Hurtful Management Proposals Left Out of 2019 NDAA
posted August 6, 2018
Many members have asked what, if anything, they can do in response to the news of DoDEA trying to use the FSIP to impose new contracts on employees. Writing to the FSIP would be neither appropriate nor effective, since it is a politically appointed body answerable only to the President. We are working on some ideas for what members and the public can do to voice their displeasure and show support for educators and the negotiations process. We'll be putting forth ideas in the weeks ahead. And, of course, we'd love to hear your ideas as well.
Meanwhile, however, we do have some good news to celebrate. The Senate, last week, passed its final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and it DID NOT include any part of DoDEA management's requested language to gut employee rights and protections.
You'll remember, last spring, DoDEA asked the Armed Services Committees of both the House and Senate to include legislation it had drafted in the 2019 NDAA. DoDEA's language, claiming to be about an effort to merge Overseas and Stateside schools in the name of efficiency, was in reality a thinly disguised attack on its employees. The legislation sought to take away even the most basic rights and protections all federal employees currently have under Title 5 of U.S. Code and give the DoDEA Director (acting under authority granted to the Secretary of Defense) virtually unlimited power over his employees. The legislation would have gutted all meaningful bargaining rights and due process, among other hurtful changes.
After a Herculean effort by NEA's Government Relations staff to educate lawmakers about the true nature of this proposal and an incredible letter writing effort by FEA and NEA members -- over 25,000 emails were sent to Congress on our behalf! -- neither house of Congress adopted DoDEA's language in their version of the NDAA.
Whether this defeat had anything to do with DoDEA's decision to seek FSIP approval for ramming through negative new contacts, we can't say, but it is important to note that, when we are given a fair playing field, we can and will achieve important things for our members and our schools.
Again, this effort to circumvent the negotiations process and use the FSIP to impose new contracts is a different fight entirely, but let's celebrate this win in the NDAA fight and use it to inspire us all to keep fighting, regardless the odds!