January 14 2009 FEA Europe Report

1. Happy New Year
2. Staffing Documents
3. News and Information
4. Legal Notes
5. FEA Structure
6. FEA BOD Teleconference
7. HCR Training Held
8. NEA Mid-Atlantic Training
9. NEA Website
10. Pay Inquiries/CSR's
11. Customer Satisfaction Survey
12. Open Season Extension
13. Area JCC
14. Updating Mailing Lists

1. Happy New Year - Since this is my first Update of 2009, let me wish you all the very best in this new year. This is a lengthy Update - I hope the information will be useful to you.

2. Staffing Documents - Staffing Documents for SY 09/10 should be released shortly to the schools. FRS's should review these with their principals. If there are questions concerning staffing or excessing, please contact your District Rep and/or Area Director.

3. News and Information - Staffing Documents, excesses, placements, transfers, etc. always generate lots of information and rumors which are sometimes not correct. FEA makes every effort to get information out to our membership as soon as it is confirmed and/or official. We want to keep our members informed with the latest and most accurate information. I know many members are eagerly awaiting information on the Transfer Program. Transfer information will also be posted on the FEA website as soon as it is available. FEA's "Tips for Transfers" will be available for members.

4. Legal Notes - Please remember to file a Step 3 elevation form for any grievances that you would like to elevate to DoDDS-E for a response. It is the grievant's responsibility to request elevation, not the principal's. Under the contract, the grievant is entitled to receive confirmation from the principal that the grievance has been elevated to DoDDS-E as requested. So, it is a good idea to ask for a copy of the confirmation for your records. (See Article 12 of the Negotiated Agreement for the Grievance Procedure.)

Also, If you have filed and elevated a grievance, and it has been resolved, please let your UniServ Attorney know that the grievance has been resolved so that it can be removed from their grievance log. This pertains to Pay Grievances as well.

5. FEA Structure - At this mid point in the year, it is a good time to review the FEA Structure. The FEA pocket calendar contains a wealth of information about your organization. You will find the FEA leaders, their contact information as well as a pay organizer, salary schedule, important regulations, upcoming school calendar dates and what to do in cases of child abuse and your right to representation. Below is an outline of our organizational structure.
  • Faculty Representative Spokesperson (FRS)- The FRS is your first and most important contact. If you have a concern that needs to be elevated, please go through your FRS.
  • District Representative -- The district representative works with the district superintendent and your FRS. When needed, the district rep elevates issues to the European Area Directors.
  • European Area Directors -- The European Area Directors, John Luchtman and Chuck McCarter, work with Ms. Ohman, Director, DoDDS Europe. The Area Directors work very closely with our UniServs, Jan & Bill Freeman and Sequitta Banks. Unlike stateside organizations, FEA UniServs are attorneys.
  • FEA Washington Headquarters and FEA Board of Directors --The FEA President, Michael Priser, works with the DoDEA Director, Dr. Miles. Michael is lucky to have an experienced staff in Washington. The Executive Director/General Counsel is H.T. Nguyen. The board is made up of the FEA president, Vice-President (Betty Lou Cummins), Secretary/Treasurer (Brian Chance), NEA Director for FEA (Trudy Pollard), Human and Civil Rights Coordinator (Wanda Beatty), the Europe Area Directors, the Pacific Area Director, and the FEA Director for DDESS.

6. FEA BOD Teleconference - The FEA BOD "met" on Saturday, via a teleconference call. We had a good discussion about the issues facing Europe, the Pacific and DDESS. Obviously, among the chief topics were the concerns about the changes (and resulting delays) in technology support and services, the lack of a working Excent program for our SPED educators, and the organizational changes in DoDEA. The President and the Area Directors will be addressing these issues at our levels and will get information out to the membership as soon as it is available.

7. HCR Training Held - On Saturday, I was also able to participate in an excellent training session in Wiesbaden organized by Linda Callendar, FEA Human and Civil Rights Coordinator for Europe. This was a very productive meeting, which included an informative EEO presentation from the DoDDS-E EEO team - thanks to all who participated and to those who presented.

8. NEA Mid-Atlantic Training - Next week I will be attending NEA training in Charlotte, NC, along with 6 other members and leaders from FEA Europe. This leadership training is one of the valuable training opportunities provide for FEA by the NEA. Please excuse any delay in responding to your emails while I am traveling.

9. NEA Website - If you haven't visited the NEA website recently, be sure to check out the newly redesigned offers lots of resources. Considering the COOOLD weather some of our schools are facing, the "Four Lessons for Frosty Days" might be of interest to you There is also a great link on the home page for "Free Stuff for Educators."

10. Pay Inquiries/CSR's - As of 4 January the CSRs as listed below, will support the districts on payroll matters (T&A, EDC, AVID, pay inquiries, etc.):
Bavaria -- Ron Osewalt, 49-6221-677327, located at the Heidelberg DSO
Heidelberg - Ron Osewalt, 49-6221-677327, located at the Heidelberg DSO
Isles - Cathy Gillikin, 49-631-536-7013, DSN 489-7013, located at the Kaiserslautern DSO
Kaiserslautern - Cathy Gillikin, 49-631-536-7013, DSN 489-7013, located at the Kaiserslautern DSO
Mediterranean -- Katyna Sampson, 39-0444-71-8502, DSN 634-8502, located at Mediterranean District DSO

11. Customer Satisfaction Survey - Administrators have been encouraged to increase parent and student participation in the DoDEA Customer Satisfaction Survey. DoDEA leaders have assured FEA and participants that the survey is voluntary. Schools must provide the opportunity to participate, but the survey is voluntary. Please work with your FRS if you have concerns.

A survey will be conducted for DoDEA employees according to DoDEA HQ. It is scheduled for 1-31 March, 2009. Yes, it will be voluntary as well.

12. Open Season Extension - Please remember, Open Season for the FEHB programs is extended up until the end of this month. Because an FEHB enrollment change could affect decisions regarding enrollment in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) and the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS), eligible enrollees also may continue to make enrollment choices for these programs through January 2009, using Open Season websites, call centers or via agency human resources departments. (See the attachment for further information about the changes.) This is an important decision so make sure you review the various plans carefully.

13. Area JCC - The next Area level JCC meeting will be Tuesday, January 20th. We will distribute the minutes as soon as possible after the meeting.

14. Updating Mailing Lists - Please keep John and me informed if we need to make changes in our mailing lists for these Updates.

Here's hoping 2009 is off to a good start for you. Thanks for all you do,

Chuck McCarter
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel/Fax: 0611-44756234 or
0611-44756131 or DSN 337-6251