March 2013 FEA Stateside Update
Furlough: We are still in a holding pattern as to the potential furlough. I have kept your local president updated with any new information I have received, but there really isn't much where I can answer all your questions definitively. Any plans that may be rumored out in the field are most likely those district plans that were required to be sent to the Area Service Center in Peachtree City in the event of a furlough. We have received the Area's draft plan for furlough and are being provided the opportunity to bargain the impact and implementation of the proposed plan. Ms. Fitzgerald, the DODEA Director, was very open to our concerns about a ‘rotating' furlough and her message sent to the AREA office did not include this idea [of rotation] in the planning guidelines. Someone asked "Do we have any rights in this situation?" The answer is absolutely. Be assured we are working diligently to protect our members' rights under each unit's respective contract. In the meantime, the Director is working with her superiors to decrease the number of potential furlough days for school level employees.
What About …? Pay, unemployment eligibility, TSP impact, and many other questions are waiting to be answered once we have a better understanding of the number of days and the plan if a furlough is indeed put into play.
VERA/VSIP: The date to submit an application has been extended through Monday, March 11th. Many of our support professionals wonder why they are not included. OPM and Congress must give the authority to conduct a VERA/VSIP (because they authorize the money). In this case, DODEA determined that due to the closing of bases and schools in Europe, there is the potential to have more teachers than teaching positions throughout DODEA…. an excess of teachers. DODEA studied the impact and sent the request for the authority to offer the VERA/VSIP to teachers to avoid a potential RIF. They are including DDESS educators because positions available if a DDESS teacher takes a VERA/VSIP could be used for interested DoDDS teachers who would choose to move back to the states and continue their teaching career in DDESS. Because there is not an excess of classified professionals, there was no justification to request a VERA/VSIP for the classified group. The VERA/VSIP is all about balancing the number of spaces for the number of faces in the organization.