40th Annual NWSEO Convention and National Elections Update: Nominations are posted on NWSEO.org
(June 9, 2015) Branch elections are underway and NWSEO is preparing for the 40th Annual National Convention. NWSEO National Elections will take place at the convention and NWSEO is now receiving nominations for the positions of President, Vice President, and Secretary-Treasurer. Nominations are posted on the Convention News page of NWSEO.org.
NWSEO works hard to improve working conditions and the quality of NWS services. The diligent work of the NWSEO produced these top five recent accomplishments.
Saved the Information Technology Officer (ITO) position.
Securing special projects designed to increase aviation safety, which include increased NWS personnel at the CWSU and WFOs in New York City, Atlanta, and Chicago.
Saving the CWSUs from consolidation – a culmination of a five year lobbying effort by NWSEO to preserve both aviation safety and NWS employee jobs. NWSEO spent over $200,000 in this lobbying effort and obtained the support of the Senate Commerce Committee, the House Science Committee and the House and Senate Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittees.
NWSEO secured an agreement that upgrades to a GS -8 every Administrative Support Assistant at field offices around the country. The GS -8 upgrade includes approximately one million dollars in extra pay and benefits to the lowest paid NWS employees each and every year from now on.
Launched the Facebook community called "Protect the National Weather Service" which now has more than 115-thousand fans. The site is used to inform the public and gain support for employees of the NWS
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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!
Have you moved recently? If so, please send your name and address to Lisa Luciani, Director of Communications, so that we can update our records. In addition to your mailing address, providing us with your current personal email address helps us to keep you informed. It only takes a minute and ensures that you'll receive all of the NWSEO news.
(May 17, 2015) The Ranking Democrats of three Subcommittees of the House Science Committee have submitted a formal request to the Government Accountability Office to undertake a review of understaffing at the NWS and its impact on NWS employees. The May 8 request, sent by Representatives Dan Lipinski (IL), Suzanne Bonamici, (OR) and Don Beyer (VA), explains that:
“Although the NWS was fully funded in FY 2014, the number of vacant operational positions at Weather Forecast Offices and national forecasting centers continues to grow. According to reports that the NWS has provided to the National Weather Service Employees Organization, between September 2010 and February 2015 the number of non-supervisory, non-managerial employees at the NWS fell from 3877 to 3469. This is a 10% reduction in workforce that is predominately classified as ‘emergency essential.’” (More)
(February 18, 2015) 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.
Operations and Workforce Analysis Project Update McKinsey Visits Central Region – NWSEO Provides Input and Asks the Tough Questions
(July 23, 2015) McKinsey & Company, is mid-way through their site visits of NWS offices. This week, McKinsey & Company visited Central Region Headquarters and MBRFC. NWSEO Central Region Chair Jim Sieveking attended the meetings and reported the following to NWSEO: (More)
Taking a Page from Scott Walker’s Playbook – NWS ignores legally binding Agreements; NWSEO Files Grievance – What you should know
(July 20, 2015) NWSEO is fighting to maintain your rights and working conditions after the NWS’s July 16 notification that they would no longer honor various side agreements and memorandum of understanding. NWSEO filed a grievance today, highlighting the fact that these agreements do not have a termination date and that the NWS cannot unilaterally abolish them.
NWSEO has set up an email account for you to report information regarding the agency’s failure to satisfy the agreements mentioned below. If your personal working conditions are affected by the agency’s illegal actions, please be sure to send your name, office name and city, state and a very detailed account to: NWSEOstrong@nwseo.org. (More)
NWS to Renegotiate its Contract with Employees
NWSEO sends out a Recruitment “All Call” to Strengthen Membership
(July 16, 2015) Today, the National Weather Service officially notified NWSEO of its plans to renegotiate the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The CBA specifically states the rights and obligations of the employer, employees, and union, including staffing structure and levels, leave policies, rules for discipline, and how and when grievances can be filed.
“Make no mistake, the Agency is not renegotiating the CBA to make your work life better,” said NWSEO President Dan Sobien. (More)
Agency to employees: Models bad – you’re fired.
The NWS notified the NWSEO today, that it can put you on a PIP or even remove you from service for a bad forecast. In their notification to renegotiate the CBA, they stated “Verification scores should be able to be used as a factor in rating the forecasting and warning performance elements of individual NWS meteorologists.”
NWS unilaterally eliminates $300 health club subsidy.
As part of an unprecedented setback in labor relations, today the NWS informed the NWSEO that it will no longer contribute to the health and well-being of its employees.
The NWS will, however, continue to subsidize transit costs for their Washington, D.C. employees, pay for a staffed health clinic at NWS Headquarters, and pay for gym facilities in the new NCEP building.
NWS to Employees: You have to do the work we assign you – we are just not going to pay you for it.
The NWS notified the NWSEO today, that it will ignore an arbitrators order that the agency give a temporary promotion to employees doing higher graded work. No further details were given to the NWSEO as to who will do the work and if temporary promotions will ever be given.
NWS to Interns: Pound Sand
For the last ten years, except for in a few hard to fill locations, the NWS has given first crack at General Forecaster jobs internally to its intern employees. This is a result of an agreement between the NWSEO, FLRA and the agency. Today, the NWS has unilaterally decided it is no longer going to abide by this agreement. No details have been given on how this will be implemented.
“If they were just looking for a faster way to fill vacancies we would have been happy to amend the agreement,” stated NWSEO Vice President Bill Hopkins. “Instead they just decided they will ignore the agreement.”
NWS to HQ employees: Your room may be shrinking
The NWS notified the NWSEO today, that it will no longer abide by an agreement with the union over space requirements in SSMC2. We assume they are not going to move the walls of the permanent offices occupied by SES employees, so we can only guess the NWS wants to decrease the workspace of low level cubical occupants.
NWS to HSD employees: Sweet Home Alabama
The NWS notified the NWSEO today, that it will no longer abide by an agreement with the union regarding staffing relocations to the National Water Center in Alabama. NWS is going back on its word. The agency will now involuntarily reassign Hydrologic Services Division employees from Silver Spring to the National Water Center in Alabama.
Employees and their families who have established roots in the Washington, D.C. area may now be forced to leave, with no recourse, just because a manager says so.
NWS Leadership: We can have a health clinic, free vaccinations, and transportation subsidies. Employees: No paper towels or Purell for you.
The NWS notified NWSEO today that it will no longer provide paper towels, tissues, hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray or wipes, disposable cups, plates and utensils. One can only wonder if toilet paper is the next to go.
Department of Commerce insists on Gag Order on NWSEO Grievance Settlements -- DOC doesn’t want employees to know what NWSEO has accomplished – NWS and NWSEO will arbitrate a $30 overtime claim as a result.
(July 13, 2015) The General Counsel of the Department of Commerce instituted a new policy demanding that any settlement of unresolved grievances include a non-disclosure clause that will prohibit NWSEO from letting NWS employees know what the union has achieved, or how the parties’ collective bargaining agreement has been interpreted and applied. (More)
(June 19, 2015) OPM has shared the following update from Agency senior officials: Agency Postmater Update on Cyber Incident
OPM’s web page on “Information About the Recent Cybersecurity Incident” and “Frequently Asked Questions” updated on June 18, 2015. Here are the links to the updated pages. A printable copy is also available. Please post this in your office.
(June 22, 2015) South Dakota Senator John Thune withdrew the original version of bill S. 1573 this morning. Sen. Thune and Hawaii’s Sen. Brian Schatz introduced a substitute version that focuses on severe weather alerts. The new version of the bill, titled “Weather Alerts for a Ready Nation Act of 2015” is expected to be voted on by the Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday, June 25.
“This is good news for the safety of the American public,” said NWSEO President Dan Sobien. “The lifesaving work of National Weather Service employees and their collaboration with emergency managers will continue on a local level, which is where they are most effective.” (More)
Long-time NWSEO Steward and Member Tim Shy Needs Medical Leave Donations -
You Can Help with the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program
(June 19, 2015) Tim Shy, a meteorologist and the NWSEO steward at WFO Albuquerque is in need of medical leave donations. Tim is suffering from a fast-starting brain cancer, glioblastoma. Tim is a long-time member of NWSEO and many of our membership know him from his dedication to his work and attendance at the National NWSEO conventions.
NWSEO Members have always been generous with annual leave donations for co-workers in need. If you are interested in donating leave for Tim Shy, you may complete the 630A Form at this link: http://www.opm.gov/Forms/pdf_fill/opm630a.pdf Additional information on Leave Donations (More)
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