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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 Meteorological Laboratory in Key Biscayne, Florida.
(October 12, 2018) NWSEO continues to collect nominations for our “NWSEO Member Spotlight,” showcasing the work, dedication and talent of our members, inspiring others and connecting all of our union members.
Mark Murphy has been a federal employee for 48 years. He has been in the National Weather Service and a NWSEO member for 43 years. Mark has been an NWSEO Steward and advocate for many years.
(July 9, 2018) Barry Lambert begins his 16th year in a row as Steward of WFO CTP (Branch 1-86 - State College PA) and is completing his second year as NWSEO Eastern Region Vice Chairman. Barry has also been a long time 18-year member of NWSEO.
Originally from the “Valley” of northeast Pennsylvania, Barry earned his Master’s Degree in Meteorology from Texas Tech in 1993 and a Bachelor of Science in Earth and Environmental Science from Wilkes University. He began his career with the National Weather Service in Erie, PA before moving on to Buffalo, NY and State College, PA. (More)
(June 2, 2018) Meet Wayne Weeks, NWSEO member since 1979. After 21 years working rotating shifts in NWS offices from Alaska, to Maine, New Hampshire, Virginia, Kansas City, and Camp Springs, Wayne landed a day job at the marine branch of NWS headquarters in Silver Spring, MD. He has served as a NWSEO Regional Vice Chair, Steward, and Vice Steward. (More)
(March 30, 2018)
Meet Paula Cognitore, NWSEO Vice Steward and Senior Hydrologist at the Southeast River Forecast Center, Peachtree City, GA. Paula, briefly tell us your work title and how you became an employee (and in that role) of the National Weather Service? I am a Senior Hydrologist at the Southeast River Forecast Center. After volunteering at NWS OKX during the summer of '93 I was selected for a COMET project with PSU and the Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center during my Senior Year in the PSU Meteorology Program. This is when I was exposed to the hydrology program within the National Weather Service. (More)
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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 2018 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.
Congress adds 10% to President’s budget request for NWS
- expresses frustration with the NWS
(February 14, 2019) The final FY 2019 Commerce Department Appropriations Act, which will be enacted tonight as part of the final FY 19 budget agreement, funds the NWS at a record $1,162,609,000 – 10% more than requested by the President and $5.5 million (or .06%) more than Congress appropriated for the NWS is FY 18. All job cuts sought by the agency were rejected. (More)
On February 6, 2019, NWS management notified NWSEO and the bargaining unit of management’s intent to unilaterally implement their “GS5-to-12 progression” plan for 1340 series meteorologists in the near future, with the first steps coming as early as next month. NWSEO has long supported many of the goals of a 5-to-12 progression, however, the plan devised by management contains multiple problems and ambiguities and raises some serious concerns. NWSEO would like to see these addressed and corrected in order to mitigate negative effects on both the personal lives and workplace environment of the bargaining unit employees.
Management states, in their notice of intent to implement the 5-to-12 progression, that “NWSEO failed to timely submit proposals on the GS5-12 career progression program”, so they “will not entertain any further proposals on the program or enter into negotiations over the program.” In fact, NWSEO submitted clarifying questions regarding management’s proposal months ago. Management’s responses to these questions made it clear that management was only willing to negotiate over the 5-12 progression if NWSEO allowed management to simply ignore applicable provisions of the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement and Memorandums of Understanding. NWSEO has repeatedly requested that management meet with the union to attempt to work out these issues in a collaborative manner, but management has refused to do so. (More)
For immediate release
Contact: Richard Hirn 202-255-3141 Dan Sobien 202-420-1043
(Washington DC – February 1, 2019) A Federal Labor Arbitrator ruled today that the National Weather Service violated the collective bargaining agreement with its employee union when the agency reduced the hours of operation at five Weather Service Offices in Alaska, Cold Bay, McGrath, Yakutat, Annette, and St. Paul, in August 2016. Arbitrator John Paul Simpkins ordered the NWS to restore 16 hour-a-day operations at these offices, and directed the NWS to pay the affected employees the lost overtime that they had been working to keep the offices open 16 hours a day. The employees’ union, the National Weather Service Employees Organization estimates that the back pay exceeds $500,000.
The NWS has been criticized by the meteorology community for reducing the hours of operations at these offices because it has resulted in a loss of weather data, obtained through weather balloon launches from these offices, that feeds into the computer models that provide forecast for not only Alaska but for the lower 48 states. (Media Center)
NWSEO Strong – Membership Powers NWSEO
Now, more than ever, we need you.
(February 1, 2019) Membership with the National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO) fuels our professional organization. During the 35 days of the partial government shutdown, NWSEO was hard at work. As the government shutdown carried on, dozens of NWSEO Members and NWSEO National & Regional Officers shared their stories with media (television, newspapers, radio) across the country and expressed the detrimental impacts the shutdown was having on employee lives and the mission of the NWS, NESDIS, NAG, AOC and AOML. Several NWSEO Members came together to rally and protest in Washington, D.C., Kentucky and Pennsylvania. Active participation and increasing our membership numbers is critical to NWSEO’s success as we continue to negotiate the Collective Bargaining Agreement, protect jobs, lobby Congress to fill understaffed offices and keep the NWS, NESDIS, NAG, AOC and AOML fully funded, communicate with the media and connect with our government leaders. We need your help and support to strengthen our membership base. (More)
NWSEO Congressional Supporters Warn White House
on Shutdown’s Impact on NWS, Employees
(January 24, 2019) Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) and eleven other Members of the House of Representatives have sent a letter to the President expressing their concern that the current shutdown is having a negative impact on National Weather Service operations and employees, “putting our national security and life and property at risk and potentially damaging many sectors of our economy.” The letter notes that 3,600 of the 4,200 employees at the NWS are currently working without pay. Although these forecasters, technicians and support personnel continue to provide forecasts and warnings of impending weather, they have been directed to cease other critical services to their communities, such as emergency preparedness with local emergency managers, hurricane preparedness training with vulnerable communities, research and improvement of computer weather models.(More)
(January 23, 2019) NOAA is violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by requiring FLSA non-exempt employees (those to whom the FLSA applies) to work without pay during the shutdown. The FLSA requires employers, including the Federal government, to pay non-exempt employees (which includes HMTs, interns, el techs, ASAs, OPLs) at least the Federal minimum wage ($290 a week) as well as all overtime earned at time and one-half of the employees usual pay rate, on the next scheduled pay day after the work is performed. Although you and other Federal employees will be paid their full wages when the shutdown is over, FLSA non-exempt employees are legally entitled to an equal amount that should have been paid on time (the Federal minimum wage plus all overtime at time and one half of the employee’s standard rate) as liquidated damages to compensate for the illegal delay in payment. (More)
New Union Lawsuit
Against Government over Shutdown
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 11, 2019 Contact: Steve Lenkart (202) 216-4458
New Union Lawsuit Against Government over Shutdown
Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM), joined with the Machinists Union (IAMAW), National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) SEIU, the National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO), and Snider & Associates, LLC, in filing a lawsuit against the federal government in response to the government shutdown. The lawsuit alleges that the government is violating the law by requiring federal employees who are deemed “essential” to work without pay during the partial government shutdown. The unions are requesting compensation for time and overtime worked, and 100 percent matching liquidated damages for all non-exempt FLSA employees.(More)
NWSEO Member Attends
Rally to End Government Shutdown
(January 10, 2019) Mark Pellerito, Steward at WFO Binghamton NY will be representing the bargaining unit employees of the National Weather Service and will be speaking at the Rally to End the Government Shutdown today in Washington, D.C. Mark will also be representing not only employees of the DOC, NOAA and NWS but also the hundreds of thousands being affected by the government shutdown. (More)
(November 14, 2018) NWSEO is pleased to support the November 9, 2018 launch of the NWS Mentoring Program. Applications for both mentees and mentors will be accepted through Friday, November 30th (11:59pm midnight EST) and selections will be made in mid-December.
The purpose of the NWS Mentoring Program is to provide resources for mid-career employees to connect with seasoned mentors, achieve their professional goals, build stronger networks, and enhance their skills and knowledge. The mentoring program is a nine-month commitment and is intended for mid-career employees with 5-15 years of NWS service. (Link to Mentoring Connection)
NWSEO has been a part of this endeavor from the ground floor. The NWS Mentoring Program began as a grassroots effort to address work/life questions from women who worked rotating shifts in field offices. The NWS Mentoring Team was chartered and included a NWSEO representative. Initially, a website was tested to help provide resources - a kind of one stop shop of work/life issue information. Next, a mentoring program was developed by the team with a six-month demonstration. Over 50 volunteer mentees participated in this six-month demonstration. Most of the participants were NWSEO members recruited from our NWSEO Facebook page. At the conclusion of the demonstration feedback was collected and was used to improve the program. (More)
NWSEO Convention Travel Incentive for the
2019 NWSEO Convention in Des Moines, Iowa Announced
(October 9, 2018) NWSEO membership fuels our professional organization. This year, increasing our membership numbers is critical to NWSEO’s success as we work to negotiate the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, protect jobs, and fill understaffed offices. We need your help to strengthen our membership base.
At the 43rd Annual National Convention in Pittsburgh, PA, convention attendees shared great discussion on recruitment ideas, and together voted to keep the NWSEO Convention Travel Incentive:
NWSEO Convention Travel Incentive for the 2019 NWSEO Convention:
Any NWSEO member who recruits two or more new members to join NWSEO using the 1187 form for payroll deduction (not by credit card) from August 1, 2018 to July 31, 2019, NWSEO will provide reasonable airfare, 3 nights lodging, and approved group meals for the 2019 NWSEO Convention at the Marriott Downtown, Des Moines, IA on October 5 and 6. The name of the recruiter must be on the submitted 1187 in order for them to receive recruitment credit. (More)
Unanswered Questions about the
GS 5-12 Career Ladder Progression
(October 4, 2018) NWSEO cannot yet agree to the implementation of the GS 5-12 career ladder progression until the following questions are satisfactorily answered:
1. How will the mobility for interns be preserved? Will interns be stuck at the initial forecast office at which they are hired until they are promoted to a GS-13 Lead Forecaster? What will happen to the May 2003 agreement that requires management to give interns advance notice of general forecaster vacancies and limits advertising those vacancies internally if three or more interns are interested in applying? What will happen to the June 2016 agreement that established lateral transfers?
2. Management has said that the competencies which interns must meet to be promoted will not be finalized until 2020. Will those competencies be realistic and attainable by the typical intern? Will they be expanded beyond the 1340 series? What happens if you are satisfactory on your GWAPAS but fail your competencies? (More)
Judge Agrees to an Injunction Over the Worst Portions of the President's Union Busting Executive Orders
(August 27, 2018) NWSEO, along with a coalition of 12 other Federal employee unions, has obtained an injunction from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia prohibiting any enforcement of the three Executive Orders issued in May by President Trump curtailing Federal employee collective bargaining rights. Among the provisions of the Executive Orders which Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has declared illegal were prohibitions on the use by union representatives of official time for filing grievances and for lobbying to improve working conditions, and well as provisions limiting the overall amount of official time that could be negotiated as well as provisions excluding employee removals and challenges to performance ratings or complaints about performance awards from the negotiated grievance and arbitration procedures. NWSEO’s General Counsel Richard Hirn was one of the lead counsel for the group of 13 unions and argued the case on their behalf in a four hour hearing before Judge Jackson last month.
A copy of Judge Brown Jackson’s 119 page decision, issued early this morning, is posted in our member news. (More)
Survey for NWSEO Member Interns
through August 31st
(August 27, 2018) A Survey for all NWSEO Member Interns will be posted on the private NWSEO Facebook group today through Friday, August 31, 2018.
NWSEO is in discussions with the NWS over the 5 through 12 progression and possible benefits and assistance for employees. Input is needed, specifically from Interns at this time. Please log into the NWSEO Facebook Group and answer the very short survey that will pinned to the top. If you are not a NWSEO member or if you are not yet a member of the NWSEO Facebook group, please contact NWSEO Membership Director Christy Fox at email@example.com with any questions.
This survey will only be available through August 31. The results of this survey will largely influence the NWSEO position on 5 through 12 negotiations.
Welcome to the first issuance of the NWSEO Wellness/Diversity Newsletter! My name is Jason B. Wright, NWSEO Steward at NWS Nashville, TN, and chair of the NWSEO Diversity Team. This is a newsletter that will be provided periodically for all NWSEO members. It will particularly though focus on the unique needs and challenges of rotating shift workers. As the editor of this newsletter, along with mine below, I would like to thank NWSEO members DeLyne Kirkham, Linda Engebretson, and Michael Ottenweller for their article contributions. For any questions, comments, or feedback on any of these articles, contact Jason B. Wright at JasonBWright3@gmail.com.
mental health & awareness
My interest when it comes to helping out my fellow NWSEO members is mental health awareness. There are several things one can do to improve their own state of mental health. In this issue, let’s address two specific areas.(More)
NWSEO Member Katherine (Sanders) Schoeneberg
Needs Medical Leave Donation You Can Help with the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program
(August 8, 2018) Katherine (Sanders) Schoeneberg, an Administrative Assistant at the Mobile, AL Weather Forecast Office and long-time NWSEO Member, both since 2010, is in need of medical leave donations as she has exhausted all of her sick leave and annual leave due to complications of scoliosis surgery. Prior to join NWS, she worked for the Navy Public Works Center in San Diego, CA and for Command Training Wing in Pensacola, FL.
Previously, Ms. Schoeneberg had scoliosis surgery correcting a 65 degree curve in her spine. Since then, she has developed serious degeneration of her neck and lower back. Because of the severity of the first scoliosis surgery, she has been unable to find a doctor willing to correct her neck and lower back, so for the last 20+ years she has lived in constant pain. Ms. Schoeneberg has found a neurosurgeon who was willing and completed surgery for her neck and possibly will correct her lower back later in the year. She has been accepted and enrolled into the NOAA Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP).(More)
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