Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Crux of the Issue

A comment from the


post, which suggests that DOE is trying to wiggle out of their contractual obligation.

If you look at the current UC/DOE contract, page 29, you will see exactly that fact. DOE agrees to fund shortfalls in the UC pension plan arising from economic conditions beyond UC's control. Everyone should do their homework about the current contract obligations on both sides before going ballistic. The complaint that "no information is available" is just not true. It just will not be spoon-fed.

Please post the text from the contract or the entire contract and point to the text that says we are a protected species. Point to the text that says we are still part of the primary UCRP and will not be severed to where DOE / UC Regents still assumes all present and future liabilities. Then please point to that part in the contract between UC and LANS that says nothing will ( ever ) change and that if LANSLLC goes belly up we have nothing to worry about. Then lets get a lawyer to review the facts. What do you say?

Thank you
B-ohica, I think the last sentence says it all, and hyperventilating is not helping the discourse on this forum.

The present DOE/UC LANL Contract may be found at:


The stuff of interest is in LANL M&O Contract Section C-I in section (f) which starts on page 27.

This, of course, is written in the usual legal language and is hard to decipher.
Does the term "sick-out" mean anything to the UC employees at both LANL and LLNL?

A day of unity away from the office at home "sick" by a majority of lab employees would not hurt work at the labs - but it might send a shot across DOE's bow and remind them that the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution outlawed slavery. DOE can't force employees to stay at the labs.

When the Sec of Energy was at LLNL last year, he was asked about the possibility of a sizable employee exodus from the lab if UC lost the contract. He basically responded with a "Well let them leave... they won't be missed" attitude.

A loud and clear message needs to be delivered to DOE that if they want to keep a competent workforce at the Labs, they need to reverse course on those provisions of the contract that will dive employees away. Specifically, a stand-alone retirement plan and forcing the parent corporations running the labs to treat employees as second class citizens... didn't the US Supreme Court rule "separate but equal" unconstitutional!

A wise federal bureaucrat once quipped - "DOE can't force people to work at our labs, but our bureaucratic actions can definitely force them to leave."
I have just written a lawyer and referenced this post and the documents of concern, asking him to interrupt the language; implying that (for reasons such as not being spoon feed the information in terms of which everyone can understand) is the cause for my distrust in the UC / DOE . I also added that it is this distrust that has lead me to my decision to pursue retirement at the earliest possible date. I can not see why SPSE and UPTE did not do this for the people. They have the funds and the clout to take on such task. I guess they can not be trusted to act in the welfare of it members or co-workers neither. It's been nothing but silence about the deck from all of these people, unless of course dartman is a representative of one of these group. Then I stand corrected. Other then that I would say that the "The Monkeys" wrote their theme song a few decades ago, "Day dream Believers". Lets hope you are correct in your interpretation of the contract.
To be honest, I dont think a sickout would have much effect.. DOE does not want its large workforce. It just only seems to be able to say it in a passive aggressive way.
larrylivermorevriper, what real impact do you think that a "sick-out" would have on UC and DOE? My impression is that 1) it will have little real impact on their decision-makingp process - they alrady know that a partition would piss off a whole range of lab employees, but that somehow hasn't deterred them, and 2) POGO, LASG and other anti-nuke groups, anti-LANL/LLNL/UC members of Congress, and the media would have a field day over the 'spoiled, arrogant, and whiny PhDs' that walked out on the United States Government in a huff, rather than focusing any attention on the problem at hand. Just like b-hoica's idea a while back that everyone quit. Protest politics just don't work out that well for (relatively) priviledged people.
Just like b-hoica's idea a while back that everyone quit. Protest politics just don't work out that well for (relatively) privileged people.

So I guess in the 60's when most of you were holding your signs in the air that said. " hell no we won't go" didn't have any impact neither, hah. Give me a friggin break. If you are so stupid as to take everything sitting down on your butts and do nothing, you will get the shaft, period... Consequently I do not believe that taking no action at all or the lack of questioning authority by any means legally possible is the solution to this dilemma, but you do as you wish. I on the other hand will pursue legal help for correct interruption of the contract language.

If I had my way I'd have every employee at both labs walk of the job for a week and then put in their retirement papers the next day. Tell me that this wouldn't get their attention. There is nothing going on that is this important anyway. Down-sizing is all that DOE cares about, so I say lets give it to them.
As evidenced by the posts in this blog, this threat to our retirement benefits is very disconcerting; it's certainly not doing my own blood pressure any good. But I have to agree with Arcs_n_Sparks' comment that "... hyperventilating is not helping the discourse on this forum." Nor, IMHO, does it help to wade through hyperbole, incorrect (or partially correct) statements, typos, and all manner of verbiage, to get to the issues that concern us all. Nevertheless, I appreciate your efforts to inform.
Just got off the phone with the Oakland lawyers office. Again it was reiterated that no one has stepped up to the plate to bring on a class action suite. I then asked if it would be possible to hire the attorney to interpret the text in the contract to see if all current and paste employees of the UC were covered now and forever to assure that we retain our retirement benefits and stay on the primary UCRP program. I was told that the question would be asked, but they did not know if those services were possible without opening up a class action suite. They will get back with me by phone. As soon as I get word I will pass it on to all of you on this blog. I was also told that "someone" meaning anyone can start this action or suite. A "retiree" who may be interested in saving their livelihood can get the ball stared and there is nothing that DOE or the UC can do to them at all. So again the ball is in our court.

So now comes the questions. Is there anyone out there who cares about their future with the intestinal fortitude to move on this matter?

Has every retiree across this country been notified of what is being done?

Who gets that job done?

Where is SPSE and UPTE when you need them?

Why isn't there more action being taken on this subject matter?

Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer
SUITE 1600
510-832-1918 FAX
"Is there anyone out there who cares about their future with the intestinal fortitude to move on this matter?

Why isn't there more action being taken on this subject matter?"

b-ohica: given your entropy on this, I think the answer to these questions is straightforward. The answer to #1 is obviously at least you. The answer to #2 is why haven't you filed suit?

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