Thursday, November 03, 2005

Has anyone checked the powder keg lately?

Submitted by: "AnonAnon, for now ".

Let's see if I get this straight:

"The overall Los Alamos National Laboratory budget is going up." -- St. Pete

"Domenici has said there won't be layoffs at Los Alamos or Sandia as a result of a temporary funding measure, called a continuing resolution."

"I do not see hard times for Los Alamos and Sandia in the near future," said Rep. Tom Udall.

Has anyone checked the powder keg lately?

Additional costs should include the pension plan. Other DOE labs such as ANL, BNL, etc. that have defined contribution plans (TIAA-CREF), contribute about 10% of the employee's salary annualy. SO, for 8000 employees at an average annual salary of ~$100K, there is another $80M to be paid.

So, the shortfall (excluding the transition managers) is ~$280M.

Of course, if 1000 employees retire in May at an average annual salary of $100K, plus 20% for benefits, that is only $120M. That does not cover one-half of the shortfall.

Of course, the majority of these retireess will be TSMs and TECs on direct funding. Just think what that will do to our G&A rate?
For those who think LANL will be screwed by the contractor change, refer to the earlier post "Things I don't do since leaving LANL" and the comment from a former GL at TA-55.
Whatever happens in the future, change was very, very, necessary. LANL was living in denial and reform just wasn't working. As to the budget problems; a solution is possible if the new management is capable. We all know that (at least) 10% of LANL's budget is just bloat, with ex managers and "chief scientists" and "senior advisors" and such. The Divisions and Directorates are full of such people. The trick is to dump the right people, which means cutting at the top, not those who are doing the work. If done properly, LANL could benefit greatly. Use the knife, cut out the cancer!
Lucky, regardless of who wins, what makes you think that will happen?
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