(Photo by Diana Rogers)
by Jonathan Dorfan
At last Friday’s All Hands meetings I outlined for you our
plan to meet our budget for fiscal year 2003. This year will challenge all
of us to join together in keeping our Lab functioning at its current high
level. We do not yet have a finalized Congressional budget, but we expect
that we will receive considerably less than we requested for the SLAC High
Energy Physics budget, and close to our request for the SSRL budget.
As you heard from speaker after speaker during the 40th
Anniversary Celebration, SLAC science is renowned worldwide and SLAC staff
is equally renowned for their talent, dedication and ingenuity. Our top
priority in managing this year’s budget is preserving the quality of our
science and avoiding an involuntary reduction in staff. We must Save Our
Science and Save Our Staff.
I have been working with the Directorate for the past
month to develop a plan that will meet our budget and maintain our
programs and people. This plan involves a combination of cuts to program
elements and sacrifices from the staff. I would like to remind you of how
you can contribute:
1. Voluntary Layoff Program: Staff can request to
be laid off and receive the same benefits they would receive if they had
been involuntarily laid off. Requests can only be accepted if the
organization saves a position immediately traceable to the layoffee’s
position and if the person’s presence is not required by operational
needs. In order to realize the necessary savings, SLAC is requesting that
staff aim for January 8, 2003 as the effective date of their layoff.
2. Take Your Vacation Days: This contributes to our
cost savings efforts because we pay for vacation from an accrual account
and it does not count against a department’s operating budget. All HEP
funded staff will need to take all of the vacation they earn during this
fiscal year (October 1, 2002 through September 30, 2003). Whether you earn
five weeks of vacation per year, or two weeks of vacation per year, HEP
funded staff will be expected to take at least the full amount that you
have earned within this fiscal year.
3. Voluntary Reduction in Hours Program: Staff can
voluntary reduce their work hours for a period of time. This is intended
to be temporary, but could be permanent if an employee and his/her
supervisor/department agree to that arrangement.
4. SOS days: For the HEP funded programs, SLAC will
shut down the week of Labor Day 2003. Monday, September 1 will be a
Holiday; the HEP funded staff will be on leave without pay status during
the four days from Tuesday, September 2 through Friday, September 5.
More detailed information on these programs is available
By planning ahead and by showing our solidarity, I believe
that these measures will allow us to weather the expected shortfall and
emerge at full strength.
I am deeply grateful for your support.