From the Santa Fe New Mexican:
557 LANL workers accept buyout
By Roger Snodgrass | The New Mexican
Los Alamos National Laboratory announced today that 557 people will leave their jobs under a voluntary separation program. The number falls within the range of 400-800 employees lab officials said they needed to reduce the likelihood of involuntary layoffs.
With some job categories excluded, most of the approximately 7,600 employees in the regular workforce were eligible to apply for the separation package, which provides up to 39 weeks of severance pay.
The largest group, 258, were in the professional categories, including finance, information technology and records management, 152 were in research and development. There were 74 manager, 59 technicians and 14 support employees.
Laboratory officials have said the plan would be the least disruptive option for lowering costs and gaining flexibility during a time of budget uncertainties. Among areas of concern, the authorities pointed to an erosion of purchasing power, lower than normal rates of attrition in recent years, funding decreases for the current year and additional reductions anticipated for next year, including a five-year deferral for a major construction project.
Employees who applied for the separation arrangement were given a five-day window during which they could change their minds. Their last day on the job will be April 5.
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