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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 author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Monday, November 11, 2013

Next round of cuts jan 1st

Jan 1st and this next round of cuts will be far more painful than the first dose of last spring. The poisoned political atmosphere in Congress makes it highly unlikely that sequestration cuts will be throttled back anytime soon. Further cutbacks in lab staffing will be necessary soon after these next cuts hit. Get prepared as best you can: ******** Automatic spending cuts would bite more in 2014 ********* AP News, Nov 11, 2013 WASHINGTON (AP) — The first year of automatic, across-the-board budget cuts didn't live up to the dire predictions from the Obama administration and others who warned of sweeping furloughs and big disruptions of government services. The second round just might. Several federal agencies found lots of loose change that helped them through the automatic cuts in the 2013 budget year that ended Sept. 30, allowing them to minimize furloughs and maintain many services. Most of that money, however, has been spent. The Pentagon used more than $5 billion in unspent money from previous years to ease its $39 billion budget cut. Furloughs originally scheduled for 11 days were cut back to six days. The Justice Department found more than $500 million in similar money that allowed agencies like the FBI to avoid furloughs altogether. Finding replacement cuts is the priority of budget talks scheduled to resume this week, but many observers think the talks won't bear fruit. Agencies that have thus far withstood the harshest effects of the across-the-board cuts in 2013 are bracing for a second round of cuts that'll ... http://finance.yahoo.com/news/automatic-spending-cuts-bite-more-081524860.html

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

The crack executive teams at the NNSA labs have this messy situation well in hand. No need to worry.

We'll all be put on "Heather Wilson" style retainers and any talk regarding "Where did the money come from for all these retainers?" will be hushed up as corporate propriotary information. It's all good on the Bechtel Mushroom Farm!

Anonymous said...

November 11, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Did you intend your comment to be taken seriously by anyone? If not, why bother? No one cares about what you seem to think is your sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

This is what I heard from well-placed sources starting last summer, the big layoff will come after Jan. 1 - at least everyone without a fully-funded position, possibly far beyond that. Knapp is the right hatchet man for the job.

Anonymous said...

We are $17T in debt and $126 T in unfunded liabilities and those must be "zero'd" out before any additional funding is to be let go

November 12, 2013 at 11:03 AM

You keep spouting that nonsense as if it were even possible. It isn't. Where is that kind of money going to come from? Have you done any math? If so, lets see it. If not, then STFU. Hint: shutting down the national labs and stopping all foreign aid won't touch even .01% of the problem. The only solution is long-term, sustained economic growth, so that tax revenues increase significantly without raising rates. It's been done before. It requires two main things: Government that doesn't get in the way of job creation, and teachers unions that don't get in the way of education.

Anonymous said...

The only solution is long-term, sustained economic growth, so that tax revenues increase significantly without raising rates. It's been done before. It requires two main things: Government that doesn't get in the way of job creation, and teachers unions that don't get in the way of education.

You are screwed. Find a new job and BTW you can STFUAH -FU

Anonymous said...

You are screwed.

November 12, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Uh, no. My personal economic situation has never been better. But thanks for caring.

Anonymous said...

We are $17T in debt and $126 T in unfunded liabilities and those must be "zero'd" out before any additional funding is to be let go

November 12, 2013 at 11:03 AM

All funding must stop until the bills are paid w/o increasing taxes on anyone or for any reason.

Anonymous said...

All funding must stop until the bills are paid w/o increasing taxes on anyone or for any reason.

November 12, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Yeah, keep smokin' that stuff. "All funding" of what? You want to "zero out" the Marines? The Coast Guard? You want all Social Security recipients to be cut off? Do the math, and then come back and explain it to us.

Anonymous said...

What ever it takes to pay the bills except for higher taxes on anyone. http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Anonymous said...

(1) Sequestration cuts will take place on Jan 1st. All signs in Washington DC point to this.

(2) Funding will be further reduced at the labs.

(3) I see no other solution to deal with this than to begin further cuts in lab employment.

Travel, equipment, etc. have already been cut to the bone. The odds of growing new programs in this fiscal environment look poor. If there are other rational solutions to deal with shrinking budgets I would sure love to hear them but I see no other choice than to continue downsizing the NNSA labs.

Anonymous said...

Thus far non-producers in management have been immune to budget cuts (not moved into EIT or EBA status). I don't expect that to change before hundreds of producers are out the gate. The management wagons are effectively circled for now.

Anonymous said...

Why isn't all this done before Dec 25th so people know where they stand instead of waiting until Jan 2014. Is it because they've laid off to many people in 2013 already?

Anonymous said...

Right, unless DC gets its act together, there will be more cuts after Jan. 1, and there are no options left other than to cut staff. Hopefully they won't do it like they did last time, all at once and forcing everyone to do the drive of shame through the cones and out the gates.

Anonymous said...

I bet Knapp will make sure the red/orange cones will be properly placed this time and security guards will be marching faster in chasing unfortunated employees out the gate. Will any manager be in the groups being chased out?

Anonymous said...

Without a unified front or material opposition, the LLNS management population will not be reduced in proportion (if reduced at all) to the "worker bees" come the pending reduction in force.

I am not suggesting we unionize, but I do think a rational free flowing "town hall" style meeting or meetings with the Director, NNSA LSO, and others would be constructive.

Or, we can just wait and hope all will work out in the best interest of what the Lab is here for. LLNS bloated management staff will not self-deport without external input.

Anonymous said...

The insane ratio of a managers to "worker bees" has been getting worse every year. This shocking ratio has been a constant theme in almost every report done on the NNSA labs for the past decade and is pointed out as one of the key causes for the high cost of doing business at the NNSA labs. I doubt any of this is about to change.

As more "worker bees" are forced out of the lab while management remains untouched, remaining "worker bees" are told to work harder and to do it with less. The cost of research labor for any remaining projects rise higher and higher as smaller groups of "worker bees" are required to support the ever growing levels of bloated management. You may hear talk about making the labs "more efficient" but the best way to do this would be to streamline the bloated ranks of management and that simply won't happen.

Management calls for "efficiency" will be achieved by: (1) making sure "worker bee" salaries remain stagnant or decrease, (2) cutting the benefits of "worker bees", and (3) making the "worker bees" do their jobs with less travel, less equipment, less of almost everything.

If you been at the lab for the last few years you know this routine all too well by now.

Anonymous said...

November 15, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Sorry I do not buy the whole "too many managers". Our management to worker ratio is now set to the corporate norm. We are a corporation now like or not. If you are in corporation than management is where the money is and getting into management should be your goal. If you do not have what it takes to become a manager than that is on you and not on the people who have the brains, drive, and know how to get it done and become management. If you want to always be a worker bee than fine be a worker bee but stop sh*ng on those that strive to become more and achieve something with their lives and become managers. It is time to realize that you are in the real world now. You are not automatically special you have to work to become a manager. Management is very hard work and not for everyone so stop your complaining.

Anonymous said...

November 15, 2013 at 8:58 PM

You are correct. In the old days of the labs, scientists were scientists and were the most respected employees. Managers were usually older scientists who recognized their productive years as scientists were nearing an end, and chose to go into management because they hoped they could help their still-working scientific colleagues to avoid bureaucratic hassles and continue to do good work. Those idyllic days are long over. The government-micromanaged and corporate-profit mentalities have killed them. You can rail against that, Don Quixote-like or you can adapt to survive. Much evidence shows that those species that fail to adapt perish. Decide for yourself. I am certain that you cannot change your environment.

Anonymous said...

"...those that strive to become more and achieve something with their lives and become managers..."

Clearly a manager who appreciates his non-management
"non-achieving" staff (?). Is this attitude representative of the new crop of LLNS managers? Wow.

Anonymous said...

Don't confuse the few real managers with the bloated population of hack beaurocrats and their huge gofer staffs. The old-time soviets would be proud.

Anonymous said...

"Clearly a manager who appreciates his non-management
"non-achieving" staff (?). Is this attitude representative of the new crop of LLNS managers? Wow.

November 15, 2013 at 10:56 PM"

Incorrect, a good manager always appreciates hard working people who want to advance. In a corporation this is how it works, you need to be in it to win it. If you do not intend to win you should not even be in the game. Look at like this if you are in a football game the goal is to win, there is no other point. The same goes for the world. Again the lab has changed. You can cry about how this is bad but that will not change anything. Either get with the program or get out. Either way you will stop you endless complaining.

Anonymous said...

You could loose half the managers and never miss them.

No offense, but LLNL is manager heavy to the point of being silly.

Anonymous said...

"In a corporation this is how it works". Clearly you have not worked in a corporation, especially one that does research. Corporations, and believe it or not LLNL recently, have career advancement tracks for researchers so they don't have to go into management to advance. So you are completely wrong. Your earlier post about LLNL having similar amounts of management as coporations is COMPLETELY wrong. In the company I worked at the managers had to work their behinds off because there were so few of them and they had many people under them. In contrast GS has managers that manage one person. In a corporation that manager would be laid off because it is a useless waste. The burden of management at LLNL is way larger, my guess by a factor of 4 than corporations I have seen. In the layoff the lab got rid of 2600 people (including contractors) and 2 managers were let go. So effectively the lab work force was cut 25% and the management was cut nearly 0%. The lab can get on good footing with a cut of at least 50% of management. A 50% management cut ironically would improve the ability of the lab to get work done and compete for scarce funds.

Anonymous said...

Everyone went to the government funded public school to get the government ideals of the future and how it is to be. Then everyone went to the government funded universities and discovered how nice it was to work with a professor on government funded projects and get paid. Then everyone said how can I get a place at the government funded gravy trough? Yes, I can work at a government funded laboratory were failure is rewarded so no worries as long as I conform to the government ideals. And now that the labs have grown 15% year over year more than the real GDP for the past sixty years evryone wants to blame evryone else for the underfunded labs. For the past sixty years the former U.S has been dismantled and shipped overseas which has destroyed countless lives. Now that the gravy trough is drying up you too will be a normal pathetic broke AmerikKan. I forget everyone at the lab is wealthy and they don't need a job they just work here because they like it!! And the person in the white house is a constitutional Lawyer! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

POS

Anonymous said...

Oh, looky… it's POS-man again!

Yes he certainly is.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but he assures us he is "not bitter." Oh, and he is wealthier than any of us. Yep, he's set for life, except that with his BP and anger problems, he'll be gone soon. You can't polish a POS.

Anonymous said...

Ideally people would differentiate between managers who are paid to spend 100% of their time managing and managers who are paid a small fraction of their time to manage. I'm not convinced LLNL is all that top heavy when you either eliminate the second group or combine their management time into FTE's.

Anonymous said...

There aren't any employees that have a management title and who are not expected to manage 100% of their time. Supervisors are a different story.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
There aren't any employees that have a management title and who are not expected to manage 100% of their time. Supervisors are a different story.

November 20, 2013 at 8:48 PM

So does this mean supervisors are not managers.

Anonymous said...

Whatever you call then we have too many of them, and they are immune from the RIFs.

Anonymous said...

they are immune from the RIFs.

November 21, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Not this time. Just watch. There will be enough people laid off that there will need to be significant reorganization to avoid empty or nearly empty organizations. That kind of action is what lower-level managers fear the most. No need to manage an empty organization. In hierarchical organizations, the lowest-level managers are the most numerous, hence the most vulnerable. Same goes for the admins who support them. If upper management has concern for preserving some managerial technical competence, it probably means some mid-level managers will be demoted to manage the newly reorganized lower organizations. Lots of churn coming.

Anonymous said...

What aremid-level managers? Are they group leaders or division leaders?

Anonymous said...

"...Not this time. Just watch..."

When dos the involuntary layoff occur? Another voluntary first (SSVSP)? Head count reduction needed?

Anonymous said...

The next (and much more draconian) round of sequester cuts is effective Jan. 1. Happy Holidays!

Anonymous said...

1500 plus by Apr 2014

The new rumor flying in the LLNL hallways

Anonymous said...

Only workers get laid off. Managers never have been in the mix.

Anonymous said...

Only workers get laid off. Managers never have been in the mix.

November 22, 2013 at 2:00 PM

That is about to change, big time. Managers get paid from taxing the programs. Fewer programs, less money to pay managers. If the rumored 1500 person layoff is true, look for most WFO and non-NNSA programs to go because no one will be left to do the work. Plus the sequester will kill WFO anyway.

Anonymous said...

Rumoring....at LLNL rumors are the best source of information. I had one supervisor who would tell us the way it is, for better or for wirse. The rest of my supervisors would not tell the true or would dancing around the issues until it is tooooo...late.

Anonymous said...

It is sad that LLNS "leadership" or Senior Management do not respect employees enough to level with them so rumor or word of mouth information is not the only form of communication.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if these rumors will become true. But I do know individual directorate has laid off their employees. Remember that for each directorate,they only need to lay off up to 50 employees. They won't need to comply with the WARN. act. So, conceivably, you can have up to 300 employees being forced to leave the Lab workforce. It has already been taking place around the Lab. You just don't hear about!.

Anonymous said...

Are these already- laid-off employees free or contracts or flex?

Anonymous said...

"...Are these already- laid-off employees free or contracts or flex?..."

It's anyone they want for any reason. "Substantially Equivalent" was thrown under the bus in "slow mo". Like the frog floating in the ever increasing hot water, our collective FTE benefits have eroded away. LLNS HR is not our protector or shepherd folks. In retrospect, we shouldn't have put our employee benefit assumptions on autopilot.

Anonymous said...

I know a guy who was booted just a couple weeks ago without warning, moved to the EBA list and almost immediately escorted offsite. They are laying people off now, just in small numbers - the big numbers require notification per the warn act, that will come later. It is not the lab it used to be, and if you doubt that you may find yourself in a panic when security walks into your office one of these days.

Anonymous said...

Thanks November 23 at 7:50.
For those of you who are unfortunate to be in EBA list. Besure to document every single bit at work. Take home all your documents. If you aqre booted,loook for a good employment laywer.
Even if you do not like the SPSE, give them a call for a referal to a very good employment lawyer.

Anonymous said...

"...a very good employment lawyer..."

The legal deposition phase will be a rude awakening to the self proclaimed "untouchables". No LLNS Staff Relations training wheels or safety nets gents, you will be on your own so be honest and truthful in court. Yes I said honest and truthful. Rumor has it a few LLNS Senior Managers had testimony meltdowns in recent court hearings.

Anonymous said...

Yes I said honest and truthful. Rumor has it a few LLNS Senior Managers had testimony meltdowns in recent court hearings.

November 23, 2013 at 8:35 PM

Is your comment "honest and truthful?" Nope. How about practicing what you preach? "Rumor has it..." is the most destructive phrase in English.

Anonymous said...

Rumor in this case is true. some llnl managers were telling the court one thing, then the documents showed another thing. They were caught lying to their teeth. Amazingly these lousy managers did not get fired but got promoted.

Anonymous said...

http://www.giccb.com/Employment-Law/Wrongful-Termination.shtml

I talked to these people, and they know a lot about LLNL.

November 23, 2013 at 10:39 AM is right, document everything and do not use your lab computer, and save all your emails on your own computer. Names and dates, statements while they are fresh in your mind, your thoughts and impressions, everything.

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time until now; (most) of us at Llnl have relied on rumor to learn about what is happening at the lab. at the end the rumors became true.

Anonymous said...

Forward EVERY email to your personal computer. Do not leave them at work. Take home copies of all documents, excepted classified materials. Out of all 10000 pieces of documents, you may need only one crucial one to win the case. The lawyer will fish out the crucial ones for you.

Anonymous said...

And assume your computer actions are being watched, and every byte on your hard drive including all your emails are being backed up somewhere. If you are canned and file a lawsuit, a pack of lawyers will go through all this and look for evidence to back up whatever their arguments will be. It is hardball, especially now that the lab lost millions in a lawsuit over the 2008 layoff.

Anonymous said...

"Names and dates" yes. Additionally a contact list of similarly situated coworkers and their contact list is good early prep too. Do this tomorrow morning. Recently retired employees are excellent resources as well.

The last thing LLNS Staff Relations and retained attorneys want is for you to have access to multiple acts or patterns of unlawful employment practices because it undermines their divide and conquer strategy.

Anonymous said...

If you are canned and file a lawsuit, a pack of lawyers will go through all this and look for evidence to back up whatever their arguments will be.

The delusion is strong in this one! This "pack" of lawyers will likely cost the lab more than it would cost to just pay you off. Extend this to the numbers likely who need to go and the argument falls apart....if you haven't been surfing for porn, gambling on line, or running a side business on a government machine you're probably fine.

Anonymous said...

if you haven't been surfing for porn, gambling on line, or running a side business on a government machine you're probably fine.

November 24, 2013 at 9:57 AM

What other reason is there to get up and go to work in the morning?

Anonymous said...

What other reason is there to get up and go to work in the morning?

November 24, 2013 at 11:25 AM


I feel ya bro!

Anonymous said...

In case you weren't aware, most of the NNSA labs now place forensic "criminal prosecution" level recording software on all desktop and laptop systems, both Windows and Macs. It runs quietly in the background and records your every action.

They do this so that their teams of lawyers are prepared with the evidence they need when they decide to take you down, for whatever reason. You are considered a likely "criminal" unless they decide otherwise. Encase from Guidance Software is one of the most popular tools they use. The monitoring goes way beyond just watching what web sites you visit. There is no trust left.


Anonymous said...

Porno sites, gambling etc...are forbidden. This is easy. For exempt/salary folks, normal and shopping on line etc...are not bad. But for hourly employees! ! Be very careful with the time you spend on computer. Even on innocent sites. The lab can bog you down on "time spent on computer." If you had a (bad) conversation/encounter with your supervisor. Reiterate it in an email to him afterward. This is to legally document the bad things he said. In court, "he said, she said" does not look solid as an emails
There were few emails that solidified cases against LLNL.

Anonymous said...

November 23 at 10:09 pm is right on the mark.
A good law firm will help ill-treated llnl employees laughing all the way to the bank.

Anonymous said...

Porno sites, gambling etc...are forbidden.

November 24, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Doesn't mean I can't do it, just that I don't give a f*** whether they know or not. Let them try to fire me. I will tie them up in court for so long they'll wish they left me alone. Most of my friends in cyber don't give a f*** either.

Anonymous said...

To all that are trying to hold on to the Lab, its like life after death and I'm on the other side. "LET IT GO!" I started at the young age of 19 and had 25 years at the lab before I was unjustly released without even a handshake. Very humiliating to say the least. The first half of my career was wonderful. We played hard but yet worked hard as well. The Lab had goals and a National mission and everyone knew it.Now, its just a shell, a burnt out ember of the place it once was and wouldn't give a dime for it now. Do not fear leaving the Lab, it will probably be the best decision in your life. you may even double your salary.

Anonymous said...

I'm gone too, no regrets. The things that are happening at the lab, that will continue to keep happening at the lab, are beyond anyones control, and it's rewarding to take control back and get out of the gloom. Yes it was a great place to work, but change happens and it just isn't anymore.

Anonymous said...

A couple of people in the Materials Chemistry department (including Adam Rowen, the manager) at Sandia booked a trip using Sandia funds to Hawaii to attend the 2012 ECS meeting. What a waste!

Anonymous said...

December 1, 2013 at 12:54 AM:

Scientists attend professional meetings wherever they are held. It is not a waste, it is networking, recruiting, visibility for your programs, and learning about the current state of the art. It is what professional scientists do. Get over your envy.

Besides, they aren't "Sandia funds," they are sponsor funds. And the sponsor approved the travel. Go lift your leg on another bush.

Anonymous said...

In cleaning out some old paperwork, I ran across a copy of the Stimson report on the deterioration of the NNSA labs. It was constructed back in March of 2009.

Not a single one of the problems identified as sources of harm to the scientific work and morale at the labs has been rectified. Indeed, they have only become worse since this insightful report came out. Very sad.

Yes, it's best to "Let it go" and move on if at all possible. Many very good scientists have already made this decision and taken this path.


Anonymous said...

Yes, it's best to "Let it go" and move on if at all possible. Many very good scientists have already made this decision and taken this path.


December 1, 2013 at 8:45 PM

You don't need to be a "very good scientist" to do this, just a person who values his integrity and competence, and knows when it is a losing game and time to get out.

Anonymous said...

The Stimson report is very interesting, http://www.stimson.org/images/uploads/research-pdfs/Leveraging_Science_for_Security_FINAL.pdf

"As current and former Lab Directors repeatedly suggested to the Task Force, these Laboratories cannot be sustained, much less thrive, if they remain reliant on hundreds of short-turnaround, small budget activities." But that is precisely what the lab focuses on as money for nuclear weapons and laser fusion dries up.

Anonymous said...

The Stimson Center report of 2009 was a true classic. It was insightful and well written.

Too bad that like all the other reports over the years it was ignored by almost everyone. Meanwhile, the problems identified continue to fester and the NNSA labs continue to flounder and shrink.


Anonymous said...

The whole U.S. is a festering pile of dong! It's citizens are mostly pagan worshipers. The road to hell is paved with good intentions people. You vote these psychopaths in now wallow in it! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

POS

Anonymous said...

POS is drunk again, as usual. But he's richer than all of us and he assures us he is "not bitter." Insane, maybe criminally so, yes.

Anonymous said...

A couple of people in the Materials Chemistry department (including Adam Rowen, the manager) at Sandia booked a trip using Sandia funds to Hawaii to attend the 2012 ECS meeting. What a waste!

December 1, 2013 at 12:54 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
December 1, 2013 at 12:54 AM:

Scientists attend professional meetings wherever they are held. It is not a waste, it is networking, recruiting, visibility for your programs, and learning about the current state of the art. It is what professional scientists do. Get over your envy.

Besides, they aren't "Sandia funds," they are sponsor funds. And the sponsor approved the travel. Go lift your leg on another bush.



Actually there are several things wrong about the previous assumptions. For one thing, DOE did not approve of the Hawaii trip, and canceled this trip for all members in the Materials Chemistry Department. And second, if one does a check on Adam Rowen, it actually shows that he is *not* a scientist, and does not even have a Ph.D.!

Anonymous said...

Actually there are several things wrong about the previous assumptions. For one thing, DOE did not approve of the Hawaii trip, and canceled this trip for all members in the Materials Chemistry Department. And second, if one does a check on Adam Rowen, it actually shows that he is *not* a scientist, and does not even have a Ph.D.!

December 6, 2013 at 4:31 AM

There was no trip, so there was no waste, right? Also, if you think all scientists must have PhDs maybe you should brush up on the Manhattan Project.

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