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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 jlscoob5@gmail.com

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Call for action

Folks!

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:


http://letter2congress.rallycongress.com/698/


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!

Sincerely,

(Name

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just emailed my rep using that same letter. Ther is power in numbers. I hope this has momentum. Tell you colleagues about this website. email it to all!!
If you don't spread the word, you deserve what you get!

Anonymous said...

I thought I'd take the opportunity and provide answers I think that DOE might provide to the questions posted in the "Call For Action" post:

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.

DOE: That's Bechtel's problem. DOE does not contract with the lab. If they can't attract people, Bechtel not be paid as much, which means more money for DOE.

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

DOE: Morale is not important to us. You get paid to be safe and to keep the place secure. We're going to be laying off PSO's real soon, if we can do that and say the place is secure then we can count on you to keep the ship running for the same pay.

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.

DOE: If you leave you will be replaced by someone who works for less. We save more money. Bye.

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.

DOE: See item 3. If you make less in retirement it makes the retirement fund last longer. DOE wins again.

Anonymous said...

Get real!! The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It's the American way of life, assured by a Congress that is bought and paid for by the top 1%.

Anonymous said...

I just emailed Chu, rep and senators. Used my real info as well. I really am not worried if they know who I am. I would like to see someone try and come down on me for it.

Others should do the same.

Anonymous said...

12/22 7:34 pm: "Get real!! The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It's the American way of life..."

If you think it is not possible in this country to move from "poor" to "rich" by dint of education and hard work, coupled with the right choices, you must be a very sad, frustrated, angry person. Not to mention lazy. Most poor people I know want very badly to get rich and are trying their hardest to make it happen. BTW, they do not think of themselves as "poor" but as less wealthy than they would like to be. They also aren't counting on the government to help them, but wish it to stay out of their way.

Anonymous said...

Ok! now that you spoke your mind;, cut an paste the letter and email it to your senators!

Anonymous said...

I read that "“Despite the sacrifices that I knew a pay freeze would entail for our dedicated civil servants, I concluded that a two-year freeze in the upward statutory adjustment of pay schedules is a necessary first step in our effort to address the challenge of our fiscal reality,” Obama wrote. "

Sounds like he is just freezing the upward adjustments of pay bands. Entire White House memo below:

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 22, 2010
Memorandum -- Adjustments of Certain Rates of Pay

SUBJECT: Freezing Federal Employee Pay Schedules and Rates That Are Set By Administrative Discretion

On November 29, 2010, I proposed a two-year freeze in the pay of civilian Federal employees as the first of a number of difficult actions required to put our Nation on a sound fiscal footing. As I said then, Federal workers are not just a line in a budget. They are public servants who, like their private sector counterparts, may be struggling in these difficult economic times.

Despite the sacrifices that I knew a pay freeze would entail for our dedicated civil servants, I concluded that a two-year freeze in the upward statutory adjustment of pay schedules is a necessary first step in our effort to address the challenge of our fiscal reality. The Congress responded to my proposal by including such a freeze in the Continuing Appropriations and Surface Transportation Extensions Act, 2011 (H.R. 3082), which I signed into law today (the "Act"). The Act freezes statutory pay adjustments for all executive branch pay schedules for a two-year period. It also generally prohibits executive departments and agencies from providing any base salary increases at all to senior executives or senior level employees, including performance-based increases.

While this legislation will prevent adjustments in executive branch pay schedules that are made by statute, some laws allow such adjustments to be made by agency heads as an exercise of administrative discretion. In order to ensure consistent treatment of executive branch employees and to promote the fiscal purposes of my original proposal, agency heads who have such discretion should not provide any upward adjustments in Federal employees' pay schedules or rates during the two-year period covered by the statutory pay freeze.

Accordingly, you should suspend any increases to any pay systems or pay schedules covering executive branch employees that could otherwise take effect as a result of an exercise of administrative discretion during the period beginning on January 1, 2011, and ending on December 31, 2012. You also should forgo any general increases (including general increases for a geographic area, such as locality pay) in covered employees' rates of pay that could otherwise take effect as a result of the exercise of administrative discretion during the same period. To the extent that an agency pay system provides performance-based increases in lieu of general increases, funds allocated for those performance-based increases should be correspondingly reduced to reflect the freezing of the employees' base pay schedule.

This memorandum shall be carried out to the extent permitted by law and consistent with executive departments' and agencies' legal authorities. This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

The Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall issue guidance on implementing this memorandum, and is also hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.


BARACK OBAMA

Anonymous said...

Basically the people of this country are faling into the trap the government has set for you. You're all agreeing to take pay cuts and benefits cuts to have a job and bad mouthing the unions in the process. The end results will be, you will have less,and less and less; while those who caused this mess will get richer at your expense. You should all be saying hell no to lower wages, higher benifts cost, taxes and fee increaes of any sort. You are all fools.

Anonymous said...

You should all be saying hell no to lower wages, higher benefits costs...

The US Steelworkers tried that and it worked out really well. Employees have more or less leverage depending on how replaceable they are. The highlight of organized labor in the past few decades has been professional sports.

Anonymous said...

I think addressing our complaint about a pay freeze initiated by a Democratic president will fall on deaf ears of the Democratic Senators and House of Representives that represent the areas where LLNL employees might live.

Senators: Feinstein might consider it for 10 milliseconds, Boxer NEVER.

House of Reps: Maybe Mcnerney with his ties of contract employment with Sandia, NM. A slight chance with Garamendi. But if your rep is Miller, Lee, Lofgren or Stark any request to do something for LLNL will be thrown in the round file.

The folks in New Mexico have a better chance of getting their reps to champion a LANL / SNLNM issue.

Anonymous said...

Hey dec 24 4:16PM:
The US steelworkers had a union.
The folks at LLNL turned down union representation by SPSE back in 2007. They thought they were too good for unions; so now, they are paying the price.
The blue collars at LLNL are smarter than the white collars, it seems lime.

Anonymous said...

The response to th epool indicates LLNL/LANL dont care!

Anonymous said...

The US steelworkers had a union.

And the United Steel Workers pushed some companies hard enough that they busted the company and their pension fund. I'm not anti-union, I'm just saying they don't necessarily have the greatest wisdom either.

Anonymous said...

There is a good reason less than 1/4 of US workers are unionized. Companies with high union populations generally do much less well, to the detriment of their union employees. Most knowledgeable workers understand this. Any workforce that buys into the "us vs them" mindset is doomed. Bosses always win. Always. The key is not to fight. Cooperate with management or leave. If you can't leave, you made a bad educational or career choice.

Anonymous said...

This issue goes well beyond LLNL. You really think the US can run a trillion+ dollar deficit and also give everyone at LLNL a good raise?

Review what happened to the USSR's 900,000 scientists as their economy collapsed. We are not far behind.

I'd like to think there is hope, but when you look at the total US debt, and the current poverty rates, it looks like a one way ride.

Anonymous said...

Look what recently happened to the pension out at Sandia National Lab just this year. The Sandia LLC severely whacked the future pension benefits of employees. Meanwhile, the Director of SNL takes in over two million per year in salary from the LLC board.

Coincidence? I think not! It's Judas Money for a job well done... according to the desires of NNSA.

Anonymous said...

" (Do) You really think the US can run a trillion+ dollar deficit and also give everyone at LLNL a good raise?"

The DoE will pay the competitive market price for scarce resources, or, over the longer term, those underpaid resources will become scarce in DoE endeavors.

How important are safe nuclear weapons?

(Historical hint: Perhaps a $100 Trillion has been invested (in real terms) so far.)

Alas, in the competitive labor market of engineering innovation; the 2-year wage freeze tipped the scales, so retirement will be announced shortly.

Anonymous said...

December 28, 2010 8:08 PM:

Meanwhile, the Director of SNL takes in over two million per year in salary from the LLC board.

Frankly, this sublimated penis envy masquerading as salary envy is getting old. So you are not the top guy. Get over it. Yes they get paid boatloads and you don't. The world is not, and is not supposed to be, fair. That's a ten-year-old's dream that usually dissipates by about the age of 25 or so. Lot of whiners at the Labs need to grow up. If your life situation is not what you want it to be, the only one who can change it is you. Whose "fault" it is matters not at all. Why didn't you learn this in high school? Oh, right, your parents assured you that you were special. You're not.

Anonymous said...

Sent a letter to Garamendi, got a computer generated form letter in response. Writing these guys is a waste of effort.

Anonymous said...

The canned reply from your senator is expected. They reply to anyone with a computer response. Then, some aids will identify which ones deserve a personal answer. It is subjective!

Anonymous said...

Consider a more personal response to the salary freeze you are now free.

Ignoring the need to provide rewards for employee performance to assure organizational performance the President gave contractor employees a free pass to redefine their jobs over the next year or so.

By removing the incentive of possible salary increases management lost a key tool for motivating employee behavior. In a raise-free workplace the correspondence of awarding or withholding performance is almost zero. Employees have less incentive to achieve organization objectives especially those at odds with their own. Further non-compensation based employee punishment strategies are ineffective as employee motivation since punishment tools are clumsy, expensive and time-consuming. And It costs $100k to hire a new employee.

The loss of the direct merit-pay incentive affords a contractor employee the opportunity to redefine working conditions by achieving or withholding performance and cooperation.

One immediate effect should be that employee compliance with onerous requests such as "silly" training mandates will drop. Another will be that the effort put into oversight and reminders will increase as direct observation replaces aligned objectives.

Also, it is logical that contractors will achieve lower scores on contract performance incentives over the next two years since management has no direct means of motivating employees to achieve the DOE contract requirements. (If this isn't the case, then DOE should continue to withhold future merit raises because they are not necessary to motivate employee behavior.)

So, take this merit raise hiatus as an opportunity to limit your own merit rather redefine your assignment to your liking.

The most precise motivational tool for organizational success aligning organizational objectives to employee performance and rewards has been taken from management for the next two years.

Anonymous said...

January 2, 2011 4:23 PM

Here is the fly in your ointment: "Further non-compensation based employee punishment strategies are ineffective as employee motivation since punishment tools are clumsy, expensive and time-consuming."

This may be true, but it will not stop the punishment. If you think that after denying you a raise, management cannot make things any worse, you are very naive. When you are prevented access to your workplace until you comply with mandates, and are put on non-paid administrative leave for insubordination, let's hear from you again.

Anonymous said...

that darned fly...but is the balm is still viable?

something punish-ably wrong or insubordinate is very different from doing something easier, something different or more to your liking.

Ordering someone to pull in a direction is not the same thing as that person pulling hard in that direction. Are the rewards in that direction sufficient to motivate effort? If not, don't expect much effort.

For instance, why should an employee now care if a PEP incentive is missed?

Poorly aligned employee employer objectives and incentives are mistake.

Occasional patrols will not change this.

Anonymous said...

"... If you think that after denying you a raise, management cannot make things any worse, you are very naive..."

Huh?

Almost no money is being invested in supervision. Supervisors time is being given gratis, this is a good example of where formerly over committed staff can lighten up a bit, being none the wiser. Who then is going to find fault, determine and apply these "punishments"?

Seems to be a hollow threat, mommy wagging her fist.

Many supers can't even see their employees on a weekly basis.

DLs are even more disconnected, with 100-500 employees, when they aren't acting secretaries for ADs, they worry deficiencies or how to protect their position, leaving almost no time for patrolling the beat.

Supervision, including uncovering and determining deficiencies, costs money.

Its much cheaper to align employee behavior with employer objectives through incentives that to try to do it through supervision.

More O'bama-error.

Anonymous said...

hey 1/2 6:16PM How is that Obama's fualt bro! This privatization mess started pre-Obama!

Anonymous said...

The wage freeze is Obama's error.

Anonymous said...

The wage freeze is Obama's error.


Yeah, and the incredible economic disaster that lead to it was Bush's error. Lets not start rewriting history just because the republicans have control of congress.

Anonymous said...

You think some "incredible economic disaster" led to the gov't wage freeze?? Sorry, it was pure political theater on Obama's part. Everyone knows it will have no economic effect whatever. It will save the government approximately zero money. It will hurt overpaid employees virtually not at all. It is just a meaningless gesture made by a clueless Chicago political hack.

BTW, I believe the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress when your "economic disaster" happened.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, and the incredible economic disaster that lead to it was Bush's error. Lets not start rewriting history just because the republicans have control of congress..."

OK, in the spirit of post-Tuscon chicken-speak...kumbayah.... True enough, but doesn't change that the 2-year wage freeze is O'bama's.

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