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Overseas Bargaining Update #1

posted June 29, 2019

MANAGEMENT WANTS TO ELIMINATE DUE PROCESS, JUST CAUSE PROTECTIONS

DoDEA seeks unilateral and uncontested authority to discipline or remove Overseas employees with no need for the Agency to prove just cause and no due-process right of appeal or review for those employees.

That, so far, is the most shocking and harmful of many negative changes management has proposed as part of the current bargaining of a new contract for Overseas bargaining unit members.

FEA knew DoDEA sought to severely limit grievance and appeals rights. But the full extent of their harmful proposal only became evident this week, as FEA's lawyers met with DoDEA's Labor/Management staff in face-to-face bargaining.

DoDEA seeks to gut the current Article 12 of the Overseas Contract (read the contract here), eliminating ALL meaningful grievance rights for Overseas employees and drastically reducing the standard management must meet in order to justify discipline or removals.

Instead of having to prove "just cause", as is now required, DoDEA believes it should be allowed to conduct any action it wishes if it can claim such moves will improve the "efficiency" of the service.

If enacted, DoDEA's policy would be a return to the "spoils" system, whereby the present management could arbitrarily remove anyone at anytime, to be replaced by the friends of management, regardless the ability of either person to perform the job.

How can DoDEA management possibly believe it will be able to recruit and retain quality employees to work halfway across the world in such an environment? If enacted, such a system would be the end of DoDEA as a world-class school system.

Taken as a whole, management's proposals clearly are not about what is best for students or educators, but about taking away protections and rights from employees and silencing their voice.

It should go without saying that FEA opposes this proposal in the strongest terms. Employees must be giving the due process, grievance and appeals rights that federal law grants them.

The goal of DoDEA's bargaining team appears to be to precipitate an impasse situation, so that the agency can appeal to the Federal Service Impasses Panel, where DoDEA is confident even its most illegal and hateful proposals will be imposed as part of a new contract.

As reported previously, the fact DoDEA has demanded bargaining on the Overseas contract begin over the summer, when bargaining unit members are on leave and unable to participate in the sessions, is indicative of the Agency's anti-employee attitude.

FEA will continue to seek true bargaining of a decent Overseas contract. If DoDEA does seek to impose a harmful and blatantly illegal contract via the FSIP, we will fight such moves through the courts, through Congress and through any other avenues available to us.

We urge all FEA members to write Congress by going to this site. BE SURE TO ONLY DO SO WHILE YOU ARE OFF DUTY, OFF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY AND NOT USING A GOVERNMENT COMPUTER OR OTHER EQUIPMENT.

FEA will continue to issue updates on the bargaining process as it continues, particularly to highlight specific harmful provisions by management.