Update to FEA-SR Members: Certified Contract Threat

TO: FEA Stateside Region Bargaining Unit Members
FROM: Jane Loggins, FEA Director for DDESS
RE: Management Threatens Bogus "Contract" Implementation
DATE: March 23, 2018

DoDEA management, under the direction of DoDEA Director Tom Brady, is threatening to circumvent the collective bargaining process and impose a "contract" of its own design on stateside teachers and certified employees.

If they illegally implement the bogus "contract," DoDEA could attempt to lengthen the duty day, block scheduled pay raises and impose other harmful provisions on workers.

FEA-SR is prepared to fight any such illegal implementation through all available legal channels.

The move seems patterned after a similar power grab being attempted by Betsy DeVos, who is seeking to impose a "contract" on Department of Education employees that has not been approved by workers or their chosen negotiators. You can read about that attempt at this link.

FEA-SR finds it upsetting that DoDEA Director Brady seems to be modeling his agency's labor practices after Betsy DeVos. I have written an open letter to the DoDEA Director, asking him to respond to management's threat of illegal implementation. I would encourage you to view that public letter here. Hopefully, he will see fit to answer this letter and let his employees know where he stands on this threat of illegally implementing a bogus "contract" instead of participating in meaningful bargaining.

FEA-SR and DoDEA Americas management have been negotiating a new contract for certified employees in Stateside schools for a number of years. The scope and complexity of the contract has made the process slow going but, until management's recent action, progress was being made. The two sides were in mediation over several remaining contract issues when management informed FEA-SR earlier this year that it was suddenly walking away from the bargaining table and made the threat to unilaterally implement changes in working conditions under a "contract" of its own design.

Despite warnings from FEA-SR and its obligation to bargain faithfully, DoDEA could implement illegal changes in working conditions, such as its desire to lengthen the duty day without additional compensation and to eliminate currently scheduled pay raises. If that were to happen, FEA-SR would immediately pursue legal action seeking to return things to the status quo and to make all affected employees whole, including any back pay they were entitled to. FEA-SR is confident we would prevail in such a legal fight, although the fight would take time to resolve.

The right to bargain a contract that is mutually agreeable to both sides is a central tenet of good labor-management relations and one that federal workers fought long and hard to obtain. We will not surrender this right to management.

We will continue to update members as this situation develops and, if necessary, may ask our members to take action authorized by law to make their displeasure known directly to DoDEA Director Brady.

Thank you, as always, for your membership in and support of your Professional Association. Our unity is our strength, and that strength will be needed in the fight ahead.