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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Response from NM Senator

Anonymously contributed:

Response from NM Senator. Pay attention to the 3rd paragraph. The Senator thinks the freeze only applies to the COLA. Don't know about LLNL but at LANL we have not had COLA's for at least a decade or more.

Thank you for contacting me regarding pay for employees of New Mexico's national laboratories. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

Throughout my service in Congress, I have supported both the missions and employees of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). The scientists at the labs conduct some of the most critical research for our country and they are an integral part of our national security. It is my honor to represent them as one of New Mexico's U.S. Senators.

As you may know, in an effort to balance the budget, President Obama called for a three year spending freeze on discretionary non-defense spending and a federal employee pay freeze in November of last year. On the heels of the Presidents' announcement, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that Department of Energy employees, including those at New Mexico's national laboratories, also will be subject to this pay freeze. A pay freeze means that employees working at LANL and SNL will not see an annual cost of living adjustment in 2011.

I believe that all national laboratory employees, including those in New Mexico, deserve competitive salaries and benefits. As the workforce retires, the national labs will need to recruit thousands of top level and highly skilled personnel to complete many of the critical functions. Competing salaries and benefits will help recruit the employees of the future. With this in mind, I am closely monitoring long term proposals to balance the budget and the possible effects these proposals would have on our vital national laboratories.


Anonymous said...

This only shows how out to lunch our senators are. He also thinks it is for three years!

Anonymous said...

This is a "canned response". Must be from Tom Udall.

Anonymous said...

This is the same mistake that O'Leary made in the 1990's - the pay freeze would be COLA only.

Further, the federal worker pay freeze still allows for STEP increases!

As contractors to the fed's we do not receive COLA or STEP! We already in compliance with a COLA FREEZE!

Anonymous said...

I have not had a raise at LANL that exceeded the cost of living for at least three years.

Our retarded Senators and Congressmen and women clearly think we're paid like Federal employees. We are not.

"Frozen" Feds are not nearly as frozen as we, private company employees, are.

Good luck replacing all the retirees at LANL and LLNL while kicking the current employees in the teeth. Again. I hope that nuclear deterrent isn't too terribly important to anyone.

Anonymous said...

The Senator appears clueless. (Why we are not told which one is a mystery). He confuses annual COLAs with merit raises. He thinks we are on Social Security. The staffer (obviously not the Senator) who approved this needs to be fired. What a completely incompetent piece of work!

Anonymous said...

I first agreed with the posting at January 16, 2011 3:52 PM about Hazel O'Leary making the same mistake about COLA vs Merit raises. You figure that all of these political hacks live eat and breath beltway politics and don't really understand the outside world.

But then I realized that Chu was Director of LBL. He had to have gone through budget cycles and would know that we don't receive COLAs. If so, Chu's choice to freeze the pay knowing that we would not receive any raises at all was a more despicable choice than Hazel's.

Just remember, in Washington DC, they can't hear you scream.

Anonymous said...

Notice " three year" pay freeze. Will be 15% behind market. Good time to depart.

A few years ago, when LLNL folks met with new Congressman McInerney to explain the terrible impending effects of the transition prior to its execution, his eyes glazed over. He just didn't understand. At the time I thought he was the dumbest PhD mathematician I had ever met.

Sadly, the one thing these simple folks understand is departures of key staff.

Anonymous said...

Chu is a smart democrat with cultural ties to Taiwan and Peking. By eliminating rewards for employee merit, he satisfies two masters. Providing political cover for his democratic mentor while reducing national defense competitiveness for his fellow travelers abroad.

Anonymous said...

God, I miss St. Pete!

We all knew things would get mighty rough without him in the Senate to help protect the labs, but the reality sure hurts!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that "St. Pete" was a primary proponent of NNSA being created.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that the infamous (and not required) Hecker Reduction in Force (RIF) occurred under Uncle Pete's watch. Uncle Pete was definitely a Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde, you never knew who were going to get. He was far better than both Udall and Bingaman combined who get their annual tour of TA-55, press from flesh, and never hear from them until the next annual tour of TA-55.

Anonymous said...

Providing political cover for his democratic mentor while reducing national defense competitiveness for his fellow travelers abroad.

I presume Jan-17 11:55 AM considers themselves a wonderful patriot. Apparently anything that makes personnel in the complex unhappy is a treasonous act. What a wretched accusation.

Anonymous said...

Apparently anything that makes personnel in the complex unhappy is a treasonous act. What a wretched accusation.

January 17, 2011 8:46 PM

Your hyperbole is as bad as the "accusation" you are decrying. It is well to remember that effect doesn't necessarily equate to intent. Sorta like "murder" vs "involuntary manslaughter." Someone is still dead.

Anonymous said...

"Competing salaries and benefits will help recruit the employees of the future."

ah, doubtful, if you disclose conditions fully.

Besides, you don't need them. It will still be a while before the old timers start croaking at their desks.

Anonymous said...

The "for-profit" NNSA labs are no longer about science.

Look around. Notice all the D&D (Destruction and Disposal) activities? Notice all the emphasis on construction activities?

D&D and construction are what Bechtel, a construction firm, are all about. They now own these "research labs".


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