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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.
2018 NWSEO 43rd Annual National Convention
Mark your calendar for the 2018 NWSEO National Convention to be held at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Sunday-Monday, September 30 and October 1, 2018.
The National Convention is the governing body of NWSEO and all members are invited to attend. It is a time to learn in depth about NWSEO’s current work and accomplishments. This is also a great opportunity to network with other professionals throughout the country. Many members return to the event every year.
View photos and information from the 2017 Convention (More)
Review Recruitment Travel Incentives for NWSEO Members (More)
(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.
The NWS Mentoring Program Launched
November 9, 2018
(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)
(September 10, 2018) The Marriott Pittsburgh City Center Hotel has agreed to extend the room reservation deadline to this Friday, September 14, 2018 for our 43rd NWSEO National Convention attendees. If you plan to attend, you are responsible for making your hotel reservations. NWSEO has successfully negotiated a room rate starting at $129 per night plus taxes. Room reservations
can be booked directly with the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center by calling 1.877.645.3553 or using the link: Book your group rate for NWSEO Annual Conference. Please mention that you are an NWSEO member and attending the convention in order to get the negotiated room rate.
Hotel Description: With a stay at Marriott Pittsburgh City Center Hotel, you'll be centrally located in Pittsburgh, within a 10-minute drive of Duquesne Incline and Monongahela Incline. This hotel is 3.9 mi (6.3 km) from University of Pittsburgh and 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from PNC Park.
If you have any issues or need to speak to someone directly about making your room reservations, please contact NWSEO Membership Director Christy Fox at (202) 907-3036.
(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)
(July 20, 2018) The 2018 NWSEO Local Branch Election ballots (if more than one person was nominated for Steward, Vice Steward or Delegate) are due to be submitted today. The current steward was responsible for establishing a sealed box in which members would return their ballots no later than today Friday, July 20, 2018. Although it is not required, it is recommended that the steward convene a local NWSEO meeting for the purpose of opening the ballot box and counting the ballots. The counting of the ballots should take place as soon after Friday, July 20, 2018 as possible. Notification to the winning candidate of the results should be made immediately after, also notifying your Credentials Committee POC and NWSEO Membership Director.
The election of the Regional Chair and other regional officers will be conducted by delegates at the Convention. The newly elected regional officers will take office at the conclusion of the convention at which the election was held. (More)
Senate Appropriations Committee Rejects Cuts
to NWS Staffing
(June 15, 2018) Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee rejected cuts to NWS staffing proposed by the President in the FY 19 budget request including ITOS, forecasters at WFOs, and tsunami warning centers. The relevant portion of the Senate Appropriations Committee report is included with this newsletter.
NWSEO understands the importance of these positions and locations to the National Weather Service mission and is working hard to protect these jobs. As you may know, the ITO position has been eliminated from the President’s budget every year since FY2013. We will continue to work until we are satisfied that the position is safe every year. (More)
(June 1, 2018) This is a reminder that nominations for Regional Chair, Regional Vice Chair, Steward, Vice Steward, Delegate and Alternate Delegate are due today.
A Recap of NOMINATION PROCEDURES
Branch Steward/Vice Steward Nominations – If you are a member in good standing of a branch, you may nominate yourself or any other member in good standingfrom your local branch for the position of branch steward or vice steward. Nominations must be in writing, dated and signed by the member making the nomination and presented to your local branch Steward and Regional Chair by June 1, 2018.
Regional Officer Nominations – Also due in writing postmarked by June 1, 2018. If you have been a member of NWSEO since September 2017, you may nominate yourself to run as a candidate for any regional office. Regardless of how long you have been a NWSEO member, you may nominate any other union member in your region as a candidate for regional officer, provided that the person you nominate has been a member since September 2017. If you nominate someone for regional chair/vice chair, please contact your nominee to ensure they accept the nomination.
Nominations for Regional Chairperson and Regional Vice Chairperson must be in writing and certified/registered mail postmarked today, June 1, 2018.
Congratulations to Huug van den Dool
Recipient of the 2018 NOAA Distinguished Career Award
(May 25, 2018) NWSEO congratulates Huug van den Dool, the 2018 recipient of the NOAA Distinguished Career Award. This award was presented by RDML Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., USN Ret. at a ceremony held in Silver Spring, Maryland on May 22. The Distinguished Career Award is designed to recognize long-term achievement in advancing the goals and mission of NOAA.
Dr. Van den Dool is a long-time supporter and current Associate Member of NWSEO. He joined NWSEO in 2012, and served as a member and steward for NWS National Centers for Environmental Protection (NCEP) and Climate Prediction Center (CPC). Dr. Van den Dool is recognized for his work in the development of new prediction techniques forming the basis for, and establishment of, seasonal climate forecasts at the CPC. (More)
House Appropriations Committee Rejects Workforce Cuts
(May 16, 2018 Letter from General Counsel) Moments ago, the House Appropriations Committee released the details of its FY 19 budget for the Department of Commerce. The Committee has rejected all NWS workforce cuts. The report states that the Committee's "The recommendation does not adopt the proposed NWS workforce savings," and that "The Committee expects the National Weather Service to continue to hire in fiscal year 2019, and to have additional FTEs on board by the end of the fiscal year. The Committee expects that budget requests from the National Weather Service include all funds necessary to pay for staff, yet the Committee consistently hears of staffing and management challenges within NWS. (More)
NWSEO Joins Efforts to Block
Federal Employee Benefit Cuts
(May 14, 2018) On May 4, the new Director of the Office of Personnel Management sent legislative proposals to Congress to cut Federal employee retirement benefits by $144 billion over ten years. NWSEO is a member of the Federal Workers Alliance and the Federal-Postal Coalition and has been working through these groups to block those proposals.
The cuts which the Administration has proposed include:
basing annuity calculation on the average of the employee’s highest five salary years instead of an employee’s “high-three.”
Increasing FERS federal employee pension contributions to 7.25%
reducing the cost-of-living adjustments COLAs under CSRS) by one half of one percent and to eliminate COLAs under FERS for current and future retirees.
eliminate the FERS annuity supplement – This proposal and will take away the possibility for many NWS employees to retire before the age of 62. (More)
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