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Friday, April 18, 2008

SPSE Working to Civilize Barbaric and Unfair Layoffs

SPSE Working to Civilize Barbaric and Unfair Layoffs
Sue Byars, SPSE President

On Tuesday, April 15th, LLNS announced the first layoff of career LLNL employees in 35 years. By the end of the week of May 19th, up to 535 more of our friends and colleagues will receive layoff notices and be unceremoniously escorted off of the site or into “Transition Centers” for 30 to 90 days or more. Meanwhile, layoffs of our colleagues who are flexible term and subcontractor employees continues.

SPSE/UPTE Local 11 (SPSE) members are supporting colleagues who are unwilling victims of the unfair layoff process in several ways. First, as Director George Miller requested at the close of his All Hands Address on April 17th, we are offering our friendship, and our empathy, to not only our SPSE brothers and sisters who are laid off, but to all of our colleagues. Second, we are working to provide all who are laid off with future opportunities, both inside and outside of LLNL. Third, we are determined to make LLNS management of “Strategic Human Capital” more empathetic, civilized and supportive of the dedicated admins, mechanics, laborers, technicians, engineers, and scientists vital to LLNL’s Mission.

Current management of “Strategic Human Capital,” as epitomized by the layoff process, is both barbaric and unfair. Art Wong and George Miller openly acknowledged as much in responses to questions asked at the All Hands. Art heads the Strategic Recruiting and Development Department, which is part of the Strategic Human Capital Management Directorate headed by Kathryn Craft Rogers. Art and George announced that they plan to review current policies after the current ISP (Involuntary Separation Program) is completed.

If you have ideas of how to civilize the layoff process, or even better of how to avoid it in the first place, please convey your thoughts directly to both Art and Kathryn and copy me at

If you belong to the Skilled Trades Unit, you have empowered your bargaining unit to represent you. In that case please convey your thoughts to your steward, a member of your bargaining committee, or to an officer of SPSE such as myself. Unless LLNS is willing to create multi-tiered personnel policies, we expect SPSE’s ongoing bargaining for contract terms for our skilled trades (800s) unit to benefit all employees. More on this subject later.

We need everyone’s help to document just how unfair the workforce restructuring process is. When you become aware of layoffs in your area, please e-mail or call SPSE with the number of employees affected (a range is fine) and the responsible division or manager.

In the coming weeks and months, we would be especially interested in knowing if any of the laid off employees are replaced, and if so, whether they are replaced by new hires or intra-laboratory transfers. Backfilling eliminated positions is against DOE policy and may be illegal as well. To facilitate follow-on queries, you are welcome to provide your name and contact information.

To provide information or comments on the work force restructuring, please contact SPSE-UPTE Local 11 by either phone, (925) 449-4846, or e-mail, We also have openings on our Workers Watch Committee that you are invited to apply for.



Anonymous said...

SPSE, listen to the talk

Anonymous said...

Sorry SPSE but the cows have left. Cleaning the doo-doo off the barn floor may well be your niche.

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