January 13 2010 FEA Europe Update

1. Happy New Year!
2. Transfer Program
3. Staffing Documents
4. Area Director's Travel
5. Snow and Bad Weather
6. TSP and TSP Catch-Up Contributions
7. "What's Wrong with this Picture?"
8. Check Carefully
9. Mailings
10. Change of Phone Numbers
11. Mark Your Calendars

1. Happy New Year! In my first Update of the new year, let me wish you all the best in 2010. The time does seem to fly, even if we weren't always having fun this year!

2. Transfer Program - As has been announced, the Transfer Program is underway. For the latest news, and BEST information and guidance, go to

Members, please remember to send your transfer questions to Connie Shanaghan, our "Transfer Guru." Connie has been working with the transfer program for many years and is well versed in the complicated issues and questions surrounding transfers. Members who have questions can contact Connie by writing to Put "Attention: Connie" or "Transfer Question" in the subject line and copy your District Rep as well.

Connie's "Tips for Transfers" should be up on the FEA website VERY soon. You will need your membership number to log in to this portion of the website.

If you are an FEA member, we hope you will take advantage of FEA's Transfer Application Verification Service. If you mail (address below), fax (202-822-7867), or email ( a copy of your application to us, we will verify that your application is included in the Transfer Program. PLEASE SEND ONLY THE FINAL VERSION OF YOUR TRANSFER APPLICATION. The Deadline for this is March 4, 2010.
The address is…
ATTN: Transfer Verification
1201 16th Street, NW
Suite 117
Washington, DC 20036

PLEASE NOTE: submitting a copy of your application to FEA for monitoring does not mean you have applied for the Transfer Program. To participate in the Transfer Program you must submit your official transfer program application and any amendments via the DoDEA Web site. (The deadline for submission of applications to your principal is 5 p.m., Local time, February 12. Deadline for revisions is 5 p.m. EST, March 3.) Once you are sure you will make no more changes, you should then send a COPY of your FINAL application to FEA for monitoring.

3. Staffing Documents - The latest word is that staffing documents will be in the schools no later than January 22nd. When these arrive, the principal should share these with the FRS. If you have concerns or questions, please contact your District Rep.

4. Area Director's Travel - As of this writing, weather and schedule permitting, I will be visiting the schools at SHAPE and Brussels next week. As always, please forgive any delay in responding to your e-mails while I am on the road. John and I will both be scheduling more school visits in the coming months.

5. Snow and Bad Weather - Speaking of bad weather, many of our schools have had a very difficult time the past few weeks. I have included an attachment with two relevant portions of the contract.

6. TSP and TSP Catch-Up Contributions - Remember, if you have made -- or will make -- the maximum amount of regular employee TSP contributions for the year ($16,500 for 2010), you may also make catch-up contributions to your TSP account. Catch-up contributions have their own annual limit, which is $5,500 for 2010. You have to submit a new request for the Catch-up contributions for is only effective for the calendar year. For more information go to

7. "What's Wrong with this Picture?" Why was there NO teacher representative on the Task Force looking at Principal Performance Evaluation? Wouldn't you think a teacher's perspective on what makes a good principal would be important? This is unfortunately one more example of how our system devalues the input of our professional teaching members.

8. Check Carefully - Be sure to check reimbursements, etc. to be sure that the correct foreign currency was used. We have a report from yet another member in England whose reimbursement was figured for Euros when it should have been based on the rate for British Pounds!

9. Mailings - FRS's: Please watch for election materials and the latest copy of the Unity which should be mailed to you shortly. Information is also posted at

10. Change of Phone Numbers - Please note that the phone numbers for Wiesbaden MS where my office is located have changed. The new numbers are as follows: DSN: 335-5373/5369, Civilian: 0611 4080 373/369.

11. Mark Your Calendars -
Feb 20 - HCR/EEO Workshop - Heidelberg District - Linda Callender, POC
March 2 - NEA's Read Across America
March 20 - HCR/EEO Workshop - Bavaria District - Linda Callender, POC
April 24, 25 - HCR Workshop - Kaiserslautern - Linda Callender or Terese Sarno, POC's.
May 2 - 8 - Teacher Appreciation Week

I do hope that 2010 has started well for you.
Thanks for all that you do,


Chuck McCarter
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel/Fax: 0611-44756234 or
0611-4800373/0369 or DSN 335-5373