The Independent, Oct. 13, 2011




Lab's Short-Sighted Retiree Policy


     There is plenty of intellectual horsepower at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, but when it comes to informing some 5,000 retirees of changing health plans, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is acting unwisely.

     The Lab should be using all means possible to communicate with the retirees, many of whom live too far away or are too infirm to attend local health plan meetings.  Instead, it has discontinued a simple and inexpensive way of reaching out to them and explaining complicated and changing health plans.  It has refused to work with the Laboratory's Retiree Association, whose members in the past have reached out to their former colleagues in other parts of the country, or in nursing homes.  Association members did this as a free service that signaled "We Care" to retirees -- and to active employees, who knew that the caring would continue when their turn came to retire. 

     Now, the Laboratory appears to be turning its back on the men and women who helped win the Cold War.  Today's employees know they will be treated no differently in old age.  How can this be healthy for the morale and productivity of a major national institution?