BLOG purpose

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. Opinions not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Retired SNL employee gives scathing review of SNL illegal lobbying:

Anonymous Carl Axness (former SNL retired employee) gives scathing review of SNL illegal lobbying:

http://www.abqjournal.com/633395/news/sandia-corp-pays-4-8-million-fine-for-improper-lobbying.html

Carl Axness · Polytechnic University of Catalonia
As a retired SNL employee, I am not surprised. Upper management frequently gives contracts to retired upper managers and the labs are a convenient place for the M&O company to unload unproductive upper managers. It has always been unclear to me why the labs need a private company to "manage" them given the huge number of managers that the lab has, most of whom are there to give motherhood and apple pie talks. Of course, there is a strong republican bias at the labs which explains the lucrative contract going to Heather Wilson. Hopefully DOE will punish some of the responsibles 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

About the all hands LANL purpose statement

About the all hands LANL purpose statement


Everyone I know found this debacle to be either pointless or demoralizing. One person said that it makes them very sad to think that 70 managers actually spent six months to come up with nothing. Some have said that is an insult to all the people at the laboratory. Others said that it was just a waste of time and not to waste another second thinking about it, which of course is the practical thing to do. Many people are just confused about why this even happened or what the whole point was and are worried that if this gets out it could really hurt LANL.

It does not look good to have an all hands meeting where we say we had to hire an outside marketing firm to figure out the purpose of the lab by watching videos of people gesturing about slitting throats, babies using diapers, geese honking, selfies and chocolate, octupi eating people, and dishonest facts about crappy cameras. This is then followed by the Director describing a one-page viewgraph containing trivially obvious statements that required six months to assemble.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Hanford whistleblower wins

Hanford whistleblower wins; Tamosaitis to receive $4.1 million settlement"

"...Hanford subcontractor URS has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by former employee Walter Tamosaitis for $4.1 million..."

"...He also insisted that the settlement agreement include no confidentiality statement keeping the settlement terms secret, so that others would see that “integrity, honesty and forthrightness will lead to justice.”

"...The $4.1 million settlement with URS includes almost $1.4 million for lost wages and $1.1 million for emotional distress and mental anguish..."

http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2015/08/12/3691323_hanford-whistleblower-to-receive.html?rh=1

Obama Taps Former LLNL Science Manager for DOE Office of Science

August 13, 2015 
The Independent

Cherry Murray, former associate director at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has been nominated by President Obama to head the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Murray, an experimental physicist, trained at MIT and worked at Bell Laboratories before coming to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2004. At Bell Labs , she conducted research and held a number of management positions including senior vice president for physical sciences.

At LLNL, she served as Principal Associate Director for Science and Technology. She became president of the American Physical Society in 2009, a year that also saw her leave for Cambridge to become dean of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

She served as dean for a 5-year term. Near the end of that time, in 2014, she was called to the White House to receive the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. When her term as dean ended, she remained at Harvard as Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy as well as a professor of physics.

The Office of Science, the branch of the Department of Energy branch that Murray has been nominated to lead, is responsible for 10 major laboratories around the U.S. Its research is intentionally civilian in nature, in contrast to that of the National Nuclear Security Administration, the part of DOE that emphasizes nuclear weapons.

In the Bay Area, Office of Science laboratories include Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Stanford Laboratory Accelerator Center, now called SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The Office of Science has a budget of about $5 billion per year, with grants that support research across the country, including hundreds in California alone.

Senate confirmation of Murray ’s nomination is required but is not a sure thing. President Obama’s previous choice to lead the Office of Science, Marc Kastner, Dean of Science at MIT, was nominated in 2013 and never confirmed. He has since found another position as president of the Science Philanthropy Alliance, an organization which supports basic research.

http://www.independentnews.com/labs_link/obama-taps-former-llnl-science-manager/article_0e9ec28e-414d-11e5-9c00-37997cfc4864.html

Sandia Corporation Agrees to Pay $4.7 Million


Sandia Corporation Agrees to Pay $4.7 Million to Resolve Allegations Related to Lobbying Activities

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/sandia-corporation-agrees-pay-47-million-resolve-allegations-related-lobbying-activities

Comments:

The $4.7 million covers 4 years so that's a little under $1.2 million per year. That's not a big hit on a contract that's worth $2.4 billion per year. It's just the cost of business.
August 22, 2015 at 11:41 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

August 22, 2015 at 1:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Oh, dear. Will this have any negative effects on next year's executive bonus?
August 23, 2015 at 10:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Just have NNSA pay this puny $4.7M fine. Hell, they just paid NM State (i.e. Susana in the Highest) LANS $70M fine. It's all about NNSA "protecting" their contractors, not holding them accountable.

Friday, August 21, 2015

First "Periodic Progress Report" is now available

The first "Periodic Progress Report" is now available. It is beyond pathetic, it looks like it was thrown together in five minutes. It states some glaring inaccurcies and says how great things are. Do these people have any shame. A pure disgrace to the LANL workers, the history of the lab, and the United States.

Did LANS pay for a "purpose statement?"

Did McMillan pay the advertising firm Saatchi & Saatchi several million of dollars to give LANS a "purpose" statement? LANS doesn't even pay it's own safety and security fines and but it pays for this this? LANS is out of control.


The rumor is that the contract is done and that DOE wants to move away from a for profit LLC model to a more service based it may be LLC but not for little or no profit. There are rumors that it could simply be given back to UC. Also with the accident at LANCE when the results come out there will be alot heads rolling. The purpose statement appears to be out of desperation, as
that upper management team will be cleared away. The other rumor about that DOE has been very disappointed by the new management culture and none of the changes they hoped to happened occurred. DOE may be a bit slow but I have been told that they where not very happy with large increase in managers and decrease in performance and this will change.

Minority managers at the labs

Are women or minority managers at LANL or LLNL treated differently or less harshly for ethical indiscretions in the workplace?

Comments:

Anonymous said...
Ask Beth.
Anonymous said...
So her 11th hour departure from LANS was not a sign of special treatment?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Rank and Yank.

The infamous "Rank & Yank", a worker rating process that is being dropped by many big corporations but is still used at Amazon -- and the NNSA weapon labs, of course -- is detailed in the NYT article below. The article deals with the leadership vision and working conditions of white collar staff at Bezos' company. It's a long article but well worth reading:

..................................
Each year, the internal competition culminates at an extended semi-open tournament called an Organization Level Review, where managers debate subordinates’ rankings, assigning and reassigning names to boxes in a matrix projected on the wall. In recent years, other large companies, including Microsoft, General Electric and Accenture Consulting, have dropped the practice — often called stack ranking, or “rank and yank” — in part because it can force managers to get rid of valuable talent just to meet quotas.

 http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/technology/inside-amazon-wrestling-big-ideas-in-a-bruising-workplace.html

Tomas Diaz de la Rubia got a new job!

https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q3/purdue-selects-national-laboratory-and-industry-veteran-as-next-discovery-park-chief-scientist,-executive-director.html
Will he last longer than Ed Moses at GMTO?

How many H1B's at the Labs?

 Are they taking American STEM jobs from US citizens.

"Increase prevailing wage for H-1Bs. We graduate two times more Americans with STEM degrees each year than find STEM jobs, yet as much as two-thirds of entry-level hiring for IT jobs is accomplished through the H-1B program. More than half of H-1B visas are issued for the program's lowest allowable wage level, and more than eighty percent for its bottom two. Raising the prevailing wage paid to H-1Bs will force companies to give these coveted entry-level jobs to the existing domestic pool of unemployed native and immigrant workers in the U.S., instead of flying in cheaper workers from overseas. This will improve the number of black, Hispanic and female workers in Silicon Valley who have been passed over in favor of the H-1B program. Mark Zuckerberg’s personal Senator, Marco Rubio, has a bill to triple H-1Bs that would decimate women and minorities."

 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/immigration-reform

Monday, August 10, 2015

"Is the new workforce reality employee retention or a revolving door at LANL and LLNL?"


The staff of the sister Labs LANL and LLNL, helped fight and win the Cold War and are responsible for ensuring the safety, security and reliability of the nation's nuclear deterrent. 

As sincere gratitude for their decades long collective service, these employees will for the second time, be packaged and sold for public sale at an auction to the LOWEST LLC bidder, the LLC bidder with the slickest talking points, or a combination of the two. 

The failure of an LLC walk the talk reciprocating career understanding heard by these employees? Every man or woman for themselves. "Attract and retain"? If "retain" means 2 years of service perhaps, otherwise good luck with that. 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/cameronkeng/2014/06/

Better Dead than Red!


http://www.rawstory.com/2015/08/blood-coming-out-of-her-wherever-donald-trump-continues-sexist-attacks-on-foxs-megyn-kelly/
You try to act like one and then get treated like a man, and the wagons circle.

Look familiar Livermore?

Many scientists praise Iran nuclear deal.!

29 top scientists including Sig Hecker, Sid Drell, Richard Garwin and others praise the Iran nuclear deal. 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/08/08/world/document-iranletteraug2015.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/09/world/29-us-scientists-praise-iran-nuclear-deal-in-letter-to-obama.html

9 things that make good employees quit!

These sound familiar....

http://inc42.com/buzz/employees-quit/

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Y-12 worker sues CNS for lost vacation


August 4, 2015 by Frank Munger, Knox News

A complaint filed Tuesday in Anderson County Circuit Court challenges a government contractor’s authority to change the vested vacation benefit for employees at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge.

The lawsuit against Consolidated Nuclear Security — a contractor team that includes Bechtel National, Lockheed Martin and other companies — was filed on behalf of Richard Michelhaugh, a Clinton resident who has worked at Y-12 for the more than 28 years.

In the complaint, Knoxville attorney Greg Coleman proposes that the action be broadened to include others actively employed at Y-12 — as well as some recent retirees affected financially by the end-of-year benefit changes. The retirees reportedly lost the payout for vacation time that had been accrued but unused.

CNS did not immediately provide comment on the lawsuit.

There has been a firestorm of complaints by Y-12 employees and retirees about benefits changes since CNS took over management of the Oak Ridge plant — and its sister plant, Pantex — last year, but this apparently is the first lawsuit to seek reinstatement of old benefits.

The lawsuit said CNS distributed a “Standing Order” on Dec. 11, 2014, informing the plaintiff and other Y-12 employees were informed on Dec. 11, 2004.

The CNS order reportedly replaced the vacation, personal and sick leave for salaried Y-12 employees with accrued “Paid Time Off” or PTO.

Portions of the Vacation Plan previously in place were not “compatible” with the new PTO policy or Consolidated Nuclear Security’s contract with the Department of Energy, the order states.

The complaint apparently pertains to Y-12 salaried workers paid on a weekly or monthly basis and does not include hourly workers covered by union contracts that have to be negotiated.

The lawsuit seeks the reinstatement of the previous Vacation Plan and restoration of benefits, as well as monetary damages to the Michelhaugh and other Y-12 employees, legal costs and “further relief as may be deemed necessary and proper.”

http://knoxblogs.com/atomiccity/2015/08/04/y-12-worker-sues-cns-for-lost-vacation/#more-35137

More delays at WIPP

More delays at WIPP

http://www.abqjournal.com/621349/news/wipp-reopening-date-pushed-out-again.html

Monday, August 3, 2015

LANL contract rebid: rumors.

The word seems to be all around the Lab today that LANL will get notice of a contract rebid in a few weeks. Is this based on anything other than wishful dreams?

Comments:




I head December but who knows. I also heard that Bechtel is no longer interested in being part of any rebid. Other "rumors" are that TCP1 will be terminated, U Texas and U of California could be interested, and that the the system could go back to non-profit. Of course this is all just speculation.
  
While it is certainly possible that TCP1 could be terminated (frozen) for those who have yet to retire, there is no way that TCP1 could be changed in terms of the payouts for those who have already retired from LANL. Pension laws don't allow it.

Termination (freeze-out) of TCP1 would lock-in the service credit of those who have yet to retire. They would keep the accumulated service credits they have at the time of the TCP1 termination but continuing to work at LANL wouldn't lengthen their service credit in subsequent years at the lab. This would result in far less pension payouts than most current employees on TCP1 are expecting. It would also not be "substantially equivalent" to what is currently available to the pensioned employees still working at UC but any LLC contract change-over effectively kills off the "substantial equivalent" promise from DOE.

Current employees who are on TCP1 would be very angry with the announcement of TCP1's termination (freeze) but it's the type of thing you could expect DOE/NNSA to do to reduce costs in operating their labs. Lots of corporations have frozen their pensions over the last decade, at least for those employees not in the "executive chain". It wouldn't surprise me to see the same thing happen at both LANL and LLNL in coming years. LANL would probably be the first to go this route. It's also yet another reason why DOE/NNSA would probably like to re-bid the LLC contracts.

By the way, you can also expect the next contract to reduce or totally eliminate medical retirement benefits. Because they are not a guaranteed benefit, even those who have retired would be affected by this change. As with a pension freeze-out, lots of corporations have eliminated or greatly reduce retirement medical benefits, too. With federal budgets for agency spending expected to continually shrink in coming years due to the rapid rise in Social Security and Medicare costs, the government will soon be looking for ways to cut their discretionary spending any way they can.

Anonymous said...
"...By the way, you can also expect the next contract to reduce or totally eliminate medical retirement benefits..."

Your source for this information is?

The press refers to this BLOG

The press read the blog!

http://www.independentnews.com/news/ed-moses-leaves-giant-magellan-telescope/article_8f116aee-3666-11e5-917d-3f74aae93541.html?mode=jqm

This must terrify lab management.

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