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Lab to eliminate 80 contractor positions

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By The Staff

The workforce cuts are not finished at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

In a memo sent to all employees, lab director Charlie McMillan said that 80 contractor positions would be eliminated.

In March, 557 employees left the lab as part of a voluntary separation program and the next month, another 60 people were terminated from the flexible workforce.

McMillan has scheduled a meeting for all employees for 2:30 p.m., June 27 to discuss the workforce update.

Here is the memo sent to employees today.

“Over the past several months, we have been engaged in efforts to manage Laboratory costs to live within the current budget and to position the Laboratory to successfully deal with future funding scenarios. With the help of the entire Laboratory, I believe we have been successful in working the myriad budget issues so that we can more confidently face future challenges while delivering on our mission commitments.

“In the Fall of 2011, I established the Laboratory Integrated Stewardship Council (LISC) to provide management oversight for control of our hiring and procurements. Combined with the Voluntary Separation Program and PADOPS reductions in its Flexible Workforce, we have given ourselves much greater financial flexibility. In addition, we have worked aggressively and collaboratively with NNSA to resolve peculiar funding issues that have arisen during the fiscal year.

“I believe our efforts are starting to show encouraging results as we begin the last quarter of FY12. We have instituted procurement controls that should ensure managed spending to appropriate levels during the last quarter.

“With respect to staffing, we still have one pending phase of reductions in our PADOPS contractor labor costs. Specifically, the PADOPS actions will result in the reduction of about 80 contractor positions. These are master task order positions supporting services in authorization basis, radiation protection, and formality of operations; Laboratory term appointment positions are not affected at this time.

“Earlier this year, PADOPS reduced flexible workforce costs by about 10% - $12 million - by eliminating 55 contractor and staff augmentation positions.  The current reductions will amount to another 15% of the flexible workforce costs - about $20 million per year.

“These are important functions, but we are identifying different ways to do the work, resulting in more efficient operations.  At the same time, "positions" means people.  We are mindful of the impacts this will have on the community and have attempted to minimize them. 

“I am optimistic that this combination of actions is sufficient for this fiscal year; however, I do have remaining concerns. I would like to invite you to attend an all-employee meeting on this subject and others on Wednesday, June 27, at 2:30 p.m. in the NSSB auditorium.

“Also at the meeting, I will discuss a number of other actions we are taking to better position the Lab for the future. 

 “The Laboratory is at a crossroads, but signs are pointing to a clear path forward.  I appreciate your patience as we put these actions in motion.”