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 email@example.com 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.
(October 25, 2019) December, 2018: At first, I just rolled my eyes. Another government shutdown? More posturing and grand-standing by politicians, that just can’t seem to get their jobs done on time. I had gone through previous shutdowns, most notably the 1995-1996 shutdown, which happened at the same time as my PCS move from one office to another- imagine going into temporary quarters while the rest of government is shut down? I remember having my MIC call to ask if I had to delay my move due to the shutdown. Thankfully, that apparently had already been paid for, and I don’t remember missing a paycheck during that particular shutdown. The 2013 shutdown turned out to be no big deal either, as I recall getting a partial paycheck, but then it was all paid up in the next paycheck. Most of the other shutdowns were too short to have an impact. So, on December 22nd I wasn’t too worried. I figured those politicians would get their shutdown in for spectacular effect, someone would back down right after New Year’s, and then we would be back to business as usual. I was disgusted, but wasn’t too worried, hoping that the politicians remembered the lessons they had learned from previous shut-downs.(More)
Federal Arbitrator rules NWS violated agreement by failing to fill OPL vacancies
(October 21, 2019) On October 10, 2019, Arbitrator Laurence Evans held that the NWS has violated a 2004 staffing agreement with NWSEO by failing to fill over 30 vacant Observation Program Leader (OPL) positions. The 2004 agreement restructured the Hydrometeorological Technician (HMT) and Intern units at Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs), with the NWS agreeing to advertise any vacant position for both HMT and Intern applicants, rather than setting aside a specific number of slots for either category of employee. The NWS also agreed to create a GS-12 OPL position so that HMTs could have advancement opportunities. The agreement provided that when OPLs retire or leave, “the same recruitment process will be conducted.” However, since 2016, the NWS has only filled 14 of 40 OPL positions that have become vacant.(More)
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)
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