Open Letter to the DoDEA Director
March 23, 2018
Mr. Tom Brady
Department of Defense Education Activity
I am writing as a representative of the certified employees in DoDEA Americas schools to ask whether you are aware of and in support of the actions of your Labor Management and Employee Relations staff when they threaten to unilaterally impose a "contract" of their own creation on certified employees?
As you know, your agency and the Federal Education Association-Stateside Region (FEA-SR) have been engaged in renegotiating a contract for certified employees of DoDEA Americas (formerly DDESS) schools for a number of years.
In February, negotiators from your LMER office suddenly and inexplicably informed FEA-SR that DoDEA was walking away from the negotiations -- despite the fact the two sides were currently in mediation on a number of issues -- and threatened to implement DoDEA's version of a "contract" on certified employees. Such a "contract," I need hardly point out to you, would be completely invalid and illegitimate, as it would have neither the input nor the approval of the bargaining unit it is to cover. Furthermore, the implementation of any changes in working conditions under such a "contract" would be illegal.
Do you condone such tactics by your LMER staff? If not, please inform me (so I can share with our bargaining unit members) what corrective actions have been taken against your LMER staff for abandoning their assigned duties as negotiators and, in particular, for threatening to unilaterally and illegally implement a bogus "contract" without employee consent? Knowing the importance you place on accountability, I am sure such actions taken without your consent would be dealt with immediately.
If, on the other hand, you DO approve of the actions of your LMER staff, please explain to myself and the employees I represent why you think they deserve to be treated so dismissively? Is it merely a coincidence that your department's actions took place at the same time Betsy DeVos's Department of Education is trying to foist a similarly unilateral "contract" on the employees of that agency? If this is the type of treatment DoDEA employees can expect to receive in the coming years, we would appreciate your telling us directly, rather than through your staff.
As you are fond of saying when our organization has raised issues of employee dissatisfaction in the past, individuals can always make "an adult decision" if they are dissatisfied and want to make a change. I am asking you now for your "adult decision" in regards to the attitude of your LMER staff and their proposed treatment for hundreds of individuals in your employ (and whom I have the honor of representing): Will you allow this threat of imposing an illegitimate "contract" on your employees to stand? Or, instead, will you stand for your employees' rights to see a new contract properly bargained and implemented?
Thank you in advance, on behalf of the members of FEA-SR's DoDEA Americas bargaining unit, for your response to these questions.
FEA Director for DDESS