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NOAA Workforce Management Office

Serving NOAA's Most Valuable Asset - People

WFMO Employee and Labor Relations Division

NOAA’s Employee & Labor Relations Division (ELRD) provides consultative services regarding employee relations and labor relations issues. The ELRD is staffed geographically across NOAA to ensure timely and quality services.

Employee Relations:

Employee Relations is the body of work that creates and sustains a positive work environment at NOAA by helping to resolve work-related problems and assisting employees in understanding and utilizing workplace rules. Good employee relations are not only desirable, they are a necessity, helping to reduce absenteeism, avoid disputes, and harness the goodwill necessary to achieve optimum performance, commitment and effectiveness.

Employee Relations questions and concerns are usually handled by managers who seek assistance from their servicing Employee & Labor Relations Specialist, who also may work with an attorney from the Office of the General Counsel.

Employee Relations is a complex area involving the intersection of a wide variety of laws, regulations, policies, and precedent setting legal cases. For this reason, NOAA managers should always contact their servicing Employee & Labor Relations Specialist with questions and concerns. In the field of Employee Relations, the best advice is to consult early and consult often.

The goal of the Employee Relations Program at NOAA is to provide effective consultation and support, ensuring that NOAA continues to be a truly outstanding place to work. The purpose of this website is to provide users with general guidance in different topic areas, as well as links to the additional resources found below:

Labor Relations:

NOAA has one of the most dynamic labor relations environments in the federal sector. There are 19 bargaining units representing the interests of over 5,000 employees within the Line and Staff Offices (LO/SO) in NOAA.

The NOAA Labor Relations Officer - who resides in the ELRD - serves as the agency point of contact for information on nationally and locally relevant labor relations issues within NOAA and the Department of Commerce.

The LO/SOs have designated specific management officials to serve as points of contact and liaisons between management and the appropriate unions. These management representatives are supported by Employee & Labor Relations Specialists working in the ELRD located in Norfolk, VA; Silver Spring, MD; and Kansas City, MO. With support from WFMO and appropriate legal counsel from the Department's Office of General Counsel, these management representatives work diligently to ensure that NOAA fulfills its labor relations obligations - which is critical in facilitating the continued efficiency of agency operations.

This website serves as a resource to assist in the efficient administration of NOAA's labor relations program. We hope you will find this site helpful in gaining a better understanding of the dynamic that is Federal sector labor relations. For more information on this subject, please contact your servicing Employee & Labor Relations Specialist.

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Page Last Updated: March 15, 2018

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