May 2018 FEA Stateside Newsletter



Possible RIF -- After reviewing staffing documents and speaking with local presidents it appears that DoDEA should have prepared for a RIF in DDESS/Americas. This year the agency did not offer VSIP. The agency only offered a VERA as an incentive for early retirement. Dr. Judy Minor informed the union that the agency would not use Reduction in Force procedures but would use "workforce shaping strategies and tools to eliminate the need for a RIF." The agency never informed the union on what these strategies or tools would be. Now, as schools come to a close, many of our bargaining unit members do not know what their duty assignments will be for next year. FEA SR is very concerned that VERA/VSIP was not offered and that the agency may be in violation of RIF procedures in the MLA. If the agency has not followed proper procedure and law we will take all actions necessary to protect our rights under the MLA and as federal employees.

SF 50 -- FEA SR would like each bargaining unit member to make sure that you have a current copy of your SF 50. Please review this document to make sure information, such as service computation date, position title, tenure and veterans preference for RIF status are correct. If the agency, at any time, plans to run a RIF having a correct SF 50 is crucial.

Spring Area Council -- FEA SR Area Council was held in Arlington, VA on April 20-21. We enjoyed time Saturday morning with our special guest, Becky Pringle, NEA Vice President. Becky motivated us all with her inspiring words! Also with us was Heather Valentine NEA Government relations and our entire FEA family. Ron James, Chief of LMER at DoDEA HQ and Dr. Christy Huddleston, Americas SE District Superintendent were with us on Friday. Mr. James and Dr. Huddleston discussed issues and concerns including an agency threat to unify DDESS and DODDS. Dr. Judy Minor, Associate Director for Assessment and Accountability and Director for Student Excellence in DoDEA Americas did not attend the spring council. For more on FEA SR Area Council and the treat to unify our system and strip our rights click here.

K-5 ELA -- DoDEA will implement a new K-5 ELA curriculum, Benchmark Advance in the fall. FEA SR has been in discussion over a training module for teachers to access this summer. At this time we have not reached an agreement on this online training module for K-5 educators.

Red for Respect -- As you may have heard DoDEA wants to dismiss the unions and educators by trying to strip our rights under the MLA and our rights as federal employees. April 30th educators in the FEA SR bargaining units are being asked to wear red. Wearing red shows strength and solidarity. We will continue wearing Red for Respect each Monday. We must stand together. Our educators are the heart and lifeblood of our schools. DoDEA students are successful because of what educators do in our schools each day. We provide more than instruction, we establish learning environments that challenge students to think, create and evaluate the world they live in. Our students are the future. DoDEA students are well prepared to meet any challenge thanks to our educators. West Point Educators wear Red for Respect on Facebook

Know Your Rights -- MLA - Article 9 Section 2--Leave -- Tape Recordings

The Parties agree that during any private conversation or meeting, attended by DDESS management official(s) and bargaining unit member(s) that no voice or tape recording will be made without the assent of all present.

MLA Certified -The MLA remains in full force and effect until a new agreement is legally implemented. An update about the status of contract bargaining can be found here.