BLOG purpose

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

Suggest new topics here

SUGGEST NEW TOPICS HERE

Submit candidates for new topics here only. Stay on topic with National Labs' related issues. All submissions are screened first for ...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

What does it mean for us?

Looks like more and more we will go over the cliff. What does that mean for LLNL, Sandia, and LANL

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

You'll pay more for milk.

Anonymous said...

Layoffs greeting you on your return from the holiday break.

Anonymous said...

The sequestration will begin immediately and will be retroactive to Oct. 1. Which means at least a 25% increase in whatever the "cut" in your program is.

Anonymous said...

6.06 PM

No...no please God No. We must..must protect the managers. They are our only hope. Please McConnell, Reid, God, the Devil... any deity, any idol, demon...whoever...please save us...make sure it is the workers that cut, for the hope of humanity make sure the blessed managers are saved. Is this the end...people running 'cuase they're scared...people better go an beware No, no please no!

Anonymous said...

All honest people that actually do work must be let go so LLNL's goal can finally be met - a Lab that consists of only fast talking con artists. Finally. anything resembling integrity will be completely stamped out - mission accomplished!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone actually KNOW the impact that the fiscal cliff will have on the lab?

Anonymous said...

"Does anyone actually KNOW the impact that the fiscal cliff will have on the lab?"

Here is the problem for the labs-

The part of the fiscal cliff involving taxes has no impact. It is the `sequestration' that will seriously impact the labs. The NNSA was told that they would be reduced by about 9% due to sequestration. We are three months into the FY and most of the complex has been burning funds at last year's funding levels (we are still under a CR). Everyone is betting that sequestration does not happen but now it is looking more likely. Many M&Os have slowed hiring, offered buyouts, etc. to minimize impacts but it could get ugly.

Keep your resume up to date is the best advise.

Mother NNSA may change Work Auths to attempt to balance funding among labs and plants but the cut is probably too much to absorb without losing bodies.

Anonymous said...

December 29, 2012 11:41 AM

This sounds right. The question is will there be layoffs or furloughs?
This might also be lab dependent. Maybe a combination of furloughs and buyouts might work at some places. LANL already had a recent buyout so another one will not get much results, however because of the last round was last year LANL may actually be in better shape, but I have no real idea.

It is also possible that a grand deal will be made either before the cliff or a month after the deadline. In this case the obvious statement is that the deal would mean cuts between 0-9% so we could still be in the same boat either way. I would expect there will be some cuts maybe 5% enough to cause lots of pain but maybe not RIFs. However contractors could feel the squeeze. The number of managers will go up of course but that is to expected.

Anonymous said...

Either way, the lab will have to make some serious decisions the first week of Jan. Cuts will come with or without the sequestration , and may be about the same about 5%. If shortages exist then management must act fast, we are 4 months into the FY, if layoffs are required they must happen very fast to save any real money. We will hear something the first of Jan.

Anonymous said...

Lanl has been told to make contingency plans on the worst case assumption, they already know what they are going to do on Jan first. WOW talk about a stress free holiday huh?

Anonymous said...

"Either way, the lab will have to make some serious decisions the first week of Jan. Cuts will come with or without the sequestration , and may be about the same about 5%. If shortages exist then management must act fast, we are 4 months into the FY, if layoffs are required they must happen very fast to save any real money. We will hear something the first of Jan.

December 29, 2012 2:50 PM"

This is why I think layoffs are not likely because it would have to implemented to quickly. I think furloughs are the more likely outcome. Management does not want to do this because it will spread the pain and cost them money. They would much rather have a RIF since managers will be safe and they would not have a pay cut. They may however figure out a way for managers to not take a furlough but have all the non-management take bigger furloughs.

Anonymous said...

It would stand to reason that with the new LLNL layoff policy including the furlough scenario, that would be the fastest way to cut immediate costs. And once management has you sitting at home they can proceed to the RIF portion of the equation. This way, you are off the lab property when the axe falls, the manager does not have to fear a physical reaction while marching you out the gate, you're already outside the fence. You want that final check with the severance pay? Report back to the Sunshine building with your badge and any lab laptop you have at home, sign your papers and go back home. Any personal property you had in your office might be packaged up for you by a caring manager and given to you at Sunshine, or it may be destined for the dump.

If we thought last big layoff was heartless, remember that that was done by managers that didn't have 6 years of Bechtel training that the current crop has.

And if you thought possible cost of milk doubling is a bad thing, thing of trying to buy that milk with an un-enployment check. Fasten the seatbelts boys and girls, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Anonymous said...

Regrettably this scenario will play out every year, we have not heard the end of budget cuts. I have heard that Congress has promised LANL they will fill in funding to specific weapon programs, but only those programs. The remaining projects are on the cutting board. May be the Congress is going to make some cuts, they are going to have to, either this year or next or next.......

Anonymous said...

Man, things sound really bad at LANL and LLNL. I feel sorry for you guys. At SNL, we have a small cushion of cash (~$1 billion) that will be used to ride out temporary funding issues. If severe cuts persist into FY14, it will be necessary to go to layoffs or furloughs. But I don't expect any severe action in FY13, other than the elimination of free pens and pencils and a reduction in IT support from 1 desktop to 0.

Anonymous said...

Congress is incompetent. They do not understand even the most basic consequences of what they do or don't.

Sequestering 8% of a years budget. 1/4 of the way through the fiscal year, immediately becomes almost 12% freeze of the remaining funds. Starting immediately, it takes more than a month to cut staff and many program costs are fixed and cannot be cut. Therefore, leaders either immediately begin layoff of 15% of their staff or gamble and wait, so that they may need to cut 20% a month later.

In the meantime, almost all work stops as managers, supervisors and employees prepare contingency plans for the urgent task of both how to meet the freeze objectives and what to do when the freeze is released. Matrix managers stop all support leadership to work non-stop in endless meeting with program and senior management to determine how to mimimze damage to personnel while beginning the layoff process. At the same time, they all determine how to then spend the sequestered 12%-20% in the remaining time if the freeze is later released, when all know in the best of circumstances adding back staff takes many months. All staff is then depressed and concerned with the affect on others.

This plan is inherently wasteful and gives lie to the notion that the Congress responsibly manages money.

This is a true account of the current programs especially DoD, and DHS at Lleadership dilemma, these circumstances have happened many times to LLNL programs over the last 10 years.

My estimate during these wasteful freezes was the exercise wasted 20% of the work forces work-year for the program's affected. A knowledgeable subcontract thought the work lost was closer to 30%.

Anonymous said...

IN THE MEANTIME, ALL CONTRACT PERFORMANCE CLAUSES ARE EFFECTIVELY MOOTED BY THE FUNDING FREEZE.

Domenici's sole basis for recontracting the labs from UC to performance based private management contractors, an endeavor likely to cost the government $125M- $150M in management fees for DOE work, are now almost meaningless.

Contract provisions to WFOs went out the window when funds were frozen.
All are on best efforts now. And almost all work is urgent work-force planning not the WFO contract milestones.

Anonymous said...

Man, things sound really bad at LANL and LLNL. I feel sorry for you guys. At SNL, we have a small cushion of cash (~$1 billion) that will be used to ride out temporary funding issues. If severe cuts persist into FY14, it will be necessary to go to layoffs or furloughs. But I don't expect any severe action in FY13, other than the elimination of free pens and pencils and a reduction in IT support from 1 desktop to 0.

December 29, 2012 9:39 PM

Rumor is that Bret Knapp (LANL PAD for Weapons), in his infinite wisdom, actually managed to hold a huge reserve. Only problem is that he's holding the amount very tight and it's not clear if it will be used to bolster Management raises and bonuses; you know, TOP PRIORITY AT LANS.

Anonymous said...


From Real Clear politics


A deal may be in the works. The deal would be something like higher taxes for 500k and above and...the sequestration cuts will go through.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Man, things sound really bad at LANL and LLNL. I feel sorry for you guys. At SNL, we have a small cushion of cash (~$1 billion) that will be used to ride out temporary funding issues....

December 29, 2012 9:39 PM

Rumor is that Bret Knapp (LANL PAD for Weapons), in his infinite wisdom, actually managed to hold a huge reserve...

December 30, 2012 6:58 AM


I hate to be the bearer of bad news but these `cushions' / `reserves' don't work in the alternate universe of Government. NNSA HQ will do a budget exercise reviewing uncosted balances carried over from FY12 into FY13. Those labs, sites, plants with large balances of cushions/reserves will be "short changed" FY13 new Budget Authority in order to spread the pain evenly (there may be exceptions for critical activities or locations with powerful politicans).


Anonymous said...

I am no expert but my understanding large layoffs (over 50 people) require 2 months warning based on the WARN act. I don't know if this has changed, I am guessing this is law and the labs have to follow this. So if anything happened I am guessing furloughs for workers till the deficit is soaked up, while the managers must stay because they are critical to the labs functioning.

Anonymous said...


Well they could do furloughs for a bit but if the cuts are permanent than they may do RIFs to prepare for the next year. Buyouts could work at LLNL and Sandia, but LANL already used up its buyouts. There is some number that needs to go before a RIF is worth it. Maybe 400 LLNL or 700 LANL. LLNL could get that below 400 with buyouts, but no one is left in LANL who would take a buyout. 9& of 10000 is 900 so there you go.

Anonymous said...

Late this year LANS snuck in a new policy (on a late Friday afternoon, of course) that announced they were no longer bound by the 90 days of the WARN Act and that LANS employees would only get a 30 day notice of impending layoffs. The staff at LANL mostly shrugged it off and accepted it with little or no questioning of the legality of the action.

If LANS/Bechtel decides to cull the herd they can now do so very quickly. The "or-profit management team running the NNSA labs has become more and more ruthless with each passing year under the leadership of Bechtel. They could do furloughs but my bet is they go for layoffs.

If you're in the lab's TCP1 pension, a salary reduction caused by the furlough could have a significant impact on your future pension payouts. That might hurt managers. I guess they could announce that managers are "too important" to have their hours cut back as a means to protect their future pension payments.

Also, don't expect the lab's retirement medical to be supported for much longer except for a "protected class" of LANS managers who are seen as key employees of LANS.



Anonymous said...

Unless its been changed, furlough does not affect TCP1 pension because it's based on highest average of consecutive 36 months that an employee has ever had.

Anonymous said...

"Unless its been changed, furlough does not affect TCP1 pension because it's based on highest average of consecutive 36 months that an employee has ever had."

Good point. How fast can they change that? A lot of State pensions have been switched to last 3 vs highest 3 recently, as a technique to force people to quit without having to officially do a layoff.

Anonymous said...

From the valid point of view of an long-term committed employee a 30 day warning is insufficient and unfair.

From the point of view of a program manager trying to balance the competing demands of managing a mid-fiscal-year budget freeze that might be recinded, the time lag to release employees and then the time lag to add employees makes the sequester process untenable and probably eliminates productive focused work for much of the year.

This dilemma affects all federal government program managers and by outcomes the employees who face midyear sequestration. It is not unique to national labs.

This is the wisdom of the US President and Congress.

Anonymous said...

even though LLNL has a new layoff policy, my take is that they will generally follow the "last in first out" scheme. Why? because they are still reeling from the previous layoff that has them in a nasty lawsuit. Also, be advised psts series and 300s - if a furlough is enacted, you will still be expected to accomplish the same amount of work prior to a furlough....as an exempt employee you are expected to put in enough hours to "get the job done". Happy 2013!

Anonymous said...

No furlough please, lets just get all the troops back from vacation which is on Jan 7th 2013 and drop the hammer on the 2000 that need to go and get it done in one day. I'm tired of this BS and tired of the work-arounds and possibilities. 2000 to got Jan 8th, 2013 on one day and it's over, period.

Anonymous said...

December 31, 2012 1:42 PM:

Also, be advised psts series and 300s - if a furlough is enacted, you will still be expected to accomplish the same amount of work prior to a furlough....

Yeah, right. You start the new years celebration at breakfast?

Anonymous said...

You don't need a PhD to be a manager at Sandia!

See previous post below:

http://llnlthetruestory.blogspot.com/2013/05/hey-lanl-and-sandia.html?showComment=1368229152210#c5184911644985578339

Posts you viewed tbe most last 30 days