posted September 10, 2020

The Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP), this week, handed down a partial decision on the many proposals for which the parties have not reached agreement in negotiations on a successor Negotiated Agreement for FEA’s Overseas bargaining unit.

FEA is reviewing the FSIP’s decision and will provide members with analysis and specifics in the days ahead. At first glance, it appears that the FSIP adopted many of DoDEA management’s proposals but adopted only a handful of the Association’s proposals.

A few issues were left unresolved by the FSIP and will need to be resolved through additional negotiations. We therefore do not view the product that emerged from the FSIP this week as a complete tentative agreement that is ready to be presented to Overseas members for a vote on whether to ratify or reject.

The Overseas successor Negotiated Agreement went before the Impasses Panel at the request of DoDEA. FEA has previously filed an Association Grievance alleging that DoDEA did not bargain in good faith during the bargaining process. FEA also argued that the FSIP should not have asserted jurisdiction over the proposals for which the parties have not reached agreement.

Despite FEA’s objections, the FSIP earlier this year required the Association and DoDEA management to submit arguments for each party’s respective positions on the proposals for which the parties have not reached agreement following several weeks of meetings between FEA’s negotiating team and DoDEA representatives.

In most cases, the FSIP members — who are appointed by the White House — sided with DoDEA management.

Among the most harmful management proposals adopted by the FSIP include severe restrictions on LQA, language allowing management to require work outside the duty day, harmful changes regarding adverse actions against employees, elimination of guaranteed amounts of prep time, and severe restrictions on the availability and use of Official Time for duly-elected employee representatives to perform their representational duties.

FSIP did not adopt some of the other harmful changes DoDEA management sought to impose, including most (but not all) harmful changes to the grievance procedure and an effort by DoDEA management to lengthen tours of duty at all locations.

The FSIP decided that the parties had not negotiated to impasse on at least one set of proposals dealing with the length of the duty day in Overseas schools. FEA is reviewing the FSIP decision to determine whether there are outstanding bargaining items that must be negotiated or resolved prior to ratification. FEA maintains that any remaining proposals will need to be bargained and mediated before the tentative agreement is complete and ready for a ratification vote by FEA members.

Look for more information from FEA about the FSIP’s decision and the status of the ongoing Overseas contract negotiations in the days ahead.