Friday, February 24, 2006

Letter to "Dyne's Desk"

( To Mr. Doug Roberts & Mr. Brad Holian -- THANK YOU for
establishing and maintaining this forum so the all people affected
by the LANL Contract Transition ( and future LLNL Contract
Transition ) have a means to keep informed and comment on this
important process. )

I've sent the letter below, electronically, to "Dyne's Desk", to
the UC Regents Office and to the NNSA e-mail address for all
to consider. Please post as you see fit for additional comments.

Thanx again!

- frank lopez

February 23, 2006

Robert C. Dynes, President University of California
1111 Franklin St.
Oakland, Ca. 94607-5200
cc: Gerald L. Parsky, Chairman Regents of UC,,

Dear Dr. Dynes:

As a 26+ year University of California Staff Employee, working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, (LLNL), I have followed, with great interest, the Contract Transition Process currently unfolding at Los Alamos National Laboratory, (LANL). During a recent visit, Ambassador Lynton Brooks made a statement, in part, that LLNL will participate in a similar Contract Process on or about the September, 2007 timeframe.

With regard to the new Contract for LANL, (and LLNL's future new Contract), and specifically, the "Substantially Equivalent" Compensation Package, I would like to submit to you, and submit to all key decision makers, for your consideration, an additional option for current University of California Vested Employees.

TCP-UC - Current Vested University of California Employees will have the option to remain employed by the University and will become Contract Agents of the University providing LANS, LLC their services with the commencement of the new Contract.

In my humble opinion, offering an option of this type may be mutually beneficial to both LANS, LLC (and the LLNL Contract winner), and current staff employees of the University of California. If an employee selects this option, all benefits remain as is, (under the UC/UCRP System) and at such time that the new Contract takes effect, we continue on, in our same job positions, providing high quality, dedicated, exemplary and safe service to the National Laboratories.

The new option, 'TCP-UC', would be offered in addition to the current TCP-1 and TCP-2 plans.

I hope that you, and all of the key decision makers, give this idea its due consideration. If this option has already been thought through and been eliminated, would you please explain all of the drawbacks which lead to this option not being offered in the Contract Proposal.

I thank you for taking some of your valuable time and energy to consider and respond to these matters.

Best regards,

Frank J. Lopez

TCP-UC - Current Vested University of California Employees will have the option to remain employed by the University and will become Contract Agents of the University providing LANS, LLC their services with the commencement of the new Contract.

This would be a dream come true but I seriously doubt that the UC Regents would consider it, since the objective of this entire LANS benefits package is to get rid of the old who at this time are making far more money then they wish to pay for the services rendered. I sincerely believe that if everyone who is fifty years old were to pull the plug on May 30th of 2006 the administrators and the consulting firm would be rolling for joy otherwise they would have offers a mirrored primary UCRP package.

I can not believe for a minute that LANS could possibly think that the people of LANL and LLNL weren't going to rip the Mercer presentation to shreds, and then in turn be a bunch of happy campers. I can tell you, that there are a few fools at my facility who think all is well, but they are in upper level management.

I sincerely believe that LANS is banking on a mass exodus so that the overhead cost can be reduced, only in turn to give those funds to people who are coming to LANS from LLNL. After all, they have to pay those ungodly wages somehow and what better way then to reallocate the funds.

My feelings are that once the population of elderly people is reduced, LANS will then post those positions generated by your absence at a much lower wage and without liabilities; as they do supplemental labor.

In conclusion one could wish for a TCP-UC but I sincerely doubt that anyone is listening. If they were going to allow a TCP-UC then why go out for bid at all.
Frank Lopez's proposal is so eminently reasonable (second only to my own earlier suggestion to Secy. Bodman to derail the entire re-bid) that we know how it will be received by UCOP: I doubt they will even respond with so much as a guffaw and a sneer. If any of the guilty parties to this horrible fiasco (DOE, NNSA, Congress, UC, Bechtel, and LANS) truly cared about LANL's potential for scientific service to the nation's security, they would never have done the dastardly deed of privatizing the Lab. -Nor LLNL in a year and a half, for that matter.
For the first time I am in COMPLETE agreement with b-ohica and SIMULTANEOUSLY with Brad. Sometimes I amaze myself.
I doubt very much that TCP-UC would be possible for a couple of reasons:

1) LANS will be under heavy pressure from OMB auditors that their contract costs are within Federal rules. The cost of a UC employee versus other outsourcing contract firms is much higher according to OMB (maybe not to UC when they said it would bring in.. but that was using numbers OMB did not approve of). [OMB auditors have the power to not turn over money to DOE to pay for things out of line. It has been used in the past.]

2) Everyone involved in this cluster bomb is banking on a mass exodus except the people working at LANL. LANS needs it to keep costs down, UC needs it to keep retirement costs down (now that they have to use up-to-date acturial tables), NNSA needs to do it to show that heads have rolled to its critics, and Congress needs it so that they can say that "we have closed the book on LANL's mismanagement"

Brad, Secretary Bodeman couldn't derail the process because Congress had already made it Federal Law that every lab had to be re-bid. As far as I could tell there was no provision in that law for DOE to have a choice in the matter even in the case of national security.

At this point, the only people who could undo the privatization of the DOE Labs is congress.. who are a) getting ready for re-election and b) have cares that are more important that LANL: (Iraq, abortion, re-election, pork barrel projects, etc)
To continue on with Congress's other worries: trigger-happy, shotgun-toting, captive farm-raised bird-slaughtering, attorney-peppering vice presidents.

LANL? Who gives a flying...

Forget it.
All this talk about TCP-1 and TCP-2 reminds me of the move "Office Space"...the worthless "TP Reports".

Don't go veepal on us.
This the perfect approach that would solve a myriad of problems that have been created for LANL (and soon LLNL) employees by DOE/NNSA in this whole ridiculous contracting process/mess for LANL.

However, there are two clauses in the "Special Contract Requirements" section [H] of the RFP that seem problematic given the LLC approach initiated by UC to bid on the LANL contract. They are below, with the appropriate players inserted.


In carrying out the work under this Contract, the Contractor [LANS LLC] shall be responsible for the employment of all professional, technical, skilled, and unskilled personnel engaged by the Contractor [LANS LLC] in the work hereunder, and for the training of personnel. Persons employed by the Contractor [LANS LLC] shall be and remain employees of the Contractor [LANS LLC] and shall not be deemed employees of the NNSA or the Government...



(a) The work performed under this Contract by the Contractor [LANS LLC] shall be conducted by a separate corporate entity [LANS LLC] from its Parent Organization(s) [Bechtel National, UC Regents, BWXT, WGI]. The separate corporate entity [LANS LLC] must be set up solely to perform this Contract and shall be totally responsible for all Contract activities.

Any thoughts from those who understand contracting language and business model issues?
Wouldn't dream of it, ihate.

Actually, in a horribly sick sort of a way it puts a new perspective on our (admittedly) fucked up situation at LANL.

We thought things things were badly screwed up here, but the Whitehouse: now there's a completely hosed operation.
This is an excellent suggestion Frank! Earlier in the blog it said the comment deadline has been extended. I for one will add this comment as one I agree with. Thanks

PS Does anyone really believe they will incorporate or change the benefits as a result of our comments?
PS Does anyone really believe they will incorporate or change the benefits as a result of our comments?

PS" Does anyone really believe they will incorporate or change the benefits as a result of our comments?


If this be the case then you have been dealt the cards that they are going to give you. Based on the assumption that LANS is not going to change the proposal at all, could I see a show names from those who are going to pull the plug. We can do this if Doug will allow an area on the blog where people can post their ( names/ handle) and start an exodus head count list. Of course this post would have to be kept at the top so everyone can find it. Anyone game? It should be entitled. "Undoubtedly Gone" or any title that you think would be more catchy or appropriate. You decide.
I'm not going to create any special area on the blog where people can declare their intent to retire. I don't believe in empty gestures, such as a bunch of anonymous people bravely declaring their intentions.

Either do it, or don't, but it's just about time to quit talking about it.

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