Latest Questions & Answers
Q: From Fermilab Today, May 8 - "Given the retirements and resignations in recent weeks, the expected number of layoffs is about 140." This is well below the 165-200 numbers recently published. Apparently therefore the Laboratory has accepted retirements during a time of RIF that result in a reduction in the number of people getting laid off. These retirees, to my understanding, will not receive severance. Can you tell me how that squares with the FRA contract language "Any employee who volunteers for layoff or retirement during a time period in which the Contractor has an active reduction in force plan will be eligible for severance pay provided the termination is accepted by Laboratory management and results in the retention of an employee who otherwise would have been laid off."?
A: You are right that people have retired from Fermilab in recent months. They chose to retire, though, before Fermilab had an active reduction in force plan. As of now, Fermilab is still working with the Department of Energy on the plan, which will not become final until it receives DOE approval. After the Workforce Restructuring Plan is approved and becomes active, those who are laid off and who are eligible for retirement will receive severance pay in addition to retiree benefits.
Q: Under the proposed plan, if I am eligible for retirement and I am laid off, can I still retire? Will I receive severance pay? Retiree medical benefits?
A: Yes, if you are laid off and you are eligible for retirement, you can still retire. You will receive severance pay and you will still receive standard retiree medical benefits.
Q: Under the proposed plan, can I volunteer to be laid off?
A: No. Layoffs will be determined by lab management.
Q: Why not accept volunteers?
A: There are two reasons. First, volunteers may need to be replaced. This does not help Fermilab meet the budget. In the past, when the laboratory asked for volunteers, Fermilab had to replace fully a third of them. Second, according to the contract, Fermilab could refuse to allow specific employees to volunteer, because they are needed. But allowing some employees to volunteer and refusing others did not seem fair, so we are treating all employees alike.
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