Saturday, November 26, 2005

LANL Lab pays double state's average wage

By ANDY LENDERMAN | The New Mexican
November 26, 2005

Average yearly salaries at Los Alamos National Laboratory are more than twice what the average job in New Mexico pays, lab and state figures show.

Lab technicians make an average salary of $63,377, support staffers are paid $73,228, and technical staff members, a group that includes scientists, earn $119,777, a lab spokesman said.

Twenty-eight people make between $200,000 and $290,000, the top salary at the lab, according to a November salary list posted on the employee-association Web site.


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See the preceding post. UC also pays large sums of money to keep undesirable elements away from Los Alamos. Instead of firing them.
Since the subject of UC paying George P. Nanos to stay away from LANL has come up again, I realized that I am curious as to what the real reason for this might be. I can think of several possible explanations:

1. Everybody knows that UC never *ran* LANL; DOE ran LANL. NNSA is connected to DOE. NNSA head Linton Brooks is an ex Navy Admiral. John Foley is an ex Navy Admiral in charge of the LANL contract at UC. Brooks told Foley that UC was going to continue to pay ex Admiral Nanos after his hasty departure a year ago last May. Comrades in arms, and all that.
2. Nanos has something on Dynes (pictures?).
3. Nanos was only doing what Dynes, Foley, and Brooks told him to do when he nearly destroyed LANL last year. They can't fire him for that, can they?
4. UC has a fear of exposing themselves to a breach of contract lawsuit if they fire Nanos.

That last one is really silly, as it is clear that UC has demonstrated no reticence in exposing themselves to lawsuits, but I threw it in for completeness. Todd Kauppila and John Horne, as two obvious examples of this.

I would be grateful if some day, someone "in the know" could explain why Nanos continued to demand a healthy salary to simply "go away".
The LANL Director and the Deputy Director are, unlike all other Lab employees, directly employed by the University. They have contracts with UC which detail their employment, severance pay if terminated, and such details. If you could see Pete's contract, things would be more clear.

Also, what is the issue anyway? Many LANL managers, and other employees, have screwed up and been "rehabilitated" by a tour in DC. We can all probably name a few.

And, what makes us think that the UC wanted to fire Pete? For all we know, they think he did one hell of a job, but raised such a stink with the LANL employees that they wanted to clear the air before the contract competition. In fact, some of what he did needed to be done; like flushing some managers over the Walp/Doran case. Too bad he didn't flush more.
So, "lucky," what you're saying is, that from "Bob" Dynes' perspective, Nanos was a tour de force ("turd he forced")?
Check out vann bynum. Got a $20K raise this year. How do you justify that?
I believe that Lucky is incorrect in writing "The LANL Director and the Deputy Director are, unlike all other Lab employees, directly employed by the University. They have contracts with UC which detail their employment, severance pay if terminated, and such details."

LANL employees are in fact UC employees, just like staff at a UC Campus - keeping in mind that you are hired/employed by a UC site (be it a campus, hospital, or national lab) and not the UC system. The difference is the Lab Director is a UC "Senior Management" position and is covered under separate personnel policies. The policies that apply to regular UC staff do not necessarily apply to senior managers, such as Chancellors and Lab Directors. There are other additional policies for Senior Managers that are published separately, and can be found at;

I haven't looked through them, but I bet they give a hint as to why the departure of the LANL Director was handled the way it was...

Also, the Director and Deputy Directors at LANL are "Officers of the University" and are in the executive compensation program, along with; the President, Senior Vice Presidents, Vice Presidents, Associate Vice Presidents, Assistant Vice Presidents, University Auditor, University Controller, Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, Directors and Deputy Directors at LLNL and LBNL, and the Directors of University hospitals.
LarryLivermoreVRIPer, you state, "Many LLNL staff are already looking to transfer to other local UC sites (LBNL, Davis, Berkeley, Merced, UCOP, etc) in order to remain full UC employees."

Do you have any idea how easy or hard this might be, especially as it pertains to TSMs? I can see a few well-known scientists being able to move into prof positions, and even some of the support types finding jobs as well. However, there is no equivalent position to a LANL or LLNL TSM at the UC campuses. Thanks.

(I posted this comment back on Nov 15, and was hoping for some input from LarryLivermoreVRIPer.)
educatedbeyondmyability you are actually correct, my use of the word "transfer" is technically not accurate since you do not transfer between UC site. A person has to terminate employment with the old UC site and is hired at by the new UC site, at whatever salary the new US site sets and they accept - however there is no break in UC service credit or impact on UC retirement credit. A transfer implies everything stays the same from the old work location to the new one, also years in job class (aka seniority) may be reset.

Because there are five major UC sites in the bay area (LLNL, LBNL, Berkeley, Davis, San Francisco campuses... six if you count UCOP) we historically see a good deal of movement of staff (both research and support) between them. I've personally had several colleagues come to LLNL from UCSF, Davis and Berkeley, and very recently had several leave LLNL for LBNL and Berkeley - explicitly over concerns of changes to the LLNL contract and loss of UC employment status.

The campuses typically have larger overall staffs than the labs, so finding a position at one of them if you're a TSM is not that difficult, especially if you've networked with your campus counterparts over the years and are remotely sees as qualified - the downside is that the campuses paid a lot less to their staff, yet demand the same amount of work out of them. Also the resources for getting things done are less on the campus side and the internal politics are much more... the other key is finding a match between a TSM's skills/knowledge/abilities and the numerous job posted by the UC campus or site...
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