Friday, March 10, 2006

Happy now?


This comment from the "LANS Plan 1" post is a bit harsh, yet mostly accurate, in my observation. Unfortunately, I don't believe that simply pointing out the insular, detached, self-centered, sometimes cowardly nature that a significant segment of the Los Alamos community exhibits will actually affect any changes in that society, but it probably can't hurt to continue to point these characteristics out. There are a number of good people who live in Los Alamos, but there is a larger number who have been silent these past two years, when open outrage was indicated. To that end, could you please make this comment a top-level post? I request that you entitle the post "Happy now?"

Thank you,

-A long-time Los Alamos resident.

[Comment made by "DOEGuy"]

After rereading the top four posts on this blog, it became obvious to me that you LANL scientist types are even thicker than I had thought, and I already thought you all were pretty obtuse. I don't know what it is going to take before you finally "get it", but if you can pull yourselves out of your little self-centered cocoons for just a moment, you will see that your world has changed. Some of you are just now slowly, dimly, beginning to realize that Los Alamos National Laboratory as you once knew it is gone forever.

For the longest time most of you were saying "I want UC to win the contract because I want to retain my benefits."


Well, now you have your wish. UC "won the contract". Happy now? Enjoy your future. I hope you like plutonium manufacturing work, because that is what we, in partnership with NNSA, Bechtel, and BWXT have in mind for you.

And if the UC were not to win the contract just what would we have for benefits? What would have happened to all of the retirees retirement or to those who wished to retire? The reason I ask this is because all of the employees at LLNL are also hoping that the UC will place a bid and win. Their feelings are that if UC does not win and therefore does not get the contract, for sure their retirement funds will be handed over to whomever the new contractor is to manage. At that point in time the UC would have washed their hands of LLNL entirely and all bets are off on benefits and retirement. So, sir, please explain how having the UC not involved would have been better. We'd like to hear your solution and insite.
First of all I have to agree with DOE Guy. I couldn't believe that people actually belived UC's involvement would somehow secure their benefits. It was made clear from the beginning that UC would be part of a corporate entity.

The fact is that not all corporations are evil regardless of some of the hyperbole seen here. In fact, there are many good ones out there. You need to understand the constraints in which they operate. Profit motives are not evil in and of themselves either. It is the manner in which those profits are generated that determines the ethical standards of the corporation. In UC's case, they had just proven their moral bankruptcy to the world with the
manner in which they handled the CREM debacle. No more information should have been required to disqualify them. It is never in your best interest to have lying, thieving, self-serving bureaucrats in control of your destiny. No matter who competes with UC for the LLNL contract it is in your best interest to support that competitor. If you don't, then you will end up like all of the LANL employees who supported UC and who are now trying to remove the dagger from between their scapulae. Really, how much data do you need before you realize that you work for the malefactors and miscreants?
Here's a scenario:You go inactive vested and go into TCP2 thinking "I can work 10 more years to get retiree medical". Then somewhere in the next 10 years LANS downsizes - probably sooner than later. You get no or little severance because you are a "new employee" and you now are responsible for your full health insurance because you didn't do 10 years AND if you activate your retirement you don't get insurance because LANS does the insurance. And odds are you probably will be one of the first ones considered for downsizing because of a higher salary and because you didn't play nicely by going into TCP1. Last in first out rule.

I probably think about this stuff more than I should be. Not good for my health - but then working for LANS for an extended time will probably not be good for my health.
One more: what is the 10 years all about? The contract is only for 7 years. Just what if the LLC doesn't perform as perfect as they think they will. And NNSA (if they are even around any more) recompetes again. And the winner then puts more restraints on everything. You signed up for 10 to get what you thought you could get only to get the rules changed again. This is just a downward spiral.
Read the TCP2 "benefits" - even after 10 years, you get the "privilege" of joining health care that is paid by employees only.This is (currently) about $800 a month for a couple. You can get such insurance from several New Mexico carriers at a similar price, without waiting 10 years.

If you have pre-existing conditions, there is protection in New Mexico. Try Googling "New Mexico health insurance" and see...
How right you are. No matter how many times I read this stuff I forget something. As I read TCP2 YET again, it says that no matter what there is no Employer Medical Contribution not even as a LANS employee in TCP2. And you need to be age 50 with 10 years and meet rule of 75 to continue coverage at retirement. (you still have to pay premiums). The only out here is to go to TCP1, fully retire under UCRP, or to have a spouse who fully retires with annuity who can pick up the medical while you roll over to TCP2. Just can't win here. They either want you to leave totally or to roll over and go to TCP1.
I've pretty well made up my mind but you'd be surprised how many people are saying they are rolling over just because they don't understand the info being put out. And others who just haven't even thought about any of this and analyzed any options. To them it's easier to just give everything up because they are not understanding everything out there.
One can only speculate about what life at LANL might look like
had the Lockheed team won. However, one thing we do known is that
our new Director would have been a five-star guy, Paul Robinson.
Instead, we've been saddled with the colorless Mike Anastascio.

Every time I watch Anastascio's presentation at All-Hands meetings,
I dream about how different it would be if Paul Robinson was at
that podium. Anastascio seems to lack any ability to inspire his
audience, as his roll-out of the new LANS Org Chart on Thursday
ample demonstrates.

Why is it that UC can't seem to promote good leaders who motivate
and inspire their staff? It seems to be a fatal defect with UC
Now hold on just one minute! Nanos was motivational.

Oh, wait: I suppose you meant in a positive kind of way...

Never mind.
A guy in my office actually said exactly that about 9 months ago, "I want UC to win so that I can preserve my benefits." His eyes glazed over when I tried to explain to him that as far as benefits went, it would not make much difference which LLC won.

He's a smart guy, but a moron.
"He's a smart guy, but a moron". I guess that's a moron after the fact and before anyone knew what the UC or LANS was going to offer, hah? Well, it is what it is. I only see two choices. You can, as you say roll over and join LANS; or you can retire if you are eligible. It's really as black and white as it's going to get and I doubt that there are going to be any more changes.

What I would like to know is; how many more years is the contractor going to carry medical coverage for all that are going to retire on primary UCRP, if that is even allowed. The reason I ask this is, if coverage is only going to be for a short period of time then why would anyone leave their lump sum in the system.

Does anyone have an answer? Has it even been thought about ?
"One more: what is the 10 years all about? The contract is only for 7 years....You signed up for 10 to get what you thought you could get only to get the rules changed again. This is just a downward spiral." # posted by Butthead : 3/11/2006 10:56:24 AM

Hey Butt...Many seem to forget that the "small business" federal acquisition preferential part of the LLC part of the business is good only for Five Years! Good luck to all who stay on with LANS whether under TCP1 or TCP2.
Since this is a formidable cruise missile attack on our LANL retirement benefits perhaps an appropriate response (countermeasure?) would be for the union to champion a class action lawsuit . . .

Could it be that this issue is bigger than just LANL?
I think this was covered once before but here is a link you may want to look at and then contact UPTE and SPSE to see what they are doing:
Pension plan and health care benefits assaults, perpetrated by those in so-called DOE and UC positions of power, need to be thoroughly examined to determine whether or not their dictates meet acceptable legal and moral norms.

Should a great nation be held to(spoken and implied)promises or is it now socially acceptable to disregard and cast out those who no longer fit neatly into MBA inspired actuarial calculations.

Is it wrong, for individuals who have faithfully executed their duties in support of our country, to expect that the promises made to them when they first came to work for UC would be adhered to when they reach retirement age?

Wake up people -

In 1763, arguing the famed Parson's Cause in Hanover County, Patrick Henry proclaimed that a king who would veto a good and necessary law made by a locally elected representative body was not a father to his people but "a tyrant who forfeits the allegiance of his subjects."
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