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 ...

Friday, April 26, 2013

VSP

LLNL will announce by May first a VSP targeting dead wood and EBAS. If your on the list look for a email strongly suggesting you apply for the VSP. All applicants will be released by June. Anonymous Anonymous said... April 25, 2013 at 8:21 PM So you're telling all of us if we were a good employee who does a good job we can't get the he-ll out of here and have to stay to be tortured by unreasonable managers from the top down, but if were a *** no-load who hasn't done their part for years, we get a good deal, free and laugh all the way to the bank. Good move.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

It will be buh bye then!

Anonymous said...

what is ebas?

Anonymous said...

What is the source of your information please?

Reliable or speculation by CNN?

Anonymous said...

EBA = "employee between assignment" meaning they don't have project accounts to charge and instead have to be supported by overhead accounts while they look for projects internally. It is also used as a tool to blackball people they don't like. Managers have to help staff get off of EBA but some actively sabotage staff ability to get on projects by "signaling" to project managers. Is there is a planned class action suit ill make sure the names to managers and targets are made available.

Anonymous said...

We can always find some blame for bad LLNL management in all of this. But parasite employees who for whatever reason decide not to work or are unable to perform the work and be productive or try to get away with doing as little as possible, are only hurting themselves. These people are simply unemployable, and when hatchet time comes, they can only blame themselves for not being able to get back on their feet. Google doesn't pick up parasites.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone considered that many of EBAs are EBA because no one wants them. They are a `parasitic drag’ on the project and only exist to negatively impact schedule variance. Management may use this budget environment as a mechanism to purge these folks.

Anonymous said...

Line management wouldn't have to playing the "signalling" game with program management for those that are universally useless. But a few specific line managers are known to have facilitated the blocking of EBAs who are not parasitic, very competent scientifically, well regarded outside of the lab by their respective technical research communities, and who are more than willing to contribute to a project.

These people have a strong case for a lawsuit if they are terminated.

Anonymous said...

April 26, 2013 at 3:53 PM

So lets assume no one who is EBA'd takes the VSP and LLNS still needs 300-500 people to go before the end of June, what's next? A RIF where EBA's will go first and then dart throwing to see who is to be next? I want to see how this is going to play out with year after year after year of reduced funding.

Anonymous said...

Sound like layoffs every year going forward...no future

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone take the VSP if it's a worse deal than being laid off?

If you're laid off, you:

1) Get to hang on for a couple more months of salary.

2) Get unemployment.

3) Have a chance to sue.

4) Receive the same severance.

You'd have to be an idiot (or quitting anyway) to take the VSP.

They will need to do a VSIP to get the number of takers they need.

Anonymous said...

They will need to do a VSIP to get the number of takers they need.

April 26, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Huh? A RIF doesn't need "takers."

Anonymous said...

The way LLNS RIFs (illegally) they'll need takers.

Anonymous said...

LANL no longer has anything like EBAS for staff who have a funding shortfall. Overhead accounts are no longer allowed to be used for research staff who are short of funding.

If you are not in support or management (i.e., not one of the special positions living off overhead) and you run out of funds to support your research position, LANS put you on a "special path" to be fired. They laid this new policy in a quietly released memo from the Bechtel-managed CFO's office about 2 years ago and refer to it as "getting rid of staff who no longer have a 'business case' for being at the lab".

Of course, this layoff policy only relates to staff who are tasks to bring in funding to the lab, not to lab employees who live off those funds through the overhead accounts, and who will, thus, will never be "unfunded". When too little overhead tax money is available, LANS simply raises the overhead taxes a bit higher on the remaining (and shrinking) staff who bring in funding.

Using this policy, the LANS/Bechtel management team have found a way to avoid following the WARN act or announcing an official RIF. Staff not on the overhead accounts suddenly "disappear" and no one seems to ask hard questions about why they are gone.

Anonymous said...

I figured that management is "managing" the number of people on EBA, i.e., shutting down projects here and there, to force people to become EBA so that when the time comes, the numbers are there for layoffs/VSP

Anonymous said...

"Of course, this layoff policy only relates to staff who are on tasks to bring in funding to the lab, not to lab employees who live off those funds through the overhead accounts, and who will, thus, never be "unfunded". When too little overhead tax money is available, LANS simply raises the overhead taxes a bit higher on the remaining (and shrinking) staff who bring in funding."

This is the crux of the whole problem.

Invert this pyramid and we would have a healthy organization.

Namely: how much money we bring in determines how much management funding exists. Not the current up the internal tax dial model. Which is resulting in more and more management and less and less technical talent and money bringing in talent.

Anonymous said...

They aren't targeting "deadwood" in this VRIP! Much like LANS recent RIF, they will develop an "excluded" list where the facility engineers, doctors, and most importantly, lawyers will be retained. All the scientific and nuclear weapon physicists and engineers will be "welcome to not let the LLNS door hit their assess on the way out". Oh, and "dead wood" will be retained. Basically, LANS and LLNS wants to ensure they keep the toilets flushing, lights on , HVAC operating, and nuclear facilities operating. They also want to ensure they keep their lawyers protecting them and their doctors treating them and giving them physicals. They could care less about retaining scientific and weapon expertise, it's too expensive.

Anonymous said...

April 27, 2013 at 8:52 AM

We get it. You hate management. Aside from informing everyone of that fact, is there another purpose for your endless, repetitive posts?

Anonymous said...

Basically, LANS and LLNS wants to ensure they keep the toilets flushing, lights on , HVAC operating, and nuclear facilities operating. They also want to ensure they keep their lawyers protecting them and their doctors treating them and giving them physicals. They could care less about retaining scientific and weapon expertise, it's too expensive.

There's a certain rationale behind this post. Where LLNS acts as a high cost "property management" firm. No real work means very low risk. Slow the pace of science to a crawl and lower workplace incidents a similar rate.

It's a "win-win".

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone take the VSP if it's a worse deal than being laid off?

Well said. It would be foolish for EBA's or other individuals at risk of layoff to take a VSP. The financial and other personal incentives of a layoff are far superior to a VSP.

Anonymous said...

If you take the VSP, you will still be able to collect unemployment. When you file for unemployement, they will check with Lab HR and ask if you were terminate or quit, and HR will say you were terminated. That's it, no other checks.

Yes its a loop hole, but it makes some sense. You could quit right now and not get the VSP severence pay. Take the VSP you are really agreeing to being fired - in exchange for the payout. To the government you are still being fired, and entitled to unemployment benefits.

If it was a VSIP it might be different. But a VSP is the same as a forced RIF (from unemployment standpoint), difference is employees self select instead of management.

Anonymous said...

Again screwing the taxpayers

Anonymous said...

Line management wouldn't have to playing the "signalling" game with program management for those that are universally useless. But a few specific line managers are known to have facilitated the blocking of EBAs who are not parasitic, very competent scientifically, well regarded outside of the lab by their respective technical research communities, and who are more than willing to contribute to a project.

These people have a strong case for a lawsuit if they are terminated.

April 26, 2013 at 3:53 PM

I second April 26's comment. I know of 2 such cases. Certain managers have too much power, which they abuse for personal advancement and to the detrement of the organization and some dedicated professionals.

Anonymous said...

One downside to the VSP -- those who don't take it and are left at the lab will be facing much higher "overhead" taxes after the VSP to pay for the benefits handed over to those who left with the VSP goodies.

In effect, funding gets harder to maintain for those who remain at the lab and their jobs become even more insecure. It's a familiar refrain, no?

Anonymous said...

April 28, 2013 at 12:56 PM


And when this happens there will be more RIF's in 2014 to reduce the population until there's a balance between funds and people. It's just like a business, no money to buy, no need to make a product, not need to make a product no need for people. Lay-off's until there's a balance or all the jobs go to Mexico or India or maybe China. It's all good.

Anonymous said...



What is the source of the information please?



Anonymous said...

So what happened to the furlough that is supposed to delay or prevent a layoff?

Anonymous said...

"In effect, funding gets harder to maintain for those who remain at the lab and their jobs become even more insecure. It's a familiar refrain, no?

April 28, 2013 at 12:56 PM"

It's called a Death Spiral.

Anonymous said...

What is the source of the information please?

April 28, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Which information are you referring to? Try to be a little more specific in your questions. This is a blog, not a news source. The "source" of most "information" here is the fevered dreams of some very troubled folks' brains. Nothing more, nothing less. If you want something to base a life decision on, look somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

One downside to the VSP -- those who don't take it and are left at the lab will be facing much higher "overhead" taxes after the VSP to pay for the benefits handed over to those who left with the VSP goodies.

By your rationale the lab would simply be flush with cash if none of the 2008 layoffs or the below the radar layoffs occurred. The VSP in whatever form it takes is done to save money on pay and benefits.....the "tax" structure...well that's the labs problem.

Anonymous said...

What is the difference between a VSIP and a VSP? I thought they were the same thing (e.g., a voluntary separation program with some incentive, such as one weeks pay for every year of work), yet some people seem to use the terms differently.

Anonymous said...

VSIP = incentive
VSP = no incentive

VSP just gives you the same as if you were laid off (ie 1 week severance pay per year worked, down from 2 weeks per year worked, and rounded down to the closest year naturally because that's how Bechtel rolls).

VSIP would give some sort of incentive (ie something more than just the normal severance pay you would get anyway). So, maybe they might give 1.5 weeks per year worked. Or back in the halcyon UC days you would get extra years of service and age plugged into the pension (that will never happen under Bechtel).

Anonymous said...


Bechtel lowered the severance payment from 2 weeks per year worked to 1 week per year worked (with at least tacit DOE approval I assume), I could see them lowering it further at a publicized date set in the near future. That would create an additional forcing function to take the VSP/VSIP.

They're all about forcing functions.

And I concur. ZERO chance of any sort of UC-like extra years/age in pension. Will not happen

Anonymous said...

May 1, 2013 at 3:55 PM

The VSP should be two weeks for (every) year of service and 15 days to get out from open enrollment. That would work. For all of you sitting around saying I'm not taking the VSP, I'm going to force them to lay me off so I can get unemployment, well, I guess you'll be sticking around for the long hall paying your 7% then 9% then 12% contribution to the cause as many who are in TCP-1 will be leaving, equating to less contributors to the pot. Hum !!

Anonymous said...

I'm saddened. We're half way thru the week and not a single word about a VSP. Moses cannot tell all the NIF tomorrow since that bit of information will have to come from Parney. Maybe we'll get lucky and it'll be next week or maybe in June sometime.

Anonymous said...

I'm saddened. We're half way thru the week and not a single word about a VSP.

May 1, 2013 at 8:01 PM

That's because there isn't going to be one, you putz! Get a clue.

Anonymous said...

EIT and EBA's what about the 600 SLO's specifically, the 400 at NIF. Have we yet to learn from the Oakland trial that we must follow the law.

Anonymous said...

I would leave voluntarily given a severance of 2 weeks pay for every year of service. If the severance is reduced from the current 1 week per year of service, I will definitely leave when I find a job elsewhere. I have brought in a good bit of WFO funding and assisted others in doing so. I am trying to figure out how managers at LLNL justify their existence. None has assisted me in any way to acquire WFO funding, yet they expect me and others to support their salaries by means of external funding. Why should I continue to support this parasitic relationship.

Anonymous said...


Exactly why I left.

Anonymous said...

Little ones, I am sorry to have to break the news to you, there is no Santa Claus, no Tooth Fairy, No Easter Bunny, and no VSP. Abandon all hope...

Anonymous said...

May 2, 2013 at 9:52 PM

FUAH

Anonymous said...

You keep saying that there will be no VSP. What specific information do you have to make this claim? Businesses have VSP's all the time. LANL had one last year. There is a good deal of recent precedent.

Anonymous said...

I suspect no decision will be made on the VSP (or VSIP) until we get a verdict by the jury that will decide whether or not LLNS had the right to lay anybody off back in 2007/8.

Anonymous said...

I suspect no decision will be made on the VSP (or VSIP) until we get a verdict by the jury that will decide whether or not LLNS had the right to lay anybody off back in 2007/8.

May 3, 2013 at 10:18 AM

This discussion of VSP/VSIP just keeps getting stupider. You suspect?? Who gives a F what you suspect? Where is your evidence?

Anonymous said...

The "decision on VSPs" was made a long time ago. They cost the parent companies too much. Never again!

Anonymous said...

May 5, 2013 at 11:28 AM:

True, but try getting these dreamers to accept it.

Anonymous said...

What if non-EBAs take to separation but EBAs don't? Technically money would be freed up for EBAs to Un-EBA themselves except for the fact that many EBAs are that way because they are informally blacklisted due to personal vendettas by mid level line and program managers

Anonymous said...

EBAs are slackers who should be duckwalked out the gate. The fact that they are not is just one reason that the lab looks like a WPA project for shoddy physicists and wanna-be engineers.

Anonymous said...

Now, now, May 6, 2013 at 5:52 PM. The recent funding chaos has put some really talented employees on EBA through no fault of their own. What a shame it would be to lose these folks only due to bad timing and sponsor incompetence.

Anonymous said...

What a shame it would be to lose these folks only due to bad timing and sponsor incompetence.

May 6, 2013 at 9:46 PM

"Sponsor incompetence" = your lack of ability to convince your sponsor that you are worth continued funding. Victim mentality. Remember "the customer is always right"??

Anonymous said...

I'll give you that one, May 6, 2013 at 10:13 PM. Less important than delivering a quality work product on time and within budget is singing a good tune. That's the national laboratory culture. Take it or leave it. VSP is sounding good to me.

Anonymous said...

No VSP for you. You'll just be laid off... right after the executives running LLNS announce that severance pay will immediately be cut to only 2 weeks max.

Is anyone still foolish enough to believe that the top people managing the NNSA labs on a "for profit" basis care about the morale at the labs or the well being of employees who slave under them?

Anonymous said...

At LLNL, the winners are chosen. Always remember that. It is not up to the NNSA sponsor either. The LLNL kleptocracic system of golden boys controls who wins and gets funding and promotions, and who loses and gets on EBA. So much mediocrity in management. If you are a superstar in your field, and you have integrity, your days are numbered. No kleptocracy will tolerate honest, independent and talented people in their circle.

Anonymous said...

May 7, 2013 at 2:34 AM

Your new favorite word shows you posting on other threads too.

Anonymous said...

You betcha

Anonymous said...

The word "kleptocracy" so perfectly describes the organization and its values (or lack thereof.)

Anonymous said...

It's true that many EBAs are simply unsuited for the jobs available. Some who want to work but only on what they want to do (versus what the project demands) should be terminated outright, especially if they indicated that they will do the work but instead did their own thing. The national labs attract and accumulate these types too. Not good enough to go out on their own. Self deluded into thinking that the lab is "academia and unlimited funding but without the proposal writing." Too good (in their minds, atleast) to work on applied problems.

The sad thing is.... Thee guys are not going to take a vsp/vsip. Deep down they know that going to the private sector means that they will have to work and produce (real output, not theoretically). Others leaving means that their prospects for continued welfare improves. Come on baby let the good times roll!

Anonymous said...

This problem you mention is common to all the national labs. Those who are productive and have marketable skills have good career mobility. The rest... are here to stay at the labs.

Many are really good at pretending like they are interested, engaged, and willing to work too. There is a whole "language" and welfare "sub-culture" associated with these types. The kinds of adaptation you see out of PhDs.... really sickening.

Anonymous said...

Little ones, I am sorry to have to break the news to you, there is no Santa Claus, no Tooth Fairy, No Easter Bunny, and no VSP. Abandon all hope...

Since there is a VSP, does this mean that Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny are real too?

Posts you viewed tbe most last 30 days