA weapons program milestone. SNL management would then fail PBIs and potentially lose the NNSA contract. NNSA still owns most of the SNL facilities.

Anonymous said...

Doug-

It's the people. They have better scientist and managers, better facilities, and the weapons piece (Y-12) is completely separate from ORNL. Put it together, and what you have is a recipe for success.

What, does anybody think that the likes of Mary Neu and Terry Wallace could make a science-centered LANL run like a well-oiled machine? HA HA HA

Anonymous said...

PF-4 is in "mode 2" operations which means maintenance workers only. No, it does not affect LANL's other nukes.

Anonymous said...

"It's pretty clear that the decline of LANL was fairly well self-deserved. At any point in the process the staff at large could have derailed the corporatization process, but they chose not to at every step."

How?

Anonymous said...

"8:24 pm here. Uh, ok, but you didn't identify anything I said that was false."

Yes you did reread your post. Read, think. If you do not get it retry. This is something you need to do for yourself.

Anonymous said...

10:56 pm: "Sandia has grown and thrived under NNSA."

Only because NNSA has yet to fugure out how to curtail the WFO activity at SNL. It will happen, as soon as NNSA identifies an area where it can claim that the WFO work is interfering with or prevented progress on NNSA programs. Worst would be if NNSA makes a credible claim that some non-NNSA program caused missing a NNSA weapons program milestone. SNL management would then fail PBIs and potentially lose the NNSA contract. NNSA still owns most of the SNL facilities.

10/1/09 11:20 PM

I think it is possible that Sandia will just be moved out of NNSA and
become more like Oak Ridge.

Anonymous said...

As best as I can tell, here is the breakdown of work at both SNL and LANL listed below. The SNL data is online and comes from their SNL 2007 Annual Report. The LANL data comes from a viewgraph that Terry Wallace presented in April of this year. The data has been lumped into (a) DOE Office of Science and DOE Energy, (b) WFO, and (c) everything else, which means weapons and weapons related such as non-proliferation and nuclear waste cleanup:

----------
Sandia:
----------

Weapons - 51%

WFO - 33%

Other DOE (Office of Science, DOE Energy) - 16%

----------
Los Alamos:
----------

Weapons (inc. safeguards, non-proliferation, cleanup) - 80%

WFO - 13%

Other DOE (Office of Science, DOE Energy) - 7%


Note that due to intense political pressures, LANS has recently been using all sorts of accounting machinations to make the weapons side look smaller as a percentage, but the above listing is how the breakdown tends to flow.

Looking at this data, it is very clear that SNL 'cleans LANL's clock' in the non-weapons area. They are currently doing over 150% more work (as a percentage) in WFO projects and 130% more work in DOE non-weapons projects with a lot of this being DOE energy related that is projected to grow enormously over this next decade.

LANS current five year plan indicates that they hope to grow the WFO work by 50% over the next 5 years. If the rest of the breakdown stays static (likely, esp. for weapons work), then WFO at LANL could increase to around 20% of LANL's project makeup. Given the poor management demonstrated by LANS executives, inane work free safety zone policies, and ever increasing FTE costs to cover for the enormous management overhead, I think the odds of increasing WFO work at LANL are probably slim to none.

The management at SNL, while not perfect, at least seems to work. LANS management has been a dismal failure. It has turned LANL into little more than a "for-profit" money making machine for Bechtel and BWXT. Whether LANL grows or shrinks or whether the lab becomes more healthy and diversified is of little concern to them.

Anonymous said...

"I think it is possible that Sandia will just be moved out of NNSA and become more like Oak Ridge." (8:47 AM)


NNSA would see this as a slap in the face. They will never allow it to occur.

In case you haven't noticed, the most important thing for NNSA is keeping up the illusion via PR releases, Twitter, MySpace pages, etc., that they are doing and "INCREDIBLE" job, especially now that Tom D'Agostino is being allowed to continue to run the show.

Anonymous said...

The "Terry Wallace Show" airs again on next Tuesday (Oct 6th). I wonder what he'll have to say to the staff this time around?

Anonymous said...

12:07;

While I agree that Bechtel is a dismal failure, lumping non-proliferation in with Weapons is a bit misleading. LANL is now about 25% non-proliferation (global security), 55% weapons, and 20% other stuff. The non-proliferation fraction is rising fast too; in only two years LANL will be less than 50% weapons. Granted, most of the non-proliferation work is funded by NNSA, but it should still be considered separately, mainly because its a growing field (unlike weapons).

Anonymous said...

"..in only two years LANL will be less than 50% weapons"

12:07 here, and, yes, lumping non-proliferation outside of weapons can be done, but as you point out, most of that funding comes from the same unreliable source... NNSA.

I see NNSA's budget heading sharply downward over the next decade. Arguments can be made against this, but I think Congress appears to have lost the will to keep funding it at the present level.

There is another slight problem with having non-proliferation grow while weapons shrinks. Many (but not all) of the employees working heavily in the weapons arena are poorly unequipped to suddenly become non-poliferation experts. Thus, LANL will have to find some way to replace weapon workers with other specialists. This will be a painful process.

The other problem with a scenario of greater non-poliferation work is that it will allow LANL management to continue the same lazy path they have done for the last 30 years, living off what they see to be the buckets of "easy money" that comes from NNSA. Thus, there will be no effort to fix any of the many problems that exists at LANL. In fact, LANS will likely load even more management overhead on the lab, thus driving costs to even higher levels of unstainability.

I don't mean to sound overly pessimistic and hope that the new Global Security Directorate at LANL succeeds, however, LANS track record so far doesn't instill much confidence.

;-(

Anonymous said...

8:41AM Bleats How?" to the statement made earlier that

"At any point in the process the staff at large could have derailed the corporatization process, but they chose not to at every step.

Here's how: by not having been sheep every step of the way. By not having whimpered in quivering voices, "Oh, I can't post to the blog in my own name. My boss will find out who I am and I will get fired. I can't *possibly* say what I really think."

LANL staff are, by and large, a bunch of fucking cowards. They richly deserve the "New, Improved Corporate LANL."

Enjoy, you motherfuckers. You've earned it.

Anonymous said...

LANL staff are certainly not engaged with the real problems that face them. Many are riding the wave 'till retirement. Others are completely naive, and still others are under the mistaken impression that they can continue to have little pet projects hidden under the collapsing umbrella of the once great weapons program. Those over 50 may escape. The rest are totally screwed. Yes, they deserve what they will get as a result of their total complacency.

Anonymous said...

The "Terry Wallace Show" airs again on next Tuesday (Oct 6th). I wonder what he'll have to say to the staff this time around?

Just so you know Susan Seestrom will be in the front row winking. She goes around telling everyone that TERRY IS SEXY now that he has lost his other half. Just gross.

Anonymous said...

4:16 pm: "...employees working heavily in the weapons arena are poorly unequipped to suddenly become non-poliferation experts."

I think you are "poorly unequiped" to even speak English, let alone pontificate about LANL programs.

Anonymous said...

10/2/09 8:56 PM wrote ..."Just so you know Susan Seestrom will be in the front row winking. She goes around telling everyone that TERRY IS SEXY now that he has lost his other half."

Oh yes. I heard from a friend of mine in P-Division months ago that Sue won't shut up about how hot Terry looks and that he has said in public (during the MaRIE panel)to her that he has a vow of chastity. Hmmm. I guess sexual harassment first person or third person doesn't apply when the ADs and PADs engage in it?

Anonymous said...

The whole Sue has a crush on Terry thing makes me want to vomit.

Anonymous said...

"The "Terry Wallace Show" airs again on next Tuesday (Oct 6th). I wonder what he'll have to say to the staff this time around?

10/2/09 1:09 PM"

It is going to be more bad news, be prepared. They will say they did everything they could but this is how it is.

Anonymous said...

8:22 PM, I agree. Unfortunately, I was at the MaRIE panel session and witnessed what 8:50 AM. Disgusting. Naturally, we know nothing will happen. Perhaps Sue will get a really big fat raise this year on top of her ~$1M bonus. Even though I am a guy, I wonder if I can get a bigger raise if I tell Terry he is sexy?

i'M TOO SEXY said...

Terry is about as sexy as Sue is...I JUST THREW UP IN MY MOUTH thinking about those two and sex. YUK

Anonymous said...

"It is going to be more bad news, be prepared. They will say they did everything they could but this is how it is." - 9:24 PM

What bad news? What do you know, 9:24. Spill the beans so we can be fully prepared for Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

Bad news coming? Perhaps bad news like this...

~~~~~
Congress to Settle on 2010 NNSA Nuclear-Weapon Spending Caps (GSN)

Friday, Oct. 2, 2009

U.S. lawmakers could soon approve legislation that would hold funding for Energy Department nuclear-weapon programs at levels similar to the last fiscal year, the Albuquerque Journal reported yesterday (see GSN, July 13).

The fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill appeared to represent a compromise between Senate proponents of nuclear-weapon spending increases and members of the House of Representatives who favored reducing funds, according to the Journal.

The National Nuclear Security Administration, a semiautonomous branch of the Energy Department charged with nuclear-arsenal upkeep and nonproliferation programs, would be set to receive $6.4 billion for weapons programs in the budget year that began yesterday.

...The bill authorizes $296 million for basic nuclear-weapon research at the laboratories, a 7-percent reduction from the most recent budget. The legislation would allow $142 million in appropriations for plutonium facilities largely stationed at the Los Alamos laboratory, an 8-percent cut from what the facilities received in fiscal 2009.
~~~~~

So it sounds like more cuts for LANL. Meanwhile, we hear the ORNL is growing by over 30% per year!

No wonder NNSA was demanding a 5% attrition rate at LANL for this next fiscal year. It sounds like LANL is looking at a 5% to 8% cutback in funding (and people). More LANL staff are going to have to leave.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and let's not forget the additional overhead that will be required next year to cover for more expensive layers of LANS upper management. You know, like those two new "executive advisers" being hired from Bechtel at a fat salary of $250K each per year.

Get ready to cough up more overhead tax money for management expenses from the already tread bare project funds.

Anonymous said...

""It is going to be more bad news, be prepared. They will say they did everything they could but this is how it is." - 9:24 PM

What bad news? What do you know, 9:24. Spill the beans so we can be fully prepared for Tuesday.

10/3/09 11:10 PM"

I heard something about pensions, does anyone know what this is about?

Anonymous said...

Possible program cuts of 8%? Yes, their will be plenty of funding cuts in the weapons program and other science programs at LANL but there will also be extra money for environmental cleanup, demolition work and for planning the construction of buildings that may (or may not) be built. This is what Bechtel/BWXT/WG are really good at and it's the future "growth" at LANL.

Better look into ordering a hard hat if you want to keep your job secure at LANL. It also helps if you worked for one of the partner companies running the show. And don't expect the New Mexico politicians to be upset with any of this new direction. Bingamin, Udall and Lujan all appear to be solidly on board with this new path.

Anonymous said...

I heard something about pensions, does anyone know what this is about?

10/4/09 11:24 AM


How could that be? LANS just sent out letters in the spring telling employees that the TCP1 pension was solidly OVER funded.

Perhaps they are planning to cut back on the LANS match for TCP2. Many companies have totally eliminated 401k matches due to the poor economy and the NNSA labs must now match corporate norms.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of ORNL, their lab is working hard to overtake LANL in the supercomputer race (article below). Much of the work at ORNL is being funding by large doses of stimulus money for science that ORNL is currently receiving. Congress specifically forbid the first round of stimulus money from going to any science at the NNSA labs. Instead, LANL only got money for cleanup work.

Of course, the fact that ORNL is run by a non-profit for only $10 million and doesn't have layer upon layer of bureaucratic management and Work Free Safety Zones policies also helps them greatly in their tasks.

Meanwhile, back here at LANL, we're working extra hard on the concept of "Glove Box" computing for the general scientific staff. And if you let September 30th slip by without getting FDE installed on your laptop, you're in deep shit, fella! :

~~~~~~~
"Oak Ridge goes gaga for Nvidia GPUs" (The Register)

By Timothy Prickett Morgan
Posted in HPC, 1st October 2009 22:06 GMT

Oak Ridge National Laboratories may not be the first customer that Nvidia will have for its new "Fermi" graphics processor, which was announced yesterday, but it will very likely be one of the largest customers.

Oak Ridge, one of the giant supercomputing centers managed and funded by the US Department of Energy to do all kinds of simulations and supercomputing design research, has committed to using the GPU co-processor variants of the Fermi chips, the kickers to the current Tesla GPU co-processors, in a future hybrid system that would have ten times the floating point oomph of the fastest supercomputer installed today.

Depending on the tests you want to use, the most powerful HPC box in the world is either the Roadrunner hybrid Opteron-Cell massively parallel custom blade box made by IBM for Los Alamos National Laboratory, or the Jaguar massively parallel XT5 machine at Oak Ridge, which uses only the Opterons to do calculations.
~~~~~~~

Anonymous said...

The success of Battelle has nothing to do with it's non-profit status. See how much they have donated to our fine upstanding politicians.

http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?lname=Battelle+Memorial+Institute&year=2008

I think LANS llc. has given 0$. At least, it appears so at http://www.contractormisconduct.org/

Anonymous said...

There was a small comment about pensions in a CFO email about FY10 overheads that's been circulating. It said, approximately, that standard labor rates will be at FY09 levels for now but will be re-evaluated after a decision is made about pension contributions.

Anonymous said...

Of course, the fact that ORNL is run by a non-profit ...

Actually, I heard a senior Battelle executive this summer give a presentation and he provided the clarification "We are not non-profit, we are tax exempt." They are very thoughtful about what business lines they enter and professional in how they develop business.

Anonymous said...

Looks like PNNL (another well run Battelle lab) is having a hard time just finding people for all their new job openings:

~~~~~~
Even as Layoffs Persist, Good Jobs Go Begging (MSNBC - Oct 4, 2009)

Health care, engineering gigs unfilled due to lack of qualified candidates

...It's become especially hard to find accountants, health care workers, software sales representatives, actuaries, data analysts, physical therapists and electrical engineers, labor analysts say. And employers that demand highly specialized training — like biotech firms that need plant scientists or energy companies that need geotechnical engineers to build offshore platforms — struggle even more to fill jobs.

...Sifting through applications for jobs at the U.S. Energy Department's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington state, Baker said he sees "people that have worked in other areas, and now they're trying to apply that skill set to the energy arena."

"Unfortunately, that's not the skill set we need."

The jobs opened up after the lab received federal stimulus money to research energy-efficient buildings. Baker needs employees with backgrounds in city management and a grasp of the building codes needed to design energy-efficient buildings. Yet even a salary of $140,000 for senior researchers isn't drawing enough qualified applicants.

Baker said he's getting resumes from well-educated people, including some from information technology workers who want to enter the green-energy field. But he said it could take a year to get an unqualified employee up to speed on all the building codes they need to know.

"We're running out of people to train" new employees, he said. "We simply cannot attract enough (qualified) people."

The lab has hired a recruiter for the first time to fill dozens of positions. Rob Dromgoole, the recruiter, is going so far as to make cold calls to college professors. He's also visiting academic conferences to pitch jobs.

www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33166991/
ns/business-careers/

Anonymous said...

9:07 PM: Actually, I heard a senior Battelle executive this summer give a presentation and he provided the clarification "We are not non-profit, we are tax exempt."


Whatever they are they: (a) run their national labs well, and (b) do it very cheaply -- only $10 million to run ORNL vs. about $80 million plus even more in GRT taxes to run LANL.

They are also serious about emphasizing science and research as top priorities. From what I've been able to gather, their program managers are AAA rated in terms of their performance in growing their lab portfolios.

Anonymous said...

"..but will be re-evaluated after a decision is made about pension contributions." - 4:22 PM


LANS sent out letters about the time of the stock market's bottom in March telling everyone that the TCP1 pension was in great shape. Since then, the markets have gone up over 50%!

Now they are about to announce that they need contributions from the employees after this market's huge rise?

This makes absolutely no sense! Were they lying to employees in those letters they sent out crowing about the pension's great shape?

Anonymous said...

"This makes absolutely no sense! Were they lying to employees in those letters they sent out crowing about the pension's great shape?

10/4/09 11:18 PM"

Where they lying?, yes.

Anonymous said...

11:18 In regard to pension plan status, the market's great rise has not yet brought it back to where it (the market) was a little over a year ago. Meanwhile, the liabilities of the pension plan continue to increase each year due to the richness of the benefits. While it is true that the plan was fully funded as of 12/31/2008, per the letter sent out last April, it was just barely so, having fallen from about 130+% funding at the beginning of 2008 due to the market collapse. Due to the high cost of the DB plan, there was a possibility of employee contributions even if the market had not collapsed, unless there was a solid market uptick, say 8% or more per year, during the first two or three years of the new plan. Remember, the UCRP plan is in trouble as well. It appears that, so far at least, the LANS plan has done pretty well considering. Lets hope it continues to recover from last years market downturn.

Eric said...

Today the Nobel prize in medicine was awarded for telomeres and telomerases.

The actual discoverer of telomerases, I think, is not the awardee but a former LANL staff member.

So LANL gave away a Nobel prize today.

Anonymous said...

LANL has a long history of driving Nobel prize winners out. LANL has zero Nobel prize winners. Zero.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at10/4/09 4:22 PM wrote:

"There was a small comment about pensions in a CFO email about FY10 overheads that's been circulating. It said, approximately, that standard labor rates will be at FY09 levels for now but will be re-evaluated after a decision is made about pension contributions."

If the FY10 labor rates are the same as for FY09, does that mean that we don't get a raise?

Anonymous said...

6:01 pm: "If the FY10 labor rates are the same as for FY09, does that mean that we don't get a raise?"

Geez, can it be possible that a LANL employee is so clueless? Listen: labor rates have absolutely nothing to do with what individusal employees make. Go talk to your Team Leader or Group Leader and get a little more knowledge before you make yourself look even more ignorant.

Anonymous said...

5:10 PM, they have not outted Kevin Ott. Born and raised in LA, he is a role model and brilliant. He has taken the waywards from the group formerly in C division, removed himself from the evils of Mary Neu and done remarkable things with the hydrogen program, polymer assisted deposition science - which has more patents and applications than I can count, and has made new inroads in threat reduction using nanophosphors. He is the mastermind and driver behind all of these LANL trophies. He will likely be the next LANL Nobel Prize winner and his immediate management, management outside of his directorate, and Terry Wallace all think he is the best thing LANL has going for it. ALl this from a group leader, leading a group of ~12 TSMs. Now if we could find other great scientific leaders liket this LANL might have a chance.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the LANS pension trustees are firm believers of the old motto.. "buy high, sell low"? That would help explain the sudden shortfall in TCP1.

Seeing how poorly LANS runs LANL, I can only imagine how they might perform at investing TCP1 assets. Too bad that the lump sum payment option is no longer allowed to protect lab employees from poor pension investments in the future.

Anonymous said...

8:43 pm: "He will likely be the next LANL Nobel Prize winner"

"Next"?? There hasn't been one yet. Don't hold your breath. And, they don't give it for management.

Anonymous said...

10/5/09 9:37 PM ... "Next"?? There hasn't been one yet. Don't hold your breath.

Fred Reines?

Anonymous said...

Sorry Kevin. To get a Nobel prize, somebody outside your little circle of butt-buddies has to care.

Anonymous said...

6:01 PM, historically that might have been true, but all of the SLR's are currently set around pay bands (e.g. 90-115K). So raising individual salaries by an average of say 3% just moves a few people out of one pay band/SLR into the next higher.

Come to think of it, this is one of the (very, very, very) few smart things that LANS has done.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Kevin, don't you know that posting worthless PR crap like that is pointless? Get a life, man! You're a legend in your own mind.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Kevin, don't you know that posting worthless PR crap like that is pointless?

No, it is not! He has the raises to prove it. Besides, who gets away with running a group of only 12 TSMs with 3 admins to help? Says it all. He may be a legend in his own mind, but the powers that be love that masogynistic SOB.

Anonymous said...

As a follow-on to 7:19 - you should see how Ott was rewarded this year. Big raise and he got to hire many people under the radar. Nobody says no this legend. Nobody.