Fermilab job cuts to take effect Oct. 1, Oddone says
Up to 80 positions will be cut at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, officials announced Friday.
The workforce reductions come amid anticipated federal spending cuts to the lab.
Fermilab director Pier Oddone made the announcement on the lab's website and during a meeting with staff on Friday.
"This is not a step that I am taking lightly, and it is a last resort after we have significantly reduced spending in many other areas," Oddone wrote in a memo to employees.
Lab officials are instating a "self-select voluntary separation program," but say they may fire employees if fewer than 80 voluntarily leave.
The job cuts are expected to take effect Oct. 1.
In February, the White House's budget proposal included cuts to research and development of the lab's International Linear Collider and Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment. A month later, Fermilab officials received a letter from the Department of Energy that said the Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment couldn't be funded in its current form due to the economic climate. Oddone said Fermilab is developing an "affordable and phased approach" to achieve the project's goals in the coming years.
He said prospects for the lab's funding look better than they did earlier this year due to Congress restoring some funding to the lab's budget, though officials "anticipate that tight budgets will continue as the federal government continues to confront large budget deficits."