is the labor organization and professional association that represents
4,000 employees of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
in the U.S. Department of Commerce, including:
The forecasters, technicians and support personnel of the National Weather Service, the nation's official source for the weather forecasts and warnings;
The technicians who track and command the nation's weather satellites from Wallops Island, Virginia and Suitland, Maryland;
The civilian crew of the "Hurricane Hunter" aircraft base in Lakeland, Florida;
The attorneys in NOAA's Office of General Counsel, who are responsible for enforcing laws that protect the nation's environment and natural resources;
The hurricane researchers and other scientists and support personnel at the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Key Biscayne, Florida.
Donate to the work of NWSEO. Email NWSEO Bookkeeper Emily Roy at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
NWSEO is the only organization with the ability to lobby Congress and the Administration to preserve NWS jobs, promote better working conditions and career promotions for NWS, and participate in collective bargaining.
Form A must be submitted between January 1, 2019 and March 31, 2019 to receive benefits for 2019. Form B must be submitted between January 1, 2019 and March 31, 2019 for reimbursement for the year 2018.
*NWSEO MEMBER SPOTLIGHT*
NWSEO Secretary/Treasurer, Eastern Region Chairman David Solano
(June 17, 2020) Congratulations to our very own, David Solano, who is retiring later this month with nearly 31 years of service with the National Weather Service. Mr. Solano has served as an active leader, supporter, recruiter, and organizer of NWSEO and has worked with members from all over the country. He took a moment to share his experiences as a leader of our organization.
Dave, when did you begin your Hydro-Meteorologist career? I began my Meteorology career back in 1984 upon graduating from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology. Upon graduation, I went to New York working for private industry until late 1989. It was in New York that I met and then happily married my wife Linda, and we just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary this past September 2019. (More)
NWSEO Steward Leah Pope
(May 29, 2020) Please meet NWSEO Steward Leah Pope, Hydrologist at Missouri Basin River Forecast Center (MBRFC) in Pleasant Hill, MO.
What brought you to the NWS and NWSEO? My background is in civil engineering / water resources. I have a master’s degree in water management and hydro-informatics. I am fascinated in the math and science behind water and how it applies to the real world to help save lives.
NWSEO Member Eleanor Vallier-Talbot
(May 11, 2020) Congratulations to long-time NWSEO Member Eleanor Vallier-Talbot who recently retired after 35 years at NWS. Before she soars into this new chapter in her life, she took a moment to share her experiences in being a member of our organization. Eleanor joined NWSEO during her stay in Portland, ME late 1997.
“It's been a great experience being an NWSEO member. When I joined, I didn't realize how important having a union representing NWS employees would be, especially for the operational field forecasters like myself. Having a proactive union like the NWSEO has proven, time and again, to be vital as the primary representative with NWS management. Thank you, NWSEO, for representing ME and all the members, in protecting our jobs and livelihoods.” -Eleanor Vallier-Talbot (More)
NWSEO Member Jamie Morrow
April 17, 2020 PDF copy
Please meet NWSEO Member and Meteorologist James (Jamie) Morrow of NWS Raleigh (RAH), NC. NWSEO would like to congratulate Jamie on recently being selected to fill the NWS XO/PCO position at NWS HQ beginning in early May of 2020.
Where are you from originally, and what sparked your interest to pursue a career in weather?
I originally grew up in King George, Virginia, a small farming county located in the tidal basin of Virginia, known mainly for its abnormally large landfill full of Bald Eagles and its historical role of housing John Wilkes Booth days before his eventual shoot-out demise. I first became fascinated with weather after witnessing numerous hurricanes, summer thunderstorms, and experiencing first-hand the aftermath of the 2002 Laplata, Maryland tornado. This led to me pursuing a Meteorology degree at Virginia Tech where I received a B.S. in Meteorology and B.A. in Geography.(More)
Please meet NWSEO Member and Senior Meteorologist, IMET Alex Hoon of NWS Reno, Nevada. NWSEO congratulates Alex, the recipient of a Silver Medal by the Secretary of Commerce for meritorious service on the Carr Fire in Northern California in 2018.
Where are you from originally?
I am originally from Houston, Texas...born and raised! I went to Texas A&M University and then I was commissioned as an officer in the US Air Force. After several years as a weather officer in the Air Force, I came to the National Weather Service here in Reno, Nevada, and I've been here ever since.
How long have you worked in NWS?
I've been with the NWS for about 13 years, I've done all my NWS time here in Reno, NV as a journeyman and then as a lead forecaster. My family and I fell in love with the western climate, the beautiful mountains, the great outdoors, and the great community here--not to mention we have a great office with awesome coworkers. (More)
Please meet long-time NWSEO Member and Forecaster, George Bancroftof College Park, MD and NWS and the National Centers for Environmental Protection (NCEP) Ocean Prediction Center (OPC). You may have met Mr. Bancroft at one of the conventions. He has attended nearly every one as an active participant and a generous contributor to the NWSEO PAC.
How long have you worked in NWS NCEP?
Since 1995 when the old National Meteorological Center in Camp Springs MD was re-organized into the various Centers and Ocean Prediction Center formed. (More)
(August 27, 2019) Exactly 40 years ago today, our General Counsel Richard Hirn began his legal career as an attorney in the Office of Appeals of the National Labor Relations Board, enforcing working Americans’ collective bargaining rights during the Carter Administration.
He stated, “I am very proud that this was my first job after law school (during which I had the opportunity to work at both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Election Commission. And while at the FEC, I worked on litigation against the National Right to Work Committee with Larry Noble, who eventually became the FEC’s General Counsel).”
Richard started his career with the NWSEO 38 years ago as our General Counsel and became our lobbyist 14 years ago. Richard is one of the pre-eminent Federal sector labor attorneys in the country. We are very lucky to have him representing us.
Congratulations Richard, from the entire NWSEO on your stellar career.
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NWSEO Cares: Medical Leave Donations
NWSEO Members have always been generous with leave donations for co-workers in need.
If you are able to donate leave time, please complete the Donor Leave Transfer Application and submit it to your ASA. If you would like to learn more about the Leave Transfer Program, including a full list of participants, click here. NWSEO thanks you for your generosity and care!
The Four Winds for 2019 are located on the Member News page.
(July 11, 2020) After much consideration about concerns for the safety of our members during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be holding our 2020 NWSEO Convention as planned in Las Vegas, NV. Instead, we will evolve and hold our first ever virtual Convention, scheduled for October 12-13, 2020. Details will be forthcoming. For those members who have earned recruitment and travel incentives in 2020, your travel incentives will rollover to the 2021 Convention.
The Vegas experience still awaits our group as our 2021 NWSEO National Convention will be held at Caesar’s Palace on Monday, October 18 and Tuesday, October 19, 2021. Mark your calendars and join us in Las Vegas.
The fun doesn’t stop there! The 2022 NWSEO National Convention will be held at Harrah’s in New Orleans, LA on Monday, November 7 and Tuesday, November 8, 2022. Take advantage of this opportunity to catch up with your NWSEO friends and family and join us. (Convention News)
Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP) Issues Ruling on New
NWS Collective Bargaining Agreement
(July 9, 2020) The FSIP has issued its decision on the “impasse” between the NWS and NWSEO over the new NWS Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Both parties were notified of this decision late yesterday. The decision can be read in its entirety here.
In short, the FSIP ruled against NWSEO on 23 articles, ruled in NWSEO’s favor on three articles and inserted their own language into two articles. (More)
NWSEO files suit against FSIP, says appointment violates Constitutional requirement for Senate Confirmation
(June 18, 2020) On June 15, the National Weather Service Employees Organization filed suit in Federal court in Washington, D.C. challenging the authority of the Federal Service Impasse Panel to impose contract terms on NWSEO and the NWS. The suit alleges that the FSIP has no legal authority because its ten members, all of whom were appointed by the President, were not confirmed by the Senate, as required by the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Three other Federal employee unions have brought similar legal actions against the FSIP. (More)
NWSEO Congratulates David Solano on his Retirement and Appoints Chris Jacobson as Secretary-Treasurer
(June 15, 2020) NWSEO extends a heartfelt congratulations to Secretary-Treasurer and Eastern Region Chairperson David Solano on his upcoming retirement. With nearly 31 years of service with the National Weather Service, Mr. Solano has been an exceptional leader and union officer. He was pivotal in working with management on the formation of the National Water Center (NWC) and he served on many local, regional and national teams to drive the NWS field offices forward. Mr. Solano was a key member of the NWSEO Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) Negotiation Team and the primary author of Contract Connect. (More)
Complaint filed with Department of Commerce Inspector General
(June 10, 2020) NWSEO was recently informed that a complaint has been filed with the Department of Commerce (DOC) Office of Inspector General (OIG), regarding three violations of DOC policy by the Meteorologist-in-Charge at the Weather Forecast Office in Jackson, Mississippi. (More)
NWS Employee Allie Burand Needs Medical Leave Donations
You Can Help by Donating Leave via the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program
(June 9, 2020) Ms. Allie Burand, Meteorologist at the Alaska Aviation Weather Unit (AAWU) is in need of medical leave donations. NWSEO Members have always been generous with annual leave donations for co-workers in need. If you are interested in donating leave for Allie, you may complete OPM form630A. Please make sure the form is signed by you and Allie Burand is named as the recipient. Completed donation forms can be submitted by email to email@example.com.
(June 8, 2020) At this time, there are no changes to our NWSEO Convention scheduled to be held October 12-13, 2020 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. However, due to the existing COVID-19 Pandemic, there have been discussions to perhaps hold this year’s convention virtually. NWSEO would like your input on this matter. (Convention News)
I hope this message finds you well and your spirits strong. You all are amazing as you’ve continued to deliver exceptional support and services despite enduring a multitude of challenges and stresses during these unprecedented times. Your efforts and theirresults have been lauded by Agency leadership and members of Congress. I felt it was important to take a moment to update you on what has occurred during the past month. As always, NWSEO has continued to work diligently to represent your best interests, address issues and concerns, and work as collaboratively with management as possible to mitigate any negative impacts on your well-being.
May has not only kept NWSEO leadership busy but has presented some unexpected twists and turns. With that in mind, I thought it was important to take some time to focus on providing you an update on the following pressing issues and activities:
Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP) and our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)
Addendum to the GS 5-12 Progression Program Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
(May 6, 2020) NWSEO NESDIS Regional Chair Hugh Sharkey and several Stewards have met with NESDIS management on several occasions to exchange ideas and propose needed improvements to mitigate the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic on employees. At some offices in NESDIS, insufficient supplies have been an issue for employees who are already challenged by social distancing requirements in their operations areas.
In the interest of promoting the safety of employees, Mr. Sharkey sought and obtained a generous donation of hand sanitizers from Barton Brands Distillery in Baltimore, MD for all NESDIS employees. Many thanks to Barton Brands Distillery for their support of our employees. Employees in these units are recognized as Critical Infrastructure and emergency personnel. (More)
(May 1, 2020) NWSEO has mailed the 2020 Notice of Convention & Elections Letter to all members this week. The letter is also posted on our website at http://nwseo.org/convention.php. Please note a correction on page 8 of the “Tentative Convention Agenda Topics.” It should read Monday, October 12, 2020 and Tuesday, October 13, 2020.
The letter details the procedures for participating in and nominations for local and regional elections, and includes information on the 45th National Convention scheduled for October 12-13, 2020 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. All NWSEO members are invited to attend the convention.(More)
Personal Email Addresses needed for NWS Contract Ratification Vote
(April 15, 2020) NWSEO is preparing for an upcoming member ratification vote on the new NWS contract. This contract would take the place of the existing (2001) Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). This vote will be conducted pursuant to contract negotiation Ground Rules agreed upon by NWSEO and NWS once we receive the decision of the Federal Service Impasse Panel resolving those provisions the parties were unable to reach agreement on their own. We are likely to receive the Panel’s decision sometime between mid-May and late June. NWSEO will be conducting this ratification vote online as quickly as possible after receipt of the Panel’s decision, with the assistance of the American Arbitration Association (AAA). As part of this process, we must have a valid, personal (non-NOAA) email address for each member, since AAA will email each member their own individual PIN to be used in the voting process, along with a link to the secure website on which the voting will take place.
Any member who does not provide NWSEO with a valid personal email address will not be able to participate in the ratification vote, and the interests of NWSEO require that this vote be conducted quickly, which would not be possible using mail ballots. There are numerous providers of free “webmail” email accounts, including Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud, AOL and Mail.com.(More)
(April 14, 2020) On April 10, 2020 NWSEO filed two grievances over matters in the Alaska Region. The first grievance filed was for the unilateral implementation of a work schedule at the Alaska Region Operations Center.
At the Alaska Region Operations Center, four Emergency Response Specialists were adversely affected when management implemented a rotational schedule before completing bargaining. Even if there was an overriding exigency that required the immediate implementation of a new rotational schedule before bargaining had been completed, management was required under FLRA precedent and Article 8 section 6 to implement only its last proposal. The rotation which was implemented was not even one of management’s proposals and the union was denied an opportunity to bargain over it. The implementation of this rotation violated Article 20, section 3(a)(1) because it was not considered by the LOT. (More)
NWSEO Grieves Failure of NWS to Issue MAP Announcement
for Electronics Technician Vacancies
(April 12, 2020) On April 10, 2020, NWSEO filed a grievance over the failure of the National Weather Service (NWS) to bid six GS-10/11 Electronics Technician (ET) vacancies in the Western Region via a “Merit Assignment Plan” or MAP vacancy announcement simultaneously with a Delegated Examining authority (or DE/CR) announcement.
It has been a past practice to bid these positions as both MAP and DE/CR and to offer relocation expenses to internal applicants selected under the MAP announcement. There have been at least 30 such simultaneous announcements since 2017, and multiple internal applicants were selected and offered relocation expenses. (More)
NWSEO and NWS complete submissions to the Federal Service Impasses Panel
NWS proposes to strip employees of key benefits and protections.
(April 10, 2020) As detailed in the March 24, 2020 Four Winds, the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP) has asserted jurisdiction over the 42 unresolved articles for the successor collective bargaining agreement. This came at the request of the NWS, after it walked away from the bargaining table and falsely claimed that an impasse existed in negotiations. Last month, the FSIP ordered the parties to submit their “last best offer” and supporting arguments for each of the unresolved articles. The Panel will then issue an order deciding which of the proposed articles the parties must incorporate into the new agreement. The final agreement will, however, be subject to membership ratification as well as agency head review.(More)
(April 1, 2020) NWSEO recently received notification from the National Weather Service that the NOAA Chief Financial Officer is requiring all NOAA Line Offices to review and analyze current and future staffing requirements to determine how many employees are needed to meet their missions. We were told that the overall purpose of this analysis is to create a NOAA manpower baseline, including NWS, that will capture and include all staffing requirements as input to the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget request.
The timing of this notification, considering the current COVID-19 pandemic, raised some red flags. However, after further investigation, it does appear the timing was coincidental, as the initiative to do this analysis started to develop last November. Management has relayed to me their hope that this staffing analysis will lead to a more favorable budget and staffing profile for NWS in the FY 2022 budget request.(More)
I hope this message finds you well and holding up under the challenges and stresses of these unprecedented times which the nation and the world have been experiencing. I commend you for continuing to lean forward in providing invaluable and uninterrupted services to our partners and the public, despite the enormous amount of stress we’re all under. I assure you that while you’re fulfilling your duties either from your office or your home, NWSEO continues to work diligently to represent your best interests, address issues and concerns, and correspond frequently with management to try to mitigate the negative impacts on your well-being.
Many of you have inquired about various contingencies for staffing, scheduling, leave, etc. as we struggle to balance our dedication to the agency mission while simultaneously tending to our personal and family needs. Caring for yourselves and your loved ones is of the utmost importance. We also must remember that we’re critical members of an expansive NOAA family. It’s from this family perspective I ask you to also look after the well-being of your coworkers. If you become aware of somebody struggling with the stress and fear resulting from the pandemic, or the financial impacts of the national emergency, or anything else, we urge you to take precious time to consult with them and help out any way you can. This is a unique and historical situation of which none of us have had to deal with before. Leveraging our work family, we all need to assist one another to get through this difficult time. If ever there was a time for unity and solidarity amongst NOAA employees, this is it! (More)
Federal Service Impasses Panel Asserts Jurisdiction over NWS-NWSEO Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations
(March 24, 2020) The United States Federal Service Impasses Panel (“the Panel”) has notified NWSEO and NWS that it is asserting jurisdiction over the 42 open articles on which NWS claims that an impasse in bargaining exists in the Parties’ successor Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
The Panel directed that the impasse be resolved through written submissions using the following procedure:
1. By Monday, March 30, 2020, each party shall submit to the other its final offer on the issues at impasse and a written statement of position to the Panel.
2. By Friday, April 10, 2020, each party shall submit its written rebuttal statement to the Panel.
3. After considering the entire record, the Panel shall take whatever action it deems appropriate to resolve the dispute, which may include the issuance of a binding decision. The Panel said that in such a case, it was likely to select and impose the entirety of one party’s proposal for a particular article rather than selecting provisions in a piecemeal fashion.
4. The Parties may seek a voluntary settlement at any time prior to the issuance of the Panel’s decision and should immediately notify the Panel of any such agreement.
Due to the short turn around and lack of available resources as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, NWSEO requested NWS join the Union in requesting an extension to the deadlines imposed above.(More)
NWSEO Negotiates and Signs New Addendum for GS5-12 Progression MOU
Employees who Accepted Lower Grade Positions on the GS 5/7/9 Announcements and Served in that Grade for More than One Pay Period to Receive Back Pay
(March 18, 2020) NWSEO has successfully negotiated and signed a new addendum to the GS5-12 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which allows those employees who accept a lower graded position in a GS 5/7/9 bid to be returned to their previous higher pay grade the following pay period. Furthermore, those who have already served in the lower graded position for more than one pay period before being reinstated to their previous grade will receive back pay for all but the initial pay period. We have been informed that back pay requests have already been initiated for these employees.
For those affected, please contact Christy Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org if there are any issues with receiving your back pay.
(March 13, 2020) I recognize the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic on our employees and their families. This event is evolving rapidly, and we appreciate the agility of our workforce to manage priorities during this time.
In response to the current pandemic, we are postponing the March Madness Membership Drive until further notice. While recruitment is the lifeline of our membership support, our members must focus on the health and safety of themselves and their families.
We have forwarded your concerns posted on the NWSEO Facebook page to NWS management. If there are further concerns, please continue to post your comments on the page and we’ll continue to send the information forward.
We stand in solidarity for the safety of our workers. Our workers are the backbone of our mission. Thank you for your unwavering service in protecting lives and property and please keep safe.(More)
Administration Proposes Large Budget Cuts and Job Elimination
Eliminate 365 Total Positions at the
National Weather Service
Eliminate 20 Positions at Atlantic Oceanographic
& Meteorological Laboratory
(March 4, 2020) The Administration has released its proposed NOAA budget for FY 2021, and it proposes a $75 million reduction in funding for NWS programs and the elimination of 365 positions at the National Weather Service, as well as the jobs of 20 employees at OAR who are also represented by NWSEO. Among the impacts the Administration has identified includes: closing NWS Weather Forecast Offices at night, closing at least one of the nation’s two tsunami warning centers, eliminating tsunami warnings for the Caribbean, and termination of global climate products that are used for pandemic health planning.
The President proposed many of the same personnel and budget cuts in his FY 20 budget, but they were defeated on Capitol Hill through NWSEO’s Lobbying efforts. NWSEO’s lobbyist has already begun personal meetings with appropriators as well as key congressional staffers in order to ensure continued funding for these positions and programs. Several members of Congress have already reached out to NWSEO offering their support in our fight against these excessive and unwise personnel cuts. (More)
(March 3, 2020) After the partial government shutdown ended in January 2019, a NESDIS employee thoroughly checked his Earnings and Leave Statement. He realized he wasn’t getting paid correctly for his overtime worked. He was covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and entitled to true overtime, which is one and half times his pay. However, his SF-50 was erroneously changed in January 2015 which affected his overtime pay rate.
“I was probably trusting that NOAA would never get my paycheck wrong. When the government shutdown happened in January 2019, we didn’t get paid for pay period 1. I started reviewing the details of my paystub more carefully and I learned that my FLSA status had been changed. I had been underpaid thousands of dollars” stated the employee.(More)
National Weather Service Denies Union Grievance
NWSEO to Arbitrate Disqualification Against Internal MET Applicants
(February 16, 2020) In January, NWSEO filed a grievance on behalf of a GS-11 meteorologist who, after having been selected for a GS-5/7/9 DE/CR vacancy at another WFO, was disqualified by Region management because he was an internal applicant.
NWS denied the grievance on February 13.
In its grievance denial, management did not deny that the internal applicant had been informed by the MIC that he had been her selection, but claimed that the eventual selectee from outside the NWS “was determined to be the best candidate” because “the operational needs of the office could be satisfied with the addition of a new external hire rather than a more experienced internal candidate.” (More)
(February 1, 2020) The week of January 12, 2020, the American Meteorological Society hosted their 100th annual meeting at the Boston Convention and Expo Center, Boston, MA. NWSEO President John Werner, NWSEO Executive Vice President JoAnn Becker, NWSEO Secretary/Treasurer and Eastern Region Chairperson David Solano and NWSEO Headquarters Chairperson Mike Dion attended the meeting alongside many colleagues, educators and scientists of the National Weather Service.
“This was a tremendous conference, many programs, guest speakers from all parts of the agency. We were able to connect with both NWSEO members and non-members at this event,” shared NWSEO Executive Vice President JoAnn Becker.
NWS DAA, Mary Erickson stated, “We reallyvalued the opportunity forNWS and NWSEO leadership to hear from over 100 employees at the NWS Employee Engagement event, and many more throughout the sessions of the AMS. We enjoyed the joint discussions on important topics such as the Future of Forecasting; Belonging, Inclusion and Diversity; and Evolve – the Collaborative Forecast Process.” (More)
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