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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rumor corner

LLNS may have excluded the wrong people in last VSSOP?

The exclusions were based on outdated job categories and related skills. ULM are now thinking that in the future, job categories and functional areas will have to be re-defined. The next VSSOP/ISP will be based on the new categories and functional areas.

The questions I have are:

1) Why didnt they think of that before the transition. It seems like their style is “change things as you go”. Planning is out the window!

2) Who will give input on the new changes?

The next RIF apparently is going to be more lucrative than the VSSOP.

Depending on the length of employment, a RIFed person, not only gets their 1 week pay per year of service but also from 30 to 120 days notice, essentially 30 to 120 days pay.

Please feel free to comment on the rumors or add new ones you actually heard.

92 comments:

Anonymous said...

Could that be why LLNS is editing the PPP_K document?

Personally I can't see how LLNS determined they got rid of the wrong people. Maybe they didn't get rid of who they wanted, but that's their problem not ours.

In reality this is what the ISP to come is for. It'll give ULM that last chance to dispose of those they've been wanting to can for years. I'll assure they won't miss this opportunity.

As far as getting a better package, I doubt we'll every see that again. They are here to save money not give it away.

Regardless, he rules as they are now cane be found at the link below.I'd advise checking the LLNL document daily and note the latest changes.

The March 2008 document can be found here.

Anonymous said...

In the previous post take off the %3Cbr/%3E at the end of the link and it works. Very interesting facts. Can wait to see the revised version and the final head count required this time to make up that $280M that seems to grow everyday they do not take immediate action. Want to bet by Sept 29th of 2008 we'll still be $69M indebt with no real plan to bring that balance to $0.0

Anonymous said...

This is no rumor. Please post anon.

Got a call today and understand that NIF is having a field day with lay-offs. We had eight designers yesterday, eight today and we here twenty more people tomorrow should all be out the gate by this Friday. We even had one 30 year FTE who has been on and off the EBA list a few times. I guess LLNS ULM said, that's enough, so he's gone too. I am sure this is probably going on around the entire lab but as you can see no one care to advertise these facts on the blog.

I'll bet that when NIF gets finished they will be done until June or July and that none of these people count towards the 700- 1000 need to meet the next ISP. So keep your eyes and ears open and come post the daily lay-off results. If the blogmaster was wise he or she would start a topic entitled just that. " The Daily Lay-Off Results" and keep it at the top.

Anonymous said...

Ok, heard today SL for optics clean rooms where layed off. Now mangers don't have a clue who is going to keep clean rooms up to standard, probably have techs do the work as part of their daily chores!!!!

Anonymous said...

One more for you people. All of the weapons designers that were housed in NIF during the VSSOP are now being sent back to their parent organization where I suspect they don't have the funds to keep them on the pay roll, so I guess they'll be laid off. After all there's no RRW and I seriously doubt that project will ever be seen again with the current state of government budgets and indebtedness. being returned to DTED / DNT must feel like they're going to death row awaiting execution. Don't worry LLNS has a lot of syringes and Sodium Pentothal in stock.

Anonymous said...

LLNS has to get an approval to do an additional layoff over 50 people. That plan has been sent off to HQ. What you may see if that plan is NOT approved is the "under the radar" layoffs of folks under the limitation of 50.

I am a firm believer that Programs are already jumping on this and are proceeding with layoffs (under 50 people) to lower there costs and get some budget carryovers. There is no wiggle room anymore for pet projects and skunk works. Many Programs have NEVER run without this pile of funny money. It is a rude awakening for them.

I'd watch for an increase in "for cause" dismissals for time card fraud which covers various issues.

280M is serious budget shortage. It will mean consolidations of job functions, energy savings (closing down entire buildings) and doing more with less.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we could do the same with NIF and all the national labs. I mean after all out-sourcing is a wonderful idea from the business mans perspective. Are you reading this Russo? We could save billions and have NIF finished on time and on schedule if we'd just utilize out resources.

Global Economics

Cheap labor out sourcing is a wonderful thing. I hope you don't own a jag or a landrover.

And you thought Dell support was all we were ever going to lose.

Anonymous said...

Blogmeister -- Consider as new post

George, time for a real incentive.

Dear George,

LLNS has not been effective in understanding its situation or responding realistically. The expectation that 750 people would take the VSSOP incentive shows that you are getting terrible advice.

You have a serious short-term operating financial shortfall, even as you are expected to implement new costly infrastructure changes. Time to be hard-nosed and to think realistically.

You can fire 750-1000 people based on seniority. This will retain obsolete, highly-paid, tired personnel while releasing the lab's future.

Or you can structure a realistic incentive that will select the high-paid, while retaining the younger, cheaper, more energetic.

Consider. 750 folks is 10% of the labs population. About 15% of the the population is over 55 years old. Construct an incentive to move those people out. This means giving them the amount they will recieve at full-retirement (age 60), minus some amount for getting out early. Maybe 50% of the cost would do it. This might mean offering an incentive that is the equivalent of 1-2 years of service as an annuity that can be financed over time. SINCE IT RESULTS IN LONG-TERM DEFERRED SAVINGS, THE ANNUITY NEED NOT BE PAID ALL AT ONCE, BUT CAN BE FINANCED THROUGH SAVINGS IN REDUCED PAYROLL OVER MANY YEARS.

This is a tool that will allow you to get what you want. The deadheads that surround you may not tell you, but King George,you need this (unless you are bailing soon).

Anonymous said...

Yes, a better incentive was needed to make the last VSP work. It was so half-hearted in it's execution it was laughable.

I don't see why they can't use all the same paperwork/processes to continue to do VSP plans, one per month, increasing incentives until they get what they want.

Anonymous said...

We need a new poll. How many will the ISP take out?

100-535

535-700

700-1000+

Anonymous said...

My GL heard a rumor that Cherry Murray and Bruce Goodwin were going to be fired. GM wants to get rid of them.

Anonymous said...

March 29, 2008 8:31 PM

They won't be fired. They will just retire at 100% of their salary and disappear never to be heard from again. At least that would be progress and the correct classification to be RIF's. Now if we could only get 50% of the original UC-ULM and the 40 LLNS -ULM out the door we'd be back where ULM wouldn't be over loaded and top heavy.

Anonymous said...

I suspect the ISP will take affect in July once the PPPM-section K is finaized. By that time the new rules will be in and it will be easy for them to clean out all they wish and for waht ever reason they can come up with. It looks like FTE's have 90 days before D-Day.

Anonymous said...

This is March 29, 2008 8:31 PM
C'mon folks. The current posters are not sticking with the rumor thread. Get back on topic.

Anonymous said...

March 29, 2008 8:31 PM

Whenever a key person who was identified in the LLNS proposal leaves during the first two years, the salary of the replacement is not an allowable expense under the contract and must be eaten by LLNS' fee. Counting Patterson, the total is already six.

I think the true situation is that at least one of these folks can get a better deal on the outside. The other is GM's fair-haired uy.

Anonymous said...

March 29, 2008 8:55 PM

Waiting till July is not a possibility. There will be 535 gone real soon.

When the new personnel policies are in effect, expect to see another layoff.

Anonymous said...

MARCH OF FOLLY - 2008

Viewed from within, almost none of the named individuals are performing to expectations, Miller included. The new environment created by the DOE is an impossible turkey pen. Put someone in the pen and they become a turkey.

Goodwin seems untouchable, a link to the weapons design past, with a successful RRW design in his pocket. Moses is untouchable as well, being known as the "hero" who pulled NIFs cajones out of the fire.

The others, including the invisible industrial newcomers, along with Bodman, D'Agostino, Anastasio, and anyone else connected with this fiasco, should be updating their resumes in shame. Maybe DARPA has an office next to Nanos.

So should Tauscher, McNerney and Miller, who all missed the signs of impending disaster.

The next director will be Gates when he steps down from SECDEF.

Congress will need to invest heavily when the magnitude of the destruction required to pillage $500M from operating funds manifests inself over the next three years. Absent that infusion, within a few more years NNSA will not be able to design or certify a stockpile.

Anonymous said...

Hey 9:52am, who are the 5 other than Patterson?

Anonymous said...

"Absent that infusion, within a few more years NNSA will not be able to design or certify a stockpile." 9:08 AM

The Directors of the LLC labs will certify anything they are told to certify. They know not to rock the boat. Stockpile certification is about to become a great big joke.

Have a good laugh, Congressmen. Just don't act surprised when you suddenly discover your nuclear weapon labs have becoming little more than a Potemkin village.

Anonymous said...

"Hey 9:52am, who are the 5 other than Patterson?

March 30, 2008 9:19 AM"

Kirkland Jones, Pam Horning, Melissa Alain, Russ Miller, Dave Leary.

Anonymous said...

Fresh news: NIF is laying off about 100 people.

Anonymous said...

Was this from Moses talk today or just a rumor? Is it 100 more than those who left last week or just 50 more to go this month, April?

I see that Moses must not have said much since there are no comments good or bad under the topic.

Anonymous said...

LLNL ranked in top 25 among best places to work for postdocs
April 1, 2008



The Laboratory is ranked in the top 25 national institutes as one of the best places to work for postdocs, according to an international poll conducted by The Scientist magazine.

Livermore was ranked 24 for having strong benefits, pay and compensation. Place to improve are facilities and infrastructure and program funding.

Institutions ranked included government, academia, industry and private companies.

The survey tabulated 3,086 “usable responses” from 44 questions offered to the magazine’s postdoc audience. Sufficient responses ­ a minimum of five ­ were received from each of 82 institutions considered in the rankings.

In the post-doc poll, respondents were asked to assess their working environment in 11 areas, agreeing or disagreeing on a one-to-five scale with statements posed.

Categories included the quality of training and mentoring, career development opportunities, quality of communication, networking opportunities, value of the postdoc experience, quality of facilities and infrastructure, funding, equity, pay and compensation, benefits, and family and personal life.

This is the sixth time, The Scientist magazine, known for its statistical studies and life sciences orientation, has conducted the best places to work postdocs poll. The results are published in its March issue.

Interesting findings from the survey include: only 36 percent of postdocs were born in the country where they are doing their postdoctoral research and for the second consecutive year, respondents ranked questions of "Family and Personal Life" as more important than "Training and Mentoring" and "Networking Opportunities."

Nonetheless, postdocs still value institutions that offer environments where they can work on their projects efficiently and receive expert guidance.

To see the Best Places to Work Postdoc 2008: Top 35 U.S. Institutions list, go to the Web

WHY DO I FIND THIS HARD TO BELIEVE?????????
I wonder how much LLNS paid for this article???

Anonymous said...

It's April 1.

Come on Bodman, you can tell us now, The rebid of the Contract was a joke right?

scooby said...

hello 10:02PM 4/1
I am letting your comment in even though it is off topic. Next time, I will delete it.

Anonymous said...

Rumor:

Employees who were excluded from taking the Voluntary Self Select Option (VSSOP) will not be excluded from an involuntary separation – should one be implemented at LLNL.

Fact:

This is incorrect. The same exclusions from the VSSOP would apply to an Involuntary Separation Plan (ISP). Any career indefinite employee who was excluded from taking the VSSOP would also be excluded from an ISP.

Anonymous said...

60 FTE's on loan to NIF will be going back to their parent divisions on Friday 4/11/08. This would leave 40 Contract and Term to be vacated in the next two months. I guess NIF's $25M in the hole and they have to find a way to make that shortfall up. people are the first to go unfortunately. However did you ever notice it's aways the workers that get axed and not ULM. I wonder why that is.

Anonymous said...

"...it's aways the workers that get axed and not ULM. I wonder why that is."

Because they run the show ?

Anonymous said...

Because they run the show ?

April 3, 2008 9:13 PM

Their empire needs to crumble along with their wealth.

Anonymous said...

Please post anon if you so chose to blogmaster:

This may be worthy of being a top level post entitled "ISP - Involuntary Separation Plan is Kaput"

Today I heard a dozy. It went as follows.

" NNSA declined LLNS proposal for an ISP, however they authorized the dismissal of 200 people. No FTE's will be ISP'd until all Flex Term and Contract Labor are displaced first".

Using the NIF formula of 100 people = $10M dollars and knowing that LLNL is still about $100M short the problem may in fact be resolved by doing just that. If you look at the latest Flex Term population at LLNL you'll see there are 958 of them on board as of today. If they'd act quick, like within the next 60 days and displaced all 958 Term employees LLNS could in fact abolish their $100M short fall and we'd be good to go for the next five months. So what's it going to be LLNS? Are we going to act, or are we going to blunder.

Regardless the rest of the rumor was George was to give a talk mid April and some say sooner. Lets hope they give us real numbers, classifications and times. Let get this over with for this year so we can have a break for five months and then LLNS can start your seach and destroy mission once again come Oct 1, 2008.

Also please note the acronym of ISP. It no longer stands for "Involuntary Separation Package" as if there was going to be any severance pay. It's now a the Involuntary Separation Plan since NNSA has turned down the package option. It's now a plan that sends people to the EBA list where they'll be given an opportunity for employment but in jobs that may be at a lesser pay rate and for sure demeaning, but, you'll have a job. It'll be up to you how long you are to stay, but there will be no incentive to leave. The question you should be asking yourself is. What size boot are they going to use when I get kicked and will it have steel toes.

If anyone has any insite into this rumor or facts please post them for all to read.

Anonymous said...

April 4, 2008 5:22 PM

Well I guess that rumor of 750 -1000 people by June may have more truth to it than people thought. 958 is close enough for me. They just never hinted on where these 750-1000 people were going to come from. Thanks for the information. Now we have to wait for someone who knows for sure to check in and confirm the facts.

Anonymous said...

Poster April 4, 2008 5:22 PM. You forgot to tell the people one very important items in your post. The EBA list is for engineers and Scientist ONLY. They will be On and OFF this list as jobs become available or go away. The longer engineering can keep these people off the list the longer the LIMITED funds to sustain this group will last. What the technical people are going to do, we don't have a clue but the EBA situation will be addressed in the new version of the PPM Section K so there fait will decided for them by virtue of time.

Anonymous said...

there are two eba list: one is for the people hired before Sept. 29 1991, these people are cold war legacy employees and they will be offered jobs such as gardeners, janitors, or hazard waste clean up; this is to satisfey the 3161 retraing and reducation of legacy employees: the second eba list is for those hired after Sept. 29 1991 these employees will be bent over and driven out the gate.

Anonymous said...

"If they'd act quick, like within the next 60 days and displaced all 958 Term employees LLNS could in fact abolish their $100M short fall and we'd be good to go for the next five months. So what's it going to be LLNS? Are we going to act, or are we going to blunder."

To do what you suggest WOULD be the biggest blunder. The odds are close to, if not equal to, 100% that any given Flex Term employee is just as valuable to the organization as his/her Indefinite Career coworker in the next office. Whether you're Flex Term or Indefinite Career has absolutely no bearing on your value to LLNL. What DOES matter is the match of your skills, knowledge, and abilities to the work at hand, the quality of your work, your work ethic, and how well you interact with others. I happen to be Flex Term but bring to Livermore more than 27 years of successful experience within the DOE Complex - most of that experience is directly applicable to LLNL's continuing mission, and almost all of it was working for or supporting the National Weapons Labs. I can't help it that LLNL was bringing in virtually all new employees, no matter what their experience level, as Flex Term at the time I hired on.

Anonymous said...

Getting rid of all the flex terms is not good business sense. I'm not sure the IT side of the lab would survive if they all suddenly vanished.

Anonymous said...

Hey April 4 6:03 pm - I think you might be mistaken saying the EBA list is for scientist and engineers only. I am pretty sure many other employees such as mechanical techs, TRR's, project managers, etc. have been placed on the EBA list over the past several years.
Also, if anyone has real knowledge of the EBA program, such as how long a person can be on it, what happens if he or she is not able to find another LLNL job, how is the program funded, etc. please post the info.

Anonymous said...

Hi - April 5, 2008 8:26 AM; Yes you're right the EBA list isn't just for scientist and engineers only. I have known people who were on this list that were not scientist and engineers.

Anonymous said...

Hi April 4, 2008 8:44 PM and 11:35 PM. I totally agree. See my posting on the new post "What groups would you target?".

Anonymous said...

April 5, 2008 8:26 AM

Yes, it use to be that way but ULM has decides that mechanical techs, TRR's, project managers are expendable and engineers and scientist are what they want to retain and that's what the fund is going to be used for. I suspect the PPM- section K will have the text that tells how many days you have once you hit the EBA before you are gone, engineers and scientist excluded.

Now for the poster that claims Terms are as good as FTE's anyway. Well, I will not argue that point, but a Term and Contract employee are one in the same, "supplemental labor", hired to do a job for a particular length of time and can be terminated any time before their contract date comes to an end. They are at LLNL for a purpose and one of those is to be laid off in times like we are seeing now. These two groups of people should be the first to go before any FTE's are released, however I am not saying that there are some FTE's that should have been canned a long, long time ago. If it gives you any joy or comfort I'm sure the PPM-K will take care of that issue too. The FTE's only have until the end of July to enjoy the ride and then the brakes are coming on as if they wearing six pistol calipers and a set of cross drilled and slotted rotors made of carbon fiber on their butts. It's going to be a negative G experience all the way for some folks. I think the song that comes to mind is Hang on Sloppy.

Words of wisdom, for those who know they are walking on thin ice may I suggest you take the next available train out of town before you get thrown off while its doing 200 MPH because there's a concrete wall up ahead you'll be slamming into. Remember, it's not the fall that hurts, it's that sudden stop and the ride is coming to an end over the next few years with no hopes of return.

Anonymous said...

Ok here is what they need to do: All flex terms that are not on a temporary assignment (ia project with funding that is going away) should be converted to FTE. This should be the majority of the flex terms converted.

Once that is over they can do layoffs with regard to real issues (seniority, skills, etc)

Anonymous said...

I heard that Physics is going to combine with Chemistry. Can anyone confirm?

Not sure who would want them. They have fed of LDRD and other slush funds for the 25 years that I have been here. It's time to stop taxing the programs for sandbox playing.

Anonymous said...

April 5, 2008 2:52 PM

You're joking us, right. Flex and Contract are just that, Flex and Contract to be let go at any time and on a moments notice. Didn't they tell you that when you signed up for the job. They surely didn't miss that statement when I was told brought onboard. It was simply put, "in five minutes you can get gone", do you undersatnd that. You need to remember that now and forever.

Anonymous said...

April 5, 2008 2:52 PM

I agree lets do that and then RIF by senority. That should do the trick. It would only take a 15 minutes to develope a list and by that evening the pink slips could be printed, handed out by 3:00 Pm and they should say don't bother coming back tomorrow. The smart thing to do is to have the secutiy guards hand them to you as you go out the gate no matter what mode of transportation you are in, on or even if you're walking.

Anonymous said...

I also heard that chemistry & physics are going to merge but I heard that 2 weeks ago and nothing has happened. Apparently they have to get permission from DOE which they haven't gotten yet.

Chemistry & Physics are mostly funded by "work for others" and only have as much LDRD as any other institution (contrary to the comment someone made). WFO is taxed and that tax goes to the lab therefore scientists in these directorates are funding overhead elsewhere. The current costs mean it's getting almost impossible to get WFO funding meaning that costs will go up as less overhead is covered by the WFO funding that we don't get.

I also heard a rumor that Cherry Murrey was going to quit. Then she changed her mind, for some reason.

The term employees are the ones doing the science. Most career are basically management. Firing all the flex terms would mean only postdocs would be doing science and we'd have switched to almost 100% management organization. Managing what???

Anonymous said...

"I also heard a rumor that Cherry Murrey was going to quit. Then she changed her mind, for some reason."

That's a shame. I was hoping we'd have one more overpaid ULM off the payroll. LLNS needs to purge all ULM.

If anyone finds or leaks a list of how much these people are making at LLNL please post the link. It's very valuable information for all the people to exactly what the person next to them are being paid for doing the same job.

Anonymous said...

April 5, 2008 3:59 PM, April 4, 2008 8:44 PM here.

Yes, I was made aware of the terms when I signed up, it's a chance I took when I accepted my offer. But I also took a chance that my 25 years of experience was a good match for LLNL and I could weather any storms. So far, so good. The long-term prospects for funding for the project I'm supporting look pretty darn good, and extend beyond the remaining portion of my six-year term.

Anonymous said...

What do you think of this Catch-22...

O was forced to let a Flex Term Technician go and then told by my new LLNS ULM to accept an EBA'd Career Engineer from another division in my department. The problems are; the Engineer cost much more than the Tech, also the Engineer is over skilled for the job but still has to learn how to do it, so I'm paying for training and unproductive on the job learning time... and now the Engineer is complaining about the work/job content being beneath them and how they are looking for a job elsewhere... SO great, I lost a good employee and got an unhappy replacement who cost my budget more, which may force me to layoff another Term Tech... What a crazy cycle I'm being lead into by LLNS ULM.

Anonymous said...

"I also heard a rumor that Cherry Murrey was going to quit. Then she changed her mind, for some reason."

I've heard that most of the new ULM brought in by LLNS want to quit, but are being forced to stay on because of the negative impression of impending failure of LLNL... Remember that all of the 40 LLNS ULM are renting in this area and have their homes/families back in the areas where they came from... none have bought and most go back home to see families every month.

I have personally heard in private that some of these new LLNS ULMs are just biding their time to either retire or go to another DOE site run by their parent company. Remember that they were also sold a story of hope for a LLNL that was growing - not dying - and that they would be building the lab - not tearing it down... so they are not happy and most have financial incentive that is keeping them at the lab. Most of the LLNS ULMs have zero history and loyalty to LLNL or UC... look at their bios on the llns website, most have bounced around the DOE complex and know that they can go somewhere else when LLNL implodes in failure.

Also remember that Cherry came to LLNL as a favor to UC president Dynes, so I'm sure UCOP doesn't want it to appear that she's abandoning a sinking ship.

Anonymous said...

"The term employees are the ones doing the science. Most career are basically management. Firing all the flex terms would mean only postdocs would be doing science and we'd have switched to almost 100% management organization. Managing what???

The bold text is what they were hired for. New ideas, fresh blood and young with many years ahead of them. Postdoc are what LLNL is all about.

Managing what? Making sure that a postdoc gets his own funding, writes proposals and can stand on his or her own. A Postdoc should not be dependent on LLNL to bring in the money so they have a job. That's what you wanted to be a Phd for, wasn't it, or, was it just to make the big bucks and do as little as possible.

It don't work that way.

Anonymous said...

11:47 - you obviously mis-understood my point because I completely agree with you.

Anonymous said...

I only just found this blog and I’ve just spent the last few hours reading it all! I think there’s too much emphasis on the role that the transition directly played in the current problems. The problems were created by years of allowing costs to spiral out of control –that is not pushing back on DOE directives on safety and security. You could argue that this was an indirect result of the transition since there was so many years leading up to it where LLNL/UC was unwilling to put a foot wrong lest it lose the contract.

It could be argued that a government funded lab that is as complicated to run and secure as LLNL just shouldn’t be in California – it’s too expensive here. It would seem somewhat reasonable then to conclude that the current contractor’s job, one that is 7 years in length, is to shut the lab down. The government has decided that regardless of how cheap LLNL is compared to futile efforts like the Iraq war, it can’t afford us anymore. In the end this comes down to a general reduction in the value of science and its long term benefits versus the potential for obvious and short term results. The whole of America is feeling this squeeze from corporations due to spiraling costs and we are certainly not alone. Sometimes it’s hard to separate irritation with what is happening at LLNL with what is happening in the US as a whole.

For many support positions at the lab, their salary is way above that which they would obtain for an equivalent position in the private sector. Why would these people have ever taken the VVSOP? This growth of overpaid support over the last 20 years is really what has caused costs to spiral.

We are now at a point of diminishing returns. We (scientists who write proposals for funding) are finding it next to impossible to obtain funds because of our high cost. No-one will pay what we cost. Therefore funds continue to reduce and costs continue to rise.

Added to this, the incredible waste of management. Everytime you hear the word “reorg”, millions of dollars just got wasted doing something that adds no value! This vicious cost versus fund cycle is a death spiral for the lab. Biosecurity has about 12 months to extinction at LLNL. Chemistry and basic physics, maybe 2 years. DNT and comp can survive longer but NIF failure will close the lab.

In the process, every decision the lab management makes lowers the standard of the workforce and makes the above scenario even more likely. “Substantially equivalent in the aggregate!” It’s very sad. In the end this is not about persecution as I think everyone has a responsibility for their own career and relative job security. In the end, the reason that talented scientists won’t come to the lab is nothing to do with job security, it’s because of the observable loss of quality science and wasteful management occurring around them. This is about the loss of values, integrity, and scientific discovery that is occurring as LLNL (and in the nation as a whole) as it is slowly taken down.

Anonymous said...

"I was forced to let a Flex Term Technician go and then told by my new LLNS ULM to accept an EBA'd Career Engineer from another division in my department"

So, it is a lose-lose situation, don't ULM know it? The Flex term person was laid off regardless of their skills because an career EBA needed to be placed.
This practice is destructive: it makes the EBAed person unhappy because they were shoved there and will eventually leave. It makes you, the manager, unhappy. You know who else is unhappy? inside candidates who qualify for a job but cannot get it because an "EBA" needs to be placed!

Anonymous said...

Rumor of the day. ISP to be announced on the 18th of April. All flex term and contracts to be sent back parent command. Pack'em up and Move'em out. There's she blows.

Should hear from Miller soon if he has a backbone but heard the group leaders are the ones who are supposed to contact you persoanlly and land the boom unannouced.

Anonymous said...

For whatever it's worth, I know a number of of the new LLNS partner group of 40 have bought houses.

Anonymous said...

Here's a little summary for you. The people he's talking about is only because of his $25M shortfall. I don't believe it will satisfy his normal 10% cut that happens every Sept as it mosy likely will come Sept 2008.

I also hear that lay-offs must be complete by April 18th of the 3161has to be resubmitted, which I have no doubt they'll probably do. You should probably see a lot of people leaving very quickly between now and then.

The Summary

Anonymous said...

April 8, 2008 12:55 AM

I could too if I made their ungodly salaries, perks and benefits. I only wish I could make such a wage for shuting down LLNL over a seven year period. You talk about easy money. Hell any high school kid could do this for 1/4 the wage. I mean just how hard is it to tell people they're jobless and get a contractor, tear buildings down and ship some Pu to another state. Actually I think they're taking way to long to get this done and the seven years should be reduced to 3.5 years or less. Geesh.

Anonymous said...

I mean just how hard is it to tell people they're jobless

I have to think you've never come within a mile of having to do this because your attitude doesn't reflect that of myself or any other GL, DL or DDL I know. I can't think of many things more horrible or painful then having to tell somebody that they no longer have a job in spite of the fact that they've been doing top quality work and are in a very real sense the future of the lab.

I don't know why I read this BLOG. The misinformation and tenuous grasp on reality of some of the participants isn't leaving me feeling any more informed or capable of dealing with the current situation.

Anonymous said...

April 8, 2008 8:29 PM

If you were one of those GL, DL or DDL then you know what's going on and it's people like you that like to keep people like me non informed or misinformed. Give me a break. Most all of you are well versed in screwing people in any way you can. Maybe if you read the blog more often you'd see how people really feel and why they do not trust any of you. I knoew very few of you people that actually helped anyone below you unless they wre your buddies. Please prove me wrong by doing something good for someone.

Anonymous said...

The rumor I heard today is that the ISP was sort of approved but DOE had a problem with how employees would be notified. That is, 515 career employees to be laid off - those on EBA. 200 series would get 4 months notice, non-200 to get 1 month. DOE have a problem with the security issue of having laid off employees around so likely no clearances or just outside the fence with pay.

Don't want anymore events like the one in B194 this week i.e. the knife embedded in the toilet seat!

Anonymous said...

Sure, it's all a vast conspiracy. Everyone in management is a happy little robot out to ruin your life and the life of everyone else. Could any explanation be more plausible?

That sort of paranoia isn't healthy or productive. Here's the facts, as a long time lab employee this situation is killing me. I don't know what is going to happen tomorrow, let alone next week. I tell my people everything I can which is precious little because if there is any information it certainly isn't percolating down.

Dealing with the reality of the current situation is difficult enough without attributing unrealistic motives to the people who not only are experiencing the exact same scenario as everyone else but have the oh so joyful task of doing so from a position of so called authority with no influence or power to change anything or information to answer most of the questions they are being asked.

Sign me up for another 40 years of this, I'm having so much fun I should be paying for the honor!

Anonymous said...

"Sign me up for another 40 years of this, I'm having so much fun I should be paying for the honor!"

April 9, 2008 6:49 AM

So, why don't you leave? That would be the honorable thing for a LLNL manager to do and it would help send a strong message to ULM. The lower and mid-level managers at LLNL don't seem to want to offer any push-back to what ULM is doing to destroy this place.

Anonymous said...

Two term and two fte's at NIF released today. One just prior to lunch. It's going to be a very short notice for "ALL".

Anonymous said...

rumor on the street is that llns is requesting from DOE to let them out of the legacy employee rule of the 3161 act. No more retraining on legacy employees, straight out the gate with the rest of the un desirables.

Anonymous said...

Why are legacy employees undesirables? Is this an age issue?

Anonymous said...

April 9, 2008 8:20 PM

This rumor reminds me of when I was a kid. There was talk about establishing a law that said, once you reach 80 you were to be
Euthanasized for the assurance of resource for the young. In conjunction it was also to assure you weren't to become a burden on the social programs. Who knows, maybe DOE will grant your wish and we'll be one step closer to establishing the ordinal goal. The good news is, what goes round comes around. Watch out what you wish for.

This rumor must have started with someone who wears a hat that stenciled 1-800-SNITCH

Anonymous said...

Quit? Not an option for multiple reasons. One of which is a strong desire to be part of the solution. Is that insane? Probably. And my patience isn't unlimited.

Anonymous said...

Rumor: Employees who were excluded from taking the Voluntary Self Select Option (VSSOP) will not be excluded from an involuntary separation – should one be implemented at LLNL.

Fact: This is incorrect. The same exclusions from the VSSOP would apply to an Involuntary Separation Plan (ISP). Any career indefinite employee who was excluded from taking the VSSOP would also be excluded from an ISP. They will also stay exempt if sent to the EBA list.

Additonal Information: All 500 and 300 will be release on seniority only and 200 will be SKA's and the needs of the lab

Terms and Contract are as they have always been, expendable at any time.

ISP delayed to a later date due to planning issues, ranking, PPM-K being rewritten. Maybe in August I suspect

Anonymous said...

With the ISP being delayed would you like to bet they're waiting for the LLNL PPM-K Section K to be re-written so you won't get a 30,60,90,or 120days notice, but instead will get pay in lieu of notice with only 1-2 days or maybe ever a few hours notic, and then you'll to be gone. Again I would advise everyone while at work to read this, obtain an electronic copy in .pdf format and save it. Wait until the new version comes out at the end of July 2008 and then do the same. Compare the new to the old and lets see what's been changed.

Anonymous said...

April 10, 2008 5:39 PM

Or maybe it's just wording and all will be the same. The pay in lieu of time has always been an option. They don't want you around to influence others or to do damage such as sticking an exacto knife blade "as I hear it" in the toilet seat so someone who isn't lokking can sit down an cause injury, or, for that matter acting like a street thug and spray paint up the place. Realsitically who wants to be around once they don't want you anyway. I'd much rather be going out the gate and giving them the international piece sign. All I really want to do before I go would say goodbye to all the "good " people I know. Maybe everyone should prepare a goodbye letter and have it in the Que of their e-mail. That way when they come get you, you just hit the send button.

Anonymous said...

April 11, 2008 6:32 AM

"April 10, 2008 5:39 PM

Or maybe it's just wording and all will be the same. The pay in lieu of time has always been an option."

True under the old contract. Pay in lieu of notice is not an allowed cost under Contract 44. This is where current policy conflicts with the contract. Welcome to the new NNSA.

Anonymous said...

April 12, 2008 8:53 AM

So are they going to pay us to leave or just let us stand around for 120 days or so. Do they really think they're going to get work done in that 120 day. I don't think. I'll spend those 120 day concentrating on finding a job and nothing else simply because once I get my notice that says to me "I'm not needed or wanted, have a good day". From that day THEY can eat a big one.

Anonymous said...

I heard that NNSA did not want to approve LLNS 3161 plan because it did not immediately terminate employees, and NNSA was concerned about having laid off employees still having access to LLNL.

Anonymous said...

April 12, 2008 4:01 PM

Then have then give us one years pay for every year service in our 401k and well be gone quicker than they can say, may I have your badge please". What is the problem LLNS. Get with the plant.

Anonymous said...

"April 12, 2008 4:01 PM

Wrong." Explained below.

"April 12, 2008 8:53 AM

So are they going to pay us to leave or just let us stand around for 120 days or so. Do they really think they're going to get work done in that 120 day."

NNSA objected to pay in lieu of notice as being too generous, especially those 200 series entitled to >30 days notice. Of course, they seem to fail to recognize the point made by 8:53: what kind of work are you going to get out of someone you just pink-slipped? Welcome to the new NNSA.....

Anonymous said...

April 12, 2008 5:42 PM

Well, lets fire all of LLNS ULM and boot them out the door without pay, 2 hour notice and jerk their pension and medical. These people appear to have taken lessons from Hitler. Anyone in favor of booting LLNS ULM out the gate? These people are real whinners and I'm being very, very nice. The only reason I don't use the words I'd like to use is because the blog master won't post people's real feelings.

Anonymous said...

"So are they going to pay us to leave or just let us stand around for 120 days or so. Do they really think they're going to get work done in that 120 day. I don't think. I'll spend those 120 day concentrating on finding a job and nothing else simply because once I get my notice that says to me "I'm not needed or wanted, have a good day". From that day THEY can eat a big one."

Nothing says you have 120 days notice of being laid off. You're out the same day as notified, with check-out the following day. That's how it worked for the involuntary lay-offs at the NTS. The 120-day notice under 3161 has already taken place - it's a site-wide notice that there will be lay-offs, not an individual 120-day notice.

Anonymous said...

So what happened to NNSA's promise that the new contractor's HR benefits would be "substantially equivalently" to those we had under UC? How can they now balk at the LLNS severance plan if its the same as the old UC plan?

Seems to just confirm my view that employee anger at LLNS is misplaced - NNSA and LSO are the evil lying devils in the room.

Anonymous said...

April 12, 2008 9:29 PM

Ghees, just one more lie that lead many people down a path they wish they could reverse. Oh well, it is what it is.

Where the black widow now with all the goody goody news about how great things were to be and how everything was to be substantially equivalent in the aggregate. It seems to be more like substantially equivalent to a humanoid.

Anonymous said...

"Nothing says you have 120 days notice of being laid off."

Actually, current policy is that if you are 200 series with >20 years of service, you get 120 days of notice.

Notice is when you are actually told you are to be laid off.

Anonymous said...

April 13, 2008 8:31 AM

Here you go, read it and what this doesn't have you can get at work.PPM-K

Anonymous said...

April 13, 2008 9:14 AM

Looks like they have once again covered their own kind by kissing each other butts while they crap on the blue collar workers again Take note who gets "special" treatment when their no longer needed. Birds of the same feather do in fact flock together. Just another reason to hate ULM and understand it's politics that gets you to the top NOT what you can do or know. But don't worry white collar workers and I use the word losely, we'll give you all the respect you have coming, hah! I'm sure glad all managers are not the same. However my feelings are the ones that clowns neede their clocks cleaned.

Anonymous said...

April 13, 2008 9:14 AM

If that be the case then all the BS about LLNS holding up the ISP due to the fact they did not want to pay 500 and 300 a dime to leave is just that, BS. So what's the real reason the ISP is being held up? Why not get this done and over with by the end of the month. I as a Term employee need to know if I am going to get cut or not. I have a family to feed and take care and not independently wealthy like most of them in ULM. I actually have to work for my money.

Anonymous said...

"I heard that NNSA did not want to approve LLNS 3161 plan because it did not immediately terminate employees, and NNSA was concerned about having laid off employees still having access to LLNL."

Maybe it is NNSA / DOE that're the jerks here and LLNS is just a puppet, then again maybe they're all in this together one pointing fingers at the other so no one can be blamed directly and keeping the people in a state of confusion. That is a very good tactics used throughout the industry.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if all you people out there remember but the "workers" at LANL during their two years of posting information on the blog said we were in for a treat and "we have seen anything yet", well, here we are. Do you remember reading their blog and having them tell the people of LLNL they were going to get screwed big time? Do you remember them telling us how the people the LLNL facility were going to become 1-800- SNITCH's where they try to make you look bad, so you'll get fired, and they can make room for one of their "term" employees. Well, I experienced that first hand just a few days ago, but headed the 1-800-SNITCH off at the pass. I've been around long enough to understand the games that get played and have suffered the consequences by those who work behind the scenes, so I knew just what to do. Now he can eat a big turd. In an indirect way I opened his bosses eyes to his ploy without ever mentioning name, place, event or even any clue of what had transpired. He'll eventually hang himself and I'll be there to watch his neck stretch or snap what ever comes first. For now I hope he continues his little game and hope the ploy back-fired on his butt and he in fact is disposed of.

Needless to say people, it's not going to get any better as time goes on. You're going to see more and more snitches around you, so beware of Trojan horses and trolls.

Anonymous said...

I agree with April 13, 2008 10:16 AM

I just hope that if some laid off employee decides to go postal at the lab, that they do it in 311 and not 111.

Anonymous said...

April 13, 2008 4:23 PM

Why 311 and not 111?

No one will go postal. These people are more discretionary unless that one individual has had enough and the timing is incorrect, then things can happen unexpectedly. That's just life no matter where you go. As times get harder events such as what was mentioned earlier will happen more frequently across the nation. If we were made up of construction workers I'd say things would definitely happen in that manner more than you care to believe.

Anonymous said...

April 13, 2008 9:14 AM

Well, I read it and here is what it says. Just as I stated regarding 200 series notification.

"III.1.4 Notice of Layoff to Employees In the event of a layoff, Human Resources shall prepare written notification to be given to the employee. The minimum notice period will be based on the employee's seniority as follows: • An employee with fewer than ten years of seniority shall receive thirty (30) calendar days' notice. • An employee with at least ten but fewer than fifteen years of seniority shall receive sixty (60) calendar days' notice. • An employee with at least fifteen but fewer than twenty years of seniority shall receive ninety (90) calendar days' notice. • An employee with twenty years or more of seniority shall receive one hundred and twenty (120) calendar days' notice.

Anonymous said...

April 13, 2008 5:50 PM

Exactly and if you are not a 200 series person you are just a piece of meat to be given no notice and booted at their will at any time. You have no rights and no pay to be given in lieu of time. You are just simply gone as fast as you can be tapped on the shoulder. So there is what they think of you. I'd say you're no better off than a (Term or Contract)employee. Welcome to the real world. So take all of your personal items home now and prepare any notice of termination you may want to leave behind for your friends. When they tap you on the should and say come with me, ask, am I fired? If the answer is yes, hit the send button. If you can't do it from work then obtain everyones address you ever wanted to say goodbye to, send them home and then send your last goodbe's later. Mine's already completed and has been on standby for months.

Anonymous said...

My fellow LLNL employees for the last six months I have seen so many broken truths by ULM that I am not sure if they are able to tell what truth is and what is not. All are to blame for our plight. (ULM, NNSA, Congress, DOE) and us employees. We had a chance to form a union, (we would have had bargaining rights, now you receive what management tells you) but too many individuals were Paulanna. We are at war with ULM and you had better be prepared. (They will make the rules up as they go along)

Here are some details for all to ponder, over the last 10 years while LLNL employees have not been paying attention. Rocky Flats was shut down, Mound Laboratory was shut down, NTS has been downsized, and Savannah River’s employee population has shrunk from a high of 18,000 employees to its current size of 7000 employees. Do you see a trend yet? LLNL employees are too arrogant to think that it can’t happen to them. NNSA / DOE are waging a war with us ULM are the eager captains awaiting orders. DOE / NNSA costs have been shrinking over the past 10 years by a considerable amount. What you are being lead to believe is that DOE costs are spiraling out of control to this I say BS. DOE / NNSA have been saving tons of money over the past ten years by downsizing all facilities across the DOE complex.

Hanford (PNNL) was out for bid like LLNL and in the last minute, a poison pill was put into the Omnibus bill effectively killing their transition to a private LLC this was done by Washington’s Senator. PNNL employees lobbied their senator and won.

What to do next, you truly are at war get prepared. First off, we are all voting taxpayers with a muted voice our Senators & Congress people could care less about out plight. Feinstein’s husband is on the UC board do you think that is a conflict of interest? LANL has political power (largest employer in New Mexico) Nobody is fighting for LLNL in Washington DC except for the purpose to make us a smaller LAB. So here is our recourse sue LLNS, there are many ways to start the process let the games begin. Knowingly exposing worker to beryllium is against the law and if proved could be a class action lawsuit costing LLNS performance fees and DOE millions.
Excluding workers from the VSSOP (NIF) directorate then excluding them from the ISP. Lawsuit time if we are truly going to have a layoff that is based on seniority individuals should not be excluded at one side of the lab. I will put my own money up towards that lawsuit. Flex terms, contracts, I am sorry but you should be going out the gate before any FTE (I truly do not want to see this). Management failed to convert you, point the blame directly on them. Make them justify why it is you have been doing the same job as a FTE and were never converted. UC lost this issue in court when they were put to the test. Put ULM on the spot ask questions.

Drug testing, get it started I believe if every individual were drug tested, we would loose 40 to 50 individuals leaving room for good people to stay. Director M should be the first in line at the piss trailer Monday morning to set the example (that is what true leadership would do). Do not be surprised if the 40 key individuals are excluded from the random drug tests. (They should be sued to comply with the DOE order if they get out of it). The rest of us do not count in their minds ULM is strictly out for themselves. Ask questions that put ULM on the spot during all hands meetings. First off we are American taxpayers that pay their salaries they owe each employee an explanation for their actions or inaction. Pull on threads that may be unpleasant for them. Make them earn every penny of their overpaid salary. My goal is to get one of them fired for corruption that will send a message. They like to make examples out of the workers every now and then so that it goes through the workforce. I personally know of a manager who lost his clearance due to an alcohol problem he was never fired. They all seem to be above getting in trouble (LLNL has been investigated by the FBI several times for shall we say inappropriate accounting each AD is guilty of it) Let other Federal agencies know how screwed up ULM is. LLNL has many skeletons in the closet use this against ULM it will slow down the layoff that is impending. Search the web and find the things that have been covered up. Good example is radar on a chip. See what lawsuits and bad PR ULM had to deal with on this particular issue and how quiet that was kept internally. Personally sue ULM we are a California based LLC individuals can be held accountable for their management actions. Look at the California Labor Code you might be surprised that ULM is not adhering to it. That is why they are hiring lawyers with that expertise (look at the jobs bulletin I rest my point)

Middle mangers need to earn their pay as well put them on the spot. They will not help you, their too worried about saving their own backsides and looking good as able henchmen carrying out the orders of ULM. I truly believe in the end ULM will turn against middle management so that ULM can save their rewards.

Things you should know DOE / NNSA Washington DC is a huge part of the problem if they would have had their way none of us would have medical benefits upon retiring from LLNL. (To my surprise senator Kennedy stopped this) Things to ponder all DOE individuals on-site are getting 33% more money on their base pay because of the locality to the bay area, while the rest of us that work at LLNL get 2% raises at best. Where is that money coming from? ULM has the audacity to question hazardous workers individual’s stipends while ULM collects bonuses for meeting PBI’s is there no end to the hypcroscity. Do not be surprised to find out ULM has a PBI to downsize the workforce courtesy of NNSA. Truly why would you want a job knowing that you are destroying individuals livelihoods. Answer pure greed!

There is truly a war being waged upon the worker, you can be like the Jews that went to the gas chamber or you can wake up. I prefer to fight, ULM is not that bright and each one of them has skeletons in their closet that is how they got there. (Remember the one that supposedly had a PhD) We all found out later he was lying. Past Director, having an affair with a fellow employee never proved but possible. As I said, they all have skeletons in the closet exploit them.

Bechtel & Babcock & Wilcox major skeletons in their closet. Bechtel prime contractor big dig in Boston way over budget and lack of following good QA / Engineering killed an innocent motorist. Bechtel, Waste Vitrification plant in Washington way over budget makes NIF look like chump change. Not to mention all the no bid contracts Bechtel has received during the Iraq war. Well then, there is Babcock & Wilcox. B&W was the designer and General Contractor of Three Mile Island fiasco read the NRC report online. Neither of these two companies have stellar records treating their rank & file employees fairly.

Bottom line, become networked, stand –up for your rights, get organized, and voice your concerns loudly. ULM hates this they prefer to deal with us on an individual basis.

Finally, if anyone has a pending lawsuit against ULM / DOE NNSA let people on the blog know so that we can donate legal fees.

Anonymous said...

The NNSA LSO bureaucrats in 311 signed off on an RFP (plagiarized by NNSA Albuquerque from their LANL RFP) that diminished every natural advantage UC had as a public entity in bidding on our contract... remember your lab history, LLNL was a direct offshoot of LBNL not LANL - it wasn't until the early 1970s that LLNL was legal cut loose from LBNL (aka Site 100). UC's move to create a private company to bid on LLNL has cost us millions of extra dollars, in addition to our employment rights under UC personnel policies. DOE did not force LBNL's contract out of UC's hands, only our contract. The actually issued a public praising of UC's management when they awarded the LBNL contract to UC... WTF... anyone who has worked in management at either LBNL or LLNL knows that they are not that different.... take away 332 and couple other high security buildings, and the underlying operational issues would be about the same. The layoffs are a direct result of our transition costs, which are a direct result of NNSA's RFP... so who should get the blame!

Anonymous said...

Rumor: The Lab’s layoff policy is being rewritten for 200 series employees so they can be released according to seniority in the event of an involuntary separation.

Fact: The lab’s layoff policy is being rewritten along with many other HR policies. However, in the event of involuntary workforce reduction under this year’s 3161, current policies will remain in effect; 200 series employees would be released according to skills, knowledge and abilities. All other job classifications are based on seniority.

Under the Lab’s new random drug testing policy, testing will be conducted using blood samples.

Fact: The Lab’s new random drug testing policy, which is scheduled to go into effect June 1for all Q- and L-cleared personnel, will not be conducted via blood testing. The tests will be conducted using urine samples.

Why not hair follicles? Gee, I guess they don't really want to catch anyone real bad do they. What a joke !

Rumor: In the 3161 plan that is available online, there is a reference to an April 19 date indicating that the work force restructuring plan would be fully completed by this date. Because that date is almost here, the notice period that an employee would get before being laid off will be shortened drastically.

Fact: The 3161 plan laid out a ‘notional’ schedule of what the next few months could look like following a decision to implement an involuntary separation plan (ISP). But the WARN act requirement/notice of 60 days is a firm time frame. Regardless of if and when an ISP decision is made, affected employees will have 60 days notice from that day forward.

Anonymous said...

April 14, 2008 6:22 PM

So when are we going to get this done and over with. We continue to go in the red deeper and deeper every day that you do not get the numbers down. Knowing we are $63M short for next year and we're going to have another 10% or more cut in budget you guys should have this down to a fine science. You guys make $400K+ a year and you can't even make a decision or execute a plan on time and with great accuracy. I'll take the darn job for 1/2 what you people make and get it done in 1/2 the time., where do I sign up. Heck, I'd have the list made, the pink slip printed and then have a master list of all those who have been fired on it. The guards would check "each" person badge as they come in the gate. If you're not on the list, you come to work. If you are on the list, you are directed to another building where you'll get your last check and sign some papers. Party over, mission accomplish in "one day".

Population at LLNL at 6:00 AM = 7,000. Population of LLNL at 9:00 AM = 5,500.

What next week would bring depends on what the bean counters tell me Friday morning.

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