Wednesday, September 14, 2005

LANL Waits on 'Pins and Needles'

By Adam Rankin
Journal Staff Writer

Everything about the competition for who will manage Los Alamos National Laboratory is essentially over, except for the waiting.

"That is basically the gist of what is going on at the lab here— to wait and see what the final outcome is going to be," LANL employee Manny Trujillo said.

Trujillo is also president of the lab's University Professional and Technical Employees union, which is still working toward gaining bargaining status.

"Other than that, it is just a matter of being on pins and needles to see what the final outcome is going to be," he said.

[...]

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

LANL Waits on 'Pins and Needles'

By Adam Rankin
Journal Staff Writer
Everything about the competition for who will manage Los Alamos National Laboratory is essentially over, except for the waiting.
"That is basically the gist of what is going on at the lab here— to wait and see what the final outcome is going to be," LANL employee Manny Trujillo said.
Trujillo is also president of the lab's University Professional and Technical Employees union, which is still working toward gaining bargaining status.
"Other than that, it is just a matter of being on pins and needles to see what the final outcome is going to be," he said.
Employees are trying to determine which of the two teams competing for the $2.1 billion contract has the edge and what the employee benefits and pension will be.
"It will definitely make their decisions one way or the other," Trujillo said, referring to whether workers decide to stay, retire early or quit.
Unfortunately for them, all information regarding the competition and its process is being held tight by the few who know.
National Nuclear Security Administration spokesman Al Stotts said the contract selection official, Tom D'Agostino, will make his decision between either the University of California and Bechtel National team— called Los Alamos National Security LLC— or the Lockheed Martin and University of Texas team— called Los Alamos Alliance LLC.
D'Agostino, who is NNSA's acting deputy of defense programs, will select the winner no later than Dec. 1, Stotts said.
Even though LANL is now operated under a government contract by the University of California, no matter who D'Agostino chooses will usher in a significant management change at the nation's oldest nuclear weapons lab.
For the first time in LANL's more than 60-year history, it will be co-operated by an industrial partner— either Lockheed Martin or Bechtel National— with significant government defense sector contracts. No longer will a purely nonprofit, academic institution run the research facility.
By the end of August, both teams had completed their oral presentations to the selection board, which will make a recommendation to D'Agostino.
Stotts said the board is "cloistered away" preparing its evaluation report.
Asked if the board has called either competitor for follow-up questioning, Stotts said: "They won't even tell me that."
He said he couldn't answer any of the most pressing questions— what were the teams asked? How did they do? How long did the questioning take?
"That is nothing they would share with anybody," he said.
When asked from his perspective how the oral presentations went— when the selection board could ask hypothetical questions of each team about LANL management issues— Jeff Berger, a spokesman for the Los Alamos National Security team, was also tight lipped.
"We wanted to showcase first and foremost the best scientific and management expertise," he said. "I can tell you we have a strong community plan that is centered on economic development, education, as well as corporate giving."
Other than that, Berger said he couldn't say much, due to the competitive nature of the situation.
Los Alamos Alliance spokesman Don Carson said his team has done everything it can with the proposal.
"We put in a fantastic proposal," he said, adding that the team is preparing as if it is going to take over management of the lab.
"We want to make sure everything works as smoothly as possible so that all the things we want to happen happen on schedule."
 
Nice journalism. The first quote is from Manny Trujillo and UPTE as if even a tiny fraction of the "Professional and Technical Employees" were at all supportive of UPTE or gave a crap what UPTE says or does.
 
7:44 seems to have some anger management issues. LANL in general is an unhappy place these days, granted, but picking on the Journal won't help any. Now, if it were KOB-TV, that would be different: pick away.
 
'When asked from his perspective how the oral presentations went— when the selection board could ask hypothetical questions of each team about LANL management issues— Jeff Berger, a spokesman for the Los Alamos National Security team, was also tight lipped.
"We wanted to showcase first and foremost the best scientific and management expertise," he said. "I can tell you we have a strong community plan that is centered on economic development, education, as well as corporate giving."'


"However, we really wish they hadn't asked us how our LLC would have prevented a 7-month shutdown of LANL", he added, reluctantly.
 
Terry Wallace (ADSR) sent out an email recently stating, among other things, that the new contractor is going to reclass everyone. Or something to that effect. Does anyone have any info about this? Or ridiculous gossip?
I have the feeling there are going to be some pretty pissed off people. Some others would be very happy.
 
How can you reclass TSMs? or does this rumor just refer to technicians and support staff.

By the way Kevin, I went to high school with you. Howdy.
 
Howdy!! I did hear a rumor about TSMs gaining multiple levels. (To separate scientific TSMs from support TSMs)
But who knows, it might all be BS. Hence my question....
 
I imagine the new contractor will be able to do anything they want with the personnel system, within the constraints of their contract.

Like UC has done for 60 years.

Considering how many gross defects there are in the current system, and how totally failed HR is now, I'm having a hard time thinking it would be a bad thing.
 
Whoever takes over LANL management needs to change the current TSM picture. Sandia, and to a lesser extent LLNL, classify TSMs by their career field. This helps to avoid such ridiculous things as people with a Phd in physics bidding on a BS level job in the Computing Division for instance. Or having a Phd from LANSCE taking over as Group Leader of the the Tritium Facility. LANL has been doing this craziness for far too long. If someone wants to change career fields, let them retrain. Far too many LANL TSMs are working out of their career field, and making a hell of a mess.
One of the many areas at LANL where UC has tolerated practices that are bizarre, and would never fly at the University. But then, UC really does not give a damn about LANL, and we all know that.
I would hope that the new manager has enough sense to ask each LANL TSM what they do, and what they produce, and demand a responsible answer. That would be a good beginning. The time for reform is now.
 
How is the TSM series structured at Sandia?
 
A structured series for TSMs has been discussed for years. Its implementation would be a disaster with regard to the reality and the perception of fairness. LANL is just too large and too diverse for this to be carried out successfully.

There are two very good reasons to oppose a structured series for TSMs: both LANL/HR and the DOE support it!
 
Since Manny Trujillo has time to speak to the Albuquerque Journal, this would be a good time for him to tell us how many current LANL employees are actually paying dues to UPTE.

My guess is that it is about 100. So, any perception that he or UPTE represents LANL employees is nonsense!
 
HR is a total failure... 3-6 months to hire an SSM empoloyee... and that's not including the Q stuff. And how many people are they processing now? 100 total? and the total HR staff numbers how many? A re-class would be yet another administrative botch.
 
Many of us are suspicious that the motivation of HR for a structured series for TSMs is solely to provide HR with an excuse to hire more people.
 
"... this would be a good time for him to tell us how many current LANL employees are actually paying dues to UPTE.

My guess is that it is about 100. So, any perception that he or UPTE represents LANL employees is nonsense! 9/15/2005 03:09:03 AM"

And the fractional representation of LANL employees on this blog to all LANL employees? How many decimal points will your calculator show? 'So, any perception that this blog represents LANL employees is nonsense!'
 
"'So, any perception that this blog represents LANL employees is nonsense!'

I thought you were banned from this blog, Gary.
 
The new TSM categories are:
F
S
BF

Fellow, Star, and Bottom Feeder.

LMAO!
 
Here is a simple question, really: Livermore is "run" by UC, just as Los Alamos is "run" by UC. So, why is it that Livermore is perceived to be managed far better than Los Alamos?
 
In response to Brad... LLNL is perceived as more well run than LANL because it is, in spite of UC. Part of this is due to the simple fact that LLNL is in California. In some key instances the LLNL employees have gotten the California Legislature involved in LLNL issues. Another instance is that LLNL employees have always been covered by the HEERA Act, unlike LANL which only got HEERA coverage in 2000, fallout from the 1995 RIF.
LLNL and LBNL actually run UC personnel policies, albeit old UC policies, unlike LANL which runs policies contrived by Menlove and Jackson, and only approved by UC long after the fact.
LLNL sought "relief" from UC personnel policies but this was denied, probably because they were in California and because LLNL was joined at the hip with UC Berkeley. Bradbury sought "relief" and was granted it, so LANL has not used UC policies, or been "run" by UC since the late "40s".
There is certainly good reason to keep LBNL tied to UC, and perhaps some case for LLNL. The whole history of UC "management" of LANL is that UC does not care what happens in New Mexico, and it shows.
 
Not everyone is waiting on "Pins and Needles". Some are protecting their turf: Case in point, the very wasteful Enterprise Project, run by George Hansrote, has now permanently hired Hansrote's deputy, Linda Lambrecht, a DOE contractor. Given the failure of this very expensive, wasteful project, I hope the new contractor scrutinizes this hire.
 
Now if Linda Lambrecht could explain why it took me two hours to submit my time to an out-of-service T&E Oracle System with an "urgent" T&E deadline of 12-Noon today, Thursday. LANL must certainly be a non-profit organization.
 
Now if Linda Lambrecht could explain why it took me two hours to submit my time to an out-of-service T&E Oracle System with an "urgent" T&E deadline of 12-Noon today, Thursday.

Can only happen in a non-profit outfit.
 
To # posted by Anonymous : 9/15/2005 04:15:25 PM:

Use IB; once you know how to do it (and it's a stupid-simple old IBM 3278 terminal system), it takes about 15 seconds.

Log in>TEETE>u on each time line, enter your time with a tab between each under each day column, enter, logout. Done.

The user-interface on the Oracle ERP is a human-factors train wreck.

It was designed to be generic and flexible, and the trade off is it is horrendously non-intuitive.
 
9/15/2005 07:50:02 PM said:

"Use IB; once you know how to do it (and it's a stupid-simple old IBM 3278 terminal system), it takes about 15 seconds."

Are you saying that IB still exists? I used to use it when I had to plug my VT100 into a special phone line. It worked fine then and I bet it does now. How many people in the Lab know how to access it now?

Larry Creamer, DX-1 Retired
 
The on-line outage notice for T&E on ERP said to go and enter T&E on IB...due noon today! There were no further instructions.
 
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