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APPEALS COURT RULES AGAINST UNIONS IN FIGHT OVER ANTI-EMPLOYEE EXEC ORDERSposted July 16, 2019
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has overturned an earlier ruling against a trio of anti-employee/anti-union Executive Orders issued by the Trump White House in 2018.
The three Executive Orders attack federal workers and their unions in numerous ways, including mandating changes and eliminating due process in order to speed up and ease the process of firing employees deemed to be "bad performers"; severely limiting the amount of time employee-elected union representatives can spend performing representational duties, such as helping with grievance filings; and placing time limits on the duration of collective bargaining.
Read FEA's full update on the decision here.
OVERSEAS BARGAINING UPDATE #2
MANAGEMENT ATTEMPTS TO ELIMINATE GRIEVANCE RIGHTS
posted July 9, 2019
DoDEA seeks to eliminate the right for the Association and individual employees to file grievances over issues such as discrimination and improper pay, even if the new Overseas contract presently being bargained contains language prohibiting such practices.
In effect, this means DoDEA wants to make sections of any new Overseas contract unenforceable. This is clearly a violation of the law and, if imposed as part of a new Overseas contract, FEA would take all available legal actions to challenge this violation of law.
Read FEA's Overseas Contract Bargaining Update #2 for more information.
OVERSEAS BARGAINING UPDATE #1
DoDEA SEEKS TO ELIMINATE DUE PROCESS, JUST-CAUSE PROTECTIONS
posted June 29, 2019
DoDEA seeks unilateral and uncontested authority to discipline or remove Overseas employees with no need for the Agency to prove just cause and no due-process right of appeal or review for those employees. Read FEA's Overseas Contract Bargaining Update #1 to learn more about this extreme threat to members' rights and working conditions
SMART LES FIGHT CAN CONTINUEposted June 24, 2019
FEA's Unfair Labor Practice over management's failure to develop a "Smart LES" to better explain pay, benefits, deductions, etc. was filed in a timely manner and can proceed, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled, overturning the NLRA's rejection of the ULP. See the full story here.
Stripes Article Highlights PTR Increases, Lack of Info From DoDEARead the June 24 story on the harmful impact of DoDEA's completely unnecessary increases to PTR at the middle and high school level and the lack of information from DoDEA headquarters about the cuts.
Planned course cuts, bigger classes at schools for military kids frustrate families, teachers
STATESIDE MEMBERS: BE SURE TO LOG UNPAID TIMEFEA-Stateside members are reminded to use the Association-provided tracking sheet to log the unpaid hours they were required to work this school year and submit the tracking sheets to FEA-SR, for use in the Association's upcoming arbitration. Read the full update and access the tracking form here.
Overseas Contract Bargaining Beginsposted June 17, 2019
FEA and DoDEA have begun face-to-face bargaining towards a new Overseas contract. The process is marred by management's illegal insistence that bargaining begin over the summer, when the educators on our bargaining team are off duty and unable to participate, as well as by the entire federal labor relations apparatus being heavily biased against employees and the unions that represent them.
Read the full update here.
WE ARE NOT ALONE IN OUR FIGHTNEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia recorded this fantastic message of support and thanks to FEA members worldwide and reminds us that we are not alone in our fight against DoDEA and the federal government for better working and learning conditions. Visit this page (when you are off duty, off government property and not using government equipment) to voice your opposition to DoDEA's unilateral and illegal contract actions in Stateside schools and look for more opportunities to take action in the months ahead.
End of An Era
FEA Executive Director/General Counsel H.T. Nguyen Announces Plans to Retire End of 2019
Read H.T.'s statement to members here
Overseas Contract Bargaining Team AnnouncedThe FEA Board has named the following individuals to serve as the bargaining team for a new Overseas contract:
- Patricia Hannon, Hohenfels ES, Germany
- Adele Collins, Kaiserslautern HS, Germany
- Romy Kerstetter, Ansbach M/HS, Germany
- Matt Binfield, Humphries Central ES, Korea
- Teresa Snowden, Ryukyu MS, Okinawa
Read the full announcement on the Overseas bargaining team here
Read the May FEA Journal in PDF format
FEA-STATESIDE UPDATE ON EARLY NOTICE INCENTIVES AND REASSIGNMENTSposted May 9, 2019
DoDEA HR is falsely telling Stateside members who applies for VERA/VSIP and the Early Notice Incentive but did not receive VERA/VSIP they must resign.
Read FEA-SR's update on the ENI issue as well as the high number of reassignments within Stateside schools this year.
FEA, DoDEA Exchange Proposals For Overseas Contract Bargainingposted May 1, 2019
Not surprisingly, DoDEA's proposals are incredibly harmful to employees' rights and working conditions. Find summaries of both sides' proposals and links to their full proposals at this page.
FEA-STATESIDE ACTION ON DODEA's ILLEGAL CONTRACT IMPLEMENTATIONWith help from NEA's Government Relations office, FEA-Stateside Region (FEA-SR) and FEA's Washington DC Office are reaching out to decision makers on Capitol Hill, educating them about the serious harm being done to the working and learning environment in Stateside schools.
Learn more about FEA-SR's efforts
FEA-Stateside Arbitrating Illegal Contract ImplementationFEA-Stateside Region is proceeding to arbitration over management's efforts to illegally and unilaterally impose a new contract on Stateside schools, including its dictate forcing Stateside employees to work extended hours without added compensation in violation of the current valid contract. Read the update from FEA-SR here
FEA and NEA Annual MeetingsGet details on this summer's FEA Annual Membership Meeting and NEA Representative Assembly, both taking place in Houston, Texas, the first week of July.
Find FEA and NEA meeting info here
Positive News on PCS Taxposted March 18, 2019
A bipartisan group of Senators has reintroduced legislation that would provide relief from PCS moving taxes to incoming and retiring/separating federal employees.
Read FEA's update on the reintroduced legislation.
DoDEA Releases Info on RITA/WTA for PCS Taxesposted March 11, 2019
DoDEA has (FINALLY!) issued guidance to Overseas employees regarding the availability of and procedure to follow in order to claim Relocation Income Tax Allowance (RITA) and/or Withholding Tax Allowance (WTA) for taxes on applicable civilian PCS moves. Anyone who PCSed in 2018 is advised to visit DoDEA's Web site and carefully read the guidance from DoDEA (found at the bottom of the linked page) to make sure you take advantage of the resources available to you.
DoDEA Info on PCS and Tax Changes
DoDEA Withdraws Law Attacking Workers' RightsIn a victory for DoDEA employees and proponents everywhere of workers' rights, DoDEA has announced it is withdrawing a proposed law that would have stripped workers of rights and basis civil service protections under the guise of merging Stateside and Overseas schools into a single system. The law may be reintroduced in the future, however.
Read the full update from FEA on this issue here
Over 300 to be Excessed From DoDEA This Year
VERA/VSIP Are To Be Offered
We were told in a meeting Tuesday that around 370 positions throughout DoDEA will be declared excess this year. Note: after our initial meeting, DoDEA told us the true figure would be slightly more than 300. Roughly 60 of the excessed positions are due to the closing of schools at Seoul. It is not clear how many of the remaining 300+ are due to changes in staffing at the high school level announced last week by DoDEA Director Tom Brady. That announcement said DoDEA would be altering staffing formulas for high school staff. The change is likely to result in larger class sizes, something FEA adamantly opposes.
Staffing documents should now be in the schools and FRSs should be working with their building principals to identity how this impacts current staffing.
DoDEA has received authorization from DOD to offer VERA and VSIP. Specific details on those offerings are expected to come out from DoDEA HQ in the coming days but we were told the amount to be offered for VSIP will be up to a maximum of $40,000.
FEA will inform members as soon as we have more details on the changes in staffing as well as the VSIP/VERA offering. For overseas school, any excessing should be done by the Excess Flow Chart based on MOU's signed by FEA and DoDDS.
DODEA PLAN TO INCREASE SECONDARY CLASS SIZES IS HARMFUL TO STUDENT LEARNINGposted January 4, 2019
DoDEA Director Tom Brady has informed employees he intends to implement unspecified increases in Pupil-Teacher Ratios (PTR) that would result in increases to secondary school class sizes -- a move FEA denounces as harmful to student learning and unnecessary, given the hundreds of wasteful administrative positions within DoDEA that should be cut before any changes to PTR are even considered.
Read FEA's full update on management's announcement.
Government Appeals Executive Order Rulingposted October 3, 2018
The federal government recently filed an appeal of a judge's decision that struck down most parts of three anti-worker, anti-union Executive Orders issued earlier this year by the Trump White House. Those Executive Orders seek to limit union representation and bargaining rights and to make it easier to fire federal employees. In August, a federal judge ruled most provisions of the Executive Orders to be improper because they infringed upon existing labor laws passed by Congress. The government's appeal of the ruling is not a surprise and the outcome of this appeal is likely to eventually head to the Supreme Court. This appeals process is expected to carry over into 2019.
A recent online survey of FEA members revealed that, by a huge margin, Association members feel that DoDEA as a whole is heading in the wrong direction. See the survey results here.
DODEA HEADING IN WRONG DIRECTION
Hatch Act InformationVisit this page to learn more about the Hatch Act and find examples of activities allowed and prohibited under the law.
Hatch Act Do's and Don'ts
FEA HCR Newsletter and other HCR InfoView the latest issue of The Advocate, the monthly newsletter of FEA's Human and Civil Rights Program, and find other resources by clicking here.
FEA Social MediaFEA members (and anyone else) can follow FEA on Facebook and Twitter. We remind members these are public forums and should not be used to solicit or share legal advice. Members should always begin the process of seeking legal advice and services by contacting their local association representative and not share or reveal any personal information, particularly information pertaining to legal situations, on any public forum or social media site.
As always, we encourage our members to use these resources courteously and professionally.
Follow FEA on Twitter (#fededassoc)
Like FEA on Facebook
CALL ATTENTION TO PAY PROBLEMSIMPORTANT -- Do not download or forward this information while on government time or while using government equipment. Also, do not forward this information to any government email account, such as DoDEA Outlook mail.
Under guidance from the FEA Board of Directors, FEA Europe General Counsel/UniServ Bill Freeman has developed a letter writing campaign, aimed at bringing the numerous pay and collection issues DoDEA employees face to the attention of Congress and Pentagon leaders. Please use the link below to access information from Bill Freeman and share your stories/concerns with the decision makers suggested by Bill. Please avoid doing so, however, while on government property, while using government owned computer equipment, or while on government time.
Click here to learn more about writing decision makers in an effort to raise awareness of pay problems
Teaching Channel: Videos that Inspire TeachingThe Teaching Channel website offers a growing library of short videos to inspire K-12 teaching. These video lessons - in English language arts, math, science, and history/social sciences - include lesson objectives, questions to consider, homework ideas, and more.
Free registration provides access to:
- Highlights of skilled teachers teaching a lesson, such as Kick Me: Making Vocabulary Interactive
- Tips and tricks for new teachers, such as Attention Getting Signals: One Spot and Planning Full Days & Practicing Fast Facts
- Featured "Amazing Classrooms," such as Building Community in a Multi-Language Classroom
See the Welcome to Teaching Channel video.
Updates for our MembersRead the FEA President's Report and link to other updates for FEA members here.