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Final workday at lab for 557 who took VSP

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LANL: McMillan says there will be no involuntary separations this fiscal year

By The Staff

For the 557 employees who decided to take the voluntary separation program at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, today was the final day of work.

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“I would like to thank each and every employee who volunteered for the program,” said LANL Director Charlie McMillan. “Some of them devoted their entire careers to serving the nation during a truly historic time for the country and the lab. They set the example that we will continue to follow.”

McMillan said during an all-employee meeting last week that LANL will not file an involuntary separation plan for the regular workforce this fiscal year.

“As part of our voluntary plan, we owed NNSA an update by March 29 on whether we would file an involuntary. We have informed the government that I will not be filing an involuntary plan for the regular workforce... We accomplished what we set out to accomplish with the VSP process,” McMillan said.

However, McMillan said “difficult decisions remain” with regard to staff augmentation contractors, task order agreements, lab associates, and term employees — a group known as the flexible workforce.

The laboratory will soon undertake a comprehensive institutional review of the work scope and skill mixes represented by the flexible work force and then determine appropriate reductions given available funding. The director committed to providing information regarding the specifics as the details of that review are developed.

A timeline for those decisions has not yet been determined. LANL has approximately 1,985 employees in its flexible workforce.

Final results of the VSP included:
• 24 employees from departments reporting to the Director’s Office
• 24 from Capital Projects
• 80 from Global Security
• 139 from Operations and Business
• 202 from Science, Technology, and Engineering and
• 88 from Weapons Program

Two of those taking the severance package include Peter Sheehey and Kenneth Johnson, longtime lab employees who recently announced their candidacies for county council.

Employees who volunteered to leave will receive severance packages of up to 39 weeks of pay based on years of service.  They will also have access to the lab’s health insurance plan for a limited time.

Those leaving largely mirrored the overall lab population, with
• 36 percent of applicants coming from the science, technology, engineering areas,
• 25 percent from operations and business services
• 16 percent from the weapons programs
• 15 percent from global security, and
• 4 percent each from capital projects management and departments reporting directly to the Office of the Director.

In related news, the NNSA released evaluation reports on the lab which were used to calculate bonus amounts for 2011. Read the details in Friday’s Los Alamos Monitor and at lamonitor.com.