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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 authors serve as moderators. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Friday, September 6, 2013

PA. input due soon

LLNL P.A due soon. Here is a sold response ******, I am reluctant to provide feedback for my performance appraisal. Fact remains in my 15 years of service here I have only managed to move up one rank group, and my largest raise was 2.5 percent. I do understand that salary packages have not been that great, but that is not the issue. Considering the level of responsibility I have, I should have been a 300 eight years ago. All of the PA inputs I have filled out, the inputs from others, the numerous awards I have received, the presentations I have done, none of this has made a difference. I have had ownership of this *** *** for a long time. I manage daily operations. I am responsible for the facility. I prioritize and schedule the work. I manage projects at the RI level. I put the process in place to move deliverables out the door in an efficient cost effective manner. I am quality control. I have developed a flexible work force to provide additional labor when needed. This program is Work for Others and competes with the other two labs. We have four primary customers, and they recognize Livermore products when they see them. I am directly responsible for that. I have given tours here for some high ranking officials. My input for the PA Process has never made a difference. If you think it’s of value, then I will do it. Historically it has not made a difference. Input or no input I get the same raise and the same recognition.

42 comments:

scooby said...

Imagine the savings realized by eliminating PAs! They have no impact on raises and promotions.If they did, they would be initiated by your manager, not yourself. Managers know it, got tired of it, shifted the burden of doing it to the employees. No manager has the gut to publicly admit it. My longest PA session was 3 minutes. It included a joke about why I got a 0.45%

Anonymous said...

The HR process at LLNL is completely corrupt. As an employee at LLNL, I feel nothing but shame to be forced to be a part of it.

Anonymous said...

Of course it's a stupid exercise, always has been. You need to face the fact that LLNL is like a ghost ship right now. It is in a long death spiral and nobody cares about anything anymore. The entire focus of the institution is to create lots of onerous senseless rules and procedures to make sure that no actual work gets done. Unless you find another job, you need to just accept the fact that no progress in your career or in the Lab as a whole will ever happen. Just do a simple write-up of what you did last year, submit it and forget about it. There is no point in not submitting it--you'll just create trouble for yourself. Just let it go.

Anonymous said...

I have always assume that "behind the curtains" the real staff ratings are being done in secret by managers using the infamous "stack ranking" method that is used and hated by employees at many corporations. It's a morale busting method in which someone, no matter how good or how hard of a worker they are, must lose out.

The PA is really a meaningless exercise. It's just the window dressing so that the real method can remain hidden from the employees.

Anonymous said...

As long as we have a management, which believes that grading should be according to a Gaussian distribution, the whole process is meaningless.

The C students who run the place now, probably never had a class in statistics, where they would have learned about randomness.

Anonymous said...

PA are just a CYI requirement. When there is no money to give it doesn't make a rats ass if you were the best or out performed everyone in the entire group. All you'll get is "maybe" a thank you and a lot of headaches and sit there asking yourself. Why did I work so hard for this when there are others who sat on their ass all years, made $10K more a year than you do and still are moving up instead of being bounced out the gate? LLNL is a sad place to work. Anywhere else in the private sector not only would I have gotten a pay raise but would have been advanced ASAP to make even more money and the AH who did nothing would have been gone.

Anonymous said...

PA really doesn't matter, I did alot of PA in the last 23 yrs, no progress made. Attended the ranking process in the past. It was just a big joke and waste of valuable time. After the ranking process upper mgt change the changed the employee ranking. It boils down to: It takes 1 oh Sh*t to wipeout 1,000 atta boys. They dont forget your Oh sh*t till you retire.Whoever is the favorite gets the increase in pay.

Anonymous said...

The most hated employee at LLNL is the person who shows up to work every day and gets the work done. In the private sector, they are considered the most valued employees but at LLNL they are considered suckers. LLNL ULM: "That employee makes the deadlines no matter what so no pay raise required." Private sector ULM: "That employee makes the deadlines no matter what so should get the biggest raise."

Anonymous said...

Forget spending much time on PAs. The only way to get a truly big pay increase is to leave the general workforce and fight your way using every means necessary into a lab management position. Once there, you'll spend almost all your time doing mostly useless "management" stuff that requires issuing CYA paperwork and CYA policies.

If you make it into management, you'll be highly compensated, job protected and a member of the club of parasites who seem to thrive in the NNSA's new 'for-profit' LLC system. If you make it into the exclusive executive ranks of management, you'll be privy to the lucrative 20% annual bonuses for brow beating your employees into submission on minor safety issues.

That's where we are at at the LLC run NNSA "research" labs. These labs now involve little "research" and lots of lucrative "management". The PA process has little to do with compensation.

Anonymous said...

Ask your supervisor for a project/task number for the time you spend on the PA process. When your supervisor tells you to charge one of your programmatic accounts, tell him/her that this would be illegal since the PA process is not specified in any programmatic Statement of Work agreed to by your sponsors. Tell your supervisor that if management believes the PA process is so important, then management should be willing to pay for it. They siphon hundreds of millions of dollars in overhead taxes from the programs each year. Clearly management has the money.

The PA process is a joke and an expensive waste. Management demonstrates it's incompetence by the fact that the process keeps changing each year. One would think they would eventually get it right. Obviously not.

Anonymous said...

The managers are indeed paid to do the entire PA process, but they're too busy.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about the PA's. I have performed exceptionally well and have been nationally recognized. LLNL however has not provided so much as an above average raise. I am not sure why I bother to work so hard, it doesn't make any difference. There is no connection between successful performance and raises, for me at least. Somebody is getting the raise money, probably the managers. Getting ready to quit. No sense in working your tail off for no or below average raise. Time to go back to a tech company where they at least reward you for your work.

Anonymous said...

Ask your supervisor for a project/task number for the time you spend on the PA process.

For those of you who are unfortunate enough to be still employed by LLNL, this could be a real win. Over my many years at the Lab, management has made it clear that it does not fund the entire PA process. Matrix organizations that receive a large amount of indirect funding could easily fund the ranking process, but instead divert their funding to other areas, e.g., supplementing research that didn't make the LDRD cut.

Anonymous said...

Well said. The PA process is an inside joke in Engineering. Management always have their buzzwords they throw out to you...1/n ranking and algorithms determine raises. Wrong. If you are liked and kiss the dorsal sides of engineering management, you will get raises and promoted. Case closed. If you are matrixed to another organization (GS) and kick-ass, work hard, and gain recognition from WFO customers, OGAs and respect from peers from the other DOE labs. The sad truth is your payroll organization does not give a flying F. You basically can run circles around your peers in your rank group, but while you are working in the rain at 3am in the southeastern US for an OGA WFO customer, your peers in engineering are volunteering for cooking veggie dogs at the latest fundraiser. Guess who gets the raise? That's right. My payroll organization does not have a fricking clue what we do.

Anonymous said...

you expect a raise with that kind of attitude?

Anonymous said...

you expect a raise with that kind of attitude?
If you are part of the ULM you have heard the sentiments of the rank and file employees regarding the PA system. Please do whatever is needed to improve the PA system for the younger generation. For us long timers it is too late for the change we are captive to the Lab but we still want the Lab to succeed. The only way for the Lab to succeed is to retain the best ands finest.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
you expect a raise with that kind of attitude?

September 7, 2013 at 11:34 PM

Says it all. Raises at LLLNL are dependent on attitude, not productivity. Must be a manager tuning up for this round.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

you expect a raise with that kind of attitude?

September 7, 2013 at 11:34 PM"

You say attitude, man that is a rich rich one coming from such putrid vile scum like you. This is so typical of the new LLNL age of "strip as much money as can from the place and F* America" attitude that the new low level life forms that have been brought in have. I take that back I don't want to insult low level life forms. All
you losers care about is getting as much profit for as little work. You scum don't care about results, the mission, the workforce, the ideas, honor, and the American people. I know you think you are the elite and part of the group of winners in life that gets the big salaries, but in hearts you know what you truly are. You think of the LLNL and LANL workforce as slave cattle and people who are not adapting to the new corporate world attitude of winner takes all and F* the rest. Ya we know your attitude all right, it is the same attitude that tanked the economy. The attitude of making fun of people with morals and integrity, the hatred toward dignity, values and most of all your hatred toward meaning. You can justify what has happened by saying nothing has any meaning, well you can take you managerial Nihilism and shove it. God I hope America wakes up to see what this foul smelling corruption is doing to us and where it will take us if it lets us. The national labs used to be shinning examples of greatness of America. Now they are symbols of what corruption and greed does to institutions. Maybe all great things must end and perhaps what was made American great must also come to end but it is better to fight for what is right than to happily embrace evil and justify you actions. I have some news for you and your lot, some people up in DOE and DC are starting to realize what an utter colossal failure the contract changes has been. Maybe there is some hope but no matter what in the end you will lose “For how is a man benefited if he should gain the whole world and he should lose his soul?”


Anonymous said...

What would you do to fix the PA and salary management system?

Anonymous said...


What would you do to fix the PA and salary management system?

Remove human resources from the process. In fact, consider eliminating human resources entirely and save burden cost by releasing all HR personnel. Have departments where employees perform directly for customers soley responsible for employee performance, evaluation and salary administration.

Remove the barriers between employee performance and employee rewards.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that the comments here fall into 2 types: (1) PAs and raises are not "fair", in the sense that good work is not rewarded more than avergae work; (2) the PA process is too complicated, difficult, opaque, useless, etc. The reason that the system is so complex is that it attempts to proceduralize fairness.

I often hear that the solution is to "do it the way they do it in industry." I think that means letting managers have more discretion in determining raises. That would certainly be a lot less effort, but it seems that it would tend toward even more favoritism.

So, all you "outside industry" folks (current or ex)- how SHOULD we do this?

Anonymous said...

I think the PA process is wonderful and well-defined. We are the beacon of management expertise here at LLNL.

Do I get a big raise now?

Anonymous said...

Well, no, because ...

Anonymous said...

Give everyone the same percentage increase and top performers a bonus. Stop trying to manage with money - try actually managing and fire those who don't measure up!

Anonymous said...


One of the issues with measuring "performance" at the labs is that the prime motivators are the PBIs. The lions share of that is for safety and security. One way to help increase safety and security is to not do anything. In this way a large fraction of the workforce is really seen as a liability rather than an asset. You can do a great job at what you do and be the best at the lab doing that but that does not bring in the bonus. More likely is that if you where never showed up to work than the same bonus would still be made. Why should the PA input change than? I think a big part of the problem was just the wording in the contract. It should have said
bonus is maximized for fro safety, security and excellence in science and engineering. If you look at the wording you can see that that actual work is very small part and you just have to do some to get it. If we are willing to pay millions for a fee at least we can demand results on all fronts, not just safety and security. In the end not one improvement has been made. I personally do not even believe we are safer or more secure but we now have more power to cover these up. Additionally by doing less work we will by definition be more safe and security. In fact if you just closed down the lab safety and security would be 100%. Sure maybe a few deliverables would not be meet but I am sure you could get a waiver or something and 80-90 percent of the fee would still be given. I know this sounds incredible but just think about it.

Anonymous said...

"September 10, 2013 at 3:12 AM
Give everyone the same percentage increase and top performers a bonus. Stop trying to manage with money - try actually managing and fire those who don't measure up!"

I think this is a great idea. But..since it takes so long to actually fire those who don't measure up,give them a clear message right now with a $0 increase to start.

Anonymous said...

Hard working employees, that take the companies business seriously are not valued, and do not receive pay raises.

It is unfortunate.

Anonymous said...

I like the story about how the managers, in the outside world, would command much larger dollars. While the lowly workers who have the skills to "actually do" and "execute" the job are next to worthless.

Anonymous said...

You would think that managers %salary increase would be capped at some actual dollar amount (since they also get a large bonus).

Leave something on the table for others.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I like the story about how the managers, in the outside world, would command much larger dollars. While the lowly workers who have the skills to "actually do" and "execute" the job are next to worthless.

September 10, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Sounds like it run by Rechtal & Company

Anonymous said...

No surprise here, we already manage ourselves and get the job done for the client. Only makes sense, that in essence, we do our own appraisals too.

Tell me again why we (at the worker level) don't get reasonable pay raises or any of that bonus action?

Anonymous said...

The link between employee effort and reward is unclear. This is a fundamental failure of performance management.

The PA/salary managment process is a CYA exercise, an expensive and distracting exercise.

New deputy AD Steve Leidle walked out of his first of Miller's 3-day Nifty-Fifty ranking pissing contests appalled. Even a Retchtilian bored of the ego-trip.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of crap the PA is, they can hold down your ranking, move you to a lower classification based on moving you to lower level where you will be at the top of the range or vice versa. Bottom line, it is a manipulateable system that allows management to do whatever they want (like the layoff at LLNL). Fairness has no place in the performance appraisal process.

Anonymous said...

Tell me again why we (at the worker level) don't get reasonable pay raises or any of that bonus action?

September 12, 2013 at 5:45 AM

Because 1) your pay raises are reasonable by industry standards, and 2) the bonuses are for management. Get a clue who you work for, it ain't UC anymore. You are a corporate drone. If you haven't realized that after 7 or 8 years of corporate management, you are just clueless.

Anonymous said...

If you don't have a real voice as a worker, your salary and benefits WILL start to erode.

We've seen a lot of eroding since the for-profits took over the NNSA labs.

Anonymous said...

Management has failed. Both people & facilities need to be managed. The majority of the people have been let down.

Anonymous said...

LLNS is unique in that it recruits PhDs from CalTech then goes out of its way to demonstrate to the recruits that all LLNS employees are expendable. The PA/raise process is one way tthat LLNS denonstrates its tactics to the employees, mainly that nepotism is all that matters and the people who do the work don't matter.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Albright, notice the common thread, you're hard workers and you're dedicated workers are not appreciated or rewarded.

The tipping point will be when they no longer care, and you're at that point. Might want the distribute largesse.

Anonymous said...

I know of a way to get an increase each year without going through the Bloody PA process - I get a cost of living increase each year because I took TCP2 and elected to retire as a UC retiree. So I had to retire a little earlier than I wanted to but, as time goes by, I get closer each year to that magical amount that I envisioned years ago . . . and I do NOT contribute to any retirement fund or listen to Bechtel Parney (hmm BP initials) crap talks about how we are all in the same boat together. Of course some of us have first class accommodations and the rest of us ride in steerage. My motto: Retire early and often!!!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Albright, notice the common thread, you're hard workers and you're dedicated workers are not appreciated or rewarded.

The tipping point will be when they no longer care, and you're at that point. Might want the distribute largesse.

September 15, 2013 at 2:28 PM

So you can use an uncommon word like "largesse" correctly, but you don't know the difference between "you're" (a contraction of "you are",) and "your" (a possessive adjective, which is what you meant). Astounding. I am a loss to explain this except possibly by envisioning someone who never learned grammar, but who nonetheless reads a lot. Interesting. But still problematic for you in educated society.

Anonymous said...

7:20

We reward managers that don't actually manage, so I think we can accept poor grammar if the message has value.

Is it a smart idea to treat the dedicated workers poorly? Will they stop caring at some point? Is there some strategic gain to this behavior?

Anonymous said...

Moral in the Engineering Directorate at LLNL is at an all time low...and now (drum roll) it's PA season....hurray!!! And with an expected low CIP, and a total movement of 15% across the directorate, that will mean 85% of folks WILL NOT move up in ranking. Have a nice day...

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