Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Community-wide meeting, regarding the LANL RFP

Doug- this is important and I haven't heard a word about it. Can you put the following bit on the front page of the blog? Post:

Attend a community-wide meeting, regarding the LANL RFP, at the Duane Smith Auditorium on Sunday June 12, 2005, from 2-4 pm.

Coalition for LANL Excellence
P.O. Box 1226 Los Alamos, New Mexico 87544

Looking at DOE’s final RFP for LANL’s new management contract.

The Coalition for LANL Excellence* is organizing a, community-wide meeting, open to the public, at the Duane Smith Auditorium on Sunday June 12, 2005, from 2-4 PM, highlighting the DOE’s much awaited final RFP for new management as it relates to the future of LANL, its employees, and northern New Mexico. Tyler Przybylek, Chairman of the NNSA Source Evaluation Board, will be present, among others.

The 62 year-old relationship between LANL and the University of California (UC) is going to end following competition for LANL’s contract. The DOE has offered many generous incentives in the RFP to stimulate bidders, but what assurances are being offered to the present LANL employees and retirees, the town of Los Alamos, and the neighboring communities of northern New Mexico, all of whom have years of work and livelihood invested in LANL? Little information has been presented for the thousands of people who will be affected by the management change. The purpose of this meeting is to provide a public forum for discussion. The CLE encourages current LANL employees, retirees, and residents of northern New Mexico to attend this meeting and voice their questions and concerns.

Despite recent criticism, LANL’s partnership with UC has been extremely influential in attracting first-rate scientists. If a corporate manager takes over, will the level and quality of science remain high? Will present incentives to recruitment and retention, such as funding for existing and new science programs; the freedom to assemble diverse collaborations to conduct world-wide scientific research; the inclusion of academic program partners; a spirit of academic freedom; and not least of all, a decent pension and benefits package, be assured? If a University/Corporate partnership wins the contract, which one will lead the management team?

The final RFP raises many questions to which employees need answers in order to plan for their future at the Laboratory, particularly the present UC employees close to retirement who have accrued years of pension value under the current manager. There has been talk about an extension of the current UC contract beyond September 30, 2005, but no formal announcement. As a result of insufficient information and uncertainty, many employees have already made the decision to retire, taking their valuable knowledge of Laboratory scientific programs with them.

CLE plans to distribute an anonymous questionnaire to LANL employees in order to compile data about the numbers who plan to retire – and what the obstacles are to retention, among other issues.

For additional information contact:
Joseph Ladish: (505) 672-9677
Chuck Mansfield: (505) 662-2115

Coalition for LANL Excellence
P.O. Box 1226 Los Alamos, New Mexico 87544

*The Coalition for LANL Excellence was formed in December 2004 in response to the need for
an extension of the deadline for public input on the DOE’s draft RFP. Since then, over 100
individuals have joined at our group web site:


Members of the Executive Committee, listed below, are concerned not only with maintaining the
ability of LANL to carry out its mission and conduct excellent scientific research programs by
providing incentives necessary to attract the very best scientists, but also that LANL and the
community be able to work together to build an attractive and stable local environment. A failure in this could result in the undermining of both our national security and the quality of life throughout northern New Mexico.

Coalition for LANL Excellence
Executive Committee

Susanna D'Alton Alde, Former Co-Chair, Democratic Party of Los Alamos County
David W. Carroll, LANL Staff Member
Sue Chasen, LANL Staff Member / Representative, University Professional and Technical
Employees Union (UPTE) / Vice Chair, Democratic Party of Los Alamos County
Steve Czuchlewski, Retired LANL Staff Member / Guest Scientist,
Co-Chairman, Los Alamos Community Health-Care Roundtable
Newby Ellington, Retired LANL ASM/Representative, Retired Public Employees Association (RPEA)
Janie Enter, LANL Staff Member / League of Women Voters
Robert B. Gibson, LANL Staff Member / Former Los Alamos County Councilor
JoAnn Johnson, Retired LANL ASM / Former Chairman, Republican Party of Los Alamos County
Norman A. Kurnit, Retired Laboratory Fellow / Laboratory Associate
Joseph S. Ladish, Retired LANL Staff Member
Lawry Mann, Retired LANL Staff Member / Former Chairman,
Los Alamos County Council / Chairman, Republican Party of Los Alamos County
Charles R. Mansfield, Retired LANL Staff Member / Chairman, Laboratory Retiree Group (LRG)
Donald L. Upham, Retired LANL Staff Member
The Coalition for LANL Excellence Executive Committee does not have one recognizable Hispanic or Native American member. Is that merely an oversight or status quo LANL?
Maybe there is no noticeable Hispanic or Native American because neither has joined, not because there is a conspiracy to keep either out. If the 6:18 poster is either, then please show up at the Sunday meeting and join!
I was hoping that this meeting would discuss how employees and retirees could prevent or ameliorate some of the changes that are going to affect us. I was hoping that we were going to discuss how to institute counter-measures, possibly including aggressive legal, lobbying, and publicity efforts.

However, having Tyler Przybylek at this meeting is going to prevent any real progress. Either out of misplaced politeness on the part of employees, or fear of retaliation; he is going to dominate the meeting. No real discussion of what we must do will take place. Instead what we will get more glib assurances: we will get “substantially” the same benefits, the DOE has your interests in mind, don’t worry about anything, “trust us”.

The best thing I can recommend is that those who are in a position were they cannot be easily retaliated against, very carefully study the details of the RFP and come prepared to ask the most pointed questions they possibly can.

Of particular concern is whether the new contractor will be able to reduce pensions and benefits after having been in place for a few months or a year.

Hopefully, it will be later possible to have a real meeting to actually organize the lab employees into an entity that represents all lab employees; and decide on a course of action that stands a chance of having some effect.
To 6:18
Coalition for LANL Excellence is a group of volunteers trying to help every LANL employee through this massive contract change. We are a kind of loose-knit employee association.

Absolutely everyone is welcome in this group. Thanks for pointing out that the committee could use Hispanic, Native American, African American and Asian voices. That would be a great addition, please join! In fact, foreign nationals who work for LANL may be interested also. Many more voices should be heard in this time of change.

Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/COALITIONforLANLEXCELLENCE/ and click the “Join this Group Button’. We need twice as many members as we have.
To 8:02
An association of employees to keep track of the bid process is a great idea-

You are absolutely correct to ask hard questions. Your pension funds should be protected by DOE throughout this change. The new contractor will be a Limited Liability Corporation- formed only to deal with LANL. If it loses the LANL contract in the future, it will cease to exist.

See you Sunday at 2:00pm!
To 8:02.41

A number of people have proposed having exactly such a meeting without NNSA representatives.

Two difficulties come to mind.

1. Few employees seem to be willing to face the problem head on and take the time to be effective.
2. Few employees seem willing to relinquish their anonymous status in order to get something done.

So, the big question seems to be "How to you get something effective to happen in time?"

I would be willing to discuss putative answers to this question outside the forum of the CLE meeting with anyone who would like to discuss them. I am also willing to put people in contact with the growing number of others who also want effective answers.

My email is frf42@yahoo.com. I am not representing any interests except my own in wanting a strong future for LANL and Los Alamos.

The time for action is now. I am hoping that the time for action was not over two months ago.
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