News


Livermore, Sandia lab workers won't get back pay

National laboratory employees at risk of temporary job loss due to federal shutdown

More than 13,400 Bay Area Department of Energy laboratory workers -- including 1,500 at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory -- could miss out on back pay if the federal shutdown continues.

The workers are contractors for the government, not full-time employees, and they're still working, despite the federal shutdown. But if deadlock in Congress continues, they may be furloughed without the ability to collect back pay, according to U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo.

Eshoo and a contingent of Bay Area representatives, including Reps. Eric Swalwell, Barbara Lee, and Zoe Lofgren are urging DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz to work with the White House to allow the national laboratories to provide the back pay once the federal government reopens.

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act, H.R. 3223, by a vote of 407-0. The bill compensates all federal employees who would not otherwise receive their full salaries due to the shutdown, but lab employees will not be compensated because they are not federal employees, Eshoo stated.

Swalwell represents Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore. If the government shutdown continues, 7,500 government contractors at these labs will be furloughed without pay beginning October 18. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is located in Lee's congressional district, and Lofgren has been a longtime supporter of national laboratories and fusion research conducted at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore.

"They are our nation's premier scientists and engineers who daily are engaged in cutting-edge research that is changing the world. To add insult to injury these employees are not entitled to back pay if they're furloughed because they are employees of an operator of a federal facility, not the federal government.

"I urge Secretary Moniz to authorize Department of Energy funds for furloughed national lab employees to ensure that our nation's brightest receive their pay, and that labs like SLAC can continue to recruit and retain the best minds in the world," Eshoo stated.

In the past, the Department of Energy has treated lab employees the same as their federal counterparts. When Secretary Steven Chu instituted a DOE-wide pay freeze, lab employees were included along with federal workers, the representatives noted.

"Lab employees have expressed their concerns about the uncertainty they face and the economic hardship which would be caused by furloughs. Their mortgage payments, car payments, and other monthly bills will continue even though they will not be receiving a paycheck. Putting lab employees through this economic difficulty is neither right nor necessary," the representatives stated in their letter.

Comments

Posted by tired, a resident of Birdland
on Oct 14, 2013 at 8:25 am

Government and other furloughed workers remember the extreme right and tea partiers when election comes. The party of No has caused so much harm and hardship for Americans. Now they wave confederate flags and fly don't walk on me flags, when they should fly our stars and stripes. Dont forget who brought you this shut down and extortion.


Posted by [removed], a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2013 at 8:47 am

[removed] The real situation is that the left wing loons are the "extreme nut jobs".
What is it about the 17 TRILLION dollar national debt you don't understand?
What is it you don't understand about the fact that under Obama we are adding to that debt at the rate of 3 TRILLION per year?
What is it you don't understand about the FACT that most of the stonewalling has been done by Harry Reid and the Senate democrats? The Senate has not passed a budget in 5 years (the House wasn't even involved in that bit of malfeasance)! Obama and Reid don't want a budget - they're spending like drunken sailors and they like it that way!
What is it don't understand about the fact that the United States is going broke and Barack Obama and Harry Reid don't give a damn?
What is it you don't understand about the fact that ObamaCare is going to be another massive entitlement program that will hasten that bankruptcy?
What is it you don't understand about the lies that Obama has told about ObamaCare (Your rates will go down - that was a lie. There are no death panels - that was a lie. You can keep you own doctor - that was a lie. It will be a boon to the economy - that was a lie.)


Posted by [removed], a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2013 at 8:55 am

The lab workers and other government workers should not get paid for work they have not performed. If they are POed, as they should be, they should call Feinstein, Boxer, Pelosi and Swalwell and raise holy hell about how the Democrats refuse to take the actions necessary to prevent the country from going bankrupt. They should especially do this if they give a damn about their children and grandchildren.


Posted by Pleasanton Neighbor, a resident of Foothill High School
on Oct 14, 2013 at 9:52 am

Well, I have a sister-in-law who works there and was furloughed so she went off visiting her new grand-baby. Note she and her husband both work there (he is not furloughed)so again not everyone is affected.

However, if the GOP wish a return to power they need to stop beating on the middle class (only working people can be furloughed).

Instead perhaps give us their plan for how to control spiraling medical costs (can we go back to non-profit medical companies). Let the charities take care of those that do not have any medical (like in the past).

Plus can they explain how to bring some overseas jobs back, maybe by changing trade agreements to be more fair for the USA (other countries favor themselves)?

So before I am beat me-up too bad, know I am not a Democrat, (never was) but nor am I part of the GOP either. They have let me down too often.


Posted by Ron, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 14, 2013 at 10:12 am

The whole thing is just a sideshow, and all it does is disgrace the United States. There is enough money coming in that there should be no shutdown. Lastly, Obamacare should be voted in by the citizens not stuffed down their throat.


Posted by Diane, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 14, 2013 at 10:47 am

The middle class is always hurt and the big guys in congress still get paid !


Posted by Rita Shumacher, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 14, 2013 at 11:44 am

These are only elitist scientists who think they know more then God. Once they admit that God created the universe in 6 days, and restd on the seventh, I made feel sorry about them being out of work. They should have done something more productive with their lives, like run a fast-food franchise or something. Good ridd-ance to the lot of them.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Oct 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm

just a minute...the UC Board of Regents takes good care of they mins (guys) 'n gals at Livermors...an, I mean it!!!

The top scientists git to retire, then get rehired and earn some very fun time extra big pocket money! them Regents gots lots of scams going on...it's way cool 2 receive a pension, get rehired at higher salaries all at the same time...the Regents then make sure that they (their) shares in certain unnamed companies remain prosperous. they scratch each other backside an that's why students gits to pay every increasing tuition, fees etc, etc, etc.

the secret plan is to turn UCB into an elite and elitist university for all to see while the Regents look prettier 'n prettier...they never have smell cause they done outslicked the public...tee hee hee...

i rest my case...


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Oct 14, 2013 at 12:06 pm

the tea party don't have anything to do with the UC Regent crooks...

the new fella who heads the UC Regents is a serious snake in the grass...sneaky kinda worm an smart!

the tea party is not smart or slick enuf to outslick the UC Regents...big time worms...snakes in the grass...tee hee

if you don't agree say why...dare you

i rest my case...


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Oct 14, 2013 at 12:11 pm

UC Regents want UC Berkeley to look more like an elite great world university secun to none...if they can rid themselves of 90% of their top academic students and bring in only students from extremely wealthy families worldwide, UC will morph into the top money making institution on planet earth...

i rest my case


Posted by Obamacare Wins, a resident of Birdland
on Oct 14, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Remember that the Republican-led house passed a bill that funded the lab and all of the rest of the government, but defunded Obamacare. Obama and the Democrat-led Senate said Obamacare was more important than preventing a government shutdown. This is what the citizens of this country voted for when they elected Obama and our Democrat Senators. It is hypocritic to now complain about a situation that you chose through your own vote.

(By the way, I am registered as "Decline to state" because I don't feel that either of the dominant parties represent my concerns.)

As if that was not enough, the House has gone on to pass numerous bills to fund various government entities, with no special conditions like defunding Obamacare. Once again Obama and our Democrat Senators have told our fellow citizens to go take a hike. They know better than the little people.

So, the citizens are receiving precisely what they voted for. Take it like a man!


Posted by Jack, a resident of Country Fair
on Oct 15, 2013 at 7:36 am

The University of California no longer runs the Lawrence Livermore Lab directly anymore. That contract ended years ago so I don't know why people are bringing up the UC Regents. In fact, if the lab was still run by the UC Regents directly, all the employees would still be state government employees and hence still get their pay......unless California shut down!


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Oct 15, 2013 at 9:44 am

I am neither Democrat or Republican. They are a bit too DIRTY for this one.

The deals that the Board of Regents set up are still in place.

You get to retire, pick up a pension, etc.; then get rehired at your last/highest salary + perks! tee hee...

The UC Board of Regents made big time bucks and it continues!

tee hee hee...




Posted by Jack, a resident of Country Fair
on Oct 15, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Mr. Cholo,

The lab is managed and operated by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS), a partnership of the University of California, Bechtel, Babcock & Wilcox, URS, and Battelle Memorial Institute in affiliation with the Texas A&M University System. The UC Regents lost full control of the lab years ago.

For your reference: Web Link

The lab employees are paid not by the federal government, not by California, and definitely not by the UC Regents. They are paid by the private (for profit) LLC which is funded and operated in accordance with its contract with the federal government. They are not public employees, but instead are private sector employees and are treated as such.

Jack


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Dublin
on Oct 15, 2013 at 6:27 pm

I know too many scientists employed by Lawrence Livermore.

I also know the details of how they profited from the slick moves initiated by the UC Regents.

Cholo

I choose not to provide further details.


Posted by right, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2013 at 10:09 pm

cholo is now from Dublin? and (shock) he can't provide details to back up his rant? Sounds like more than the govt shut down......who runs cholos brain?


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Oct 16, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Correction: Livermore!


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Oct 16, 2013 at 3:30 pm

nobody provides proof of anything...tee hee


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Oct 16, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Can somebody please esplain to me why "right" doesn't have access to public information about Livermore + UC Regents money making schemes?

It's public information...strangeola!

Cholo figured it out...how come "right" is unable to figure out the slick moves?

tee hee hee...

like they say, you can lead a donkey to water...etc...


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Oct 17, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Sorry "right", I apologize for everything. You were completely right.

tee hee hee...


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