NOAA / National Weather Service Freeze on Hiring - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

NOAA / National Weather Service Freeze on Hiring

Courtesy National Weather Service Courtesy National Weather Service

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)... the parent agency of the National Weather Service... has implemented a hiring freeze effective immediately.

This is bad... because as we enter the severe weather and tornado season... the government sequester has forced the hand of NOAA management and possibly jeopardized the American public's safety... and stifled scientific capacity.

Beyond public safety... we have clear evidence that weather is important to our economy.

The freeze... put into effect by acting administrator Kathryn Sullivan... applies to civilian appointments... except those already advertised.

NOAA says it has implemented a hiring freeze in order to give management the tools to effectively manage resources... protect employees and ensure the continued meeting of vital public missions.

The freeze comes a couple weeks after a grievance filed against the National Weather Service by its  labor union... the National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO)... for failure to fill 21 lead forecaster positions.

And The National Weather Service already has a vacancy rate of nearly 10 percent due to a hiring slow down by NOAA that started before the sequestration
And the vacancy rate at the office that serves the Nations Capital is nearly 20 percent.
These are all very bad things when it comes to the weather enterprise. Less forecasters and employees will mean less time to get more products out... which means less time for diligent analysis and forecasting... and potentially less accurate and timely weather forecasts.
And of course more concern in cases of severe weather... will the manpower be there to cover it like needed.
Hopefully NOAA and the NWS can work through these tough budgetary times and manage the weather services in such a way to continue a high level of service
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