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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Parney does it again....

ANonymously contributed: ============================================================================================ Parney does it again.... Did Parney say what I thought I heard? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1) Contributions are not required for TCP-1 right now. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2) LLNS is still going to try to contribute $40M this year (half of what they planned) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3) The employees are still required to make contributions in spite of 1) above, and LLNS is going to increase it by 40% in July "because that's what UC is doing". --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- So....the employees are going to see an increase in contributions, which are not required now, to offset future DOE contributions? Yes, I know, the pundits in the crowd are going to ask why I'm surprised....I'm not.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yup. And the totally disingenuous way he kept trying to somehow make it sound like it was a good deal for "us" was sickening.

My notes from the meeting:

Actuaries say contribution required for pension is 80m, but we [LLNS] are going to take a "calculated risk" and only pay in 40m this year.

Meanwhile you [the employees] are going to have a 40% increase in what you pay in.

No "calculated risk" reduction in your required pay-in. [After all, that wouldn't get me a bonus.]

Anyway...no big deal...we're just staying "substantially equivalent" to what the UC is doing.

/////////

Of course, that is a complete lie because:

UC goes 5% to 6.5% on July 1.
We go 5% to 7% on Jan 1.

UC is pre-tax
We are post-tax.

Bottom Line: The lab is choosing to underfund their end of the pension bargain they sold us when they announced (with zero employee input) that they were imposing a post-tax pension fee on us.

We have no employees on our own pension board!

These decisions are being made for selfish reasons and personal gain (bonuses, currying favor, etc) by people who are not even in our pension.

It's disturbing and augurs poorly for the future health of the pension.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry too much. It won't be much longer before NNSA demands that the TCP-1 pensions be frozen out to further service credit accumulations.

After that, you'll get a match of some sort to your 401k if you're lucky and perhaps a reduction in future medical retirement benefits.

The trend should be clear by now. WIthout a strong voice (i.e., union representation) you have no negotiation power when management decides to change things. Yes, you can go get a lawyer, but they have more lawyers and can stall out any legal actions for many years.

Only a union with strike threat ability can stop a management team that jerks around emloyees. The federal government would not like seeing a strike at their nuclear weapons facilities. It's not like they could break the strike by suddenly bringing in a bunch of TS cleared nuclear physicist with weapons expertise along with radiation facility engineers.






Anonymous said...

And don't forget the ZERO raises we've been having for several years. Which hurts us not only in the pocketbook but much more significantly in the pension -- as we've missed out on significant years of compounding.

Add that to the ~14% pay cut (7% x 2 for taxes) that the pension pay-in will be hitting us with in a couple of months.

The deal at LLNL continues to get worse with every passing month and more and more talent will continue to leave.

Which I guess must be what they want.

Anonymous said...

Pension freeze it will be.

That's how they did it all across corporate america...same playbook will be used here.

Anonymous said...



Below is the original post for this thread (seems it got mangled above by the blog software):

Parney does it again....

Did Parney say what I thought I heard?

1) Contributions are not required for TCP-1 right now.

2) LLNS is still going to try to contribute $40M this year (half of what they planned)

3) The employees are still required to make contributions in spite of 1) above, and LLNS is going to increase it by 40% in July "because that's what UC is doing".

So....the employees are going to see an increase in contributions, which are not required now, to offset future DOE contributions?

Yes, I know, the pundits in the crowd are going to ask why I'm surprised....I'm not.

Anonymous said...

Wake up! They're going to extract as much money out of us employees as they can (in order to supposedly "save" the pension) all the while limiting their pay-in as much as possible (witness this week's *halving* of their contribution for the year from 80m to 40m, and note that no date was given for when the 40m goes in, or where the 40m comes from).

After a bunch of these games, they'll freeze the pension.

That's pretty much baked in.

What's next: the shortfall the pension will have 10-15 years from now and who will pick up the bill for that?

PBGC? (30 cents on the dollar)
DOE? (if they exist then)
DOD? (if LLNL is under DOD then)
Contractor at that time? (if LLNL still exists then)?

That's the next big screwing point. The current screwing is over. As someone said above, there is no visibility or influence into the pension decisions being made now.

Set your sights on defending the next big screwing point.

Anonymous said...

And don't forget the ZERO raises we've been having for several years. Which hurts us not only in the pocketbook but much more significantly in the pension -- as we've missed out on significant years of compounding.

Add that to the ~14% pay cut (7% x 2 for taxes) that the pension pay-in will be hitting us with in a couple of months.


Welcome to LANL. Three years ago.

Anonymous said...

So when is TCP-1 going to get handed over to PBGC?? Maybe after they freeze it and can't afford that $200M they're going to have to come up with in 201. Doesn't Parnie realize the economy is not going to turn around until about 2025 and the government has already said interest rate are going to remain low for the next three years.. That's a known.

Anonymous said...

While people are smarting about the 40% increase in employee contribution, note that the $40M FY13 Lab contribution is a 100% increase from the $20M n FY12.

As for where the money comes from, overhead skim. Why do you think DOE pushed back when LLNL first requested?

Anonymous said...

October 12, 2012 9:29 PM

LLNS should have given up the $80M this years and $80M every years afterwards instead of playing games with people's lives. I guess they needed the extra $40M for bonus checks and pay raises for ULM or maybe it went to NIF, Afterall they do have HOPE.

Anonymous said...


"As for where the money comes from, overhead skim. Why do you think DOE pushed back when LLNL first requested?"

That doesn't make any sense...DOE should want us to spend our overhead on shoring up the pension, since they're on the hook for our pension if it fails.

Why would DOE be against that???

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that DOE is not on the hook for TCP1. When the transition occurred, supposedly UC got DOE to guarantee to back the portion of the UCRP that covered LLNL employees. The TCP1 plan was to be backed by PBGC. This and the fact that medical is not guaranteed in retirement gives DOE the ability to wash their hands of us. DOE finally gets what what they want from a GOCO, the contractor truly assumes the headaches.

Anonymous said...

Interesting, good info.

That certainly wasn't made clear in the transition meetings/materials.

Anonymous said...

When Ellen Tauscher had a meeting in the main auditorium and the question about pension guarantee was raised. She emphatically stated that the only pension that was guaranteed was the one for federal workers.

The warnings were there, maybe not in a bolded large font, but they were there with a minimal amount of digging.

I chose TCP2 because I didn't trust LLNS. If TCP1 survives in good order, I made the wrong choice.

Anonymous said...

9:57, TCP1 is guaranteed by NNSA, as has been stated many times. Ultimately NNSA is on the hook for both TCP1 and TPC2. We're all in this together folks, like it or not.

Anonymous said...

...what happens when NNSA goes away?

Anonymous said...

...what happens when NNSA goes away?

October 14, 2012 3:47 PM

NNSA will never "go away." If you believe it will, you are hopelessly naive. NNSA is a well entrenched beaurocracy, with well-established DOE hacks and apparatchicks in control. The Feds in the Forrestal will be there long after you have been booted out to try to survive on a bankrupt "pension." The sooner you make peace with this reality, the better you will be prepared for your personal fiscal cliff.

Anonymous said...

If NNSA is going from 80M to 40M in contribution to TCP1,then would not LSO be required to present that?

Isn't PA just another contractor like the rest of us?

Anonymous said...

Parney cannot be that dense that he can think TCP-1 participants with think that taking 7% of their salary and not contributing the NNSA portion is fair.

He simply cannot be that dense.

Is he still being advised by Lynn Soderstom?

Anonymous said...

Parney makes TCP-1 participants look foolish.

You must pay but NNSA reneges?

Wow, if this stands he should just take your wallets.

Seedy, Feckless leadership.

Anonymous said...

Parney is the greediest of the greedy. He takes 14%.

Molly Munger only wants 5% more, Barry O'drama wants 12% more.

Gov. Moonbeam is a piker asks only 3% more.

Veto them all. Sure are a lot of hands out for your hard earned dollar.

Anonymous said...

Coming soon for LLNS and LANS retirees?....

Local governments take budget knife to retiree health plans (Reuters, Oct 15th)

As cash-strapped U.S. cities and states struggle to address gaping budget holes, a long-honored benefit for public-sector workers has come into the cross-hairs of budget cutters: retiree health insurance.

A growing number of states and cities are eliminating or reducing health coverage for retirees, a benefit that has long fallen by the wayside for most private-sector workers.

Anonymous said...

tcp-1 is backed by the PBGC. DOE makes payments of 1/7th of the under funded amounts to UC for the LLNL and LANL retained segments.

Anonymous said...

If TCP1 is backed by PBGC, shouldn't we be seeing insurance payments going from our pension to PBGC every year in the pension summary we receive?

Anonymous said...

What are the "LLNL/LANL retained segments"?

Are these the folks that were already retired at the time of transition?

Anonymous said...

But remember he did by you ice cream to make you feel better.

Anonymous said...

Any ice cream Parney "bought" was paid for by funds taxed off of the projects we all bring in.

Just like his salary.

Anonymous said...

So the average employee takes a $1000 per month salary reduction, but very conservation ERISA guidelines say it is not required?

What cavalier decision.

You cannot save for your kids college because Parney wants to be extra careful.

He is out of touch.

Anonymous said...

It is worse he gets mad for writing blogs about the truth and then gives you ice cream to make it better.

Anonymous said...


According to Newsline the date of the 40% increase to the TCP1 Employee contributions is now at same time as UC (July 2013).

No commitment on LLNS contribution to TCP1. Note how they never put these commitments in writing (so they can deny/change them later).

UC employee contribution 6.5% *pre-tax*
LLNL employee contribution 7% x 2 (for taxes) = 14%

6.5% vs 14% is NOT "equivalent"

6.5% vs 7% is not "equivalent"

Parney has spent way too long in Washington....where lying is the primary way of talking.

Anonymous said...

This makes the lab look bad.

Poor decision.

Poor transparency.

Poor communication.

Poor damage control.

Bring back Tarter.

Anonymous said...

This means the lab is reducing the average $11,000 per month salary of TCP-1 participants, by about $1500 per month, wiping out the last 10-15 years of raises.

What a powerful, discouraging message.

Anonymous said...

This makes the lab look bad...

October 17, 2012 6:55 PM

It is not just "optics;" the lab IS bad, by all objective criteria. Bringing back Tartar, even if it were possible, could not possibly change things at this point. The die is cast. Wait for the past to come again or deal with the present. Which is the rational choice?

Anonymous said...


"It is not just optics, the lab IS bad"

I hate to say it, but I'm coming to that same conclusion myself...at some point we have to stop giving these guys the benefit of the doubt and accept that this is who they are.

They've given no evidence to the contrary over these past 5 years. It's really stacking up.

One thing I appreciated during the UC days was that we were all in the same boat (benefits, pension, etc) and we rose and fell together as a team. The way things are structured now incentivizes every man for himself, and we have been seeing that in spades over these past 5 years.

It's sad. I deeply enjoy the scientific side of my work, but at some point all of these games are too much and it's time to do that work elsewhere...

Anonymous said...

I just keep trying to get out. Too many gate keepers and impossible to get work done. And a lot of people causing unnecessary problem over trivial things. Too much drama.

Anonymous said...

I was hanging on for the pension, but now that Parney keeps repeatedly dissimulating and playing games with the pension, time to leave and start amassing cold hard cash.

PGBC will pay 20-30 cents on the LLNL pension dollar. Have to start diversifying my retirement strategy.

Anonymous said...

It is more than drama.

It is an unnecessary material decline in the employee standard of living.

All because Bodner, D'Agostino, Pryzbylek, Domenici, Stupak and Dingell thought they had a bright idea... the miracle of privatization.

Congressional and Executive hubris.

Anonymous said...

Durring the first five years since privatization, there has been $1B of waste due to privatization at LLNL alone.

Approximately $200M in increased management fees, new tax liabilities, medical cost increases due to smaller employee pools, increased pension costs occur EACH YEAR compared to UC management.

All borne by firing 1800 employees and reducing the standard of living of the remaining 6500.

For a dubious bit more NNSA management control?

Anonymous said...

WITH NO SAVINGS TO THE TAXPAYER!

Anonymous said...

The winners here were LBL and PNNL and their effective protectors, LBL director Steven Chu and Washington Senator, Patty Murray.

Who managed to keep their labs existing management contracts in place in spite of the orgy of folly surrounding them.

Anonymous said...

Hey all of you are paying in different ways to keep the likes of Tomas and other tumors on the payroll in what amounts to a social welfare program for kleptocrats. And even the rank and file management salaries are overbloated for the lack of quality and value that you get out of them. And what about some of these weird special case employees who seem to be perpetually on EBA (to my knowledge, continuously over the past 20 years)... people like Tony Gonad. What is up with that? Did he figure out a way to successfully blackmail the lab into perpetual overhead support to do basically nothing for any program for as long as he lives? Whatever the case, you are paying for it.

Anonymous said...

There are limits to how we can vent our passions.

When the first effects privatization were upon us, I thought to at least keep the compensation rate the same by reducing effective hours worked to something more reasonable. It appeared that many of colleagues did the same, and we accepted the increased response time. I soon tired of more passive-agressive measures and for a while put in only 40 hours per week, but found it didn't suit, so instead I avoided taking on or doing well those items I disliked.

I did not present the required scold to employees for trivial matters such as parking offenses, gave people needed time off for family leave, didn't look scrupulously at "work at home" issues, would not force employees to do things they objected to and in general, lead a work life that was less assiduously rule-based and more tolerant of human conditions.

This felt better to show that some unenforced onerous conditions aren't.

And it didn't affect my non-existent performance compensation.

And I tried, at least once per week, to preserve the afternoon stroll through the department offices to see what my favorite lovelies were wearing that day.

Some of life is what you make it.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't so much the size of the normal and expected line management structure, but rather the shuffle amongst all of the created positions guised as program management and strategic whatever whatever positions to park those high salaries during shuffles. If someone could counter by providing a list of substantial management positions that were eliminated in the past few years, that would be nice to know. To my knowledge, this byzantine structure has not changed in size AFTER the privatization. The big one that did occur during transition was the consoliation of chemistry and physics, with Tomas being elevated into Cherry Murray's old spot.

Anonymous said...

It was a good thing that Tomas replaced Cherry Murray. She wasn't very well-liked by Washington as well as the academic community most likely because of her constant hard sell and PR slick salesperson mentality for lab programs. She got escorted out of forrestal on several occasions I think. She engaged in widespread cronyism at the lab alienating the majority if the lab employee population. And her travel expenses were exorbitant and cast the lab in a bad light. Tomas brought into the position a renewed level of integrity and honesty to that position. He was a champion for promoting excellence through self motivation and a system of fairness. And he was extremely well regarded by all at DoE and NNSA and the scientific community and was aggressively sought after by top universities and labs for directorship positions. But in the end, Tomas remained true and loyal to the end, even taking the fall for what amounted to as a politically motivated attack against the lab. But we will all remember the tremendous and selfless sacrifices that he had made in the name of science and the greater good. But don't just take my word. Othe people who know Tonas should speak up in order to help clear up all the falsehoods and misstatements made in the past.

Anonymous said...

October 18, 2012 1:43 PM

The sad thing about these parodies is that sometimes you cant tell if they are real or by some really crazy person. Everything in the post is opposite of the truth so I am going for parody.

Anonymous said...

I think those two names are switched. Exchange them and it makes more sense to a large extent

Anonymous said...

Indeed this is an obvious parody for those who know those two individuals. When you switch the names, then some of the details actually line up.

Cherry Murray is a Dean at Harvard now. She is very highly regarded. She was not at the lab long enough and did not bring in an army of people she knows, to create a system of cronyism.

The other individual... well, you can connect the dots.

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