Your true source for negotiation updates:
From bargaining unit employees for bargaining unit employees.
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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.
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 Meterological Laboratory in Key Biscayne, Florida.
NWSEO Working for You:
The Top 5 Recent Accomplishments
(October 11, 2017) “Slicing through the eyewall of a hurricane, buffeted by howling winds, blinding rain and violent updrafts and downdrafts before entering the relative calm of the storm’s eye, repeating the often grueling experience again and again during the course of an 8 -10 hour mission.” I first read this online (www.omao.noaa.gov) before touring with NWSEO AOC Steward at their new, spacious location in Lakeland, FL. This is the world of Todd Richards, and Aircraft Operations Center employees, Captain Hann and so many we had the opportunity to meet. We thought this was great timing to write NWSEO’s first “Member Spotlight,” showcasing the work, dedication and talent of a member, inspiring others and connecting all of our union members. (More)
Your Local Forecast The Only Union Produced Weather Forecast
Enter City, State,
or Zip Code
Elko Nevada Member and CBA Negotiator Delyne Kirkham
meeting with Senator Heller of Nevada.
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!
Four Winds for 2016 are located on the Member News page.
(May 31, 2017) NWSEO often tackles problems repeatedly from the same managers.Now, a color-coded branch list can be used to identify and inform members of potential problem managers. While circumstances may change over time, the current list highlights areas to warn members of the possible implications to their career and morale if they bid on these offices.
NWSEO Member Blitz Days
Membership Rewards for New Members and Current Members
(November 16, 2017) NWSEO is growing even stronger thanks to our dedicated members and the information they share about the work of our professional organization. Across the country, our members are uniting together to write their and NWS Regional Directors, Senators, and Representatives; interviewing with local media, sharing their story of severe staffing shortages with barely enough personnel on station to provide the basic weather services, watches and warnings.
Because of your membership support, earlier this fall, over 120 jobs and the important work of ITO's, Climate Prediction Center (CPC) and Tsunami Warning Center employees were saved by the legislative efforts of NWSEO and General Counsel. And, NWSEO is 100 percent committed to developing, negotiating, and eventually ratifying a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which promotes better working conditions, career promotions for NWS employees, and participation in collective bargaining. Our CBA Negotiation Team could not be effective at what they do without your membership support.
Additional NWSEO perks such as the NWSEO negotiated $300 Health and Wellness benefit for all NWS employees and the members’ onlyHotelStorm website offering up to 60 percent off hotel rates are a few of the benefits members recognize as the work of our professional organization.
We are Thankful for You!
With the holidays rapidly approaching, we would like to not only recognize you, but say, “THANKS,” for all you do in your work and on behalf of NWSEO. NWSEO is offering membership rewards during our “Member Blitz Days”November 16th thru December 31st for all members. (More)
Has NWS Management Affirmed a
Key NWSEO Concern regarding Evolve??
Management CBA Negotiating Team Hints
NWS Operations May No Longer Be 365X24X7,
Even in Hazardous Weather Conditions!
(November 15, 2017) During the ongoing Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiations dealing with hazardous weather conditions, the NWS Chief Negotiator presented to the NWSEO CBA negotiating team a thought provoking and somewhat unnerving counter proposal out of nowhere. "Where determined by management, NWS operations must continue around the clock, seven (7) days a week despite adverse weather conditions.”
What does this term “Where determined by management” mean? Does it mean that under Evolve, NWS is planning to part time Weather Forecast Offices?? Does it mean some offices won't be operating 24x7, under expected or even unexpected hazardous weather?? Is this a primary reason why the NWS is not rushing to fill the nearly 700 vacancies by inserting such language into the CBA?? Or is there some other reason??
This four-word phrase was added to existing contract language which has ensured stable, continuous operations since the CBA was last negotiated in 2001. When the NWSEO team asked why this needs to be changed after the last 16 years, the NWS Chief Negotiator said, “I’m sure this is clear to you.” Is it clear to you, too?? You decide.
The NWSEO negotiating team is 100% Committed to ALL WFOs remaining 365X24X7 and reject any notion of Part-Timing WFOs at the discretion of Management.
(October 31, 2017) In a recent Washington Post article, "Down hundreds of staff, ‘Weather Service teetering on the brink of failure,’ labor union says" (October 26, 2017), the NWS claimed that there were only 226 vacancies and that Congress had appropriated funds for only 4453 positions.
On November 14, 2016 NWSEO filed a Freedom of Information Act request with NOAA which asked for "the total number of vacancies; the number of employees on board; and the FY 16 authorized and appropriated levels" for each NOAA line office. Attached is a copy of NOAA's February 28, 2017 official response. According to the chart provided, as of November 1, 2016 there were 5048 total authorized and appropriated positions in the NWS (including 174 reimbursable from other agencies, like the FAA). Out of that number, there were 643 total vacancies. Other documents received by the NWSEO show there has been approximately another 60 vacancies in bargaining unit positions alone since November 2016.
The FOIA response is attached within this Four Winds member newsletter. (More)
After the onslaught of devastating hurricanes and wildfires, the United States is enduring one of its most costly years for extreme weather. A near-record $16 billion weather disasters have ravaged the nation. Meanwhile, the National Weather Service workforce is spread razor thin, with hundreds of vacant forecast positions.
The National Weather Service Employees Organization, its labor union, said the lack of staff is taking a toll on forecasting operations and that the agency is “for the first time in its history teetering on the brink of failure.” Managers are being forced to scale back certain operations, and staff are stressed and overworked.
“It’s gotten so bad that we’re not going to be able to provide service that two years ago we were able to provide to public, emergency managers and media,” said Dan Sobien, the president of the union. “We’ve never been in that position before.” (More)
NWS Adopts Policy of Degradation of Services
for the First Time Since Before the Modernization
ERH Announces Elimination of Forecast and Public Service Shifts Due to Escalating Vacancy Rates
(October 23, 2017). The National Weather Service, an agency that has faithfully served the Nation and Public for nearly 150 years, for the first time in its history is close to teetering on the brink of failure. For the past several years, the NWS Leadership has been incapable of placing their budget priorities correctly, spending money on Management conferences and blended models rather than on filling the nearly 700 vacant forecast positions. In fact, the NWS Nationwide has not had full staffing levels for at least seven years. As vacancies continued to increase, the NWS Director in Eastern Region Headquarters (ERH) announced that at three (3) Weather Forecast Offices (Raleigh, NC, Burlington, VT, and Binghamton NY) he is ordering his managers to reduce the number of forecast shifts due to the large number of vacancies. Also, there have been reports that some local managers across the country have proposed the elimination of the Public Service Forecast desk and other shifts again, due to vacancies. The NWS Roadmap to expand and provide Impact Decision Support Services to CORE CUSTOMERS, like Emergency Managers, State and Local Governments has been effectively torn up with no chance of success.
Meanwhile, employees have been working almost daily, with longer shifts and a greater number of overtime hours, which has brought on unsafe and unhealthy working conditions.
“NWSEO stewards and members across the country are screaming enough is enough!” stated NWSEO National President Dan Sobien. Members are writing letters and reaching out to their NWS Regional Directors, Senators, and Representatives interviewing with local media, sharing their story of severe staffing shortages with barely enough personnel on station to provide the basic weather services, watches and warnings. (More)
NWSEO Opposes Trump's Nomination
for Barry Myers as NOAA Administrator
We are writing to express our opposition to the nomination of Mr. Barry Myers, an attorney and CEO of AccuWeather, Inc., as NOAA Administrator. As you know, this position has traditionally been filled by a pre-eminent scientist, and by that standard alone, Mr. Myers is wholly unqualified for the job.
In addition to his lack of scientific qualifications and his absence of any background in oceans, research, fisheries, environmental satellites, which constitute a majority of NOAA's programs and budget Mr. Myers' nomination would present a host of conflicts of interests. As NOAA Administrator, hew would be in a postiion to fundamentally alter the nature of weather services that NOAA provides the nation to the benfit of his family-owned business.
(September 23, 2017) A proposal for a new membership recruitment incentive was passed at the National Council Meeting held on September 20, 2017. Any newly hired employee (NWS, NESDIS, AOC, AOML, NAG new hires) who joins NWSEO by Form 1187 within three months of their start date, or during an Onboarding course or its equivalent, will receive a $300 rebate, effective beginning September 21, 2017 and continuing through December 31, 2018.
“Our membership continues to grow and we want to encourage our new hires and provide assistance to them as they are just starting out in their career,” stated NWSEO Central Regional Chair Jim Lee in his proposal and discussion of his experience with onboarding courses and recruitment work.
(September 14, 2017) On Wednesday, the House of Representatives approved two amendments to the Commerce section of the Omnibus Appropriations Act which restored funding for the Information Technology Officers and the Climate Prediction Center, which had earlier been eliminated by the House Appropriations Committee as part of the President’s budget. The amendments were offered by Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) and Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) at NWSEO’s request. The first amendment restored funding for the Information Technology Officers at each WFO. These positions have been the subject of annual proposed reductions, but this year is the first time the House Appropriations Committee approved elimination of the ITOs. The second amendment restored funding for the NWS’s Climate Prediction Center. Earlier this summer, the Appropriations Committee approved the President’s proposal to reduce funding and staff at the CPC, to eliminate the international seasonal forecasting that aids DOD and USAID in famine relief and food security, and to a consolidate of the residual staff with the Weather Prediction Center at NCEP. (More)
Your Membership Making a Difference
NWSEO Lobbying saves ITO's and CPC and Tsunami Warning Centers
Senate Committee Slams the NWS Concerning the
High Number of Vacancies
(July 27, 2017) The Senate Appropriations Committee today rejected the Administration’s proposal to eliminate the ITOs and to cut the staffs of the Climate Prediction Center and Tsunami Warning Centers. The Committee approved funding NWS operations in FY 18 at 1% above this year’s level and at 5% above the level requested by the Administration, rejecting each and every proposed cut to NWS operations.
The Committee also blasted the NWS for failing to fill NWS vacancies, writing:
“The Committee is very concerned with the continued number of NWS employee vacancies. Given the importance of the NWS mission to protect the lives and property of our Nation’s citizens, extended vacancies are unacceptable – particularly when the Committee has provided more than adequate resources and direction to fill vacancies expeditiously for the past several years. Because NWS has failed to respond to the Committee’s concerns regarding these vacancies, NOAA is directed to present a separate accounting of all NWS filled and open positions, including the length of time the positions have been unfilled, in its fiscal year 2018 spend plan. The spend plan shall also include the specific funding proposed for all NWS employees and associated expenses that are separate from other program costs." (More)
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