Thursday, February 02, 2006

The latest forecast from HR

Submitted by Anonymous:

Relating to last night's (2/1) post of # of retiring employees/severance
pay/probationary period issues:

Kuckuck told LANL employees immediately before the December closure that
the purpose of the Hiring Council was to limit hiring of external
employees, that the forecast was for 750-1,000 employees to retire and
the Hiring Council was to limit hiring of externals to no more than 350,
given the first set of numbers. Indeed, many requests put forth before
the Hiring Council to hire proposed external employees have resulted in
their response, "You may only hire an internal candidate for this
position" - regardless of how the job ad was posted.

However, the latest forecast from HR is that up to 2,000 employees are
now expected to retire. So the latest word is the Hiring Council has
been disbanded and ADs have given assurance that their signature alone is
all that is necessary for a hiring package to go forth. I wouldn't worry
about budgetary-driven RIFs, although the concern about a probationary
period for transferring employees, combined with the real threats to
probationary employees's job security that have long been felt at LANL,
makes it difficult to believe a new contractor will mean an improvement
in this area.

And what data are the basis for this HR forecast?
And how accurate is the top post for what is happening? I remember last summer, we heard word that 2000+ people were going to retire on the magical Jul 1st date.. but that never happened. I also remember the weekly "Nanos left last week, we will have a new director on Monday." for almost 6 months.

At this time, I just dont trust the rumours, stories, or whatever else people say is common knowledge.
The discounted value of common knowledge is zero.
The HR forecast is not a forecast at all. It has simply been stated as a fact that roughly 2000 employees are ELIGIBLE (50, with 5) to retire.

HR has stated the "2000 eligible" figure. I confess I don't know if that is the upper limit per the 50/5 rule, or if that reflects a subset of the 50/5 group who have completely some intital "intent to retire" paperwork.
I would be very wary of that "2000" figure. In the end, I'm guessing that
far fewer than that will leave. Many in the mid-50+ age group may just
decide to go inactive and keep working at LANL, rather than take the more
drastic step of termination and retirement. If they can lock-in their
investment in the UC pension that they've now earned (even via UCRP-LANL),
then why go the next step and cut off their substantial yearly salary?

This demographic group has nothing to lose by staying till the very end
(i.e., till around 60). By doing this, they'll get a few more years of
UC pension age credit built up, and may even have a chance at double
dipping into the new LANS Corporate Pension Two and new 401K options.

The exodus last June wasn't nearly as big as most people forecast, and
the exodus for this next June, likewise, will not be that big. The
outcome of this will be that forced reductions in head-count are likely
in the next few years. I wish that weren't true, but it's probably
in our destiny. DOE budgets in the outlying years look shaky, and we
are about to experience a huge increase in lab expenses due to the
management fee, GRT tax, transition costs, higher management salaries,
depleting pension funds, etc.
I agree with you good2go.

I speculated last year not many people (net) were going anywhere.

I suspect the same is true this year - not many above the normal number - perhaps even less given the uncertainty over the UCRP-LANL pension issue.

Will be looking to see what the severance package is under LANS if a RIF occurs.
I think that we should exact our revenge by NOT retiring. We should all stay and let them figure out how to make payroll.

Remember what happened in 1995 when we had the RIF. Domenici had a fit about losing all of those votes.
RE: 1995 RIF (or "downsizing," as the fashionable term was among CEO wannabes in those days).

St. Pete blew his stack at the Lab Director that year, but he isn't up for re-election this year; Bingaman IS.
Sen Domenici was re-elected anyway. I speculate he would be even if there were a RIF and he decided to run again in '08.
The following is a copy of email that I received this afternoon from someone in LANL management.

Today I was made aware of a cruel hoax, where LANL employees are receiving letters that state "Since LANS won the M&O contract your employment is to be terminated". The letters are on LANS stationary, and carry a bogus signature of Doris Heim, Associate Director of Business Services. The letters are arriving at employee's home address with an Albuquerque postmark. These are absolutely fraudulent, and apparently are meant to add to the already high level of stress in work place.

If you should receive such a letter, I ask that you provide it and the envelope to LANL management. We will pursue this case through all possible avenues.

I want to reiterate ALL LANL employees in good standing will receive an offer letter of employment on March 15.

If you are forced to move from one employer to another to keep your job, then you are being terminated on May 31, 2006, and even if you receive an offer letter of employment, it's not obvious that after one year you can't be fired without cause since everyone will be an at-will employee.

Does management really believe that current employees are this gullible after Nanos, the shutdown, the CREM that never was, Todd's death, and the pension raid?

I have my doubts that St. Pete will run for re-election in 2008.
Senate rules limit the number of times a Senator can serve as
head of a sub-committee. If St. Pete runs in 2008 and wins,
he will be unable to chair the Energy sub-committee, so he'll
have less direct control over DOE and LANL. Add in the fact
that his health has been poor of late, and he'll probably
call it quites after his current term ends in 2008. Watch
for DOE/NNSA to get a lot more nasty with LANL once he's
gone. However, here is one bit of good news. If the Dem's
take control of the Senate in 2008, the Senator who gets
to take over as chairman of the Energy sub-committee will
be... Ta Da... Sen. Bingamin!

So you might want to start hoping that the Dems at least
gain the Senate by 2008. It will make our lives much easier
if we can replace one NM Senator with yet another to act as
chairman of the Senate's Energy sub-committee.
DOE's 2007 budget request is now on their website

I checked the "Lab Tables" and something doesn't add up.

LANL is down $10 million from 2006.
FY 2007 = $1,844,461,000
FY 2006 = $1,855,230,000

So how are all the new additional cost associated with LANS running LANL to be paid for by DOE?

BTW, LLNL is up $32 million from 2006;
FY 2007 = $1,240,542,000
FY 2006 = $1,208,443,000
Larry, the current story is that the required funds come out of the Lab's budget. Adminstrator Brooks and Tyler P. made that clear on several occasions when they spoke at LANL.
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