March 21, 2003  


Save Our Science Days and HEP Operations Schedule to Change

By Lee Lyon

On March 11, I sent all SLAC employees a memo to clarify, add detail and answer questions about the SLAC Cost Reduction Measures. Id like to take this opportunity to reiterate the most salient points of that and previous memos regarding this matter.

As Greg Loew wrote in his memo of February 27, while the proposed FY04 HEP budget was about $7M higher than this years budget, it still would not be sufficient to run our HEP program as planned next year. We have now been able to evaluate all the new budget information, and, in order to optimize our science program and avoid any budget-driven involuntary layoffs, we have had to make some relatively minor changes to the assumptions we had made and to the plans you had generously accepted. While chief among those changes is a calendar shift of the scheduled leave-without-pay days, there are also a number of other details to be addressed.

Save Our Science Days Changed to Week of June 30 - July 4, 2003

All SLAC HEP staff will have to take four days as leave without pay during the week of June 30 through July 4. That is four days of leave without pay from June 30 through July 3 and a paid holiday on July 4. Some staff with unusual schedules may have to work out the exact arrangements with their supervisors. This change was made in order to support our science program and to schedule the days without pay at what may be a more desirable time for many staff. I hope this change causes no undue inconvenience for you.

Those four days will be considered a temporary layoff. While staff will continue to accrue sick and vacation leave, and full contributions will be made to their health and welfare plans, they cannot use vacation, personal time off (PTO), or birthday holidays to cover the four shutdown days. Contributions to retirement plans are based on eligible earnings for that pay period and therefore will be reduced slightly.

Earned Vacation Must Be Taken

In addition to the changes addressed above, we also have to ask all HEP staff to use all the vacation they earn during this fiscal year. Put another way, your vacation balance on September 30, 2003, should be no more than it was on October 1, 2002. Check your pay stub or call Human Resources for your balances. There is a little more flexibility about PTO days and the birthday holiday in that staff has until December 31 to use them.

SSRL staff will be handled a little differently than HEP staff. If a staff member is directly supported by SSRL money for more than 50 percent of the time over the entire fiscal year, that employee will be required to take one half as many unpaid days. Also, SLAC is working with the United Stanford Workers to allow payment to their members for the July 4th holiday even though the previous day is a day of leave without salary.

HEP Operations Plan Change

The HEP running plan for the remainder of FY03 and FY04 has also been altered. The HEP operations schedule for the remainder of FY03 and FY04 now includes running the B Factory through June 29, 2003. We will also run E-158 from July 7 through the end of August. Finally, PEP-II will be turned on again in September to do Personnel Protection System (PPS) checks and then to get back up and running. The goal will be to run from September 2003 through June 2004.

Stanford Salary Freeze

Regarding the Stanford Salary Freeze, SLAC must follow Stanford University HR policies. Fortunately, the salary freeze decision applies to the 2003-04 salary program only, so SLAC and the University expect to be able to return to a modest-sized salary program in 2004-05.

We expect the effect of these measures and policies will be to allow SLAC to avoid budget-driven layoffs or further mandatory leave-without-salary programs during FY04.

Finally, I would like to say to that I very much appreciate the cooperation and understanding that has marked your response to this difficult budget situation and to our decisions on how to deal with it. We can all be proud that we have managed this very difficult budget year with no budget-driven involuntary layoffs and with a program that involves all of the high energy physics faculty and staff.

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The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Thursday March 20, 2003 by Kathy B