Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Time for everyone to write a letter...NOW!

The Regents of the University of California will meet tomorrow to consider a plan to form a separate retirement entity, UCRP-LANL, for all LANL employees, past and present. I have sent the following letter to Senator Domenici, Senator Bingaman, and Congressman Udall. Perhaps a similar letter from each and every LANL (and LLNL) employee and retiree would be in order.

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Dear Senator Domenici:

I am very disturbed about the ill-advised scheme to break off the University of California Retirement Plan (UCRP) for Los Alamos National Laboratory into a separate entity, so-called UCRP-LANL. This act would be most destructive of the morale at the Lab, since it would unnecessarily put at risk the retirement of people like myself, who have contributed long years of service to our nation's security, and would also make it very difficult in the future to attract the very best talent to Los Alamos for the scientific research necessary to guarantee our nation's well-being. This is nothing less than a betrayal of trust.

With the demise of so many retirement plans among corporations all over the country, I have no faith whatsoever in the health of a retirement system consisting of a small pool of employees over the long term--LANL has only about 14,000 employees and retirees, compared to 200,000 in the UC system.

Furthermore, it is terribly unfair to suddenly force people who have worked for over two decades at the Lab under the UCRP system into an entirely new and unknown entity. Retirement is all about planning, and we have been given no opportunity to plan for such a catastrophic turn of events.

I hope you will look with great urgency into this matter of such importance to your constituents.

Sincerely,
--
-Brad Lee Holian
********************************
Santa Fe, NM
LANL e-mail: blh@lanl.gov
********************************

Comments:
To e-mail Tom Udall, you have to go to his website:

http://www.tomudall.house.gov/
 
I'd urge LANL and LLNL employees to also call the local and DC offices of their congressional representatives and voice their outrage and concerns.

For us LLNL employees I'm strongly suggesting a call to Rep Ellen Tauscher (who's district includes LLNL). Ask to speak to the staff member that deals with national Lab issues.

Two things could be done by the Congresswoman:

- Push DOE to drop the requirement in the new LANL contract for a separate/stand alone retirement plan, and allow the LANS LLC to keep LANL employees in UCRP.

- Request that DOE not include in the LLNL RFP a requirement for either a separate/stand alone retirement plan or the creation of a LLC to run the lab. If entities bidding on the LLNL contract propose these two options, DOE should weigh their merits and impacts during the evaluation of the bids - but not force these destructive and disruptive outcomes on the employees of the Lab.

Ellen Tauscher's Offices

Washington D.C.
(202) 225-1880

Walnut Creek, CA
(925) 932-8899
 
I took another route and faxed my letter to both of her offices.

Jack Smith
LLNL - Retired
 
Here is the contact information for Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher

Washington D.C.
1034 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-1880
(202) 225-5914 (fax)

Walnut Creek
2121 North California Blvd, Suite 555
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
(925) 932-8899
(925) 932-8159 (fax)

Antioch
420 West 3rd Street
Antioch, CA 94509
(925) 757-7187
 
Brad, what does UCRP or UCRP-LANL have to do with attracting new employees that join LANL after May 31? They are all going to LANS Plan 2, no? Also, it would appear that maybe some 4000 active-nonvested are automatically going to LANS Plan 1.

LarryLivermoreVRIPer, why would your congresswoman care about LANL (other than perhaps as the example)? Excluding the approx 11,000 inactive and active vested, retired, disabled and beneficiaries at LANL, and maybe the same amount at LLNL, leaves about 178,000 UCRP members, most in CA, that are arguably better off.
 
Well you may all still have a chance but from what I see there is only one person willing to go the distance. I would have thought by now that we'd have at least 22,000 entries.

Is anyone else going to inquire to see if you have a rock solid case, or no case at all?

http://lanl-the-real-story.blogspot.com/2006/01/evaluate-if-class-action-suit-is.html
 
Educatedbeyondmyability, I'm not sure Rep Tauscher will have much sway as far as LANL goes, but she is a very active member of the Armed Services Committee and she has demonstrated much interest in the UC run DOE labs over the years... here's her press release on the LANL contract decision, see the last sentence of the 2nd paragraph...
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2005

Rep. Tauscher Commends DOE Selection of UC to Continue Managing Los Alamos National Lab

Today, Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher praised the efforts of Los Alamos National Security (LANS), LLC, a partnership between the University of California, Bechtel, BWXT Technologies, and Washington Group International, in their successful bid to manage the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

"I commend the Department of Energy in their decision, which recognizes the University of California’s 50-year record of successful management of our nation’s top defense laboratories. I want to congratulate the partnership between the UC, Bechtel, BWXT Technologies, and Washington Group International, who offer new leadership based on security, sound science, and strong business practices. Today, DOE has recognized this impressive collaboration between public and private entities and afforded continued opportunity to bring innovation and reform to the labs. Now that a new team is selected to manage the lab, I also call on the Department of Energy to be a more effective partner in assisting the contractor and Los Alamos.

"I would also like to extend my congratulations to Lawrence Livermore National Lab’s former director, Mike Anastasio, who brings his record of experience to Los Alamos. Mike provided excellent leadership at Livermore and I look forward to working with the UC to find a new director who will carry on the lab’s mantle of success."

In November, Rep. Tauscher led 53 members of the California Congressional Delegation in authoring a letter of UC support to Energy Secretary Sam Bodman.

CONTACT: Hayley Rumback (202) 225-1880
http://www.house.gov/tauscher/

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I think LLNL and LANL employees need to try every avenue to save the working environment and employment conditions that made these labs so successful the past 50+ years...
 
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