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This BLOG is for LLNL present and past employees, friends of LLNL and anyone impacted by the privatization of the Lab to express their opinions and expose the waste, wrongdoing and any kind of injustice against employees and taxpayers by LLNS/DOE/NNSA. The opinions stated are personal opinions. Therefore, The BLOG author may or may not agree with them before making the decision to post them. Comments not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog authors serve as moderators. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Shame on you GM and company!

Anonymous said:

I also received the packet from LLNL, signed by GM, regarding changes in health benefits for medicare retirees. Since no specific details or contact information were provided for Extended Health, I searched their web site for information about the company. The following contains direct quotes from the company.

1) "The Company’s unique platform and services enable corporations to move employees and retirees from a group benefits platform to an individualized, defined-contribution program." [http://www.extendhealth.com/Resources/AboutUs].
(Clearly this eliminates the safety net of group medical plans.)

2) The company press room provides articles describing what EH values [http://www.extendhealth.com/Resources/PressKit].

"General Motors Corp. retirees are likely in for sticker shock after the company announced it is
cutting health benefits for retirees older than 65. "
"There's going to be some shock when it comes to premiums and extra costs for what the options
are," said Sue Mathiesen, director of research for McGraw Wentworth, a Troy-based benefits
consulting firm. "
(I guess these changes may be better for management than for employees)

"The task that faces us is to take a lot of time in educating these retirees, they have had these rich
benefits for years and now they will be faced with a large number of choices,"
( I guess us poor old scientists don't know the difference between defined benefit and defined contribution plans. We need some really smart insurance agents to educate us that less is better.)

"Wal-Mart Rolling Out Health Insurance Program for Small Businesses" This is one of several articles touting the relationship between Extend Health and Wal-Mart/Sam's Club.
(What's the difference between a laboratory that has been labeled as "one of the crown jewels of America" and Wal-Mart?? No difference in its views on employee health benefits.)



While many nameless individuals and organizations likely had a role in this process, a benefits change this large could not occur without the direct approval of GM. One year ago GM spoke with emotion in his voice about the "LLNL family" pulling together to adapt to the changes in new contract. Now, one year later, he has decided that the aged and disabled medicare members of "our family" will be the first to be eliminated from the safety net of our group medical plans, and left to fend for themselves in the cutthroat medical insurance market.

This heartless move may be perfectly legal, but it sure doesn't pass my smell test for respect and fair play for these retirees who gave their all for our laboratory and our country. GM and associates: SHAME ON YOU; Have you no respect for your former colleagues; How can you sleep at night?

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's time for more than wagging a finger at ULM. MUCH more.

The retirees need to contact the local media to shine some daylight on this scandal.

I did this long ago with our friend from the local paper. Imagine what more than one voice could do.

Anonymous said...

It's disgusting and confirmation of ultimate betrayal from all involved. Let's hope it doesn't happen to their benefits when they are to old to sign on the dotted line regarding the health and welfare of human beings. Retirees need to speak out. It is not right.

Anonymous said...

November 1, 2008 11:45 PM
Let's hope it doesn't happen to their benefits when they are to old to sign
Not to worry, remember "they" are under TCP3

Anonymous said...

Just wait until LLNS finally reveals what they have planned for the TCP1 pension. I strongly suspect they'll follow the path of most of corporate America to freeze it and convert it into a hybrid pension within the next few years. Freezing it will greatly reduce the amount that has to eventually be paid out to the pensioners. It's not fair, but it's what they'll probably do.

Anonymous said...

Down with LLNS. Work for its failure.

Anonymous said...

Sandia just announced that their pension is under water and they are going to start taking a portion of their employees' salaries to fix the situation. Any word from LLNS about the state of our TCP1 pension?

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I am reading this negativity. If you don't like this place, LEAVE! Compared to other places, even in the bay area, the benefits are still very rich here. You are just spoiled and think you are entitled. Think again! And if you have anyone to blame for this it is not the GM of LLNS, it is DOE and Congress -- all of whom we voted in.

Anonymous said...

November 6, 2008 12:00 PM:

I DID leave, because of what happened to LLNL once LLNS took over. It didn't take me long to see what was going down, and I was looking to bail out. As soon as the VSSOP came along, I grabbed it. Couldn't see hanging around any longer to witness the demise of the Lab in person. I haven't regretted that decision for one second. All my most feared expectations have occurred (and worse!)

But the issue here is retirement benefits under UC (forget LLNS, a phony-baloney company made up for the specific purpose of downsizing LLNL for the profit of Bechtel and a few hand-picked lackeys).

Doesn't seem fair to be forced into a retirement relationship with LLNS after devoting my entire career (30 years) to LLNL as a UC employee. Working for less pay than I could have received elsewhere, because I believed in the mission and in the management. Bringing in lots of money and getting great performance reviews and never being brought to target salary "because there just isn't enough money to get you there....but we have you on a 3-year correction course." Yeah, sure....the moving three-year bring-to-target plan. What a crock......Stayed with LLNL because I was TOLD that UC was the best employer with the BEST retirement system, and that UC would be taking good care of me once I retired. Although retirement medical was always stated as something to which we were not necessarily entitled and that it could go away some day, it was certainly inferred by the management and assumed by employees that it would be provided. It always has been, and IN FACT, it is STILL being provided by UC to UC retirees from every UC campus except LLNL and LANL. And the medical benefits UC is providing are better and less expensive. Only LANL and LLNL UC retirees are being cheated by being forced into a retirement medical relationship with LLNS ( a company with little negotiating clout with insurance companies and apparently little interest in getting a good deal for their employees and retirees).

So please, don't harp about how good the benefits still are. They aren't that great for UC retirees who were forced into an engagement with LLNS. And please don't harp about market surveys. The only comparison that means anything is the one made with UC retirees from other campuses.

I smell a class-action lawsuit......... And, oh by the way, nobody elected anyone in DOE or NNSA to anything. And GM? Give me a break....in my opinion, he's a complete opportunist who sold out himself, LLNL, LLNL employees, and all LLNL retirees to Bechtel for the money.

Anonymous said...

"I can't believe I am reading this negativity. If you don't like this place, LEAVE!" (12:00 PM)

I've seen a few of these guys at LLNL. They're completely blind to what is occuring around them in the work place. Perhaps they think they'll earn some brownie points with management for when the next round of layoffs hit the lab. Most of the people around them, especially the old timers who have seen much better days, hate these guys with a passion.

Anonymous said...

"I can't believe I am reading this negativity. If you don't like this place, LEAVE!" (12:00 PM)

I left too. I took my skills, knowledge, abilities and clearance and moved on.

It seems like management is paid to put their "spin" on what Washington executed (possibly with our managements assistance? Hey..., we can do that!).

The letter GM included with Open Enrollment 2008 states "As you know, the costs for health and welfare benefits in our country continues to rise." From the "All Hands" presentation, apparently he was deflecting the increases away from LLNS and to "our country." According to his representatives at the "All Hands," the increases were due to:

- A reduced pool of employees (UC having 159,146 vs. LLNS 11,314)

- A larger percentage of retirees (26% prior to transition from UC vs. 42% under LLNS (I retired before being Involuntarily Separated due to their encouragement))

- An older employee base (Age Of Active Employees Under UC -- 43, Age Of Active Employees Under LLNS -- 48, Age of Retirees Under UC -- 69, Age Of Retirees Under LLNS -- 71).

- ...and I can imagine health care costs increasing in our country as being a factor as well.

What we were told at this meeting should have been foreseeable by a knowledgeable management. I know computers and got some of my best ideas while in the shower. I would think managers would think about things like a reduced pool of employees, an increased percentage of retirees, increased age, payment of sales tax, etc. Possibly this is why we're under LLNS instead of the University Of California.

I believe the ultimate decision for the change of management took place in Washington but I also believe our managers put their spin on it to get their piece of the pie.

Anonymous said...

what about the 6th U.S.Circuit of
appeals ruling in 1990 that GM must provide free health-care benefits for retires between 1974
and 1988. I am reading it right now.

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