(October 05, 2023) - On April 26, 2023, NWSEO filed a grievance pursuant to Article 10, Section 11 of the Parties’ 4th National Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on behalf of, a GS-13 Lead Meteorologist, over violation of: (1) the NWS-NWSEO Employee Mobility and Criteria for PCS Benefits MOU (in which the NWS agrees to pay permanent change in station (PCS) costs for all employees who bid on and were selected for Lead Forecaster positions); (2) merit system principles, constituting a prohibited personnel practice (disqualification of a lateral candidate based on a non-merit factor); and (3) Article 14, Section 1 of the Parties’ CBA (violation of DOC Merit Assignment Plan). The grievance was due to the alleged non-selection of the candidate based on PCS costs.
A Lead Meteorologist applied for a Lead vacancy at another duty station that was advertised under the Merit Assignment Program (MAP) and was passed over, despite allegedly being the top candidate. The candidate interviewed with several staff members at the weather forecast office along with the MIC. Several days after the interviews, the MIC allegedly contacted the candidate and informed him that he was the unanimous choice. The MIC then allegedly proceeded to inform him that the NWS Headquarters denied the PCS funds because it would be a lateral hire and instructed him to select the second choice who was a GS-12 from another duty station.
NWS denied the grievance, and subsequently, NWSEO invoked arbitration. After months of negotiations, NWSEO and NWS reached a settlement and the arbitration was dropped. In the Settlement Agreement NWS agreed to cover PCS costs and move the Grievant into a vacant Lead Meteorologist at the office they had originally bid on.
“NWSEO works tirelessly to ensure fair labor practices and to protect the rights of all the employees we represent.” says NWSEO President, John Werner. Your membership support is greatly appreciated!