Author Topic: Direct thread on job losses  (Read 10292 times)

Offline wingod

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Re: Direct thread on job losses
« Reply #20 on: 04/04/2008 08:22 PM »
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Jim - 1/4/2008  4:08 PM

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kraisee - 1/4/2008  4:32 PM

1.  All Shuttle OME engineers can find a place within Orion fairly easily.   We would recommend flying early Orion's with regular 6,000lb OME variants initially, and upgrade to the Lunar-spec 10,000lb thrust version for a "Block-II" variant down the line a bit.

2.  SSME engineers can switch over initially to the RS-68B.   J-2X development is coming too and we accelerate the LSAM project by two years too, so the option to move into their propulsion systems will open around 2011/12.   Some staff may be required to re-locate, but we would hope these can done be on a mostly voluntary basis.   We certainly wish to keep all of those valuable skills "in the family" for that short period without any headaches so will make an extra effort here to make sure we have no losses.

3.  Aero-Structures guys are going to be completely lost with the current plan, but we have a fill-in program until we need them for projects like LSAM a little bit later.   We need some cheap, in-expensive cargo carrying modules to replicate the mountings found in the Shuttle Payload Bay.   I can't think of a better group of engineers and workers who are more familiar with the current structure of that than the guys routinely doing OMDT's and such maintenance on the Orbiters today.   So we set these great folk on the project of building half a dozen of these between STS retirement and our 2013 FOC date when we plan to begin using them on every ISS Crew Rotation Mission - and we have the payload lift capability to actually make use of it too.

4.  TPS.   The new "Payload Bay" modules need TPS, but most of these guys can be retrained.

5.  Electronics/Comms:   We have a whole new program starting up.   We need Firing Rooms updated, we need MLP's and Pads reconfigured.   There is a new launcher and new spacecraft in development which need supporting.   There's plenty of work to be going around.   What it requires though is very careful management of these resources to ensure we keep all the staff working at their best efficiency on all the different projects.

6.  ISS: There are currently grounded payloads which we are going to launch.   AMS, CAM, SPP, MPLM's etc.   All of these will require ground processing work.   Orbiter workers can be re-trained to fill positions here temporarily too while the rest of the program ramps up.

7.  Hubble SM #5.   Requires Payload processing staff and a whole team to prepare the mission.   Lets use staff we have available.


Ross,

You keep pushing this but it does not save KSC jobs.  It is a myth.   Direct can save some jobs but it is still a small fraction.

1.  Other than loading the SM with propellants, there is no need for OME workers. There is no refurbishment.   See Delta II .  They are built in California.  See below.  See also Centaur and RL-10's.  

2.  There is no work done at KSC on the RS-68.  No refurbishment.  See Delta-IV.  Any rework is done by workers from Stennis or Canoga Park.   This is the SOP for all expendable vehicle.  They only have small resident offices with no techs.  

3.  Those workers have not built anything.  It is not the same as repairing. and who says it would be done at KSC.  

4.  Whose says it is done at KSC.  And it is not one for one.  

5.  Not the same as spacecraft electronics.  Union thing.  

6.  CAM and SPP are no longer grounded, they are gone,  they don't exist anymore.  Would need more money to build new ones. Anyways, like AMS, they would be processed by the contractor who built them and not KSC workers.  Once the payload is finished being built. KSC workers just do a shuttle interface test and put it into the can.  The only payloads that KSC is hands on are the MPLM's

7.   Same as above.   GSFC contractor process the hardware.  SOP

Don't stretch the truth.  Direct can sell on other points.  


The only thing that will save those jobs is another 2 years of STS flights and then transition over to the Shuttle C.  That is why I proposed it in the first place and now people are wailing and gnashing teeth over the job losses.  Shuttle C is not the best technical solution but is the best political solution.



Offline kraisee

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Re: Direct thread on job losses
« Reply #21 on: 04/04/2008 08:44 PM »
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OV-106 - 4/4/2008  1:33 PM

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kraisee - 1/4/2008  4:25 PM

Jim,
Forgive me, but it isn't a myth.   We've done an awful lot of research into this now and there are no show-stoppers at all, not budget, not schedule, not technical, not workforce.   Everything we have detailed has live data to back it up.

Ross.

Your data is incorrect.  Jim is absolutely right.  For example, how much work do you think we do on the OME after flight?  Why should KSC become the NASA job factory?  They will already be final assembly and checkout of the Orion, probably other vehicles as well.

That is going to account for only 600 jobs of the 6,400 under threat at KSC.  Thats less that 10%.

What we have here are a collection of relatively small contracts which can make use of the normal engineers and technicians available at KSC.   No one of these can save the workforce, but together they represent a work requirement for between 6-7,000 employees - exactly the ballpark we are talking about.

And these contracts will last just long enough to allow the staff to transition into the burgeoning LSAM, EDS and Lunar Base projects as they begin processing new hardware for the test programs happening around 2015-2016.

As I have said before, this has been very carefully planned out.   It takes the excess STS staff which we don't need transferred over to Jupiter processing, and gives them valuable work to do for about 5 years.    That keeps all those staff gainfully employed and places those people in an excellent position ready to be picked up again by the new CxP elements when ready.

Believe it or don't.   I really don't care.   But the people who make these decisions ARE listening and that's all that matters in the end.

Ross.
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Offline Lampyridae

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Re: Direct thread on job losses
« Reply #22 on: 04/07/2008 12:59 AM »
Ross, as an outsider to this discussion, your points do come across as being kinda sugar-coated. I'm having a hard time swallowing this, myself, especially when Jim and OV-106 are raising all these points. I don't doubt that your team has carefully looked at the jobs requirements, and that as a pitch to politicians you want to make it seem as good as you can.

I *do* believe that it's possible to shuffle around tech jobs quite easily (changing shuttle tiles doesn't require a degree), but I am curious that you manage to exactly fit in the workforce requirements with the schedule. Are you favouring one over the other? Are you making compromises? If you could simply outline the logic in, say, a more basic argument in terms maybe of man-hours and so on, I think a lot of us non-experts would have a better understanding of where you are coming from.
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Re: Direct thread on job losses
« Reply #23 on: 04/07/2008 03:50 AM »
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kraisee - 4/4/2008  3:44 PM

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OV-106 - 4/4/2008  1:33 PM

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kraisee - 1/4/2008  4:25 PM

Jim,
Forgive me, but it isn't a myth.   We've done an awful lot of research into this now and there are no show-stoppers at all, not budget, not schedule, not technical, not workforce.   Everything we have detailed has live data to back it up.

Ross.

Your data is incorrect.  Jim is absolutely right.  For example, how much work do you think we do on the OME after flight?  Why should KSC become the NASA job factory?  They will already be final assembly and checkout of the Orion, probably other vehicles as well.

That is going to account for only 600 jobs of the 6,400 under threat at KSC.  Thats less that 10%.

What we have here are a collection of relatively small contracts which can make use of the normal engineers and technicians available at KSC.   No one of these can save the workforce, but together they represent a work requirement for between 6-7,000 employees - exactly the ballpark we are talking about.

And these contracts will last just long enough to allow the staff to transition into the burgeoning LSAM, EDS and Lunar Base projects as they begin processing new hardware for the test programs happening around 2015-2016.

As I have said before, this has been very carefully planned out.   It takes the excess STS staff which we don't need transferred over to Jupiter processing, and gives them valuable work to do for about 5 years.    That keeps all those staff gainfully employed and places those people in an excellent position ready to be picked up again by the new CxP elements when ready.

Believe it or don't.   I really don't care.   But the people who make these decisions ARE listening and that's all that matters in the end.

Ross.

Before I critique any further, are you saying there are 600 positions dedicated to the Orbital Maneuvering Engine, the OME?
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Offline kraisee

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Re: Direct thread on job losses
« Reply #24 on: 04/07/2008 02:39 PM »
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Lampyridae - 6/4/2008  8:59 PM

Ross, as an outsider to this discussion, your points do come across as being kinda sugar-coated. I'm having a hard time swallowing this, myself, especially when Jim and OV-106 are raising all these points. I don't doubt that your team has carefully looked at the jobs requirements, and that as a pitch to politicians you want to make it seem as good as you can.

I *do* believe that it's possible to shuffle around tech jobs quite easily (changing shuttle tiles doesn't require a degree), but I am curious that you manage to exactly fit in the workforce requirements with the schedule. Are you favouring one over the other? Are you making compromises? If you could simply outline the logic in, say, a more basic argument in terms maybe of man-hours and so on, I think a lot of us non-experts would have a better understanding of where you are coming from.

In the short-term (to FY2013) what we're doing is making about $5bn worth of savings on Ares-I's development.   We also save another $1.8bn on infrastructure cost differences too.   There's quite a lot of other changes here and there, but those are the two really big ticket items.

This money is used to speed up development of Orion first and foremost.   But it is also utilized to keep KSC/MAF operating at their full annual budgets.   You have to realize that KSC's budget is *tiny* compared to JSC or especially compared to MSFC.   Keeping the budget line item isn't actually all that difficult if you are no longer spending every single penny you have on just development like we're going to have to do to get Ares-I operational for 2015.

Anyhow, with a fully funded center, there don't need to be any job losses at all.   Many of these staff we actually *need* to remain exactly where they are.   Everyone currently involved in SRB, ET, Launch Ops, and those related jobs will be needed right where they are throughout the transition.   We have flights planned and they need to process them!   We need all of those people because Jupiter-120-X test-flight hardware will be processed through MAF to KSC starting 2009, ready to fly in 2010!

Jupiter-120-Y will go through one year later in the 2010-2011 time frame.

And two more flights, Jupiter-120-Z and Jupiter-1/Orion-4 IOC go in the 2011-2012 period.   That's a minimum of one flight per year throughout the "gap" years - essentially rendering the workforce gap down to just a "couple of slow years".   During that time we are going to need *lots* of new procedures, documentation, support systems and a ton of other things, and I can't think of a better crowd than the on-site staff at KSC to handle that themselves seeing as they are still on the payroll!


The crew flight gap will be only 9 months as long as we can plan the last of the already-contracted Soyuz flights to be scheduled as late as possible in 2011.   If it flies in Decemer, Orion-4 flies to ISS 9 months later in the following September.   I'm sure there would be plenty of American Astronaut volunteers who could stay aboard the station that long.   And it would be a valuable opportunity to gather data for future exploits to the Red planet.

This essentially means we do NOT need to change the law regarding Russia, and we do NOT need to buy any more Russian flights.   We can save that $2bn allocation and instead spend that money on this program instead - a rather handy contribution actually.


Now, how the rest of the staff will be utilized is the big question.   Approximately half of KSC's Shuttle workforce is Orbiter-related and that work essentially has nothing to do with Jupiter nor Orion.

Only 600 staff are all that are required to process Orion's from start to finish (that should answer OV-106's question above BTW).   By protecting the workforce at KSC that's going to leave a lot of Orbiter guys waiting around for new Constellation jobs - if they want them.

There will be about 5 years "gap" there while those elements are still getting up to speed though.      During this period, we are planning that all the staff not being utilized for Jupiter will be divided up into one of a whole cluster of new "small" temporary programs.   There are quite a few of these which will run between 3-6 years in duration and which will, together, utilize all of the skilled and un-skilled workers.   There will be some design work which may need to be farmed out to other centers if KSC can't handle that, but the bulk of the work for these mini-programs will be allocated at KSC whenever possible.   Each team will build and create whatever things it is allocated, and staff will have to learn to do the Shuffle if they want their jobs secure - but secure they will be.

I am not going to get into the specific money and man-hour details here on a public forum because this will very quickly become proprietary information and I'm wary about prejudicing things at this early stage.

What I will say is that our detailed projections indicate that KSC will actually see a small *increase* in its yearly budget for a few years here - in the order of $50-100m per year extra from 2011 thru 2016 at which point those projects will all be over, and the staff will be fully integrated back into the Exploration Program proper.

It's complicated.   I wish there were an easy way to describe it, but there just isn't.   I'm doing the best I can here, but I'm only covering large brush-strokes at my best.   It's a *lot* more complicated than this explanation makes it sound when you actually get down into the budget details though.   Frankly it gives me a headache :)

Ross.
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Offline Steve G

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Re: Direct thread on job losses
« Reply #25 on: 04/22/2008 03:52 PM »
Speaking of job losses or Direct related job retainment (This is the thread for this, isn't it?)  have the unions been contacted?  If I was an employee at Michoud or anywhere else that Direct would keep me employed, I'd be raising hell.  I'd plaster every windshield of every car in the parking lot with those baseball cards.  I'd be going after the union local.  I'd be writing the mayor, the governor, the media and holy cow, this is an election year, isn't it? I'd be hell bent to get noticed.

 In a perfect world, find a few patriotic, sacrificial lambs who are part of the Ares team have a high profile mass resignation, have a news conference, and begin an all out insurrection against Ares.

This is not just a technical issue or a choice between architecture.  It's a political issue.  You have to approach it as such.

Offline kraisee

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Re: Direct thread on job losses
« Reply #26 on: 04/23/2008 05:06 AM »
I'm all-for every worker at KSC and Michoud standing up and protecting their butts.

We're doing everything we can to help these people, but having them on the case and pushing the Unions to action as well would help us enormously.

We believe that with DIRECT it is possible to save every job.

We are actually talking internally about approaching the Unions to offer some sort of guarantee to Shuttle staff that they will have a job through the transition years.

The critical issue though, is that with no job confidence on the horizon - can the Shuttle Program seriously expect to keep the staff motivated and focussed on flying out the last flights completely safely?   Or will the staff be spending all their time looking for work elsewhere as D-Day draws closer and closer?

We simply do not believe Shuttle can hope to safely operate to the end of 2010 if 90%l of its staff know they aren't going to be employed after 2010.

The organization I'm convinced will be torn asunder by this is United Space Alliance (USA).   Anyone working for them today is in deep, deep, trouble 18 months from now.

If people would like pamphlets to stick on windscreens at work - I will happily produce them.   Let me know what the interest level is here on this thread or by PM.

Ross.
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Re: Direct thread on job losses
« Reply #27 on: 04/23/2008 04:50 PM »
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kraisee - 22/4/2008  12:06 AM

I'm all-for every worker at KSC and Michoud standing up and protecting their butts.

We're doing everything we can to help these people, but having them on the case and pushing the Unions to action as well would help us enormously.

We believe that with DIRECT it is possible to save every job.

We are actually talking internally about approaching the Unions to offer some sort of guarantee to Shuttle staff that they will have a job through the transition years.

The critical issue though, is that with no job confidence on the horizon - can the Shuttle Program seriously expect to keep the staff motivated and focussed on flying out the last flights completely safely?   Or will the staff be spending all their time looking for work elsewhere as D-Day draws closer and closer?

We simply do not believe Shuttle can hope to safely operate to the end of 2010 if 90%l of its staff know they aren't going to be employed after 2010.

The organization I'm convinced will be torn asunder by this is United Space Alliance (USA).   Anyone working for them today is in deep, deep, trouble 18 months from now.

If people would like pamphlets to stick on windscreens at work - I will happily produce them.   Let me know what the interest level is here on this thread or by PM.

Ross.

At KSC the union staff is quite small.  The recent strike did not stop shuttle operations so wouldn't go hunting there.
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Re: Direct thread on job losses
« Reply #28 on: 04/23/2008 05:04 PM »
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kraisee - 22/4/2008  12:06 AM

I'm all-for every worker at KSC and Michoud standing up and protecting their butts.

We're doing everything we can to help these people, but having them on the case and pushing the Unions to action as well would help us enormously.

We believe that with DIRECT it is possible to save every job.

We are actually talking internally about approaching the Unions to offer some sort of guarantee to Shuttle staff that they will have a job through the transition years.

The critical issue though, is that with no job confidence on the horizon - can the Shuttle Program seriously expect to keep the staff motivated and focussed on flying out the last flights completely safely?   Or will the staff be spending all their time looking for work elsewhere as D-Day draws closer and closer?

We simply do not believe Shuttle can hope to safely operate to the end of 2010 if 90%l of its staff know they aren't going to be employed after 2010.

The organization I'm convinced will be torn asunder by this is United Space Alliance (USA).   Anyone working for them today is in deep, deep, trouble 18 months from now.

If people would like pamphlets to stick on windscreens at work - I will happily produce them.   Let me know what the interest level is here on this thread or by PM.

Ross.

Ross,

With respect here, stick to your message about the concept you have and try to continue to sell it if you like.  

While I've always been a fan of the concept, after all it's not new and has been around for many, many years, I'm having trouble with your salesman side of the house.  Trying to force this down everyone's throat about how it can save this or that and every job is not realistic even with a direct-style architecture.  

I do work for USA.  Where the hell is your proof we can't fly safely as we get to 2010?  Everyone knows things are going to change one way or another with whatever the architecture ends up to look like.  No one who actually works in this business is oblivious to that and we do not need you to offer pamphlets like some second rate solicitor.
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Offline kraisee

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Re: Direct thread on job losses
« Reply #29 on: 04/23/2008 08:37 PM »
The issue for STS safety is going to be over the next 18 months, with the majority of people facing a pink slip at KSC (63.5 to 71.1% redundancy rate according to NASA's own numbers) and Michoud (57.9 to 68.4% redundancy rate), how many of the staff there today are going to stay to the bitter end?   How many are going to get out now while there are still jobs to go to?  
How many will wait until everyone else starts rushing around realizing they aren't going to be able to pay their mortgages and kids college funds within a few months time?

Do we really think most people will stay to the end and then try to figure out their career paths only once they have the pink slip in hand and there are thousands of other people all flooding the job market?

No.   People are beginning to leave the program now.   Its only a trickle right now, but it won't be as D-Day gets ever-closer.   I guarantee that the smart folk, those with experience and skills that are in demand, are the ones who will make sure they get out well before the final crunch.   Some are already planning to get clear before the rush comes sets in.   There are lots of resumes already floating about out there by all accounts.   As more people really admit to themselves what is coming, that trickle will turn into a flood before the end.

Ultimately, this is going to mean that the last handful of Shuttle flights will end up being prepared without full staffing.

The point I'm trying to make is:   Understaffed, how will Shuttle manage to remain as safe as it is today?

I don't believe that's a realistic assumption.

And I don't believe most people have so far given it much thought, but its going to be an issue.

Ross.
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Re: Direct thread on job losses
« Reply #30 on: 04/24/2008 01:43 AM »
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kraisee - 23/4/2008  3:37 PM

The issue for STS safety is going to be over the next 18 months, with the majority of people facing a pink slip at KSC (63.5 to 71.1% redundancy rate according to NASA's own numbers) and Michoud (57.9 to 68.4% redundancy rate), how many of the staff there today are going to stay to the bitter end?   How many are going to get out now while there are still jobs to go to?  
How many will wait until everyone else starts rushing around realizing they aren't going to be able to pay their mortgages and kids college funds within a few months time?

Do we really think most people will stay to the end and then try to figure out their career paths only once they have the pink slip in hand and there are thousands of other people all flooding the job market?

No.   People are beginning to leave the program now.   Its only a trickle right now, but it won't be as D-Day gets ever-closer.   I guarantee that the smart folk, those with experience and skills that are in demand, are the ones who will make sure they get out well before the final crunch.   Some are already planning to get clear before the rush comes sets in.   There are lots of resumes already floating about out there by all accounts.   As more people really admit to themselves what is coming, that trickle will turn into a flood before the end.

Ultimately, this is going to mean that the last handful of Shuttle flights will end up being prepared without full staffing.

The point I'm trying to make is:   Understaffed, how will Shuttle manage to remain as safe as it is today?

I don't believe that's a realistic assumption.

And I don't believe most people have so far given it much thought, but its going to be an issue.

Ross.

When you make statements like this you show how out of touch you are with the true and real space program.  

The very fact that you don't believe people have given it much thought is nothing but flat out wrong.  It will be a challenge to retain some but if you believe folks are turning a blind eye to it then you are even more naive than I initially thought.

You are drifting way off message by making statements like this.  Your credibility has been damaged.
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