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Grievance over the Disqualification of a Lead Forecaster applying for an Information Technology Officer (ITO) position

(July 7, 2024) NWSEO has filed a union grievance concerning the unjust disqualification of a

WFO Lead Forecaster from consideration for an Information Technology Officer (ITO) position, the duties of which he was already performing.

An applicant was disqualified from consideration for the position ostensibly because he

apparently “do[es] not possess the specialized experience for the position.” However, his

resume and application clearly indicated that he was currently performing the duties of the

vacant ITO position and had other related information technology experience.

The grievance alleges that this unjustified disqualification violates Merit System Principles,

which provide that:

Recruitment should be from qualified individuals from appropriate sources in an

endeavor to achieve a workforce from all segments of society, and selection and

advancement should be determined solely on the basis of relative ability, knowledge,

and skills, after fair and open competition, which assures that all receive equal


The grievance explains that the agency has failed to provide a “systemic means of selection”

based on merit and has failed to establish procedures for promotion “available to candidates in writing” as required by OPM regulations. No information has been provided in advance to ITO applicants on how to demonstrate that they meet the “specialized experience” requirement. It was not until after he was disqualified that the applicant was told he should have provided a write-up from his supervisor detailing the IT duties he had been performing in addition to his normal responsibilities.

According to the grievance, the agency has been inconsistent in determining when National

Weather Service (NWS) meteorologists are eligible to be placed on panels for ITO positions. It seems to depend on which officials review the applications for each particular vacancy.

As a relief for this grievance, NWSEO has demanded that the agency establish and publicize

specific criteria for how applicants in the 1340 series can demonstrate that they have the

specialized experience required for the Information Technology Officer position and that the

grievant be given priority consideration for the next ITO position for which he applies.


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