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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

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

LANS/LLNS salary disclosure

Since LANS and LLNS are funded by DOE/NNSA, and ultimately the tax payer, should they each be required to disclose all salaries, bonuses, etc. once a year? How would such a disclosure impact employee morale and retention now, and a few years out, if changes are implemented as a result of required salary disclosures?
October 15, 2014 at 8:24 AM
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comments: You people don't read the warnings that comments are not allowed in the "suggested topics" area.
Next time, I will delete your comments.   Scooby



Comments:
Anonymous
 Anonymous said...
What would be the purpose of such a rule, except to stoke jealousy and hard feelings? One would hope that employees' "morale and retention" would depend on their progress and accomplishments in their careers, not how much money their bosses make. Pretend you work for a private company (you do). You think any company with a government contract should be forced to make such disclosures? Good luck with that.
October 15, 2014 at 10:13 AM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
"..."morale and retention" would depend on their progress and accomplishments in their careers..."

Exactly. And the monetary feedback for such workplace accomplishments, a relative measure, are undisclosed.
"How much money the bosses make" is an element of the
comparison. Sustained employee high morale and retention require transparency and measurable appreciation for accomplishments. Employees don't want to be patronized, they want the facts.
October 15, 2014 at 10:42 AM
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22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Prior to transition in 2007 when UC (a state public entity) ran LLNL, lab employees were actually UC employees. As such all lab employees salaries were public record. You could go over to HR and for $1 buy a huge printout with everyone's exact salary. Now that lab employees are employees of a private company, there's no requirement to make salary data public.

Anonymous said...

I still have some of those huge printouts somewhere, on daisy-wheel paper. It kept everyone honest, at least.

Anonymous said...

Maybe LLNS will take a proactive step and release the salary list to shore up morale and take a positive step toward employee recognition and retention. Yah right.

This many years past the contract change, the salaries of LLNS managers on purported "equal salary ladders" to technical counterparts would be exposed and shrouded in shame. Can't let the tide go out now or ever.

Anonymous said...

LANSLLNS managers are under no obligation to inform a worker bee what their relative monetary worth is. No need to be transparent with your basic dime a dozen "at will" buy or sell commodities right?

Anonymous said...

Almost no employees anywhere have any right to know what their coworkers and managers make, so it was a very unusual situation with UC that you could actually find out and even get a complete list. LLNS is just doing the huge majority of employers do.

Anonymous said...

"...LLNS is just doing the huge majority of employers do..."

The "huge majority" of employers aren't at the DOE/NNSA/Taxpayer feed trough. LANSLLNS are typical "for profit" companies? Sure, they just have Federal training wheels when they get off balance.

True "for profit" companies don't have deluxe training wheels, they ride out a bad year and make changes, file chapter 11, or file chapter 7.

LANSLLNS managers don't want to admit they are not a true "for profit" company with skin in the game. As the saying goes, "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple". A real "for profit" company earns this distinction.

It is amusing that we want to attract and retain "the best and brightest", yet we always point to mediocre or typical competitor workplace benefits and practices (?).
I think we have a discontinuity in our workforce expectation graph folks. The X axis just happens to be in years not months, and beyond LANSLLNS report card window of concern.

Anonymous said...

Since transition in 2007, the clear and only priorities for LLNS in running LLNL is as follows:

- Keep NNSA happy,
- Do only the bare minimum required by the contract with NNSA,
- Do only what NNSA will reimburse for under the contract,
- Comply only with laws applicable to "private for-profit" companies.

That's it... other than the internal mantra for the industrial partners - Take the annual $40 million management fee and run!

Anonymous said...

" Anonymous said...
Since transition in 2007, the clear and only priorities for LLNS in running LLNL is as follows:

- Keep NNSA happy,
- Do only the bare minimum required by the contract with NNSA,
- Do only what NNSA will reimburse for under the contract,
- Comply only with laws applicable to "private for-profit" companies.

That's it... other than the internal mantra for the industrial partners - Take the annual $40 million management fee and run!

October 16, 2014 at 8:57 AM"

Since transition in 2007, the clear and only priorities for workers at LLNL is as follows:

- Keep the boss happy,
- Do only the bare minimum required by the boss,
- Do only what the boss will reimburse,
- Comply only with laws applicable to "private for-profit" companies.

That's it... - Take the pitiful salary and run!

Anonymous said...

Though it would be nice to know how managers are being compensated, I don't concern myself with their pay status as long as I'm being treated fairly. Unfortunately in the last ten years inflation has risen 22.9%(54.6% in the Bay Area) but my pay rate has only increased 17.9% in the same period. Factor in the 7% mandatory contribution to the pension plan (which actually works out to 10.9% of my take home pay) and I find myself earning 15.9% less (47.6% locally for me) than when I started when inflation is taken into consideration. This is true even though I have earned one promotion and two ranking increases during this span.

Given the above, I am certain that there is absolutely no opportunity for LLNL employees to get ahead of their bill collectors. I would hope that any new hire that is reading this would take my advice and leave before they have invested too much effort into this thoroughly unfair and depressing work experience.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately in the last ten years inflation has risen 22.9%(54.6% in the Bay Area)

October 21, 2014 at 4:35 PM

For ten years, that is an historically very low inflation rate, especially compared to the previous 10 year period, or the 1980's. You need to get a grip on history, and stop complaining about things you cannot control.

Anonymous said...

For ten years, that is an historically very low inflation rate, especially compared to the previous 10 year period, or the 1980's. ....

October 21, 2014 at 7:23 PM"

Interesting perspective, but it doesn't change the hard, cold fact that salaries in the rank and file of LANSLLNS employees haven't kept up with inflation.

Anonymous said...

Interesting perspective, but it doesn't change the hard, cold fact that salaries in the rank and file of LANSLLNS employees haven't kept up with inflation.

October 25, 2014 at 10:12 AM

When did it become an expectation that salaries should "keep up with" inflation? If that were true, inflation would hurt absolutely no one. That is a very naive expectation and ignores economic reality.

Anonymous said...

It has always been the expectation of intelligent, hard-working employees. You? Maybe not so much.

Anonymous said...

In comparison to the business world, salaries of staff at the NNSA weapon labs are way too high while the salaries of the managers are too low.

It's time for the LLCs to apply corrective action and get the salaries at the labs in sync with the real world. Divulging salaries of your co-workers only messes up this adjustment process. Be glad you have a job, work harder and stop criticizing the salaries and cuts to your benefits.

Anonymous said...

"...Be glad you have a job, work harder and stop criticizing the salaries and cuts to your benefits...."

Without a grass roots course correction, this type of attitude will only get bolder and worse at LANSLLNS.
In the meantime, we are fish in the LLC barrel.

Anonymous said...

My value increases significantly each year as I learn to do more and to work more efficiently. I am able to easily lead others to faster and more effective conclusions.

By my own estimate, I am twice as effective (fast) at a task or lead twice the task every 10 years.

Learning curve phenomena

Anonymous said...

Continuing, the contribution I make is as valuable today as it was in each decade past and ret.ains its value to the taxpayer.

This is constancy of contribution value

Anonymous said...

Thus I have a reasonable expectation over time that my compensation will increase in real terms with the demonstrated and delivered increase in value.

Anonymous said...

The increased value both of contribution and leadership is recognized in the marketplace where over time, more effective, experienced demonstrated contributors are compensated more richly than neophytes.

Anonymous said...

Misreading the marketplace for talent is a serious error on the part of leadership whose goal is to maintain long-term scientific expertise.

Losing a 20 year expert to a neophyte takes 20 years to replace.

Lacking the golden shackles of the promise of a pension, LLNS is now more vulnerable to compensation errors.

Anonymous said...

As one point of reference, the increase in the cpi from 1975 through 2010 was approx 3.8 times. Over that period the real gross salary of a starting LLNL engineer remained approximately constant, $1300 - $1600 earlier, $5000 -$7000 later.

The value of 35 years of experince doubled the gross real income for the 50th percentile contributor and added 2.5x for the 75th percentile contributor. The 90th percentile contributor grew under 3x.

As a side note, this gross income was supplemented by a deferred pension contribution which grew to become worth about 10 - 15% of salary each year. (While it did not affect the pay ratios it did aid significantly in experienced employee retention)

So the lab and taxpayer gets a very good deal if the estimate of a 2x real contribution increase every for every decade of experience is close.

(All estimates done from memory)

Anonymous said...

It is also worth comparing the UCRS contribution with a similar return in social security. (My estimate of 10% -15% of salary per employee per year were made to UCRS when contributions were not deferred due to IRS guidance to UCRS not to hide excess returns in the pension plan, which was at the time of warning 1.7x overfunded and heading for 2x.)

Continuing. Over the same period, employees and the employer contribute 6.25% each of gross salary for a total contribution of 12.5% to a maximum of about $100k of salary.

For the same contribution over the same period UCRS would deliver a pension of about $7k per month for the beneficiary and 2.25k per month, inflation adjusted to the surviving spouse after the beneficiary died. Pension began at age 60.

Social security delivers about $1900 at age 60 for the beneficiary with the possibility of 1/2 for spouse at age of retirment.

Both have similar survivor elgibility and benefit levels.

If these estimates apply, about 2/3 -3/4 of social security contributions do not return to the employee. UCRS was a better deal.

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