October 11, 2020
The following statement to FEA members comes solely from H.T. Nguyen, who retired from FEA after 35 years of service to the Association and its members, including over 20 years as Executive Director/General Counsel:
I am writing to you all out of my deep sense of loyalty and obligation to the Association members I served for 35 years. I wish to make clear I am doing so voluntarily, having received no compensation from FEA or anyone else for expressing my opinion.
I write to urge all FEA members in Europe, Cuba and the Pacific to vote “NO” on DoDEA’s proposed tentative agreement for the Overseas bargaining unit.
DoDEA’s proposal is based upon the very harmful and negative contract provisions adopted by the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP) when it ruled last month on disputed Articles in the negotiation of a successor contract for the Overseas unit.
As outlined in the document FEA posted this week (read that document here), there are many harmful changes to employees’ rights and benefits contained with DoDEA’s proposal: employees could be told to work beyond the normal workday with no added compensation; LQA and travel rights would be severely restricted; employee rights when faced with adverse actions would be limited; prep time would no longer be guaranteed; collections against false debt collections would be weakened; pay for graduate credits would be limited; Official Time for your elected Association representatives to protect your rights would be slashed. I could go on and on!
DoDEA’s proposed agreement, based on the ruling of the most anti-worker FSIP I experienced in my decades of labor law, contains nothing to improve working and learning conditions in our schools. Instead, it seeks to punish and degrade the very employees who make our schools so great!
If the Overseas members vote to approve DoDEA’s proposed agreement, you will be helping them to slash your rights and benefits and endorsing the hurtful treatment directed at employees by DoDEA management in recent years.
If, however, DoDEA’s proposal is voted down by Overseas members, DoDEA will be required by the contract bargaining ground rules to return to the table for 30 additional days of negotiations with FEA’s bargaining team. Whatever the results of that additional bargaining time, by strongly rejecting DoDEA’s proposal at this time, employees will have sent a strong message that you are not happy with the treatment you are receiving from management and you demand better.
In the days ahead, FEA will be sending Overseas members details on how the voting process will be carried out. Be aware, the negotiation ground rules allow only a brief time for the ratification vote to take place, so don’t delay once you receive the invite to vote. I urge all FEA Members in the Pacific, Cuba and Europe to watch for that information on the ratification vote. When you receive your invitation to vote, do so! Make your voice and your dissatisfaction with DoDEA heard loudly and overwhelmingly.
Vote NO on DoDEA’s proposed tentative agreement!
As always, I wish you all well and express my great appreciation and respect for the incredible work you do every day.
Yours in continued solidarity,