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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

All-hands wednesday

LLNL News Online 5/7/13 Director Parney Albright will hold an all hands meeting to update employees on the FY 13 and proposed FY 14 budgets, and how the Lab plans to respond. Albright's presentation, open to all employees, takes place Wednesday, May 8 at 1:30 p.m. in the Bldg. 123 auditorium. The talk also will be carried live on LAB TV Channel 2 and Webcast LLTN. Those who cannot attend the talk are encouraged to watch as groups from conference rooms to reduce the load on the LLTN servers and Laboratory network.

79 comments:

Anonymous said...

Think I'm getting canned....new org chart came out today...wasn't on it.

Guess they're trying to tell me something.

Anonymous said...

All we can hope for now is Parney says, "I have a $100M problem I need to resolve and I need 800+ of you to take the VSP, no cap on any classification". Anyone who doesn't want to be here please leaving on your own free will by the end of June.

Anonymous said...

Lab Managers have a special briefing with Parney this morning. Doesn't sound like he has good news.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully Parney has a plan to trim management as well. He's not blind to the fact that there are far too many.

Anonymous said...

That was always the curious thing to me. I always assume that VSP and VSIPs and such apply to employees, but that just makes a top heavy management structure even more top-heavy. Do managers get to voluntarily separate? If it was in the private sector, management would simply be pared down with lowest performing, most redundant or highest risk managers being terminated one after another until they meet the right ratios.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Lab Managers have a special briefing with Parney this morning. Doesn't sound like he has good news.

May 8, 2013 at 9:16 AM


What exactky does this mean. Bad news to some is very good news to others. All 99% of us want to know is this. Is there going to be a VSP for all with NO CAP. Whats the pay package and when do we have to be out of here? It shouldn't take him more than five minutes to tell us the fact with no BS touchy feely crap.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, I'm scared for you. I hope it is an assumption that turns out to be wrong.

Anonymous said...

Good luck, guys. Our thoughts are with you.

Anonymous said...

Many rain-makers and top-performers already left over the past 4 months. Whatever management decides to do, it should be enough to motivate the remaining rain-makers to leave.

Anonymous said...

So what was the outcome of the meeting?

Anonymous said...

:)

Anonymous said...

All employees were offered free on-site parking and management is instituting casual fridays for employees that are not in a customer-facing role. In addition, all are given access to the central cafeteria to enjoy the cuisine offered there.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, anyone who is considering retirement within the next year would be foolish to let this go by. Take the money and run. Only one bad thing about this package. It should include Directors, PAD, and AD's (Key Personnel). After all, aren't they the ones who have the high salaries and the bad business decisions.

Anonymous said...

People would be foolish to pass on the opportunity to leave, even if they were no lab-offered incentives. If the ship is sinking slowly, and you have enough time to prepare for an orderly departure, you should prepare for your orderly departure.

Anonymous said...

May 8, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Looks like you were right on the money all along. The SSVSP is open to all classification and no cap even though they say only 600 are needed but more will be good for all. Maybe if we get 1500 to go there will be no need for an ISP needed to balance FY-14 budget issues. If they don't get enough I will assure you an ISP is coming in FY-14 and every FY thereafter. The nation is 17T in debt, do you really think they need NIF or any other project other than national security? NOT!

Anonymous said...

are there any incentives being offered? or just a layoff that lets employees claim unemployment insurance?

Anonymous said...

Well done Parney. I, as many, expect the labs budget to be reduced until your facility is down to about 1/2 of what the lab is today and I suspect the labs mission will not be alternative energy, but focused on missions to supporting dark ops.

Anonymous said...

May 8, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Get a copy of Parney's presentation and you'll know all you need to know. I'm sure someone will post it here shortly.

Anonymous said...

Follow the money, follow the money fellow Livermorons

Charlie McMillan

Anonymous said...

WOW ...

This is only a good deal if you are old enough to retire.

If your a 40's aged person with 20 years your take home is maybe 30k after tax man. Unless you have a job waiting with benefits, this does not seem like a good deal.

I guess you could get obama care, unemployment and food stamps. FTW

This is a good way to help push fence sitters and save the bacon of a few.

3.8 million a day to run the lab.

CR,2014 budget, ISP will still have to happen. sorry

600 hundred employees = if were lucky 4 days at the stated 3.8 million a day burn rate.

Its not a lie ..something has to give. The lab cannot continue to suck the money from WFO projects to pay for NIF.

I will start the rumor .. ISP followed by pay cuts, with employee contributions getting cranked up as stated today.

All this done before OCT 2013.




Anonymous said...

I told you so!!!

A co-worker of mine accepted the vsp , he told me he had a job lined up out of state. his last comment was FTL baby!!!

Anonymous said...

If your a 40's aged person with 20 years your take home is maybe 30k after tax man.

May 8, 2013 at 7:59 PM

For what?? A janitor or very low-level tech? A Ph.D. scientist of mid-40's and 20 years experience is earning at least mid-$90k, probably over $100k. Get real.

Anonymous said...

So does this affect the planned furlough days for the remainder of this year?

Anonymous said...

To answer a number of questions posted:
Outcome of meeting: The VSP is one week's pay per years service up to 26 weeks. Applications must be submitted by May 23, employment separation date is June 13. There is a limit of 600 that can take the VSP, per DOE agreement.

There should not be any furloughs if enough workers take the good bye package.

As for the 40's age person with 20 years taking home 30K, I assume that means the take home for the "consideration pay" after taxes (since it would be taxed at a higher rate if taken as a lump sum). At 40 he/she is too young to take a retirement salary.

Parney expects 300-400 to take the VSP, but I don't think he realizes how disgruntled the troops are. I bet its closer to the 600. I will be leaving - a few years earlier than planned, but I value my sanity more than a paycheck!

Anonymous said...

Parney deserves alot of credit for making a very hard decision. No cap and broad eligibility means more work down the line for the lab to figure out how to fill in gaps created by the departure of many key people.

Anonymous said...

May 9, 2013 at 12:16 AM

There is a limit of 600 that can take the VSP, per DOE agreement.

When did he set this limit. I thought he said 600 is what he wants but more would be just find and would help them with their FY-14 budget.

Anonymous said...


Are they going to get 600? Seems like alot. Are there going to be RIFs?

Anonymous said...

May 9, 2013 at 6:32 AM

I was hoping they'd get 1,500 but it looks like NNSA limited that number to 600. What a shame. There should have been NO LIMIT. Will they get 600, I hope so..

Anonymous said...

Shit. I should have waited 2 years. Congratulations to all you prescient people who saw through the fog. Now get the hell out of there.

Anonymous said...

I would tend to think that parney's estimate is probably in the ballpark. Unless you are close to retirement, already have secured a job or have good prospects, it might be hard to justify taking such a leap of faith when they could take their chances and stay a bit longer, earning a salary along the way.

Anonymous said...

May 9, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Parney only needs 366 people to balance his budget problem. I think he'll get far more than that and therefore all you left behind should be safe until the next cut when there are no old people to take the leap. That's when the butt puckering will start.

Anonymous said...


There are far more than 600 old people at the lab...we've got a couple of rounds of these VSPs before we run out of old people.

Anonymous said...


This was one of the best all-hands in a long while. Light on the BS, mostly just straight to the point.

Parney answered questions pretty darn clearly and candidly, and showed a growing command of the LLNL-specific issues (vs general DC issues).

I'd like to see more all-hands like this. No slides, lay it out candidly as you see it, dialog with the crowd.

Anonymous said...

May 9, 2013 at 6:19 PM


Short, sweet, and to the point, leaving the politics, boasting and chest thumping for those in DC who don't know their ass from a hole in the ground. The people who do the work don't really care. Great job Parney.

Anonymous said...

There should not be any furloughs if enough workers take the good bye package.

Separate issues.

VSP is about positioning for FY14.

Parney said that he could not rule out furloughs to get through FY13. He also said the situation still so dynamic that two weeks ago he would have thought he could get away without furlough. At this moment, still TBD.

Anonymous said...

I just want to give a shout out to Parney! He mentioned he reads the blog during his all-hands.

Anonymous said...

LANL had no problems finding close to 600 staff who were eager to jump ship last May. Most of them came from the scientist categories. In fact, even after the VSP severance payout was done, additional staff continued to bail from the place over the last year.

LANL is much quieter now with fewer people. The lab's top-heavy management team constantly barks at the remaining workers to "Get the work done with fewer people". Stress abounds.

With fewer worker-bees available who secure lab funding, the lab's labor cost have gone up even higher. Overhead costs also go up to help pay for the VSP severance package for those who left. This makes it even increasingly difficult for researchers who stay behind to secure enough funding for their projects.

The term "Death Spiral" is a very appropriate description for what's happening at LANL and now, at LLNL. Unfortunately, this won't be the last set of employee reductions you will see at the NNSA labs over the next few years.




Anonymous said...

The term "Death Spiral" is a very appropriate description for what's happening at LANL and now, at LLNL. -- Unfortunately, this won't be the last set of employee reductions you will see at the NNSA labs over the next few years.-- This SSVSP just gets LLNL to the point where they can start working on the next action that must be taken.

Anonymous said...

At least the parking availability has improved. Way to go, LANS!

Anonymous said...

Postdoc positions in academia are for the birds, unless you really want to go to academia. Take the money, starting salaries at the labs are good.

Anonymous said...

How about something important like how many people have signed up for the SSVSP as of today 5-10-2013.

Anonymous said...

Anybody know if there will be a package for those who would be subject to any subsequent involuntary layoff? Seems like a week per year service is hardly worth taking when you make a hundred thousand a year...

Anonymous said...

May 10, 2013 at 12:28 PM

That's all you are every going to get, now or ever. Stick around and maybe you'll get nothing but put in the hospitol like two others I know last week due to the stress. yes sir buddy, just hang in their for the benny's.

Anonymous said...

Anybody know if there will be a package for those who would be subject to any subsequent involuntary layoff?

May 10, 2013 at 12:28 PM

If "anyone" knew, you would know, because it would be public knowledge. It astounds me how many clueless people think an anonymous blog is the place to go for information. IT'S ALL RUMOR, FOLKS. Face it , you realy don't want real information, just some rumor to make you feel better. Pathetic. By the way, the common sense answer to your question is: NO!! You want a "package"? See the guy at the liquor store.

Anonymous said...

May 10, 2013 at 7:17 PM stated:
If "anyone" knew, you would know, because it would be public knowledge.

He then goes on to say everything is rumor. Hate to burst your cynical bubble (and I am a cynical person) but there is a separation package that is part of the lab's policy. It is viewable on the lab's internal web pages.

There are the usual wiggle words in it but in the case of a layoff due to lack of funds or lack of work, a package is available - 1 week of pay for each year of work. You need to sign a waiver to get the payout, I assume it's the same one that is in play for the SSVSP that is in play now.

"career employees, trainees, apprentices, and term appointees, and are eligible to receive vacation and sick leave credits from LLNS, you may be eligible for Severance Program benefits if you lose your job due to a layoff. Your termination must be pursuant to a layoff as provided in Section K.III of the PPPM"

Severance Program benefits for an eligible employee consist of payments that are equal to one week’s pay for that eligible employee as determined in accordance with Section L.II.10 of the PPM. An eligible employee may receive a Severance Program benefit payment for each year of continuous full-time equivalent service that the eligible employee worked in accordance with Section L.II.10 of the PPPM. A fractional year of full-time equivalent service of six months or more is counted as one year of service. The maximum benefit amount available to an employee is 26 weeks’ pay for that employee.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has that by Friday morning 140 employees have opted to take the package.

Anonymous said...

Major credit to Parney for how he handled the situation so far. WAY better than how it was done at LANL. What will make the difference in the future is how those that decide to stay feel about the work environment.

Anonymous said...

May 10, 2013 at 7:17 PM


yeah, it's all rumor. I guess that why some DSOB out here said the SSVSP was rumor too and lookey here. I think the only one who thinks this blog is rumor is YOU bozo. Get a life. More facts have come out here that any information an LLNL employee could or would get from the secretive ULM that runs that joint. ISP's will come for many years to come, period. The party is over. Maybe when LLNL is 50% the size it is now and $17T debt is paid in full it may grow again but thanks to the socialist democratic party that will not be in the next few decades. Party Over Fools !

Anonymous said...

May 10, 2013 at 7:17 PM


yeah, it's all rumor. I guess that why some DSOB out here said the SSVSP was rumor too and lookey here. I think the only one who thinks this blog is rumor is YOU bozo. Get a life. More facts have come out here that any information an LLNL employee could or would get from the secretive ULM that runs that joint. ISP's will come for many years to come, period. The party is over. Maybe when LLNL is 50% the size it is now and $17T debt is paid in full it may grow again but thanks to the socialist democratic party that will not be in the next few decades. Party Over Fools !

Anonymous said...

May 10, 2013 at 8:53 PM

That's not a very good number. They better get a lot more or all of you left behind will see a BIG ISP come Oct 2013. The people on EBA and the so called transition list have better get lubed up and ready for some pain cause you're about ready to get the shaft.

Anonymous said...

The D is DSOB is what?

Anonymous said...

Bigger debt means more money for the lab to burn on unneeded projects like NIF and SSP

Anonymous said...

Dumb, Drunk, Dopey, Dipsh--, etc. Take your pick.

Anonymous said...

If you're looking at the VSP as a financial benefit, re-run the numbers. Much better to wait till Oct when the Lab is in deeper trouble. ISP get the same buyout, and you stay fully employed till then. Besides, there is a good chance the Lab will blow the layoff and you can win more in a law suit.

Anonymous said...

May 11, 2013 at 6:20 PM


They will not blow the lay-off, you are all AT WILL employees and can be released for any reason at any time and you have zero recourse. This is not UC anymore. You have NO rights. Have you not read the new lay-off policy. Anyone who is close should take the SSVSP since the ISP is coming soon if they don't get their 600 they are requesting. Quite frankly I was hoping there was NO LIMIT and ANYONE who wanted to go would be allowed to go but as you can see NNSA caped it. Mistake !

Anonymous said...

Major credit to Parney for how he handled the situation so far. WAY better than how it was done at LANL. What will make the difference in the future is how those that decide to stay feel about the work environment.

May 11, 2013 at 5:51 AM

I give a lot of credit to Parney for NOT excluding certain job classes. Rich Marquez (through McMillan) excluded hundreds of workers. Marquez is an absolute ass.

Anonymous said...

Marquez is an absolute ass.

May 11, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Ask any woman who has worked for him what kind of boss he is. The ones who will talk are already talking - to lawyers. His days are numbered. His macho Hispanic persona is about to burn in hell.

Anonymous said...

Quite frankly I was hoping there was NO LIMIT and ANYONE who wanted to go would be allowed to go but as you can see NNSA caped it. Mistake.

Odds are they will not hit 600, so the cap will be moot and ANYONE that did want to go, WILL. It's not that much of an incentive. Just clears out people very near retirement--and some that have been waiting the past year to see if an incentive would materialize.

Anonymous said...

LLNL is lucky to have a Director like Parney but he inherited a mismanaged mess. He had to deal with Tomas when new to the Director job and now has to deal with everything from Bergman to the 2008 ISP.

Anonymous said...

He also has to take out the remaining trash, some of the really bad managers who are legal and reputational liabilities to NNSA. Also the legal risk that these managers bring puts the management fee in jeopardy. Oddly enough, the for-profit mechanism is putting in some of the correct incentives. Get rid of the trash. Managers who have personal vendettas against well-respected scientists under their organization, blocking them from getting off of EBA, managers that lie to their sponsors/customers, managers that systematically oversell lab capabilities. You got lawsuits waiting to ram LLNS up the ass if these managers aren't eliminated.

Anonymous said...

A few egregious cases can lead to punitive damages that will wipe out their fee even if they get a 100% on it. I'm actually curious to see the lab terminate the employment of the cases I know of and have them take the lab to the cleaners. All because of a few bad division leaders and program managers.

Anonymous said...

LLNL will easily hit close to the 600 number. Not to worry, there are far more people eager to get out of this sad place than many imagine.

However, please remember that this time they are giving you the "carrot" (i.e., up to 26 weeks of severance pay). The next time they'll probably use the "stick" (i.e., leave now or immediately lose your retirement medical benefits).

My advice: Take the goods that you know you'll get today rather than the punishment that will come tomorrow! It's foolish to think the future offers will ever get close to matching this one.

Anonymous said...

May 10, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Looks like you were dead wrong again bubba. The blog gives out better information than the people we work for do. Hang in the butty, you have learn something someday.

Anonymous said...

Parney's number is likely to be in the ball park of actuals.

Anonymous said...

2:46, you need to do your research regarding severance pay and involuntary layoffs. When you do you'll realize that the number of people taking the VSP won't be anywhere close to 600.

Anonymous said...

Non-retirees won't automatically take separation just because they are unhappy. They will be even more unhappy 6 months into being unemployed. Only people with jobs lined up or good prospects would you expect to take separation (aside from old farts close to retirement.). You old farts are so lucky, I gotta tell you!

Anonymous said...

Dang old farts, they got everything good...except having to change the underwear five times a day.

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Anonymous said...

I am one of those happy little old farts who has signed up for the VSP. Was going to plow through a couple more years, but what the hell. 30+ years is enough!

My pension will be less, but I'm in good health, and will have time to travel, volunteer, relax, and watch LLNS spiral downhill from the sidelines.

Anonymous said...

how many people so far have signed up for taking VSP? Any idea?

Anonymous said...

About 300

Anonymous said...

did you guess the number 300 or from reliable sources?

Anonymous said...

Hmm, LANL Employees received up to 39weeks of separation pay last April. Bummer for you LLNL types.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, LANL Employees received up to 39weeks of separation pay last April. Bummer for you LLNL types.

May 15, 2013 at 3:18 PM

That's right, and Supreme Leader MacMillion Charlie imediately changed it to 26 weeks to bring LANL down to the lvel of his home base.

Anonymous said...

"Hmm, LANL Employees received up to 39weeks of separation pay last April. Bummer for you LLNL types."

Only a "bummer" for those of us with more than 26 years of service. Anyway, 26 weeks of severance pay is the normal standard maximum for industry.

Anonymous said...

LANL severance in the 1990s was 52 weeks max..since 2006 new math not equivalent equivalent.

Anonymous said...

I heard 300 signed up, from two reliable sources. However some of these may rescind, and others have 9 more days to sign up. So who knows?

Anonymous said...

How many people have signed up for VSP as of May 17? Any one has the number?

Anonymous said...

Only 2 days left to sign up for VSP. It will be interesting to see whether we have achieved the goal of 600.

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