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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

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

LLNL LANL "mickey mouse" corporations

McMillan's total compensation including benefits comes to $1.5 million annually.

1.5 for the director

How much for the deputy director?

How much do the ADs and PADs make? 

It has been said to to be 0.5-1 million a shot. 

I know some jerk will say that I am just envious or that this is what corporations pay. (1) I am not envious of anyone who earns their money. What I am concerned about is that this is a huge amount of money for a pretty bad job. If anything things have gotten worse since the contract change. We pay more and get less. Additionally this kind of compensation can be a corrupting factor in essentially a public service institute. There is now much monetary incentive to cover things up and keep silent about issues. (2) Although we a called a corporation we do not have any of the market pressures that can make a corporation more effective or efficient. 
A corporation will always take advantage of any shortcut, abuse of workforce, avoidance of regulations, and so on, however the market place places strict restrictions on these actions. There is no such market place restrictions in the place of LANS, or LLNS, so we only get the disadvantages and none of the benefits.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know how "total compensation" is defined, so I don't know if $1.5 million for a generic Laboratory director is appropriate or absurd.

For example, I'm a first-level manager, or so people tell me. The value of my TCP1 pension increases by about $300K every year. This means that I would need to pay an insurance company $300K for each additional year I work to purchase an inflation-adjusted annuity equal to the increase in my expected pension payout. Throw in other forms of compensation, such as 6.2% for employer-paid social security, 1.45% employer-paid medicare, ~15% for holidays/vacation/sick leave, and it all adds up. Depending on how it's defined, my total compensation easily exceeds $500K. And I'm near the bottom of the totem pole.

But I agree that compensation should be a function of performance. This goes for regular employees, managers, and managing organizations such as LANS/LLNS. It's difficult to justify high levels of compensation in an environment of poor performance and continued failures. Several NFL coaches were recently fired due to the poor performance of their teams. That's how it's done in the real corporate world.

Anonymous said...

"But I agree that compensation should be a function of performance. This goes for regular employees, managers, and managing organizations such as LANS/LLNS. It's difficult to justify high levels of compensation in an environment of poor performance and continued failures. Several NFL coaches were recently fired due to the poor performance of their teams. That's how it's done in the real corporate world.

December 30, 2014 at 7:14 PM"

The problem at the labs is the large number of managers which increased after the contract change. What value was added by having more managers that are paid much more than they use to be. If you had a smaller number managers and they where high performers, with a clear value than high compensation would be in order. After the contract change there was a wealth of new ADs PADs, divisions leaders, deputies positions and so on that where created yet there has been absolutely no value added to the institute. Someone pointed out that LANL had 25 divisions before the contract change and that has now increased to 112 division. Some of these "divisions" are very small and seem to have only been created so that someone could get put in a high position with a high salary. This is a sign of sick institution and one of the reasons why LANs has failed so badly.

I keep being told that LLNL and LANL are now in the real corporate world so they have to pay the managers corporate salaries, however even if this was true corporations try to limit the number of managers since it would cost money. You cannot have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

Guards making $250K (annual pay plus with overtime)? Really!! Work out pay,running shoes, lunches and remember the $50K retention bonus they got (so they wouldn't hee hee leave)!! Nothing like blue light special guards! Who's the leader of the club
That's made for you and me
M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E
Hey! there, Hi! there, Ho! there
You're as welcome as can be
M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

Anonymous said...

Neither LANS nor LLNS are corporations. You are embarrassing yourself bleating on about corporations, and if UC management was noteworthy it was because (1) UC did not accept any fees, and (2) UC was extremely distant and hands-off.

Anonymous said...

"Neither LANS nor LLNS are corporations. You are embarrassing yourself bleating on about corporations, and if UC management was noteworthy it was because (1) UC did not accept any fees, and (2) UC was extremely distant and hands-off.

December 31, 2014 at 7:37 AM"

False, LANs and LLNs are LLCs, look it up and look how they function. You seem to fail to understand just how different types of corporations work. Second the argument that LANs and LLNs are corporations has been used by management over and over again to justify their agenda.

"(1) UC did not accept any fees, and (2) UC was extremely distant and hands-off."

Indeed and that is the whole point the LANs and LLNs are extremely hands on in the sense they manipulate everything than can to leverage a profit. It is not just the fee that can take advantages of all sorts of loopholes allowed as LLCs that lead to leveraged profits.

Also how was that being Hand's off was so bad? It seemed to work very well for 50 years or more? This has always been a strange argument.

Anonymous said...

BOO HOO! Face it the middle class is gone. Corporations have subverted and now control the government. Anything supported by the government using tax payer money is welfare included corporations. You people ain't figured it out yet but you will. Yes, please admit that you are on a welfare program by a different name. Welfare checks for everyone. Remember, if you can't stand in front of it or hold it in your hand it ain't yours. Have fun trying to collect the TCP1 after 2015.75. I got 10 zillion dollars in my 401K. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

POS

Anonymous said...

Just to be clear, LANS and LLNS are not incorporated. They are Limited Liability COMPANIES, Not corporations.

Anonymous said...

The majority of the things that
Have gone wrong are directly or indirectly do to the revised terms of the operating contracts written by DOE/Congress staff/NNSA procurement officials in 2007-2009.

In abandoning the UC model, they jettisoned accomplished proven practice for tightly written oversight. But it is oversight by incompetence at the NNSA. The tight rules restrict effective action.

MUCH TOO STRONG incentives and penalties distort management behavior to follow rules even as performan example suffers.


CONGRESS directed more government control and they got it. Some incof Peter contact official runs the operating contract and he/she knows nothing of how to do it.

Exorbitant compensation is a minor symptom. The real cancer are the contfact terms which prevent lab management from telling Congress to " f!!! Off" when they are asking for stupid practices.

The solution is to take administration of the
weaponsame labs out of the hands of the political process. Congress lacks the focus and intelligence to be effective.












Anonymous said...

Sorry. An unwieldy keyboard, poor
blog text editor and a NNSA-quality, android spell-checker combined to make the previous post unreadable.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how much the Directors made during UC years, what perhaps $500K a year? So the lab directors and probably managers pay has doubled our tripled in 5 years. YOUR pay in contrast has been a whopping 0-2% increase per year (if you were lucky enough to get 2%). So if you work at the lab you are a chump, sorry to say. All of you are sacrificing pay so that the top managers can get these HUGE pay increases. You get a paltry 1% raise, managers get 100% or whatever averaged over the past few years. You are being used to enrich the management. You are busting hump so that the managers who are incompetent from top to bottom can get rich. Your managers are profiting from your work, but you are not. They are using you for their own benefit. They add nothing, yet reap the rewards. Great place to work.

Anonymous said...

The value of my TCP1 pension increases by about $300K every year. This means that I would need to pay an insurance company $300K for each additional year I work to purchase an inflation-adjusted annuity equal to the increase in my expected pension payout.

December 30, 2014 at 7:14 PM


And that, my friends, is one of the reasons there was a contract change. For the career federal employees that oversee the laboratories, such multi-million dollar pension accounts are just a day dream.

Anonymous said...

" So the lab directors and probably managers pay has doubled our tripled in 5 years. "

It is not just the cost of the managers it was the number of managers, which was more than tripled.

Anonymous said...

December 30, 2014 at 8:49 PM

agree.

john browne as Director made $220k. Now, there are 150-200 employees making over 200K in base. In addition to Division inflation, as you mention (25 to 112), there are now 30 ADs and PADS as well. Of course, each of these has a "leader", often a deputy, and of course a politically connected Chief of Staff (many handpicked by Rich Marquez). These are are all 130k-200k+ jobs. Has the quality of management, operations, or science improved with all these high paid folks? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

I don't care what they pay these people.

But for that kind of money I'd like to believe there would be real leadership and effective decision making. Yet that never happens. Instead the bureaucratic quagmire just grows!

The more they are paid the worse it gets.

To me it seems like the NNSA is just as dysfunctional, but at least they can blame it on "the contractor".

Can this really be good for national security?
It just keeps getting worse. Much worse.

Anonymous said...


Can this really be good for national security?
It just keeps getting worse. Much worse.

January 1, 2015 at 9:50 AM

No.

This is how an empire falls.

Anonymous said...

When UC directly ran the labs, the Lab Directors were basically equivalent to the campus Chancellors when pay was calculated. As such the Lab Directors and Chancellors could not make for than the UC President. Usually the Lab Directors made more than the Chancellors, but it was always just below the $300K of the President.

Anonymous said...

And yet, Charlie "GQ" McMillan is hanging in there as lab Director with his rich compensation, yet to be fired or suddenly announcing he'll be leaving LANL due to "family issues".

What does it take for an executive at LANL to be considered a failure and suffer the consequences? The profit fee for LANS was announced by NNSA and it is a 90% reduction for FY2014. This news was in addition to the recent $54 million in LANL waste violation fines that are sure to grow even larger in the months ahead.

Is that not bad enough, LANS Board of Governors?

Anonymous said...

January 1, 2015 at 9:04 PM

The $54M fine and all the fuss about the contract fee are not, repeat NOT, Charlie's fault. It is time to call a stop to the blame game and move on. If you listen to his defenders, Charlie was ignorant of all issues associated in any way with waste processing. He deserves another chance, since this is just one minor blemish on an otherwise spotless record as director.

Anonymous said...

"Spotless"? Hardly. Under Charlie, LANL has witnessed unprecedented corruption in upper management. His Deputy's behavior is hardly a, "minor blemish". Under Charlie every single nuclear facility under his jurisdiction has been shut down. All of them remain shut down. No new facilities or even hoped-for facilities have been advanced under Charlie's leadership. MARIE?! Please. Morale is at an all time low. Employment is at a level not seen since the 1970's. Retention and recruitment are a joke. Nobody even plays lip service to upward appraisals anymore. Giant chunks of our portfolio have been pawned off to Livermore and Sandia. The place is on life support while LANS sucks the last ounce of blood from every pore. Who is the president of LANS? Mr. Spotless.

Anonymous said...

January 3, 2015 at 2:44 AM

Not bad, considering the time of night for the post, but you missed a few of Charlie's finest accomplishments. Recall the NUMSUP fiasco, the girls gone wild with security guards Gatling gun video, the lost loaded gun inside the occupied guard shack and the tools stolen from inside a hot zone? And who can forget the LANSCE radiation exposure that was tracked all over the county? There must be some more that don't come to memory at the moment.

With that list, who can blame a guy for struggling to get by on a couple mil a year?

However, one item on the list isn't Charlie's fault. MARIE was deader than a doornail without any help from him.

Anonymous said...

"the girls gone wild with security guards Gatling gun video"

A screw up but an entertaining one. In any case some of the high level "girls" is still at the lab and being paid better than you.

Anonymous said...

"In any case some of the high level "girls" is still at the lab and being paid better than you."

That's right. And the reason is that this "girl" is very useful to her boss. She has no particular skills to recommend her, but she can be vicious to people under her. This turns out to be a very useful quality to her boss, who has her do his dirty work. She fits perfectly the "kiss up, kick down" style of LANS management chain.

That boss, incidentally, has built his entire team of people like that. It has been interesting to watch him rise to the top of the LANL management chain, buoyed by this team of incompetent, but vicious and devoted sycophants.

The point is that this "girl" cannot be fired, even for what would constitute a capital offense for a mere mortal. In today's LANL, some animals are more equal that others.

Anonymous said...

Love it, 1:04 PM!

That phrase of "Kiss up, Kick down" style of LANS management nailed it succinctly.

Anonymous said...

"Love it, 1:04 PM!

That phrase of "Kiss up, Kick down" style of LANS management nailed it succinctly.

January 3, 2015 at 7:07 PM"

There seems to be some truth in this. It seems like management is something like an award and once you get the position and you set and you no longer have to do much anything.

In this way management positions are the awards for the incentive of the kiss up and kick down policy. If you can kiss up long enough and take the kicking down than nice management position and it is time to relax, and the higher you go the less you have to do and the better it gets. Potentially good leaders see that management is not based on expertize or ability and either want nothing to do with this game. Good leaders will view management as hard work. Instead they see the current manager do the exact opposite and think that this is not for them.

Over time this leads to the complete lack of leadership and ineffectiveness we experience at LANL. On the other hand you have to look at it from their point of view, "I have had kiss up and be kicked down for all these years. I should have some kind of payoff in the end." Of course this is how third world leadership works but it would explain a number of observations.

Anonymous said...

"The value of my TCP1 pension increases by about $300K for each additional year I work"

Completely false. At the salary a first level manager makes, say ~$120,000, the annuity contribution required to pay for the increase in pension from that one year of additional work per year is NOWHERE near $300K.

If you work 30 years and retire at age 60, do you really think that the annuity required to pay for your $90,000 annual pension is really 30*$300K = $9,000,000? HAH! Even at ZERO interest, you could withdraw $90,000 for 100 years! Annuities don't pay for 100 years of retirement, for a person who retires at age 60, they pay for more like 25 years on average.

You are seriously overpaid if you can't do the math INCLUDING a range of expected interest rates. The pension contribution needed to keep your pension afloat is worth more like $85K at the long term interest rates used for planning.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for calling BS to this poster. I was thinking the same thing.

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