September 16, 2019

FEA-Stateside Region last week went before a neutral arbitrator to present its case that DoDEA illegally and unilaterally implemented an unsigned contract on the Stateside Certified bargaining unit. As relief, FEA-SR asked the arbitrator to order management to comply with the signed Master Labor Agreement that has been in place since 2005 until the parties complete bargaining and properly execute a new agreement. Additionally, FEA-SR requested the arbitrator order management make employees financially whole for the various illegally implemented changes to pay, hours work, and leave.

The hearing took place September 11 and 12 at DoDEA headquarters. DoDEA representatives presented the agency’s case to the arbitrator in an effort to justify management’s actions.

The arbitration hearing encompassed the entire illegal implementation last school year of a contested and unsigned successor Master Labor Agreement that, among other harmful and unlawful acts, has seen management require employees to work additional hours each quarter with no added compensation.

DoDEA management, ignoring a lawful challenge from FEA-Stateside, rushed to implement a successor agreement soon after the White House-appointed Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP) voted late in 2018 to impose nearly all management terms in a new agreement. That successor agreement has never been signed by FEA-Stateside Region and, in fact, a final draft of the full agreement DoDEA illegally implemented was not even provided to FEA-Stateside until several months after DoDEA unilaterally imposed it.

FEA-Stateside Region and DoDEA have established a tentative schedule for submitting their briefs to the arbitrator and a decision will come sometime afterwards. It is likely to be several months before the arbitrator issues his ruling. FEA-SR will keep members informed as the process moves forward.