Saturday, January 29, 2005

Wondering About LANL Management Tenure

From Anonymous:

Both the 1/30/05 New Mexican and the Journal Santa Fe report that NNSA will penalize UC by a large fee reduction for its 2004 management of LANL. While science was ranked "good" operations were ranked "worst".

Why is Tom Meyer, former Associate Director for Strategic Research, who was providing effective leadership of the lab's science mission gone? Pete Nanos, on the other hand, failed as director to correct operations problems until the lab shutdown. Why is he still here?

Why was Nanos allowed by UC to shut down the entire laboratory and keep it down for all these months? I don't see how any benefit from the shutdown can ever outweigh the damage done. UC has earned reproach. Unfortunately, the fee reduction will translate into more suffering for LANL programs.

Comments:
So basically NNSA is saying to the lab what the lab is saying to it's contractors :

" Ok , you can keep your job, but here is a whopping pay cut "

What goes around comes around.

How about some info on the so called contingent worker program? That's a bag of worms that no one has really opened yet.
 
The contingent worker program (CWP) is seriously damaging the northern New Mexco economy by removing millions of tax dollars in an effort to ensure that no UC retirees are being paid by either "body shop" contractors or ANY company with any sort of contract to provide any sort of service to LANL. Thus this program is attempting to limit employment of UC retirees by companies who wish to contract with LANL to provide a service.

Although MM1968/ADS2132: Director's Instruction University of California Retirees Returning to Work at the Laboratory Number 04-006.1 says otherwise, SUP is interpreting the CWP to apply to any and all small businesses, some minority or woman owned, that provide service under a contract with LANL.

For example, if a group or a division wants to contract with Bill's Computer Shop for a hardware maintenance contract on printers, LANL requires information on all those employees who might be providing this service and if ANY of them are UC retirees, the Director must approve their being used. It is totally illegal for the Director to try to intimidate small companies by this type of action. And it is totally illegal for the Director to try to force local companies to hire only non-UC retirees.

The only companies that do not have to provide a list of emplyees are KSL, PTLA, and Aramark. The idea that LANL is attempting to develop ties with the local communities is absolutely false because of the effect of the CWP. Furthermore, although 04-006.1 claims that this policy is financially sound and provides for transfer of knowledge, one wonders about the stories the describe the Director as being very upset about all the "double dippers" at LANL as the real reason for this policy.

One also wonders what might happen if there is a real budget crises, and a number of these newly hired LANL employees who used to work as contract employees are fired. The last in, first out policy should really concern them. Finally, there are various types of jobs at LANL that can be handled very well by small companies with experienced Q cleared LANL retirees far more cheaply than LANL employees. So the argument that using only LANL employees is better financially is specious, to say the least, particularly when budgets are in question.

The CWP discriminates against many UC retirees who were very poorly paid, received very poor raises, but want to continue to live in Los Alamos. These are mainly women and Hispanics. Most, if not all, are not working full time, in part because their jobs do not require full time employees. Yet they are being made to feel as if they are criminals because they are double dipping. Many feel that if the Director is receiving his Navy retirement in addition to his salary as Director, he is also double dipping.

Besides the CWP, the purchasing policies at LANL continue to stifle northern New Mexico economy. Computer purchases can be done only through JIT, a monopoly, unless one has an overwhelming need for something special. The JIT company is not in Los Alamos, or Espanola, or Taos, or even Santa Fe. Stationary supplies do not come from our local businesses but from another JIT supplier in Allbuquerque, another monopoly. Something as important as computer room air conditioner maintenance is not being contracted out to the lowest bidder but may only be done by KSL, another monopoly. Fewer and fewer books are ordered locally, one book store has folded in part because of LANL purchasing policies, and who knows how the other one survives. The list is endless. The effect on our community is almost as horrible as the effect of the fire, another case of the government not being a good citizen.

The actions of the Director the last 9 months or so can only be described as schizophrenic. It is emotionally abusive to applaud the efforts of the LANL staff, then 6 weeks later call the staff arrogant butthead cowboys, then say what a great job they are doing. Employees have no idea how they stand with the Director, and his actions have reduced employee morale to an all time low. It is ludicrous to see highly paid LANL staff members huddling around the water fountain discussing if it is possible that the Director ordered the mail room to toss all the Physics Today journals because of Brad Holian's article. It's also ludicrous to see the Director fumble through the last meeting with incorrect data and make the statements he made about Physics Today. Finally, one wonders about a Director who requires a Chief Science Officer (CSO). Oppie didn't need one; Bradbury didn't need one; Agnew didn't need one; Kerr didn't need one; Hecker didn't need one; and Browne didn't need one.

The Director is supposed to be the CSO. We need a Director who can do his job and let the Divisions do theirs. We need a Director who recognizes that many different folks can contribute to the success of LANL and who elminates the discrimantory CWP. We need a Director who honestly attempts to spend LANL money in northern New Mexico, not in Albuquerque, not at Amazon.com, etc. We need a Director who can leave his previous job behind and be a real leader. We need a Director who does not cause so much turmoil that SUP can't even do its job for fear of breaking rules that do not yet exist. We need an apology from the Director for all the financial and emotional harm the shutdown caused. And finally we need the current Director's resignation.
 
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