STAFFING UPDATE -- MARCH 12, 2014
In my February newsletter I informed you that there were staffing changes proposed by DODEA HQ that would impact the elementary school specialists (Art, Music and Physical Education). I had mentioned that despite attempts by the Association, as well as administrators and leadership at Peachtree City to educate DODEA HQ, they seemed determined to go forward with unnecessary and harmful cuts. Your superintendents and school administrators, as well as leadership at the Area leave (Peachtree City) have been working very hard in an attempt to educate and propose to DODEA HQ the need for staffing to be reconsidered [reclamas] in these areas as well as select others. We have just received word that some of these reclamas were accepted and others were not. Peachtree City has said they still have additional reclamas pending DoDEA approval. Unfortunately as a result of the changes to staffing positions, as well as reduction in student enrollment, we are facing potential cuts in positions in our schools for both certified and classified employees … a potential Reduction in Force (RIF).
In the event of even a potential RIF, the Agency is obligated by law to notify the bargaining unit members via a general notice that indicates who may be impacted. These general notices are currently being forwarded to the districts and your local president will receive a copy as well; however keep in mind that the Agency is just starting to review the requests for VERA/VSIP and once those are offered to, and been accepted by employees, we will have a clearer picture of the impact on staff. Another variable is that there may be people who have yet to submit their plans for retirement. Once they have done so, the Agency can look at those vacated positions to determine using them for placement of impacted employees. In the meantime the Agency is reviewing personnel data, and any employee identified as being potentially impacted will be asked to review their data for accuracy. Once the Agency has made the difficult decision in identifying those employees who will have no position for SY 14, they will notify those employees and provide information and guidance about the procedures to be completed and the services provided to ease what will understandably be a very difficult and emotional transition.
I have just forwarded the updated staffing documents received today, March 12th, to each district local president. It is important to note that these documents are not final. Peachtree City has said they have additional reclamas pending DoDEA approval. Additionally the districts will be making changes in order to align staffing to best support the schools. I am confident that our leadership at Peachtree City is doing everything they can to preserve the human resources necessary for providing our students and their parents the education they have come to expect and deserve.
I will continue to work closely with Peachtree City and your local presidents to ensure that everything that can and should be done for our staff during this time is done in a compassionate and professional manner.