Management's Contract Will Hurt, Not Help, Learning in DoDEA
DoDEA Director Tom Brady
On September 11, unless they are convinced to stop their plans, the management of DoDEA schools will ask the Federal Services Impasses Panel (FSIP) to impose a harmful contract on employees of its Stateside schools. All indications are the Trump-appointed members of the FSIP will agree to DoDEA's request.
Under the contract it wishes to force upon workers, DoDEA management will eliminate guaranteed amounts of planning time for educators to prepare lessons and classwork. Despite the fact employees already work an average of 17 hours per week outside the duty day working to complete their assigned duties, the forced contract will also extend the duty day (without additional pay) and require the added hour each day to be used for mandated "trainings" instead of for student learning or more prep time for educators. DoDEA’s plan will cause disruptions to student activities before and after school and could make it harder for employees to serve as coaches and advisors in such activities.
DoDEA also intends to impose similar working conditions on its overseas schools in the months ahead and will use the same agency to do so unless stakeholders concerned about the quality of DOD schools tell the DoDEA Director to halt this effort before the September 11 deadline.
DoDEA is an excellent school system. While there is always room for improvement, forcing a contract on employees – particularly one that will hurt, rather than help, the learning environment – is a serious mistake by DoDEA management. They must be told to stop their plan before the FSIP takes control of the process on September 11.
Scan down to view and sign our petition to DoDEA Director Tom Brady, pointing out the harm his agency's forced contract will do to the learning environment. Call upon him to withdraw his agency's request to the FSIP so a contract can be negotiated that won't make it harder for educators to do their job. Fill out your contact info where it says "Sign This Petition" and click to add your name. If you wish, you can add any comments you'd like to make to Mr. Brady in the "Comments" box and they will appear on the petition signature form next to your name. FEA will send the petition and all signature we collect to Mr. Brady prior to the September 11 deadline with the FSIP.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU:
· Management’s imposed contract will extend the workday by an hour or more each day with no additional compensation for employees. Worse still, the extra time will be mandated for poorly planned and ineffective management-directed trainings instead of for useful lesson planning or teaching time to boost education. This change will disrupt student activities before and after school and make it more difficult for staff to serve as advisors/coaches due to a lack of time.
· Management’s imposed contract will force educators to lose the current guarantee they have of at least 225 minutes per week of planning time, which is used to develop lesson plans (including those for use by subs), prepare classroom materials, grade assignments and work with students needing extra assistance. Instead, management could require employees to attend meetings or assign them random duties during the time that should be used for planning.
· Management’s imposed contract will no longer guarantee educators release time when they are reassigned to a new classroom or subject level. Instead, authority to take release time – which is used by educators for things like moving into and setting up a new classroom or preparing to teach a subject or curriculum they are suddenly reassigned to teach – would be solely at the discretion of administrators, who often have minimal classroom experience.
· Management’s imposed contract will provide no additional compensation to employees if additional workdays were assigned to make up for cancelled instructional days due to inclement weather. Make up days could be scheduled during holiday or spring breaks, disrupting plans of students’ families.
· Management’s imposed contract will eliminate the current 3 percent raise and tie increases to the GS schedule for the first five years, possibly resulting in a pay freeze. Beyond the first five years, educators would receive no increases at all unless a new contract that included a salary increase was agreed upon. Satisfaction levels among DoDEA employees, already among the lowest in the federal government, will sink even lower. As we often say: "Educators’ working conditions are students’ learning conditions!"
DoDEA Director Tom Brady
From: [Your Name]
As a DoDEA stakeholder, I am greatly concerned that the negative contract you are working to impose on your Stateside schools will do serious harm to the education environment.
DoDEA employees already work many hours outside the duty day, planning and grading assignments and taking care of other duties they simply don’t have time to complete while at school – often because of other assignments given to them by management.
The contract you want to force on your workers will simultaneously require them to work longer hours while actually eliminating guarantees of a minimal amount of planning time during the duty day. You are making it harder, not easier, for your employees to accomplish their most important task: educating students.
I urge you to stop this effort. Withdraw your request to the Federal Services Impasses Panel, stop trying to impose this harmful contract on your schools, and complete the work of negotiating a decent contract that protects – not ruins – the quality education environment that has long made DoDEA schools such an excellent system.
The choice is yours to make. DoDEA does not need to be “fixed”. It needs to be protected from the harmful and unnecessary changes your agency is trying to impose.