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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 author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email


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Friday, December 31, 2010

The 1994 Salary Freeze

Anonymously contributed:

The 1994 Salary Freeze

Be aware that the last time salaries were frozen in 1994, some contractors "continued to give salary increases that were not always in accordance with Departmental (i.e. DOE) policies". Both these contractors "did not fully comply with the Secretary's pay freeze in 1994". Two of those Labs were Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Also note that only 8 of the 31 contractors were audited in detail.

This speaks for itself on many fronts....

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Email Chu

Remind Secretary Chu of what the best and brightest mean. I found a recent comment on this Blog that says it nicely. Cut and paste this excerpt and email him

The administration continually touts the "best and brightest" mantra, and why this is so critical to the national security mission for the country. But the contrary message in Friday's announcement is "we can't afford to pay them." Furthermore, this is a continuation of a disturbing trend. For the last several years, the LLNL salary package for scientists and engineers has been in the 1-3% range (data can be found on, while inflation has run in the 3-4% range nationally, and substantially higher in the Bay area.

In the past, justifications have been the benefits package and comparisons to other high tech companies. Pre-transition, the UC benefits were superior to what is typical elsewhere, but post-transition this is no longer the case. Staff hired under LLNS are not eligible for the pension plan, and a 6% 401k match is not atypically generous. The other benefits (medical, dental, vision, legal and term life insurance plans) are also comparable.

The remaining justification is compatibility with similar high tech employers. The fallacy in this approach is that there really aren't other comparable employers; the nuclear security mission is a fundamental difference. These jobs require US citizenship and the ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance, and the specific skills needed are unique to defense programs. Furthermore, the environment in which the Labs work imposes additional restrictions on publishing and collaboration. Thus, the talent pool is significantly smaller that that available to Boeing or Schlumberger or Google. If the Labs only offer comparable employment to other companies, where is the incentive to the next generation of best and brightest? And why should the current staff stay?

How things change: last February, Vice President Biden announced the need to put more money into the Laboratories to cover just such issues as I've raised above in order to ensure future confidence in the Nuclear Posture Review. Now, you announce a salary freeze which exacerbates all the issues the Vice President raised.

Call for action


We can sit back and say "we are glad we have a job" or we can let our senators and congress person know what we think. Has inaction ever given you any results?

Your action is as easy as cut n paste:

Have the guts to go to this link. It allows to send 1 email to your 2 senators and
1 congress person in 1 shot:

use this letter as a sample (just cut and paste)or make your own:

DOE Secretary Chu announced a two-year freeze on salaries for all exempt and non-exempt employees at the national laboratories, as well as other DOE sites and facilities.

Per DOE instructions, the freeze becomes effective Jan. 1, 2011 and applies to all merit increases reimbursed under the contract for the next two years.

The freeze does not apply to bonuses who, we all know, go to upper management
not employees.
In these hard times, the rank and file are asked to sacrifice. Why is not executive
compensation and/or bonuses cut or frozen?

The impact of the freeze is in many areas:

1) It hinders the Lab's ability to retain and attract good talent; this is a requirement of the management contract between the Labs and DOE.

2) It affects morale and possibly safety and security at the Labs

3) Increases resentment against management and resentment in general to such a level that when the job market improves, a serious talent hemorrhage will occur at the Labs, perhaps worse than the one that happened during the dot com boom in the 90s.

4) Retirement is based on the average 3 highest years' salary and if there is a 2-year freeze, it will devastate those that are within a few years of retirement.

The salary increase package was due to be announced at LLNL but Secretary Chu
had some other idea.

We urge you to fight for Lab employees hard earned increase for 2011 and beyond.
The freeze is not fair especially that it excludes management bonuses!



Salary freeze update: bad news!

E-LINE: Message to Laboratory Employees – Update on DOE Salary Freeze

As I noted in my e-line message to you on Dec.
17, Secretary Chu announced a two-year freeze on salaries for all exempt and non-exempt employees at the national laboratories, as well as other DOE sites and facilities. The following information outlines the details we have received thus far. We are working with DOE to obtain additional details and clarification and will share the information as it becomes available.

Per DOE instructions, the freeze becomes effective Jan. 1, 2011 and applies to all merit increases reimbursed under the contract for the next two years. This includes all:

-- Exempt and non-exempt (salaried, weekly and hourly) employees.

-- Salary range structure movement is also frozen.

The freeze does not apply to:

-- Approved fund for promotions and adjustments.

-- Increases in wages provided for in existing collective bargaining agreements.

-- Variable/non base pay (commonly referred to as a bonus).

New external hires are permitted during the salary freeze period. However, new external hires will not be eligible for salary increases beyond their initial salary while the salary freeze is in effect.

DOE has not indicated any intention to freeze other Lab benefits.

I know that the timing and impact of this decision is particularly difficult. Our Laboratory has submitted a number of questions and concerns to DOE. When we receive additional information, I will make sure that it is communicated to you.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Will GS get rid of the PAD office?

Anonymously contributed:

Comment: It seems there are a lot of people in the GS PAD office sucking up the overhead and not bringing in the money. Yes they brought in some, but the size of the PAD is large, and I am guessing they have not brought in enough to even cover the costs of having a PAD. If LLNL needs lobbyists to bring home the bacon, they should probably hire professionals. Anyway, maybe they have brought in huge sums I have not heard about, but I doubt it. Time to get rid of some overhead.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Blame it on Obama!

Anonymously contributed:

From: Public Affairs Office
Sent: Friday, December 17, 2010 12:18 PM
To: E-line

E-line: Message about federal pay freeze

Last month, President Obama announced a two-year pay freeze for all civilian federal workers as part of the broad sacrifice required to bring the national deficit under control. Today, Secretary Chu announced a similar freeze on salary and bonus pool increases for site and facility management contractors who run day-to-day activities at DOE sites and facilities, including the national laboratories. The details of implementation are not yet available. I know this is difficult news to receive, particularly at this time of year. I will keep you informed as we learn more.

-George Miller, Director

Pay freeze!

Anonymously contributed:

No one mentioned the pay freeze yet?

Department of Energy Announces Two Year Pay Freeze on Site and Facility Management Contractor Employees

Released on a Friday just before the quietest week of the year with many people already on vacation. LANL was on a snow day today and their employees will first hear this from the media rather than their management.

The NNSA labs are getting around a 20% increase in NW funding this year and can hardly keep up with the necessary hiring for upcoming programs. How can the Secretary state that the labs can hire the best and the brightest when there is a pay freeze in place?

Sandia is dealing with large numbers of retirements in 2010 and 2011 due to retirement benefit changes. New engineers don't have the golden handcuffs and are fine with leaving for the significantly better benefits at Google and other places.

Monday, December 13, 2010

New uniforms!!

Anonymously contributed:

The lab has announced that the Security Police Officers will be wearing new uniforms, coming to a gate near you in February. This DOE mandate was made because:

One uniform style will be cheaper if bought in bulk quantities for the entire complex. They won't be having to change uniforms and insignias on contract turnovers (maybe they are trying to tell us something.

I understand the buying in bulk to save money. It would have been nice for DOE/NNSA/Congress to have considered what the contract change cost Livermore and Los Alamos. This uniform change will save an estimated $500,000 in eight years. Jeez, at that rate, they might be able to recoup the extra cost of a single year's contract change cost by the next century. That's just for one lab, probably two hundred years to recoup a single year's difference for both labs.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Changed view on organized labor

Anonymously contributed:

9 skilled craftsworkers were laid off back in February of 08 without the option of bargaining these layoffs as union members in the midst of one of the worst recessions in history. These craftsmen were hired and trained for 4 years at the taxpayers expense, as all of the 9 were recent graduates of the apprenticeship program, and trained in the workings and procedures of operations at the lab, for the ultimate benefit of the lab.
We as junior employees were of course paid less, less expensive to employ, and were always available for emergencies. Many of us were already Journey-level in other trades making us even more valuable due to our diverse experience and training.This of course mattered little to the new management when the axe fell. We, believing that UPTE would help us resolve this issue, put our faith in UPTE and helped to install them at the Laboratory with our votes and support. Now it comes to our attention that support for our cause may be shelved for "lack of interest". I believe this is a travesty and just goes to show, just maybe, that what this union is all about is DUES, get laid off, can't pay dues, well buddy you no longer exist to us. I must say that my frustration with the organization over this issue has changed my way of thinking about organized labor.

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