Thursday, March 09, 2006

The revised NNSA responses are posted

You all might want to check this out. In particular, the "Response to Comments" section might be interesting:

I'll save you all a bunch of time by summarizing NNSA's decisions as a result of feedback from the community:

Decision: If you don't like what has been offered, you may go someplace else, because we're not changing so much as a single piece of punctuation in any of the transition benefits packages.

If you don't like the packages, Adios.

Buh By!

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

Its time to cut my losses, Go inactive vested, stick around until I find another job in the northwest, take the lump sum on June 1 and roll it all over into something I have control of. LANS LLC, NNSA, DOE and UC can kiss my ass.
Perhaps someone can explain the NNSA logic to me on a couple of the issues. On Issue 4 they say they aren't going to reduce the benefits for those who now have to pay Social Security but wont receive sufficient credit to be eligible for Social Security. I thought it would be the other way around. Doesn't the new plan assume coordination with Social Security, so if you don't qualify shouldn't the benefits have to increase? It also says that LANS will refund th Social Security taxes to such individuals in the future. How can this happen legally?

On Issue 5, they make the statement that providing equivalent benefits to the combined 403b and 457b of UC would make the the plan "not substantially equivalent". What is the basis for saying this? I understand that they can't have a 457b plan, but shouldn't they provide some other benefit to counterbalance this? I don't understand their logic. I know many of you will say there is no logic to the NNSA, but I find that answer not helpful.
"It's time to cut my losses, Go inactive vested, stick around until I find another job in the northwest, take the lump sum on June 1 and roll it all over into something I have control of. LANS LLC, NNSA, DOE and UC can kiss my ass."
# posted by whatsdamatterwithyou : 3/09/2006 03:23:54 PM

Ditto on whatdamatterwithyou's comment.

LANS,LLC, NNSA, DOE and the UC have once again shown their idiocies. They have successfully destroyed LANL and soon will do the same to LLNL. As stated in the 5c document, "this proposal is to be used as a template for LLNL if we chose to bid on it".

This should be a warning to all LLNL employees and these words should be taken as gospel. It's clearly time to make your plans for the future. This is not a game nor is it a drill. If you are 50 years old, do the only logical thing you can do. Retire ASAP and move on to the next phase of your life. If this means that you have to sell your home, move out of the state and do something completely different with your life, then get the Velcro off your butts. You've now seen what they have done to LANL, so the question is; are you going to accept the same?

The people of LLNL has been given an opportunity that LANL wasn't given. They've had a chance to see how ruthless these people can be and now have 15 months to make plans if DOE honors the Sept 31, 2007 drop dead transition due date. I would venture to say that because there is a clause in the two year extension contract that says, " we can terminated this extension at any time and for any reason", they will implement the new contract earlier than Sept of 2007. The RFP will be identical and DOE's attitude will be, -- (Why spend another $100M when what we have works? Substantially equal treatment is the goal from this day forward. All we need to do is change the name from (LANS,LLC) to ( ????,LLC) and get on with the program.)
pfffft.....this is the BORG. you have now all been assimilated. Welcome to the Collective AKA LANS LLC.
David - No use hashing the details to death. Game over.
Game not quite over. The site said they will otherwise comment on TCP issues apart from the "substantially equivalent" issue::

"NNSA received and considered more than 1300 comments. Approximately 600 of these were related to the substantial equivalency determination and were considered in the process of making that determination. The comments fell into six major categories. NNSA will post its responses to the comments on the LASO Web site: Comments unrelated to the substantially equivalent determination will be addressed prior to March 15."

I wonder if they will address the planned UC idiocy of the "cloned" UCRP.
This is all that really matters to ~25% of the people.

I wonder if they will address the planned UC idiocy of the "cloned" UCRP.
# posted by ted : 3/09/2006 05:33:46 PM

How they respond will also take a toll on their pot of money in the UCRP. I would hope that they were required to address this issue 60 days before June 1st.
The following sentiments about disparity in treatment were submitted to the DOE/NNSA for consideration, but were obviously ignored:

No matter how this whole fiasco gets spin-doctored by public relations personnel at the DOE and LANL, what's happening here is nothing less than blatant age discrimination and blackmail. If you're an older worker (vested and eligible for retirement under UCRS) you’re being blackmailed into to keeping your job and seniority at the Lab, but only if you're willing to forgo your vested interests (legal rights) in UCRS. And if you exercise your right to retire under UCRS before the transition to LANS, your punishment is likely to be even more severe since then you won't even be guaranteed a job with LANS, much less your existing seniority. Even if you choose not to retire, but instead keep your existing UCRS interests in tact by going "inactive" in UCRS, you're still going to be penalized. In this case the good news is you’re being guaranteed a job with LANS, but the bad news is you'll be classified as a "new employee." This means you lose your seniority and all benefits associated with that, including such things as severance pay in the event you're laid off a year or so down the road. Furthermore, as a new employee not only are you at greater risk of being targeted for termination, your vacation and sick leave accruals will lower; namely that of a new employee. So the bottom line is older workers are being funneled out of the Lab through this transition, or into significantly less-secure positions within LANS. And this, in turn, reduces the cost associated with having an older workforce since the employment package for those workers--both in terms of security and benefits, is going to much lower once the dust of this transition all settles.

This “substantially equivalent" employment arrangement is far from that, and particularly so for older workers. But there's an additional problem in what’s transpiring in that people are being penalized for simply refusing to give up their vested (legal) interests. Take for example two existing Lab employees identical in every way, but one will be treated better in the transition if he/she is willing to forgo his/her vested interests in UCRS. Say in this case both are 50 years of age with 25 years of service. One however caves in to pressures to transfer his/her UCRS pension accumulation to LANS, and because of it is guaranteed a job with LANS with his/her seniority intact, plus receives a much better benefits package (TCP1). This, in turn, translates not only into greater job security and benefits, but a higher vacation and sick leave accrual rate than those funneled into the TCP2 benefits package. Which is where all "new employees" of LANS end up, including the other employee in this example who also has 25 years of existing seniority at LANL, but will lose it in the transition because he/she refused to forgo his/her vested rights in UCRS. This person, in comparison to the first, will be treated as a “new employee” in LANS, and receive less job security because of it. This person will also be funneled into the significantly less equivalent benefits package (including lower leave accrual rates) known as TCP2. And what this boils down to this that people in general are being penalized if they exercise their legal right to maintain their vested interests in UCRS. This, at best, smells like blackmail.

Age discrimination and blackmail are illegal. What remains to be scene is whether we, as group, can step up to the challenge of holding those responsible accountable for what's occurring. If not, then perhaps we deserve no better.
Looks like the DOE finally came to the conclusion there are, indeed, significant legal risks associated with denying people their vested interests rooted in seniority, and particularly so if a case can be made that older workers are being adversely impacted to a significant extent because of it.

The following DOE/NNSA resolution/decision appears to resolve a significant portion the concern I raised in the previous posting herein, which was largely the same concern I submitted to DOE/NNSA during the comment/input period. To the extent the DOE/NNSA actually makes these changes, that's good news.

URL reference:
Where can we send a request that the "Employee Options Chart" on the LASO website be updated to reflect changes e.g. those in "TCP2 Response To Comments"?

The "comments" ability on the LASO page seems to be for webpage comments addressed to the webmaster (not for content comments/requests addressed to NNSA).
ted, The comments feature has been shut down. The deadline has passed.
Yes, I know. I merely want to post a request to update their summarizing material, e.g. the Employees Options Chart.

Having conflicting material present on their website concerning important issues for LANL employees opens the door for misinterpretation. We want no ambiguities here.
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