Thursday, September 29, 2005

Budget cautions prompt LANL hiring policy

KSFR News 90.7 FM
Budget cautions prompt LANL hiring policy

LOS ALAMOS (2005-09-29) -- A new policy to manage the hiring of employees
is being set up at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the face of tight
budget projections for the fiscal year that begins October 1.

Director Robert Kuckuck says in an all-employees memo that funding for the
lab's nuclear weapons program, its biggest single program, is expected to
decline in the new year. He says that even though the number of people
leaving the laboratory in the past 12 months has doubled over last year,
uncertainties about funding and which organization will be awarded the
lab's management contract dictate a more measured approach to adding new


Full Story

As of 7/31/2005 there were a total of 10,640 UC employees at LANL, of which 8,413 were "regular" employees.

Do the math on whatever % budget shortfall LANL sees for FY 2006 to get a count on how many will no longer be working here.

BTW, Fallin might not want to give out the numbers on how many have already left this year, but you can find them here:
Let the pruning begin.
What difference does it make how many left? It was apparently not enough. I see 10,249 total UC and 8,225 UC Regular at the end of FY04. That's an increase of 391 total UC and 188 UC Regular through 7/31/05.

I suggest that the budget/funding game at the macro-level is about numbers and coverage. Expertise has little to do with it. There will be many "experts" in the near future that will be doing work they never would have considered doing to keep their jobs. Biding their time until St. Pete can get the situation fixed.

I cannot imagine how LANL will cope with these budget issues when St. Pete is not around to help. Maybe they will lay people off in some areas while simultaneously hiring them in others, as some defense contractors do.

DOE/NNSA and UC/LANL should be doing everything they can to encourage people to retire. (I am not able to retire.) Do the easy stuff first before the really hard decisions have to be made. If LANL really needs someone, they will make it worthwhile for them to come back.
"...He says that even though the number of people leaving the laboratory in the past 12 months has doubled over last year, uncertainties about funding..."

Here's one certainty: WFO will see a serious decline. Thanks again, UC.
07:32:27 PM, I am having trouble envisioning UC/LANL and/or DOE/NNSA doing the right thing. There is too little precedence for that.
If you didn't manage to sell you house on the Hill this year, don't
plan on selling it next year, or the year after that, or the year
after that...
This hiring freeze feels vaguely familiar to me from the mid-90s at LANL.
If I remember correctly, the next thing to follow will be rumors of a
RIF, followed by the real thing. Lots to look forward to in our future
at LANL. I'm beginning to envy those recent retirees even more.
I see a large number of employees fleeing from the "support organizations." I think the handwriting is on the wall.
If the lab has a 20%-30% budget cut, then the lab will be looking for around 2600 people to leave. Since there will be a changeover in contracts, I am betting that certain levels of management will get their golden parachutes and leave.. however, that is maybe 100 or so people. The rest of the 2500 will be be people who would be retiring soon anyway as that usually cuts the highest burdens off of a company. [Burden being used in the term of costs not bitching/moaning.]
Anonymous at 9/30/2005 08:59:24 AM wrote "I see a large number of employees fleeing from the 'support organizations.'"

So, please explain how the loss of a bunch of overhead people would be bad thing?
Anonymous at 9/30/2005 01:48:24 PM doesn't have it quite correct. A loss of 20% of the budget requires a much greater than 20% reduction in staff.

First, there are such things as fixed costs such as the Management Fee, utilities, security, etc.

Then, you do not RIF in equal proportions from top to bottom. The highest paid people MUST be kept because they know where all of the dead bodies are buried. SO, you have to RIF a whole lot more then 20% of the workers to come up with the required savings.
And don't expect help ever again from St. Just-Get-Over-It Pete.
Don't agree 8:09. I saw a copy of St. Pete's press release regarding the continuing resolution. He has it under control. Said it looks like no layoffs for LANL and Sandia even though the CR calls for funding at the lower of House or Senate budget figures until November. Someone should get a copy of that release and post it.
OK. Well, there you go. I believe press releases, especially those that emanate from the office of St. Just-Get-Over-It Pete. Whew! It was looking dicey there for a while. All is well. (I guess we can rest easy that Bechtel/UC will win the contract, too.)

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