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.
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.
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)
(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.
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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.
(February 24, 2020) NWSEO and its Recruitment Committee and Membership Director are hosting a membership drive throughout the month of March! Each of you, and the members you recruit, are the lifeblood of our professional organization and makes everything we do on your behalf possible. Keep watching NWSEO Facebook and your email inbox for additional updates during March Madness, including recruiting tips and resources, a summary of incentives available to anyone you recruit to join NWSEO, testimonials, and videos from other members and officers, and "fast breaks" with other information to help you along with great prizes! (Recruitment Resources)
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)
(January 31, 2020) Tuesday, March 31, 2020 is the deadline for submitting your forms for the NWSEO negotiated National Weather Service Health Club and Wellness Services Fees Reimbursement Program. Through the program, which is open to all NWS employees, you may receive up to $300 per year as a health club membership dues rebate. The rebate also covers certain weight loss and smoking cessation programs. In order to be eligible for the programs, it is important that the correct forms are submitted to your supervisor before the due dates.(More)
Exciting Challenges and Changes Ahead for the
NWS Water and Water Resources Program
(January 24, 2020) NWSEO President John Werner; NWSEO Secretary/Treasurer and Eastern Region Chairperson David Solano; NWSEO Headquarters Chairperson and acting steward for the National Water Center (NWC) Mike Dion; and NWSEO Southeast River Forecast Center Steward Jeff Dobur were recently invited to visit the National Water Center (NWC), a branch of the NWSEO Headquarters region, on January 7-8, 2020, for meetings with NWC bargaining unit staff and Office of Water Prediction (OWP) leadership.
NWSEO met with OWP Senior Leadership for an informational briefing and discussion focused on current and future water resources modeling and service-related activities within OWP. These activities include the continued development and implementation of the National Water Model and the Hydrologic Ensemble Forecast Service (HEFS), Flood Inundation Mapping, achieving an initial operating capability within the Water Prediction Operations Division (WPOD) at the NWC, and other related efforts within the NWS, NOAA Line Offices and other Federal agencies.
NWSEO Grieves Discrimination against Internal Applicants
for GS 5/7/9 DE/CR Vacancies
(January 10, 2020) On January 6, 2020, NWSEO filed a grievance over the NWS’s disqualification of internal applicants for GS 5/7/9 met DE/CR vacancies. The Union demanded the NWS award one affected bargaining unit member the position and location for which he was initially selected but later disqualified because he was not a new hire. In addition, NWSEO requested that all regions be issued written guidance instructing them not to disqualify internal applicants for GS 5/7/9 DE/CR vacancies.(More)
NWSEO Dues Increase of 72 Cents Per Pay Period
beginning in 2020 Pay Period 1
(December 30, 2019) Active NWSEO membership is the lifeblood of our professional organization. It is through the strength of our members in NWS, NESDIS, AOC, AOML, and NAG that NWSEO has the ability to help save jobs and programs, promote better working conditions, enhance career opportunities, and participate in collective bargaining. Your membership and willingness to be an active member of our professional organization, has certainly helped propel each organization to be world class within the U.S. Federal Government and NOAA. Thank you for your sacrifice and support.
Beginning January 5, 2020, pay period 1, NWSEO dues will be set at one percent (1%) of your salary to a new maximum per pay period amount of $24.06. This new amount reflects a minimal dues increase of just 72 cents per pay period in accordance with the OPM's salary rate increases for the Rest of the U.S. (More)
(December 20, 2019) In August 2019, the NWS broke off negotiations on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with NWSEO and refused our request to remain at the bargaining table, even though we made it clear that we were willing to make further compromises. Yesterday, at the direction of the Department of Commerce, the NWS requested that the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP) resolve the many remaining disputed provisions of the CBA rather than continuing to bargain with NWSEO. (More)
The House Appropriations Committee just released
the final bill for FY 2020
(December 18, 2019) NWS operations, research and facilities will be appropriated $1,065,701,000 - this is $45 million more than last year, and $76 million more than requested by the President’s budget.
Within that number, the Analyze, Forecast and Support Portfolio, from which the majority of positions are funded, was increased to $513,556,000 - which is $8 million more than appropriated last year, and $30 million more than requested by the President’s budget. (More)
(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.
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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