Tuesday, January 31, 2006
You might not be surprised to learn that many of the current LANL staff remain clueless about the transitition, UC, and the whole mess. Some people still appear to feel as if the system, and UC in particular, "owes" them. 'Severance pay', my ass.
A letter from today's LANL NewsBulletin:
Jan. 24, 2006
Have they considered?
Since the log jam of letters on transition finally seems to be moving through the system. What are the options for University of California employees who choose not to transition to Los Alamos National Security LLC? Since they are essentially "closing a campus," what is the severance package that UC will offer? Does it include preferential hiring at other UC facilities, severance pay, training apportionment? Or, have they even addressed this? Seems like something which should be considered and definitely included in information being presented.
a cushy position with the Zia Corporation. I hear they are hiring new
managers to take care of all the government-owned housing up on the Hill.
Just be grateful I'm not a cat--lest you should have to check out your boots every time before pulling them on.
Your faithful *hound* (grrrrrr),
This entire process seems to have at best been a prolonged exercise in shooting from the hip, so I'm not sure the transition folks have really thought out the termination notices. Thoughts or insight please.
Sorry to be the bearer of potentially bad news, but a small (~100 or so) RIF is not at all out of the realm of possibility. Life is getting harder and harder for the common man, just as life is getting sweeter and sweeter for the Powers That Be. And if you're not on the winning team, well, God be with you.
By the way, the UPTE union website will soon allow you to download a form for membership, which you can fill in and mail, along with a check for dues. -The time has come, my friends.
I hope that a lot more then that leave before June 1st. That is off by a factor of 10 in my books. 333 people is a drop in the bucket if one wants to make a point. As far as being scared into staying with LANS, well if that be the case then you have played right into their hands. Good luck people. No matter what they do I am gone but I will be watching very closely for more back door attacks on the horizon, as you should.
It seems the real risk to LANL employees is the farther you get from June 1 2006, the less you look like UC employees in terms of equivalent benefits, personnel policies/rights, and retirements plans.
You see the weasel words too. The wording does not specify a time limit. My take on it would be that it would go for say right after the LLNS wins the bid on Livermore.
My only wish out of this would be honesty now versus honesty when things get too late. Too many union leaders, corporate bosses, presidents, congressmen (all parties and stripes) have stuck their head in the sand about how much things might really cost with the big bump of boomers retired with the promised benefits from pensions, contracts, campaign promises.
They would say things like "We have enough money.." but use actuarial tables from the 1960's and 1970s to justify things. They would add more benefits some with the knowledge that it would 10-20 years before the problem became evident. And now just as it is becoming evident that too much has been promised, borrowed against, not saved enough.. you either get "its all ok" or "we have to dramatically get rid of everything."
A moderate approach is all I am asking.
Does anyone know if LANS employees are going to be "at will" employees? Do "at will" employees have a grievance process before ultimately being terminated?
I would not expect any sort of severance pay from UC/LANL because technically LANL is a GOCO and not a campus. The same applies to LLNL, though California laws may have some stipulations that change that.
I would also expect that more like 3x (1000 people) above the normal retirement cycle would need to be done for a RIF not to occur. This is not due to a 100 million in changeover costs, but more on the fact that a 5-10 % cut in overall DOE funding is expected in the coming fiscal year. Being that St Pete is NOT up for re-election this cycle.. his pull will not be as great as other areas .
I lasted 18 months before it became obvious that The General had, with the help of his cronies, driven the Zia company all the way into the ground. He had some help: the entire second floor of the Zia company at that time was filled with retired Army colonels and generals. It's actually kind of spooky: that general's name was "Pete" also. Together, he and his pals lost the contract that the Zia Company had held for 40 years. I realized what was happening and bailed; went to the lab. A couple of months later Pan Am services won the contract. Then JCI. The rest is history.
I've heard that the offer letter will emphasize two points - one, we are at will employees but more importantly, THAT ALL EMPLOYEES OF THE NEW LLC WILL BE ON A ONE YEAR PROBATIONARY PERIOD - read - we can rid this place of you "problem" employees without any advance notice, and of course, since you are all new employees, there is no severance pay provision. Has anyone else heard about this?
The average annual cost of a LANL employee is about $125K (salary of about $100K and 25% for benefits).
The additional cost of the new contract is:
Management Fee = $80M - $8M = $72M
Gross Receipts Tax = $120M
Retirement Contributions $80M
Total = $272M
expected FY2007 budget reduction = 5% * $2.2B = $110M
Total Needed Funds = $272M + $110M
# of employees = $372M/$0.125M =
Of course, some of the reduced cost can come from non-payroll. But, not all that much unless we abandon facilities and then do not have to pay for those utilities and can eliminate JCI costs for those facilities.
But, even then, I would think that a reduction of 2000 employees is needed.