Wednesday, February 22, 2012

LANL Downsizing begins

Anonymously contributed:

From: Charles F. McMillan

Date: February 21, 2012

Subject: Cost Management and Workforce Planning

On Thursday, the Laboratory submitted a plan to NNSA calling for a
voluntary separation program (VSP) with a severance package based
on years of service. There are three main reasons why we are
taking this action now:

* Our current budget and future financial outlook require
significant cost-cutting to position the Lab for FY13 and
beyond. In FY12 alone, we face a budget reduction of around
$300 million across multiple programs.
* By implementing a voluntary separation plan, we mitigate the
possibility of an involuntary separation program later; and
* We are positioning the Laboratory to meet future mission
needs with a smaller workforce. For a variety of reasons,
attrition has been low for the last three years, so we
cannot rely on attrition alone to achieve workforce
reductions.

When I established the Laboratory Integrated Stewardship Council
(LISC) in November, I knew it was necessary to take immediate
measures in anticipation of significant budget uncertainties.

The LISC has managed decisions on hiring actions and large
procurements to ensure that we proceed only with actions that are
reasonable and necessary. Additionally, the principal associate
directors have championed initiatives to reduce costs related to
travel, materials, and services. We also have invited employees to
submit their own ideas for cost-cutting, and have established a
committee to review every idea and to present recommendations to
the LISC.

While I am pleased with the progress and the savings from these
actions, the Lab needs to take additional steps for FY13 and
beyond. With labor comprising 63 percent of the budget, a smaller
workforce is part of the solution.

I have asked the LISC to monitor and recommend appropriate action
with respect to reducing costs associated with our flexible
workforce. In that vein, the LISC has already capped student
hiring at 2011 levels. Craft employment has always fluctuated
based on available work and will continue to do so. Analysis
continues of the term and staff augmentation workforce.

With respect to the regular workforce, the VSP we submitted
proposes a regular workforce reduction of 400 to 800 employees to
align our funding with our missions.

One of our top priorities as we go through this process will be to
ensure we meet mission deliverables this year and going forward.
Similar to the voluntary program in 2008, critical skilled
positions will be excluded from eligibility. In addition, we will
decide whether to decline individual applications based on the
need to retain a sufficient number of employees with certain
essential skills. Though we also retained that discretion in 2008,
we did not exercise it. Unlike the program in that year, we expect
to deny some applications in this VSP.

We anticipate the VSP will be completed in a matter of weeks
rather than months. Knowing that many of you face a difficult
personal decision, I encourage you to begin thinking about the
program now. We will provide details of the plan to you
immediately after NNSA approval. Human Resources will be prepared
to respond to your benefits questions and will schedule
information programs.

We are committed to treating all employees fairly and respectfully
in this process. We did so during the voluntary program in 2008
and we will do so again. I will maintain open and effective
communication with you and other stakeholders of the Laboratory.
This includes all-employee meetings such as the one scheduled
today. Please remember that we are still in a planning phase, and
there are many questions to which we do not yet have answers. We
will have more details as soon as NNSA approves the plan.

101 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sen Dominici maintained a bloated budget at LANL for years, but those days are over. We have no one in Congress with any clout,LANL will continue to be downsized and along with the downsizing we will become a 2nd rate lab within the Weapons Complex.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting how Director McMillan talked at his Tuesday meeting about how the cuts of up to 800 where to be directed specifically at the regular staff, and not the unionized crafts or student/post-docs or even lab contract workers.

That's not the typical way that downsizing is done. After offering little defense of CMRR or the weapons budgets at LANL, he and his LANS management team (which are excluded from the RIF) are now planning to destroy what is left of the nuclear expertise that's left at Los Alamos.

This is sad to watch.

Anonymous said...

A couple years ago the headlines were all about how much "stimulus" money was coming into Nothern NM. Now the real story emerges. Looks like someone forgot to mention that those were "one time" funds.

Anonymous said...

Why weren't Contract and Union people involved in the reduction? Is there some type "legal" problem?

Anonymous said...

well, if you can get regular, TCP1(pension) types to leave, you have a better idea of your future pension obligations. Union/Contractors don't help with that. Plus, management/exec won't be leaving, they have much to gain with a fully funded TCP1. Amazing how many key personnel (bechtel) have TCP1 pensions, even after the "freeze" at contract transition. Plus they received years of service credit for their prior bechtel service. Who pays? All the long time LANL personnel who really did put in the time.

Anonymous said...

cuts ... directed specifically at the regular staff, and not the unionized crafts or student/post-docs or even lab contract workers.

The indefinite employees are the ones for whom a DOE approved plan is required. Unionized employees are governed by their local contract. Contract workers are probably already getting thinned out on short notice. Students/post-docs are low cost and not a long-term commitment.

If the Lab is thinking about adjusting its long-term cost structure, then the 'regular' employees have to be part of the mix.

Anonymous said...

(A) In 1993, President Bill Clinton (-D-) visited Los Alamos and told us what a wonderful job we were doing and thanked us for helping to win the Cold War. The very next year, 1994, the "thankful" Bill Clinton cut LANL's budget and it resulted in painful layoffs.

(B) In 2011, President Barack Hussein Obama (-D-) told the Senate that he would fully fund LANL and the CMRR if they would just pass START. They did. The very next year, 2012, Obama cut LANL's budget and there will now be painful layoffs of 800 workers -- 10% of the regular lab workforce !!!


Seeing the trend? Whenever Democrats are in power, Los Alamos losses good JOBS! Democrats don't really like the place or what it does.

You would think that the voters who work at LANL could figure this simple fact out by now.

The workers with those "Obama 2008" stickers on their cars should be feeling pretty foolish by now. They helped put this fool in office who is now out to destroy their jobs and their livelihood.

Anonymous said...

Charlie McMillan made it clear during his All-Hands meeting that it wasn't just the death of CMRR that was hurting the lab's budget. The weapons budget has been going down at LANL for the last few years.

Well, perhaps if LANS management hadn't been so eager to ship out all those stockpile stewardship projects to *other* labs then the big reduction in weapons related funding at LANL wouldn't be on those budget graphs Charlie put on on Tuesday.

LANS has been giving LANL's budget away! Wake up, people! The LANS management team is actively working to bring the place down! No wonder we now need to lay off 10% of the LANL workforce. Duh?

Anonymous said...

Why only 10%? Is that just for the first round of cuts?

Anonymous said...

I guess regular staff means no managers will be downsized?

Anonymous said...

" In addition, we will decide whether to decline individual applications based on the need to retain a sufficient number of employees with certain essential skills. Though we also retained that discretion in 2008,
we did not exercise it. Unlike the program in that year, we expect to deny some applications in this VSP." .....McMillan

This "fine print" is stating LANS will be "cherry picking" and making selections for this VRIP. It's voluntary when you apply and becomes involuntary when LANS decides if your eligible. This is hardly a "voluntary" VRIP.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice on the replay of this McMillan's talk how the camera kept panning over to show Bret Knapp with that smug and superior look on face? Man has this guy aged in 6-years. And man is his hairline receding. I wish he'd wear a headband to cover that huge forehead.

Anonymous said...

Unlike the program in that year, we expect to deny some applications in this VSP." .....McMillan

It looks like LANS has identified some folks since 2008 that they want to "screw over". As usual, LANS "wants all the cake and eat it too!"

Anonymous said...

A year ago the LANL tank was reported to be full of gas and a new driver was getting behind the wheel. Now not only is the fuel running low, but some say the wheels may be about to fall off the car. How could this happen? Is reckless driving at fault? Was there a gas line leak or a a faulty dash guage?What about the strength of the pit crew supporting the driver?
No matter, history only records names of winning drivers.

For now looks like Parney is holding his own, but it is an endurance race, not a short track sprint. Be interesting to see how it ends.

Anonymous said...

The CMRR decision is a turning point for both the Lab and NNSA,Congress. They have decided that LANL will not be the major player with Pit Production. Down-sizing has begun,a shrinking weapons-complex, along with large budget issues will drive LANL's work-force down to about 5000 FTEs by 2014. This is only the beganning of the cuts, Mcmillian commented on future budgets as being flat, or worse.

Anonymous said...

---------------------------------
The 'LANS Plan', or how to destroy Los Alamos National Laboratory in 4 easy steps:
---------------------------------

(1) Give-away work formally done by the experts at LANL to other NNSA facilities (i.e., life-extension programs for various weapons originally developed by LANL). This pours rocket fuel onto the already bad funding problems being caused by the death of CMRR. Once these LANL programs are given away to the tune of hundred of millions, decry the lack of funded budgets and begin planning layoffs.


(2) Announce a 10% reduction in the workforce, but specifically target the layoffs at the regular, long-term scientists and technical support staff. Leave the contractors, unionized crafts, expensive management chain, Bechtel 'transplants' and the student/post-docs untouched by the RIFs. The experience but expensive research staff will be replaced with cheap, low-benefit post-docs and students who can be cycled through the facility at a quick rate. The churn rate will insure low labor costs and a compliant workforce.


(3) Once layoffs of the experienced research staff and technical support workers have been implemented, use the reduced labor and benefit costs to feather the salaries of the bloated management chain. Add more highly compensated managers to share in the booty.


(4) 'Rinse and repeat' the process as necessary.



Former LANL Director Sig Hecker has been quoted as calling LANL a scientific "prison" under the risk averse, profit driven LANS/Bechtel LLC management team. A lab environment that formerly respected science along with a productive academic campus is gone. It's been replaced with exhortations to "wear shoes that grip", on-line training on how to properly walk stairs, annual 20% executive bonuses and the reminder that it is the rigid Performance Based Initiatives (PBIs -- largely security and safety metrics) that are important to LANL's success, not the science.

Take note, LANL staff. The "prisoners" are about to be lead out execution. Bechtel is building the gallows as we speak.

Oh, and good luck with all this, America. It's only your strategic nuclear defense capabilities that are at stake if the current 'LANS Plan' turns out poorly. I suspect it will.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and good luck with all this, America. It's only your strategic nuclear defense capabilities that are at stake if the current 'LANS Plan' turns out poorly. I suspect it will.

February 23, 2012 10:11 AM

America could care less whether they have sharp, shiny, or fast nuclear rockets. Their more concerned about putting food on the table and a roof over their heads. Outta boy Obama, hecka of job!

Anonymous said...

GIve it a few more days and by early next week the staff at LANL will begin to fully absorb just how devastating this RIF will be to the lab and to most of Northern New Mexico.

This is going to be a huge economic blow with long term consequences to Los Alamos. It's also probably not the last big layoff that will be implemented by McMillan during his reign as lab Director.
.

Anonymous said...

It looks like LANS has identified some folks since 2008 that they want to "screw over". As usual, LANS "wants all the cake and eat it too!"

February 23, 2012 1:39 AM

Nope, just some whose expertise and experience they are not willing to part with. You are free to retire at any time if you don't like being singled out as valuable to the mission.

Anonymous said...

America could care less whether they have sharp, shiny, or fast nuclear rockets. Their more concerned about putting food on the table and a roof over their heads. Outta boy Obama, hecka of job!

February 23, 2012 6:59 PM

You obviously know nothing about nuclear weapons (not "rockets") or about the usefulness of a nuclear deterrent. However, I agree that Obama should be "outta" there!

Anonymous said...

How about if half of all managers, of all levels, voluntarily separate themselves? Just leave the lab, next month, on their own accord, for the sake of the institution. Such a simple solution. Is your job title "Deputy Principal Associate ... "? -- separate! Is your job description to protect your Big Boss from calls and visitors? -- separate! Spending your whole day on paperwork and not on work? -- separate!

Budgets would balance, productivity would increase, morale would just skyrocket. Yes, property values in town on the high end of the market would take a hit. But, you know, what can you do?!

Anonymous said...

LANL is being treated like the ugly step-child with-in the weapons complex. Sen Domenici was the only one holding this place together.

Anonymous said...

I have to wonder, how it is Obama's fault that we have huge financial problems at LANL. As far as I know, budgets are done by congress and not the president. He can propose one, but then the house and senate make their own. So if he puts a reduced weapons budget in front of congress, well its up to all the congress critters to change that.


And btw, it was a republican president with a republican congress who decided to privatize the labs, immediately creating a 200M$ budget problem. And maybe some of you can also remember that Spencer Abraham, who was secretary of energy at that time, as a senator, wanted to abolish DOE.

But I guess amnesia has overtaken.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone with a rational mind think that Obama will be good for LANL if he gets another term? Really?

Just observe how clueless and hopeless his liberal Democratic NM Senators and the area's Congressman have been in this whole layoff fiasco. That should tell you something about Obama and his pals. They're friends of Greg Mello (LASG) and the extreme left anti-defense crowd that hangs out in Santa Fe and over at POGO.

Voting for Obama in 2012 is voting to lose your good paying job at the nuclear weapon labs. He will not keep his word. Just look how he promised to fund CMRR to pass the START treaty and then quickly dumped his promise after the treaty had been passed. They man has no integrity, not an ounce!

Anonymous said...

You “Really” don’t get it. One of the primary reasons he was elected was because he is not good for the nuclear weapons business. You best be preparing for his re-election.

Anonymous said...

LANL cannot survive with out Sen Dominici, in his last years as Senator he was heard to say"it is becoming more and more difficult to fund LANL at current levels, many in Congress just are not buying it anymore" LANL is and continues as a bloated LAb with few success as of late.

Anonymous said...

People at LANL should start paying attention to whats going on in Congress, DOE, and NNSA. With-out Sen Domenici (whom by the way invented NNSA) LANL could be eliminated as a player with-in the weapons complex.

Anonymous said...

8:55 AM must not have gotten the memo.

In his own words Director McMillan "has the set of relationships" to run the show. Remember his very first interview after being named?

Maybe those relationships are working out better for UC than for the 800 departing staff.

Anonymous said...

People at LANL should start paying attention to whats going on in Congress, DOE, and NNSA. With-out Sen Domenici (whom by the way invented NNSA) LANL could be eliminated as a player with-in the weapons complex.

February 26, 2012 8:55 AM

What the hell is LLNL going to do without LANL? LLNL sure as hell can't design a weapon. The only thing LLNL is good for is providing lousy managers to LANL and stealing nuclear weapons (W80 and W78).

Anonymous said...

Setting aside all the hyperbole about who stole what weapon, general crazed bitterness, etc., isn't it just a tad hysterical to say LANL could be eliminated as a player in the weapons complex.

Granted, losing CMRR (for the moment at least) is a blow to morale and local merchants. And granted LANL is unlikely to enjoy again the kind of ride it got with Domenici. But last time I looked, LANL still has some significant existing facilities coupled with a location that's better than most as far as "a local populace to threaten with releases" goes.

LANL ain't disappearing from the complex anytime soon. And I say that as someone who doesn't work for LANL and has no desire to live in New Mexico.

Anonymous said...

Given that LANS top management has been preparing for this layoff for some time (worse keep lab rumor of all time?), I was surprised to see no special web pages today on any of the lab's internal web sites with additional info so that staff might be informed and prepare for what is to come.

Typical LANS.

Anonymous said...

DOE rejected LANS plan of up to 39 weeks that was same as LANL RIF policy and same as Prime Contract Amendment A029 dated 10/16/07 on Severance Pay. DOE wants 26 weeks.

To me 26 weeks may not even be worth taking. Don't see how LANL is going to get out of this mess. They aren't going to get enough people to volunteer at this rate.

Anonymous said...

Don't see how LANL is going to get out of this mess. They aren't going to get enough people to volunteer at this rate.

That's when the involuntary part takes over.

Anonymous said...

"DOE rejected LANS plan of up to 39 weeks that was same as LANL RIF policy and same as Prime Contract Amendment A029 dated 10/16/07 on Severance Pay. DOE wants 26 weeks."

If this is true, it sure makes it look like someone 'got out in front of their headlights' in going to the workforce before DOE approval was final.

Anonymous said...

Loss of both CMRR and major weapons funding for LEP in six months!! With baseball season right around the corner, is it time to ask when the third strike is going to happen? Looks like team LANL needs a change in the lineup soon if it is going to get hits and score runs in a game.

Anonymous said...

LANS management botched "loss" (give-away more like it) of LEP weapons funding and the loss of hundreds of millions in annual CMRR funding is not the whole story.

The Albuquerque Journal is reporting that LANL has also lost over $60 million in Work for Others (WFO) funding!

It's time to swap out the LANS management team for somebody else. They're killing off this lab!

Anonymous said...

LANL still hasn't figured out what has happened, they are reeling back with a knee jerk reaction, not well thought out RIF, which will only prove that they have lost any type of leadership. The future budget for LANL is flat and below, more RIF"s..

Anonymous said...

The future budget for LANL is flat and below, more RIF"s..

February 28, 2012 9:32 AM

Yeah, soon LANL will only have enough people to do what it is funded to do. Imagine that.

Anonymous said...

Even Sec Chu isn't dumb enough to lay off 800 people in an election year when jobs are highest on the re-election agenda of his boss. Oh wait, maybe he is?

Anonymous said...

Even Sec Chu isn't dumb enough to lay off 800 people in an election year when jobs are highest on the re-election agenda of his boss. Oh wait, maybe he is?

February 28, 2012 8:08 PM

Only a fraction of those will be "layoffs." Most will be voluntary separations. The political result, given the vast number of government contractors laid off elsewhere will be minimal. Besides, what makes you think anyone in the public cares about LANL, if they even know it exists? LANL employees' main problem has always been an inflated sense of their worth as perceived worth by the rest of the country. You ain't so special. Save an auto worker's job, worth millions in government money. Save a nuclear weapon scientist's job, who cares?

Anonymous said...

Dr. Chu is a captive of the far-left wackos. He's on record saying that $10 gas would "be a good thing for the US" and he funneled hundred of millions in stimulus money to corrupt, Democratic companies like Solyndra... even though his own budget people were telling him to use due diligence before writing the huge checks. He's spent less than an hour visiting LANL since taking his position at DOE and couldn't wait to leave the place. He's not interested in the stability of our nuclear weapon labs.

WIth Obama rising in the polls and looking more and more like a sure bet to win re-election, the liberal Democrats don't have to worry about destroying jobs at LANL or downsizing within the larger defense establishment. Heck, Obama feels so confident of victory that he just announced cuts to both military pensions to veterans' medical coverage!

Deal with it as best you can. LANL is getting ready for a period of continuous downsizing during Obama's second term. I'll bet the size of the regular workforce goes under 5000 by FY 2015. No corresponding reductions in the number of lab managers, however, so costs will only continue to rise and the micro-management insanity will only increase.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, soon LANL will only have enough people to do what it is funded to do. Imagine that.

February 28, 2012 10:41 AM

And therein is the larger issue of just what IS it funded to do? Last summer everyone was told that the future of LANL was in WP. That house of cards has now fallen down, just as predicted by astute observers of the enterprise. LLNL selected an alternate path to the future that has diverse sponsors.

Anonymous said...

LANL VSP package never got out of Albuquerque. As usual ABQ DOE always feel that LANL is overpaid and receive far too many benefits so they take every opportunity to stifle anything that looks like more than they get.

Maybe Binghaman and Lujan letters to Chu will get Hdqtrs to override ABQ decisions. No hope, but maybe.

Right now every day at the Lab is like a snow day. Why start any kind of a task or a project if you can't see it through. Most people are just sitting and thinking about what is going on. No productivity. It's costing more in lost productivity than if DOE just approved the 39 weeks and let it go from there.

Anonymous said...

*LANL VSP package never got out of Albuquerque.*
February 29, 2012 10:12 AM

If true story must have leaked out from the top leaders of the organization. Where is the adult supervision?

Director McMillan in his own words:
*We will have more details as soon as NNSA approves the plan.*

Sheesh, how much more can you screw up this one car funeral parade?

Anonymous said...

In an announcement today LANS announced that NNSA approved the VRP. Did NNSA approve the same severance as the 2008 VRP, i.e., maximum of 39 weeks?

Anonymous said...

I heard DOE hadn't approve the VSP plan last week because of a typo. Should have been 26 instead of 39 max? Or DOE said it should have been 39 max instead of 26? Or it said was instead of were. It must have been one big typo to cause a delay of this magnitude. The typo has cost DOE millions in lost productivity.

Anonymous said...

It's my understanding that DOE HQ capped the severance for LANL's upcoming VSP at 26 weeks.

For the long timers, that is considerable below the number of weeks they would get if they were laid off. But, then, DOE wouldn't have it any other way. I'm of the belief that DOE would actually like to see a large number of involuntary layoffs at LANL to maximize LANL's pain. That's how they roll.

And Dr. Chu? Funny that he seems to have had very little to say about this sad event but we all know he could care less about our nation's nuclear weapon labs, right?

Anonymous said...

we all know he could care less about our nation's nuclear weapon labs, right?

February 29, 2012 8:54 PM

No, actually we know he COULDN'T care less.

Anonymous said...

The typo has cost DOE millions in lost productivity.

February 29, 2012 7:36 PM

I could see a mistake like 29 or 36, but 26! If this is representative of LANS/Bechtel running nuclear facilities, then our problems are far greater than I ever imagined. I can't hardly wait to see Charlie use smoke and mirrors or just, cover-up this issue.

Also, If I can't attend, would someone please ask McMillan if there will be an Appeal Process for being denied participation in the VRP. And I'm not talking about the worthless "grievance process"! I find it appalling that they are actually going to deny workers money (from the Federal Government NOT LANS) and the opportunity to retire so that LANS meets their PBIs. I can't imagine being one of those folks! This is f****d-up!

Anonymous said...

Dir. Charlie McMillan announced at today's LANL All-Hands meeting that you get your full 39 weeks of severance if you earned it through your years of service and decide to take the lab's voluntary layoff (VSP) offer. You have only two weeks to decide to take this offer, starting on Monday.

However, the bombshell (always one of those with LANS running things, right?) was that after this VSP opportunity is completed in the next few weeks, all LANL regular staff will have allowable severance benefits reduced from a possible maximum of 39 weeks (for ~24+ years of service) down to only 26 weeks. LANS has decided to wipe out a huge chunk of the accumulated severance "benefit" of their long term regular staff.

Why? Well, because it will make future involuntary layoffs -- and their will be more coming -- that much cheaper to execute. Sleazy.

Anonymous said...

Anyone seen the just release PDF with the "excluded" (ie, protected) job categories from layoffs that came out today at LANL?

What a joke! It's as if LANS upper management has decided to execute a plan that is specifically targeted at destroying what little weapon science expertise still remains at Los Alamos.

The "excluded" list is an insult to most of the high caliber scientists and technicians who are vital to our nation's security and have devoted their careers to serving this lab.

Charlie McMillan should be ashamed of himself for releasing a poorly thought out list like this which seems to have no strategic thought placed behind it for securing science at LANL. This list is an example of corporate nepotism at its very worst!

Anonymous said...

Charlie McMillan should be ashamed of himself for releasing a poorly thought out list like this which seems to have no strategic thought placed behind it for securing science at LANL. This list is an example of corporate nepotism at its very worst!

March 1, 2012 7:11 PM

Oh it was very well thought out LANS. All the scientists at LANL are welcome to leave. And don't let the door hit your ass on the way out. The only capability LANS is retaining are the lowly paid Facility Engineers fixing our toilets and bathroom fans.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice McMillan's continuing resemblance to Dr. Megele?

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice the entire Army of attorneys employed by the LANL were not on the "excluded" list? I guess McMillan his cronies (i.e. Knapp) will be using outsourced attorneys to flight the Lab's employees now.

Anonymous said...

Charlie McMillan has proven himself to be an unmitigated disaster and a huge failure in record short time.

I find it hard to understand how anyone could continue to doubt that McMillan and his highly paid crew are actively attempting to DESTROY what is left of Los Alamos National Lab. Just take a close look at the short "exclusion" list issued on Thursday for the 300 people that McMillan feels *must* remain at the lab. It's a real eye-opener!

Do use all a big favor, Charlie. Take the voluntary retirement offer and LEAVE! And be sure to take your poorly educated bully, Brett Knapp, with you.

Anonymous said...

McMillan and his highly paid crew are actively attempting to DESTROY what is left of Los Alamos National Lab.

March 2, 2012 8:54 AM

Wake up. They have already succeeded. This last bit is just clearing out the debris. Yes, that means you!

Anonymous said...

Comparingthe last few videos featuring Charlie Boy, it is obvious that even though he has decided how many dedicated weapon scientists and engineerss his pit bull Knapp will fire, he hasn't decided on the hair thing. Does anyone know for sure?

Anonymous said...

The other folks not listed on the "excluded list" was not one TSM from T-Division. Not one! Historically the most important Division is considered to be nothing more than a playground for LANS. All you folks in T-Division should take this a sign of how important or not important "science" is at LANS!

Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious that McMillan is being highly influenced by the the tactics of Becthel and Knapp to break the backbone of LANS workers. Why? Because I can see their hands running up his ass all the way to his head, hands, and mouth. McMillan is nothing more than a puppet!

Anonymous said...

Did everyone notice when the question was asked from staff if an Appeal Process to appeal being excluded from the VRP? McMillan immediately asked Rich Marquez who walked up to the stage to say "No!". Maquez is truly McMillan's: "Mexican carrying the water". No "due process" at LANS!

Anonymous said...

Please let this "short list" of excluded workers go through. I can see the lawsuit now. How in the hell can LANS discriminate on the basis "that they need to complete their PBIs!" First time in the history of Los Alamos that folks are denied the opportunity to take a VRP. It really is about their $$ and PBIs isn't it!

Anonymous said...

McMillan didn't want to go the direction of a non-voluntary because of the pain and trouble down this path. So he decided to take the less painful route by denying his most important workers from taking the VRP. Boy was this a BIG mistake! I can't hardly wait for all the attorney's that are able to leave to Lab to help the folks McMillan "screwed-over" on this. Unfortunately, McMillan got bad advice from in-house attorneys on this. They must be C-students from DOE/NNSA.

Anonymous said...

The other ironic thing about the VRP "excluded list" is these are the most important workers toward meeting their deliverables and PBIs. And yet the majority are from ES-FE, Facility Engineers who are the lowest paid staff at the Lab. IT ALL FITS.

Anonymous said...

The major element from the excluded list were LANS Managers (Division Leaders, Group Leaders, etc.) . Of the ~ 1,000 Managers at LANS only a handful of Program Managers were on the list. Oh yeah, the PADs, who make more than 500G's a year have to stay, big fricken deal! So let me get this straight, all the people doing the work have to stay. The Managers are free to fly the coupe with a BIG check from the government. I'm in a Facility Group. Yesterday our Manager (who so happens to be from Becthel) was "bragging" about his retirement, while the rest of us can stay. Outta boy McMillan, chalk another one up for improving morale.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the LANS ADs and all their Staff. They are also allowed to leave as well.

Anonymous said...

PAD Brett Knapp just announced a new hire for Associate Director for the weapons program. The news was announced on KSRN-AM/Los Alamos on Saturday morning (Mar 3rd). They guy was hired from B&W Pantex. He's a typical Bechtel/B&W "carpet bagger" who makes the rounds to various NNSA complex facilities.

It appears that LANL is still very eager to hire people if the job involves highly compensated, top level management from outside Los Alamos and the person being hired is a member of the highly profitable, for-profit weapons complex "ol' boys club".

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite signs of LANS incredible malfeasance from the excluded list of "300 employees critical for LANL success" comes from Physics Division P-24 group (Plasma Physics).

Apparently, McMillan and his managerial lackeys think the most important employee in LANL's well respected Plasma Physics group is... (drum roll) ...

==>> Computing Systems Professional 2 <<==

No, not a plasma research physicist with a doctorate of designation Scientist 3, Scientists 4 or Scientist 5 but a lowly PC repair guy? Amazing, and incredibly sad!!!

Director McMillan should be ashamed of himself. It's clear to me he and his LANS highly paid upper management team of Los Alamos outsiders is attempting to destroy what's left of the remaining science done at LANL in one huge swing of his management battle axe.

I thought things might get bad when LANS/Bechtel took over LANL, but never in my wildest dreams did I think ever think it would be allowed to sink to this level. LANS is, indeed, the "shut-down" crew.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Yarbourgh of B&W as a Brett Knapp's newly hired AD, huh? Looks like another case of "pay to play":


AMARILLO, Texas (TX) Political Contributions by Individuals

===
Jeff Yarbrough (BWXT Pantex LLC/Division Manager R&), (Zip code: 79124) $300 to BWX TECHNOLOGIES INC POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE on 03/08/06

Jeff Yarbrough (BWXT Pantex LLC/Division Manager R&), (Zip code: 79124) $500 to BWX TECHNOLOGIES INC POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE on 03/08/06
===

www.city-data.com/elec2/06/
elec-AMARILLO-TX-06-part1.html

Anonymous said...

No, not a plasma research physicist with a doctorate of designation Scientist 3, Scientists 4 or Scientist 5 but a lowly PC repair guy? Amazing, and incredibly sad!!!

March 3, 2012 10:44 AM

Well duh, they need this PC repair guy to ensure LANS Management PCs are operable to verify when bonuses and fee money are deposited in their bank accounts. LANS Management thinks a plasma physicist is some guy in a Lab that checks your blood for diabetes.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Yarbrough (BWXT Pantex LLC/Division Manager R&), (Zip code: 79124) $500 to BWX TECHNOLOGIES INC POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE on 03/08/06
===

www.city-data.com/elec2/06/
elec-AMARILLO-TX-06-part1.html

March 3, 2012 11:06 AM

Oh God! Have any of you been to Pantex and seen their "operation"? This is the most f***-up organization in the Nuclear Weapon Complex (NWC). I used to spend days and weeks waiting to weapon builds or disassemblies to be completed. There was delay after delay for "general incompetence". Also, this where Carl Beard came from, another LANS Management dynamo.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please scan and post the "exclusion list"?

Anonymous said...

It's sitting the "in box" above waiting for Scooby to post. Hello Scooby, do your thing. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

“PAD Brett Knapp just announced a new hire for Associate Director for the weapons program. The news was announced on KSRN-AM/Los Alamos on Saturday morning (Mar 3rd). They guy was hired from B&W Pantex. He's a typical Bechtel/B&W "carpet bagger" who makes the rounds to various NNSA complex facilities”.

FWIW, if this is referring to Jeff Yarbrough (BWXT Pantex LLC/Division Manager, not to negate your point, but for the sake of accuracy, jeff Yarbrough has been with PX beginning with the Mason & Hanger contract. As best I can recall he has been at PX since his original hiring by M&H – he was in the M&H assy eng group in early 1990’s (I’ll stand to be corrected). Imo, he is good engineer but does not have the credentials to be AD for WP at LANL – not that it seems to matter any longer.

Anonymous said...

Imo, he is good engineer but does not have the credentials to be AD for WP at LANL – not that it seems to matter any longer.

March 3, 2012 4:18 PM

Yarbrough. Yet another mediocre "good" engineer from a Production Plant leading our Nation's Nuclear Weapons Research and Development Laboratory. What happened to "only the best at the National Laboratories". Unfortunately this doesn't apply to LANS/LLNS Senior Managers. I might add, Pantex is a Production Plant which has a solid "poor" production reputation and record. Pedicini and crew are going to eat this "cowboy" alive.

Anonymous said...

Pedicini and crew are going to eat this "cowboy" alive.

March 3, 2012 4:53 PM

And all this time, I thought Pedicini was the "cowboy." (Nanos said so, didn't he?) Well, I'm glad to hear he's good for something.

Anonymous said...

Did everyone see the LANL VRP "excluded" list? Talk about "LANS Gone Wild!"

Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious that someone with a very small mind (aka Knapp) compiled this "excluded" list. Are you telling me that nurses, med counselors, auditors, operators, engineers, research technicians, computing system engineers, engineering technologists, and data base managers are hard to replace! For the love of God, let these people retire! McMillan is a complete idiot. And then he kick's these people while they are down by not allowing them to accept another job for 9-months. What a sad state of affairs at LANS!

Anonymous said...

If LANS top management is trying to totally demoralize what's left of the LANL scientific staff right before a voluntary layoff period opens in an sick attempt to lose more highly educated (i.e. "overpaid" in LANS' corporate lingo) scientists....

.....MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, boys!

Give Knapp a 1st class ticket upgrade for his weekly LANS paid trips back to Cali for the rest of the year. He's earned it for a management job so poorly done that it is breath-taking in its scope!

Anonymous said...

We are committed to treating all employees fairly and respectfully in this process. We did so during the voluntary program in 2008 and we will do so again.

Charlie McMillan

Is this guy insane! He just shit all over these "excluded" workers and then claims he's being fair? What a fu**ken idiot!

Anonymous said...

In addition, we will decide whether to decline individual applications based on the need to retain a sufficient number of employees with certain essential skills.

McMillan

Following your VRP application, LANS still will take full advantage of preventing you from being paid by the Federal Government to retire. This is "voluntary" right? Wrong! What the hell is LANS doing, LANS has gone insane and DOE/NNSA have given them the go-ahead!

Anonymous said...

This is "voluntary" right? Wrong! What the hell is LANS doing, LANS has gone insane and DOE/NNSA have given them the go-ahead!

March 3, 2012 10:06 PM

You are an at-will employee. Look it up. You can quit whenever you want (or retire if you meet the criteria), and LANS can fire you whenever they want. Not to defend LANS, but "voluntary" means just that. No one will be forced to take the VSP. Only those who volunteer will be let go. At least for now. Name any situation where someone asks for volunteers for something, and then is forced to accept all volunteers. Get real.

Anonymous said...

Are you telling me that nurses, med counselors, auditors, operators, engineers, research technicians, computing system engineers, engineering technologists, and data base managers are hard to replace!

The first issue is not who is hard to replace, but what job categories are over-populated given the expected future workloads.

Anonymous said...

The first issue is not who is hard to replace, but what job categories are over-populated given the expected future workloads.

March 4, 2012 5:57 PM


Yes, this is exactly how the management thinks here at LANL.

The truth is that the main category that is grossly overpopulated is management. Let's trim there some serious fat there, "given the expected future workloads". Productivity would increase, morale would skyrocket, and budgets would balance. How about that, Mr. Manager?

Anonymous said...

The truth is that the main category that is grossly overpopulated is management. How about that, Mr. Manager?

March 4, 2012 8:17 PM

If you think about it, just a little so it doesn't hurt, you'll see that management levels are filled with managers, just enough to have one manager per level, per organization. To reduce managers, you need to reduce management structure. That will obviously not be part of this VSP. So try to be a little more realistic in your rants. Meanwhile, it remains true that any worthwhile manager will try to anticipate future demand for expertise and plan his workforce accordingly. I recognize that the whole idea of management in general sickens you, but try to grow up a little.

Anonymous said...

Will the laid off LANL regular staff be suddenly marched out the front gates on "Pink Slip Day" by the lab's Security Force with only a single cardboard box to gather up their personal office belongs?

Anonymous said...

And every scientist position is filled with precisely one scientist. Every janitor position is filled with one janitor. Brilliant, Mr. Manager! The difference is that the scientist and the janitor actually do something useful around here.

Here's some food for thought (if you are still capable of such a thing). Of the external funding I bring into this lab, the Lab takes 2/3. That's two thirds, Mr. Manager. What other organization do you know that operates in this way? If this were a real company (not a shell LLC), it would be in chapter 11 within one month.

By the way, where does it all go? Guess what, I have to report to at least six different managers. "One manager per level", as you say. Some line managers, some program managers, some deputy lines managers, some managers of managers, and on it goes. You know the drill, Mr. Manager. All of them demand compliance (read "obedience") and none has ever done a thing to improve my working conditions or to help me seek more funding.

Please voluntarily separate yourself, Mr. Manager. Nobody will miss you. They may eliminate your position and nobody will notice the difference. Actually, it may become a little easier to get work done around here.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmm, saw that Despair.com, the maker of those hilarious "de-motivational" office posters is having a SALE! I think Charlie McMillan must have signed on to the motto in this particular poster:


Demotivation Poster (on sale for $9.95)

== Demotivation ==
"Sometimes the best solution to morale problems is just to fire all of the unhappy people."

Anonymous said...

And every scientist position is filled with precisely one scientist. Every janitor position is filled with one janitor. Brilliant, Mr. Manager!

March 5, 2012 8:01 AM

The difference is that, on the time scale of this VSP exercise, management positions are fixed and constant (except possibly for a PM position that may go away if a program were completely defunded). However, scientist positions are not fixed, and come and go with funding levels, always. Again, to expect that the number of managers would be reduced in this sort of short-term VSP exercise without major revamping of the organizational structure, is simply unrealistic. Find another windmill...

Anonymous said...

"Sometimes the best solution to morale problems is just to fire all of the unhappy people."

March 5, 2012 8:19 AM

Actually, LANS doesn't discriminate, they are going to fire the happy and unhappy people. In fact, they are going to fire the whole town too!

Anonymous said...

You are an at-will employee. Look it up. You can quit whenever you want (or retire if you meet the criteria), and LANS can fire you whenever they want. Not to defend LANS, but "voluntary" means just that. No one will be forced to take the VSP. Only those who volunteer will be let go. At least for now. Name any situation where someone asks for volunteers for something, and then is forced to accept all volunteers. Get real.

March 4, 2012 1:20 PM

Oh go f**k yourself Knapp!

Anonymous said...

"So don't bother to try to refute the facts."

I have no idea if you ever did work at LLNL or LANL and my best guess is that have not. In any case you are a very bitter and sad person. The workers at LLNL and LANL are truly dedicated people who care about the United States, the mission of the lab, and excellence and reasons the American people should still be proud of the labs.

Anonymous said...

"So don't bother to try to refute the facts."

I have no idea if you ever did work at LLNL or LANL and my best guess is that have not. In any case you are a very bitter and sad person.

March 5, 2012 8:00 PM

I'm not bitter (why would I be?) and I'm not sad (I got out with plenty of UC pension money!). I do notice, however that you also did not try to refute the facts. Typical.

Anonymous said...

" I'm not bitter (why would I be?) and I'm not sad (I got out with plenty of UC pension money!). I do notice, however that you also did not try to refute the facts. Typical.

March 5, 2012 8:48 PM"

Your post is one of the most ironic I have ever seen. You are indeed very very sad and bitter. There was always a few of you guys around the ones that where the worst sad sack performers and deep down they knew it. Of course they had to keep to themselves and never complain because they knew that they did have a leg to stand on. In an ideal organization you guys would have been fired and you also knew that as well. On the positive note there was not that many of you and I guess in any organization there will always be a few bitter losers who never could cut it.

As for the facts you choose to ignore all the information that is on the blog. Typical.

Anonymous said...

March 6, 2012 7:07 AM,

As for the facts you choose to ignore all the information that is on the blog. Typical.

---
Did you just hold this blog up as an example of accuracy? I just spit my coffee all over my keyboard. I have never seen more name-calling, rumor-mongering, non-sequitur argument in all my life.

It may be entertaining, even pathetic and sad in a way, but it is NOT factual.

Anonymous said...

Your post is one of the most ironic I have ever seen. You are indeed very very sad and bitter.

March 6, 2012 7:07 AM

I still don't know where you're getting this crap. Maybe (from Wikipedia): "Transference is a phenomenon in psychoanalysis characterized by unconscious redirection of feelings from one person to another." Whatever.

In any case, I retired from LANL in 2007 and my UC pension is 6 figures. Sad and bitter? Nope! Glad to be out? Yep! Pitying those schlubs who are still there? Yep!

Anonymous said...

In any case, I retired from LANL in 2007 and my UC pension is 6 figures. Sad and bitter? Nope! Glad to be out? Yep! Pitying those schlubs who are still there? Yep!

March 6, 2012 7:24 PM

I am calling troll on this poster. This guy is a fake and and is trying to make the good people who have worked or are currently working at LLNL, Sandia and LANL look bad. I have spent time at the labs and am very proud of my service, the work I did, and the great people I have worked with. Some of them are retired, some of them are now working at other places and some are still at the labs. All of them are proud of work they did and or are doing, there are no schlubs among them.

Get lost troll and whatever take your agenda or whatever your personal problem is with you. You are a sad, sick pathetic person, leave the world alone and everyone will win.

Anonymous said...

Interesting exchange. One complacent and self-satisfied retiree commenting on the current sad state of the lab, and one current employee who complains about management and the overhead on his WFO program, and who thinks everyone else is "sad and bitter." It seems that without their respective baggage, they agree completely.

Anonymous said...

March 6, 2012 8:32 PM,

I am shocked, SHOCKED, that someone would be a troll on this shining example of factual accuracy.

Anonymous said...

Saw a link on LANL's internal web pages today supposedly pointing to videos regarding the VSP and presentation talks that had been recorded.

Of course, per the usual, these web links were completely broken! LANS can't even keep the video streaming facilities up and running any longer at LANL.

It's all too typical the Bechtel 'bought boys' in the lab's upper management chain who are being paid several times their pre-LLC salaries to tear the place down and ship the profits over to Bechtel.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the factual number of Volunteers are needed to fulfill the quota? Before the involuntary Riff begins? It seems that they (LANS) has a large leeway here.....

Anonymous said...

Given the already huge budget hole at LANL with it projected to only grow much worse in FY2013, expect LANS to go for the full 800 head count reduction in regular lab staff.

I'll be surprised if 200 people take the voluntary, but if they do, then you'll need another 600 people thrown into the pits to make the 800 LANS quota.

Don't expect any of the involuntary laid off positions to include: (a) managers, or (b) transplants from Bechtel.

Do expect the majority of the layoffs to be scientist of the correct gender and racial make-up so as to minimize EEOC actions after the RIF is executed by LANS.

Since age discrimination is rarely prosecuted, you can expect that will 'old age' discrimination will not be a concern of LANS in choosing their targets.

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