Your June 11 editorial, “Budget cuts to PNNL would set us back,” reminded me of the 1995 funding cuts at PNNL and probably within the Department of Energy. At that time PNNL had about 5,200 employees and had to begin job cutbacks.
First they offered early retirement to staff members over 55. I was eligible and took it, along with about 280 senior staff. Then, they used the voluntary reduction of staff program where they helped staff get other employment. There may have been some salary assistance in voluntarily leaving. Finally, an involuntary staff reduction program was used to get the staff level desired.
When it was all over, PNNL had about 3,400 staff left, which is a much more drastic cut than is currently expected. This occurred during the Clinton presidency, but I do not recall your paper saying much about it and you certainly did not blame Clinton. Friends of mine that remained at PNNL said work continued. PNNL recovered nicely. Scientific research did not suffer.
Your editorial staff way overstated the feared outcome of losing 1,000 jobs. President Trump’s budget proposal is reasonable and needs to be considered.
Wally Walters, Kennewick