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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

ANON Said:

I got a call today from a friend at LLNL who told me FR delivered a talk while I was absent to his business and plant administrators where he told them with the current state of affairs and funding levels you should expect LLNL population be down to 3,500 people by 2010.

Can you check on this or confirm his message and please see if the talk was video taped for the peons to view .


Anonymous said...

With LLNL remaining an NNSA lab, and NNSA funding only getting smaller and mostly going to LANL to keep it healthy, this is the logical conclusion. SNM will be gone from LLNL by 2011 at the latest - so armed/physical security forces will be cut significantly (I've read up to $30 million a year), Site 300 will be mothballed, and no RRW work. Expect to see a nice increase in funding for DOE Science labs, but little for NNSA labs. Dr. Chu will lookout for LBNL and the other science labs, but NNSA (if still in DOE) will only care about one thing - nuclear weapons, and this work is not going to grow.

There's a chance RRW will be reborn, but don't expect it to go to LLNL. The push will be to rework existing designs/systems as the replacement concept for RRW. Or as the Washington Post has written - President Obama should "redefine the RRW program as a remanufacture of an older design" without any new capabilities. "With LANL doing the only pit production in the complex and home of SNM research work, it only makes sense for LANL to take the lead on a new remanufacturing program. Which leaves LLNL doing limited peer review of their work.

Expect to see a lot more buildings at LLNL being moved to "cold/dark" status or demolished.

Treating LLNL as a baby version of LANL has been a huge mistake. The baby is now on life support and about to go flat line.

Could you imagine what LLNL's future would have looked like if UC had keep the contract and then a UC Lab Director became Secretary of Energy. Instead, a shrinking NNSA is about throw LLNL under the old budget bus in order to save its single focus mission.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like another rumor. I suggest you believe nothing and assume nothing. Management has been very adept at keeping the truth under wraps. We will never know what is going on, it is classic Lab management style.

Anonymous said...

And I would expect FR would be one of those 3,500 to keep his job. That would create a lab that is smaller than when I started 35 years ago.

We get the "we're gonna be okay" from George Miller and Russo is stating we are looking at a 40% cut in population. Those two should get together and get the fairy tale to sound similar before they pitch it to the masses.

Anonymous said...

This 3,500 number says we need >1,500 people to leave on their own in 2009 and 2010. I guess the best thing one can do while still employed at LLNL is to start looking for a new job elsewhere. The writing is on the wall. You've been warned. Knowing it'll take about two years for the economy to recover if then and many bad things can happen to people along the way LLNL ULM should be ready for a wave of bad attitudes and disgruntle employees with little if any respect to come their way.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, I've been reading these kinds of rumors on this forum for several months now. I don't put a lot of credence in them. Too many people with very negative agendas out there.

The lab is in trouble, sure. On its death bed? Not right now so far as I can tell. It would be very good if things improved soon however.

Anonymous said...

Cuts will occur and THEY will be happy. No lies needed.

Anonymous said...

3,500 by 2010 doesn't surprise me a bit. A while back and maybe not on this blog there was a view graph that clearly indicated the task force should be down to 4,000within the first two years after the take over. The information on this view graph was emphatically denied as being the untrue. It appears there was more truth to the number disclosed than met the eye. If you'll just think back to the answers given to the 1000 + questions asked during the transitions Q&A session and note the untruths divulge to get the masses into TCP1, why would you believe any denial to this latest rumor.

Anonymous said...

Getting rid of 3000 employees over the next two years will help LLNS keep an increasingly unsustainable TCP1 pension afloat for a little bit longer. Perhaps that is also part of NNSA's and LLNS's thinking?

The dream is dead at LLNL. No one likes working at what is clearly a dieing institution. It's time to move on to a better employer, especially if you are young, bright and have other options.

Anonymous said...

Ran across this post on the LANL Blog...


Sen. Pete Domenici appeared in an extensive interview aired on KOAT this afternoon. It it, he said that the House wants to cut the NNSA weapon lab budgets by 25%. These cuts included the $400 million in cuts destined for LANL this year that were held off by the CR.

If these massive budget cuts happen, Pete says it will result in the immediate loss of 2000 jobs at LANL, but significantly less at SNL (because of their well diversified project base). The loss of 2000 jobs at LANL will have devastating effects on this area. It will plunge the region into a severe recession and will bankrupt those who hold homes in Los Alamos, a small one company town.

The Obama Administration will be releasing their FY2010 budget sometime in the Spring. Talk in Washington DC is currently all about saving jobs. It will be interesting to see if Obama and the Democrats ignore this wish when it comes to the good paying high tech jobs at their very own national security research labs.

If the next budget shows up with big cuts for LANL, realize that both the Presidency and Congress are firmly under the control of one party, so whatever money is in this next budget will be what comes down to LANL on Oct 1st. There will be no hope of a CR to hold off massive job cuts.

Therefore, it's time to start holding the local Congressional delegation's feet to the fire in this matter. With the November election, New Mexico became a fully Democratic state. Bingamin, Udall and Lujan have no excuse if they let these massive job cuts occur at LANL with Democrats in full control while at the same time they also proceed with plans to spend close to $1 trillion in job stimulus money.

1/3/09 5:52 PM


A 25% cut to LLNL's budget would be real ugly.

Anonymous said...

January 3, 2009 12:43 PM

Please explain how TPC1 is unsustainable. As of December 31 2007 (last pubic report) the value of the plan was $1,657,376,087. There were 3,927 participants in or beneficiaries of the plan. Its also a closed plan so no new participants can be added as liabilities. According to most business sources, typical pension plans were down 16% in 2008 - which would leave $1.3 Billion in TPC1, even if LLNS made no contributions.

Anonymous said...

With the lab downsizing, it would make sense to gradually relocate the remaining projects out of the bay area. The govenments can clean up the toxic site once and for all, and return the land to the city of Livermore.

Anonymous said...

"Sounds like another rumor. I suggest you believe nothing and assume nothing".

I recall this type of thinking when they said there would be no lay-offs prior to forcing out scientist last may that were either fully funded or worked on funded projects. People need to take this all in so as not to be informed as possible.

"pension plans were down 16% in 2008"

Depends on how the money was invested, As I heard the same report it was 16-40% depending on the plan.

Anonymous said...

TCP1 appears to be doing just fine and should remain healthy for a number of years given it is a closed plan. On the other hand those of us depending on UC can't be feeling as comfortable. There was a time when we didn't have to worry about the state of California running out of money. Those were the good old days.

Anonymous said...

January 4, 2009 11:58 AM

During the extended period when the congress and executive were under "firm" control of the GOP the weapons labs were decimated. It is hard to imagine how things could get worse. Unfortunately, our GOP friends have left us with a completely decimated economy as well. Things are going to get much worse.

Anonymous said...

"TCP1 appears to be doing just fine and should remain healthy for a number of years given it is a closed plan." (12:04 AM)

Bull-crap! Pensions need to make a return of around 8% to remain above water. Given the terrible markets in both stocks and bonds, that may not be possible for some time.

If returns do not improve, I assure you, TCP1 will quickly be in trouble. The fact that TCP1 is a 'closed' pension has nothing to do in terms of making it more healthy. If anything, it means that younger employees won't be around to kick in a healthy chunk of their salaries to keep it going during periods of poor markets!

Anonymous said...

There are so many more depending on retirement from UC. UC's in big trouble, there is definitely cause for concern. But no worries because like TCP1, you are also backed by NNSA. So we're all really in the same boat, even though there are still a few TCP2 takers out there who like to cling to the delusion that they made the better choice.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, TCP2 could go broke and it was still a better choice than taking the lies forced fed you from management regarding TCP1!

I've yet to see anyone here provide any real information on the current health of TCP1. I'm sure TCP2 also took a beating, but UC has been saying for years we may have to pay more least they are honest about that fact. I'm also confident UC will be around a lot longer than LLNL.

Anonymous said...

You said "a few TCP2 takers out there who like to cling to the delusion that they made the better choice"

The only TCP1 winners will be those who retire in the next few years. Do the math. The pot is draining faster than it is being filled.

As for "clinging"... We at LLNL are stubbornly "clinging to our guns and religion"- weapons program funding (rapidly diminishing) and belief that LLNL will primarily be a weapons lab forever (foregone conclusion that we have lost that mission to LANL).

Anonymous said...

I still can't understand why some people think TPC2 was a better deal than TPC1.

Anonymous said...

"I still can't understand why some people think TPC2 was a better deal than TPC1." (9:43 PM)

When you are 70 years old and LLNL is no more and TCP1 collapses and is kicked over to PBGC and you suddenly end up with only 10 cents on the retirement dollar... then you'll understand.

Anonymous said...

401K's could completely disappear, LLNS could do away with the matching, UC could decide they can't afford to pay all those pensions (have you been reading their situation lately)? But TCP2 takers will continue to stubbornly insist they made the wiser choice. Only time will tell, nobody has a crystal ball. I feel more comfortable knowing LLNS pensions only need to be paid out to 3,000+ as opposed to all the pension plans UC will be require to support. But I truly hope they are BOTH around to support us when we're 70; we don't deserve anything less.

Anonymous said...

This is all about someone post the current standings for TCP1 and/or TCP2. Then we can debate, which is in better shape given the pool of current and potential contributors.

Anonymous said...

"But I truly hope they are BOTH around to support us when we're 70; we don't deserve anything less."

NNSA begs to disagree with this opinion. In their eyes, you are a replaceable cog in the machine. A cheaper cog will do just as well.

Anonymous said...

Anonymously contrinuted (edited by Scooby)

Realistically if any of us make it through retirement and are still getting a check we should be very happy. If you look at the mass majority of the poor b****ds (1) who have never had a defined pension plan and understand just how much you have to make and save in order to have a $1.5M pot to draw an income from, the truth of the matter is the mass majoirty will NEVER retire until they're dead. Copy, Paste, do the math.

(1) Note from scooby : Please refrain from using bad words

Anonymous said...

"I still can't understand why some people think TPC2 was a better deal than TPC1."

On paper, TCP1 is a better deal than freezing and going to TCP2. I'll lose years of service and a lot of money.

It was the toughest decision I had to make in my career. But it became a matter of trust. I felt that UC would be there 30 years down the line and LLNS might not.

When Tauscher came to the lab and the question was asked "what guarantee do we have on the the TCP1 plan" she pointed out the only guaranteed plan was the federal retirement system.

DOE SAID they would back the TCP1 plan.

DOE did SIGN an agreement with UC that if there were a shortfall in the UC plan (for the section of the plan that covered LLNL employees) they were going to cover that shortfall.

Now lets say UC wants to drastically alter the retirement plan - you and a whole lot of other present and past UC employees can take your complaint to the California legislature and you might be heard. Boxer and Feinstein might even voice support for those UC employees.

If the LLNS board wants to drastically alter things, the 3000 TCP1 employees can rant at the LLNS board / DOE / NNSA and probably not a thing would be done. After all, it's only 3000 folks at a nuke lab. And Boxer and Feinstein support for those 3000 lab rats? Probably less than it was for those UC folks.

I also had to make a decision not knowing how well the TCP1 was going to be funded. Remember we were hearing that the plan at LANL was supposedly under-funded. It turns out that UC either saw the folly of their ways or realized that they should do right by Livermore. Of course that funding amount was only known after the election was made.

Was TCP1 going to pay me more in the long run? You bet, it was a no brainer for the numbers.

I hope both plans work. If TCP1 runs well, I'll have lost a whole lot of money but many of my friends and co-workers will be doing well. If TCP1 freezes or fails, I'll breath a sigh of relief but will not gloat. Many of my friends and co-workers will be in big trouble.

Anonymous said...

I wonder when GM and FR are going to tell us the truth. Can't wait until the say, well the budget is worse then we thought, we are asking that 1500 leave on their own but if we don't get it we'll get our 1500 by some other means". This will continue until the end of 2010. Those that will be left will be very happy. All they have to do is tell us now so we can start looking. Do they have the balls to do that. I think not. They really need to be honest with the people for once and tell us the truth wether it be good, bad or just factual. Stop leading the people on.

Anonymous said...

"It's only 3000 folks at a nuke lab"

I think that's why I feel safer with TCP1; they only have to support the retirement for 3000 (actually more like 3900) and that number will be steadily decreasing. It was an opportunity to be part of a pension plan; nobody offers that anymore. But I also understand why others took TCP2 and as you said it was one of the toughest decisions we had to make.

I agree with the post that said these comments are all speculation; I hope we can see real numbers and facts in the years ahead to get the real scoop on which plan is looking strong.

Anonymous said...

"I think that's why I feel safer with TCP1; they only have to support the retirement for 3000.."

Only 3000 votes are present in this pool. No politician will come to their rescue if the pension fails.

There is safety in numbers, remember?


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