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Thursday, February 14, 2013

DOE/NNSA Sequestration Impacts from House Appropriations Committee Democrats:

DOE/NNSA Sequestration Impacts from House Appropriations Committee Democrats:

http://democrats.appropriations.house.gov/images/Sequestration%20full%20report.pdf

National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
...The report also noted concerns
that “constrained Federal funding had negatively impacted security controls at Y-12.”
Nonetheless, sequestration would require the Y-12 site to furlough 700-1,000 of 4,500
employees for a period of up to 6 months. Clearly, these layoffs will adversely impact
efforts to improve security. Other NNSA facilities will also face furloughs. The Pantex
Plant in Amarillo, Texas will furlough up to 2,500 employees for 3 weeks. Los Alamos
National Lab in New Mexico will furlough over 500 for about 2 weeks. And Sandia
National Labs will lay off up to 100 positions and forgo hiring staff to support the B61
bomb life extension program.
The NNSA plays a critical national security role in developing and maintaining the
Nation's nuclear deterrent. In the area of our nuclear weapons stockpile, efforts to
refurbish and extend the life of several weapons systems would be delayed, including
the B-61, leading to increased costs and impacts to deployment and readiness in the
future. Sequestration would erode the security posture at sites and facilities by layoffs,
workforce reassignments, and project deferrals. Sequestration would hamper the
internal oversight function of DOE nuclear facilities and reduce the depth and frequency
of audits and evaluations needed to ensure ongoing robust security operations.

Department of Energy Office of Science
The Office of Science is critical to maintaining U.S. leadership in scientific and
technological innovation by supporting basic research to advance energy technologies
and operating world-leading facilities to advance scientific discoveries.
Sequestration will result in hundreds of layoffs at national labs, universities, research
facilities, and private sector companies that rely on Office of Science grant funding for
energy research. It will reduce operations of major scientific facilities, meaning less
research and development in one of the highest priority research areas—designing
novel materials—which is critical to advancing energy technologies.
No new awards to advance high performance computing will be made to stay ahead of
Chinese competition and develop the next generation system, known as exascale,
before the U.S. reaches the limits of current technology.
Sequestration will stop almost all construction projects that are replacing aging
infrastructure at the national labs. This investment is necessary to support science
missions and attract the best scientists from around the country and the world. Several
major user facilities at national labs would be shut down including the Lujan Neutron
Scattering Center, Los Alamos National Laboratory; High Flux Isotope Reactor, Oak Ridge
Tennessee; Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, Brookhaven National Laboratory. Other
facilities may be temporarily shuttered, delayed or less available to their extensive user
communities.
The safeguards and security of nuclear and radiological materials at the national labs
could be at higher risk with reductions in security officers and inability to fund new
security needs at Oak Ridge National Lab after an independent review found security
weaknesses.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...



Wouldn't a permanent 5% across the board salary reduction be easier and better economically?

Anonymous said...

That would destroy TCP pension values which phase in across 3 year periods.

Better: lay off 5-10%

That's what businesses do. We're now a business. Sooner people get that, the better.

Nicer: small incentive would easily get 5-10% to retire

Anonymous said...

Nicer: small incentive would easily get 5-10% to retire


Ding, Ding, Ding!

Anonymous said...

What US industry says "Don't worry, your employer will jump through hoops to keep from having to lay you off"? Right, none.

Anonymous said...

"Read about HAPC idiot ! And stop spreading false fears."

HAPC ages in new raises over 36 month periods. So if we go 9 months furloughed (and likely more in the future as congress continues to play chicken with the budget) it will mess up the aging-in of previous raises and current raise we just got.

When you get a raise, it doesn't instantly show up in your HAPC, it gets aged in over 36 months. If you're got getting paid the raise amount for the entire next 36 months, it doesn't age in.

Do you have a different understanding of how HAPC works? If so please explain it.

Anonymous said...

And before you jump all over me (like you did the other guy):

When I say "it doesn't age in", by that I mean: "it doesn't age in completely."

i.e. you need 36 consecutive months at the "raised" salary level in order to get full credit for each past raise in the pension's HAPC calculation.

If that's incorrect, explain how it is, and your understanding of how HAPC is calculated.

Anonymous said...

Talking about "aging in" is confusing and unnecessary. It is simply the 36 consecutive months which result in the highest average salary you received over that time period, no matter when it occurs during your employment. If you were a Group Leader for 3 years and then took a lower paying position, those will presumably be your highest average 36 months. If you have gotten ever-increasing salary due to annual raises, then a furlough will indeed affect your HAPC. Only those employees who expect their salaries to continuously increase should be affected. A furlough tomorrow will not affect your HAPC calculation today.

Anonymous said...

Nicer: small incentive would easily get 5-10% to retire (1:10 am)


Given the sad state at the NNSA labs, an incentive would be extremely effective at getting more staff to leave. I would suggest another round of the technique used during last year's VRP at LANL. Let people take their (recently reduced) severance if they'll go quickly. At LANL, it resulted a a huge number of voluntary separations and made a very painful RIF unnecessary. If people are unhappy and inclined to leave the labs, then give them some incentives to let them leave.

Anonymous said...

"A furlough tomorrow will not affect your HAPC calculation today."

But it will effect the HAPC that you had previously earned and were supposed to get credited to you over the next 36 months (including all the compounding effects).

Changing that is a fundamental change (and could be avoided if they designed the furlough correctly).

This is a very real issue for those planning to retire in the next 3-4 years, especially if they're high performers who have been/will be getting good raises. If our broken government continues with all their CR, sequestor, debt ceiling games, thus causing more poorly designed furloughs like this one going forward, they will continue to dilute the pension benefit.

Anonymous said...

If our broken government continues with all their CR, sequestor, debt ceiling games, thus causing more poorly designed furloughs like this one going forward, they will continue to dilute the pension benefit.

February 15, 2013 at 6:17 PM

The government does not see that as a problem. Pensions are a thing of the past, in almost every field of employment. You are in a rapidly diminishing minority. If you are able to retain your pension until retirement, good for you. If you are able to retain it THROUGH retirement, you will have beaten the odds almost unbelievably.

Anonymous said...

Many politicians see the reduction of future liabilities of benefits and pensions to federal employees and to those related to government work as a GOOD THING.

Your years of dedication and loyalty to the nation's defense efforts means nothing to them. Even veteran benefits will be radically cut back in the future as we approach national bankruptcy. They'll keep supporting Medicare and Social Security any way they can because the voters will demand it but everything else will be radically cut back. That's the reality of our situation. To believe otherwise is to be living in deep denial.



Anonymous said...

There are much better and happier places to work. The situation at the NNSA labs has been deteriorating for years now and keeps getting worse. The approaching pay cuts from the furloughs is not the end of this sad story.

With the job market improving it's time to consider looking elsewhere if you have good science skills. Don't sell yourself short by hanging around an institution that died years ago and is now little more than a walking scientific zombie.

Anonymous said...

For those complaining about how this affects their HAPC, one assumes that they are somewhere in their final 3 years of service. It's your right to complain but maybe the alternative of just being laid off strikes your fancy better. If you're given the boot now, that will make a single year pay cut look good.

America needs to face up to the fact that if they voted for someone in the past 4-5 years who was an incumbent, they as voters are part of the problem. They returned someone to the legislative branch that can't seem to do anything but point fingers and spend most of their time figuring out how to retain their elected positions.

Anonymous said...

Furloughs might take care of the immediate (FY13) problem, but what about FY14 and beyond? (Sequestration cuts continue on permanently.)The only long-term solution is a RIF, so be prepared for it.

Anonymous said...

Poster 10:58 am hit the nail on the head. This will only be the first year of sequestration cuts. It's a compounding event with further cuts coming every year for the next decade!

Anonymous said...

"equestration will stop almost all construction projects that are replacing aging infrastructure at the national labs. This investment is necessary to support science
missions and attract the best scientists from around the country and the world. "

Yeah, I wish our problems could be solved by building a couple of shiny new buildings...give me a break. Do you think I or any other scientist really gives a damn if the sinks are marble and the elevator doesn't squeak? I'd settle for a functional management, semi-stable funding and a little less bureaucracy.

Anonymous said...

"For those complaining about how this affects their HAPC, one assumes that they are somewhere in their final 3 years of service...maybe the alternative of just being laid off strikes your fancy better."

Sounds good, let's do it.

- Severance (quite significant for those of us who have been here a long while)
- COBRA
- 2% COLAs on HAPC until you take retirement (then higher COLAs possible).

Layoff would be a decent deal.

Sweeten the pot even a little and you could do it all voluntary.

Problem is: they don't want that.

1) They do not want to pay out the severance.
2) They do not want you to have 2% COLAs (when they can hold your raise beneath that).
3) They want you to pay 7% into the pension while they don't pay in the 80m they were supposed to.
4) They want to dilute your pension via a furlough designed to do exactly that.

Do the math.

It's pretty evident that they have.

Anonymous said...

Can these 7 percent effective pay reduction furloughs run indefinitely? Having that many formerly salaried people as non-exempts for a long duration is going to impact deliverables and the way work is proposed and executed, moving forward.

Anonymous said...

Furlough is 10 percent pay reduction (not 7)...and yes it will impact deliverables, and lab management doesn't care, they say "work it out with the sponsor".

Anonymous said...

Furlough is 10 percent pay reduction (not 7)...and yes it will impact deliverables...

February 18, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Only employees who are seriously delusional will still be worrying about "deliverables." You should be worried about your income and your career. They are about to come crashing down around you. What are your "deliverables" to your family that will be "impacted"??

Anonymous said...

Point well taken. Employees should not be held hostage like this. Repeating what others have written, top notch people can and should leave this type of work in support of national security. Washington has spoken. It doesn't really care about the flight of some of the best and the brightest anyways. For others, this is only a job and it pays for rent, though soon 10% less. Look out only for yourselves and your loved ones. Washington doesn't care about you or your family. It's almost as if they are gleefully watching as they push people right over the cliff. You government contractors are all part of the "big government" problem anyways.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it going to be a 20% effective cut for a furlough (i.e., 1 day per week) moving forward, if the sequestration applies to the fiscal year (being half over already?)

Anonymous said...


...I guess we'll find out at the Parney all-hands this coming Wednesday.

Anonymous said...

Please someone let us know how the all hands turns out!

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