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.
(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.
What brought you to AOML and NWSEO?
I am a Miami native. Since my advanced education is in oceanography (his B.A. degree in geology with an oceanography specialty and his M.A. degree in marine geology and geophysics from Columbia University in the City of New York.), AOML is a likely place where I could have a career in my chosen occupation. I have been an FTP employee since March 10, 1974. (More)
Please meet NWSEO Vice Steward and Senior Forecaster, Anita Silverman, of WFO Blacksburg, Virginia.
What brought you to the NWS and NWSEO?
I have had a lifelong fascination with weather. I joined the NWS at National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) as an intern just out of Penn State, then was an intern at Weather Forecast Office Columbia, Missouri, a general forecaster at the Weather Service Forecast Office St. Louis, Missouri, and am currently a senior forecaster at the Weather Forecast Office Blacksburg, VA. (More)
Meet CWSU ZNY Kirt Squires, Scott Sukup, and Adam DaumApril 1, 2019
(April 1, 2019) The New York Center Weather Service Unit (ZNY CWSU) is 1 of the 21 CWSUs nationwide that were created in 1978. In 1977, while en-route to Atlanta, an airplane unknowingly flew into a thunderstorm causing a fatal aircraft accident. The following year, as a response to a recommendation by the NTSB, the FAA entered into an Interagency Agreement with the National Weather Service to create CWSUs at each FAA Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). The goal was to develop rules and procedures for the timely dissemination by air traffic controllers of all available severe weather information. (More)
(March 13, 2019) Meet Jim Lee, NWSEO Central Region Chair and Journeyman Forecaster in WFO Des Moines, IA.
How long have you been working with NWS? What do you do specifically?I joined the NWS at the end of 2002, so it's been 16 years already. I started out as a Meteorologist Intern at WFO Key West, FL and now I am a General Forecaster in WFO Des Moines, IA. I issue forecasts, warnings, advisories and other hazardous weather statements, engage with various partners and the general public to provide IDSS, and perform a variety of other meteorological and observational functions. I am also heavily involved in a number of local, regional, and national teams and projects.
(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)
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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.
Fellow NWSEO members,
I am excited and humbled to serve as your new NWSEO National President. For those who don’t know me, I have served as the NWSEO Southern Region Chairperson for the last nine years and am truly honored to work with some of the most talented and wonderful people in the world on your behalf. JoAnn Becker is your new NWSEO Executive Vice President. JoAnn has served as the NCEP Regional Chairperson for the last six years. Her wealth of knowledge and experience, as well as her caring and patient nature, will help us ensure that NWSEO remains focused on improving working conditions for the employees and the quality of services that the National Weather Service provides to our nation.(More)
NWSEO membership fuels our professional organization. This year, increasing our membership numbers is critical to NWSEO’s success as we work to protect jobs and fill understaffed offices. NWSEO Membership Director Christy Fox reported that in the past year, 137 employees joined the organization, with many renewing their memberships in support of the important work done by NWSEO. Christy also reported that unfortunately, NWSEO has had 94 membership withdrawals in the past year.
“76% of the losses are due to retirements and promotions out of the bargaining unit,” Christy stated. “Recruitment is ongoing and we should continue to be actively involved from national leadership to regional officers, to local stewards and members from all over the country.”
NWSEO is made up of members from not only the National Weather Service (NWS) but also, Aircraft Operations Center (AOC), National Environmental Satellite, Data, Information Service (NESDIS), Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), and NOAA Attorney’s Guild (NAG). Membership totals for each agency are included below with the total membership currently at 1620 members.
(October 8, 2019) Congratulations to our newly elected NWSEO National President John Werner and Executive Vice President JoAnn Becker. Due to the National Elections results, the Southern Region and NCEP Region Chairs became vacant. The NWSEO National Council approved Chris Jacobson to become the new Southern Region Chair, with Rob Niemeyer continuing as Southern Region Vice Chair. Former NCEP Region Vice Chair Suru Saha became NCEP Region Chair, and the National Council approved Christa Jacobs to become the new NCEP Region Vice Chair. Congratulations to all. (More)
(August 14, 2019) On June 19, just seven weeks ago, our NWSEO Membership Director reported a record high of 1615 members. Regional Chairs, Stewards and NWSEO Members themselves across the country are setting goals to not only increase membership but to also shift the view of our organization to a more positive, forward leaning, serving union. The past and recent work done on behalf of all bargaining unit employees under the NWSEO umbrella has been instrumental in obtaining new NWSEO members. Even though more members have retired over the summer months, NWSEO continues to grow with recruitment efforts, membership drives and support from across the country. (More)
(August 13, 2019) Congressman Mark Amodei visited the WFO in Elko, Nevada on July 31 at the invitation of the NWSEO. Congressman Amodei has been the United States Representative for Nevada’s second congressional district since 2011 and on the Appropriations Committee. The group discussed a variety of topics critical to NWS employees: the agency mission in general, but he was particularly sympathetic about the brutal staffing shortages and the pay-cap denials for staffing OT. He and his staff spent some time with individual employees affected by the pay caps. The Congressman successfully launched a weather balloon and the local newspaper was there to capture the story. He discussed his ideas for coordinating future wildfire research with core partners, and challenged the employees to come up with other projects. The staff brought up their giant radar holes where they have numerous fires, winter weather, and flash flooding. The Congressman promised to look into adding a radar in central Nevada, cooperating with other entities to fund and maintain it.
Four Congressmen Seek Impoundment Act Ruling
on NWS Vacancies
(August 2, 2019) Four Members of Congress, led by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), have requested that the Comptroller General initiate a formal inquiry whether the National Weather Service has violated the Impoundment Control Act by its failure to fill hundreds of positions, despite full funding and explicit direction from Congress to do so.
The Impoundment Control Act prohibits the Executive Branch from failing to spend funds that Congress has appropriated for a specific purpose, without first submitting a “rescission” request to Congress and obtaining an affirmative vote from Congress to forgo expenditure of funds. Under the Act, Congress can ask the Comptroller General for a formal ruling whether an agency has violated the Act. If the Comptroller General finds that the Administration should have but failed to submit a “rescission” request to Congress, the agency must expend the funds unless Congress approves the rescission within 45 days. If the agency does not comply, the Act authorizes the Comptroller General to bring suit against agency officials in Federal court to compel them to comply.
(June 19, 2019) NWSEO welcomed 42 new and renewed members in the second quarter! Central region leads with 12 new members, Western region 7 new members, while Eastern and Southern regions each have 6 new members in the past few months.
NWSEO Members from the agencies (NWS, NOAA Attorney’s Guild, AOML, AOC and NESDIS) have invited and encouraged growth of our union and together, NWSEO has reached a record high of 1615 Members!
Regional Chairs, Stewards and NWSEO Members themselves across the country are setting goals to not only increase membership but to also shift the view of our organization to a more positive, forward leaning, serving union. NWSEO Membership Director Christy Fox noted that a few offices had zero membership for years and now new NWSEO members are joining those locations. The past and recent work done on behalf of all bargaining unit employees under the NWSEO umbrella has been instrumental in obtaining new NWSEO members. (More)
Lobbying Efforts of the NWSEO
The House Appropriations Committee has Approved a Substantial Increase in NWS Funding and Rejected all Proposed Personnel Cuts May 29, 2019
(May 29, 2019) The House Appropriations Committee has approved funding of $1,099,549,000 for NWS operations, research and facilities for FY20. This is $110 million more than the President requested, and $79 million more than was appropriated for FY19 – an increase of 7.7%. This funding includes not less than $20 million, and not more than $28 million in funding “to address the backlog in facilities maintenance.”
This increase in funding was due to the lobbying efforts of NWSEO.
The Committee also rejected the Administration’s proposal to cut 355 jobs at the NWS, and once again demanded that the NWS fill all vacancies. From the Committee Report:
“The Committee remains concerned about continuing reports of staffing and management challenges within NWS. NOAA and the Department of Commerce are directed to ensure that NWS fulfills its critical mission to protect the lives and property of our Nation’s citizens, including by filling all vacancies as expeditiously as possible. . . ." (More)
Final Report of the March Madness Membership Drive the Road Does Not End Here
(April 17, 2019) Congratulations NWSEO Members!! This March Madness Membership Drive has accomplished several positive things for our union. Last year, our first quarterly report of 2018 confirmed 1530 members. Presently, we have reached a total membership of 1592 with only 8 more new members to go to reach our all-time high of 1600 NWSEO Members!! Also, two offices in Southern Region and one office in Pacific Region have 100% NWSEO Membership, where every employee in their office is a NWSEO Member.
For immediate release
Meteorologist Union Requests Grassley's Help in
Exposing Sexual Harassment at Nominee’s Firm
(Des Moines- April 10) - The union that represents the meteorologists and technicians at National Weather Service offices nationwide today called upon Senator Grassley to demand that the Department of Labor release its investigative report on the sexual harassment investigation of AccuWeather, Inc., the company owned and headed by Barry Myers at the time, who has been nominated to head the NWS’s parent agency.
Last June, AccuWeather entered into a Compliance Agreement with the Labor Department under which AccuWeather agreed to pay 35 female employees $290,000 in damages for sexual harassment in the workplace. According to this Compliance Agreement, DOL “found AccuWeather discriminated against female employees by subjecting them to sexual harassment and a hostile work environment” and “further found that AccuWeather did not exercise reasonable care to prevent and correct such conduct.” (More Media Center)
I appreciate the hard work of NWS employees who are personally impacted by all forms of national hazards. This includes the efforts to go above and beyond in providing continuing weather services in adverse conditions. NWSEO has fought hard to continue full station operations for WFO's/WSO's in the Alaska and Pacific Regions. Below is an article written by NWSEO Alaska Regional Chair Michael Ottenweller concerning the 30 November 2018 Anchorage earthquake from a personal/professional perspective. I hope all NWS employees can reflect on this.” ~Dan Sobien, NWSEO National President. (More)
Administration Proposes billion-dollar Cuts to NOAA, including $92 million and 355 jobs at NWS - House Appropriations Committee Calls Cuts “unbelievable.”
(March 29, 2019) The Trump Administration has once again proposed to cut 248 forecasters and 74 ITOs, and to close one of the two Tsunami Warning Centers as part of its FY 2020 budget request to Congress. Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY), the Chair of the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee told Acting NOAA Administrator Dr. Neil Jacobs that he has a “hard time taking this budget proposal seriously” and that it was “not thought through completely” at a hearing held Wednesday morning, March 27. Committee Member Rep. Ed Case (D-HI) particularly criticized the proposal to close the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC). Dr. Jacobs did not deny the PTWC was the center on the chopping block, although it was not specifically identified as the center to be closed in the budget request. Rep. Case told Dr. Jacobs that the Administration’s budget proposal was “unbelievable." (More)
NWSEO Reaches Negotiated Agreement
with NWS Management on 5-to-12 Program
(March 27, 2019) We are pleased to report that NWSEO and NWS management have worked together to make improvements to the proposed 5-to-12 plan, and we have now reached an agreement on its implementation. This agreement is subject to Agency Head (DOC) review which can take up to 30 days so we will have to wait for it to be implemented. As a result of this negotiated 5-to-12 agreement, we will withdraw the grievance after the agency review and the agreement is executed. This kind of collaborative effort between the union and management directly benefits the employees of the NWS who will be affected by this initiative and at the same time allows the agency to try new innovative approaches. We were happy to work with the agency to address our concerns and incorporate reasonable solutions, including:
Our concerns regarding restricted employee mobility; this issue is addressed by a twice yearly bid of GS-1340-11/12 positions MAP-only (i.e., they will be “bid internally”), so current NWS employees will have a chance to bid on these positions as reassignments. While not the perfect solution, it is a fair compromise that will allow at least some mobility between offices while reducing the PCS costs that will pay for the promotions to GS-12. (More)
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