January 19 2011 FEA Europe Report1. Area Directors' Travels
2. Staffing Documents
3. Transfer Information
5. Early Notice Award
6. Please Report Vacancies
7. Social Security Taxes
8. Mileage Rate
9. CTE Certification Vouchers
10. Corrected Retirement and HR Information
11. Local Delegates
12. Debt Letters
13. Area JCC Notes
14. Dates to Remember
1. Area Directors' Travels - Alex is traveling again. He is in Baumholder today and tomorrow so I am doing the Update again this week.
2. Staffing Documents -- We are still waiting for the staffing documents for SY 11/12. We will let FRS's know as soon as they are released. FRS's should then work with the principal on how the new documents will impact the staffing for your school.
3. Transfer Information -- We are also still waiting for news of the transfer program and will forward it as soon as it is released. Please remember that the best, most accurate information regarding the transfer program is on the FEA website. You will need your membership number to access some portions of the website, including our "Tips for Transfers."
4. VERA - Ms. Fitzgerald has approved our requests to offer VERA to professional educators in our Areas for a maximum of 200 positions. For DoDDS-Europe, up to 70 educators' requests for VERA can be approved. If other Areas have unused authorizations, DoDEA may reprogram them to meet needs in Europe. (See attached file) Note: the deadline is January 25, 2011.
To assist with expediting requests for retirement estimates, all requests should be sent to Benefits@hq.dodea.edu.
5. Early Notice Award -- At FEA request, the deadline for the Early Notice Award has been extended to January 25, 2011, to coincide with the VERA announcement. Educators who are planning on leaving DoDEA at the end of the current school year must submit notification of their intent to leave by the deadline to receive this award. DoDEA will issue an Early Notice Award of $1,000.00, along with an inscribed paperweight and certificate to educators who submit notification to their administrator, and a Request for Personnel Action (RPA) by the January 25 deadline.
Voluntary separation by either resignation or retirement must be effective at the end of the school year or during the summer recess period.
6. Please Report Vacancies - In order for the transfer program to function at its best, we need to insure that all vacancies are reported. Once staffing documents are released, and the FRS has met with the principal concerning staffing for SY 11/12, FRS's should notify their District Rep of any vacancies which should be available for District Placement and the Transfer Round. Remember, official paperwork must be filed before a retirement or resignation can be considered a vacancy for the transfer program. Each year, by reporting these vacancies to us, our FRS's help us to insure that as many vacancies as possible are included in the transfer program.
7. Social Security Taxes -- This is for all employees covered under the Civil Service Retirement System - Offset (CSRS-Offset) and the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS) and employees subject only to FICA contributions.
The ''Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010'' provides that during 2011 the Social Security employee tax rate will be temporarily decreased from 6.2% to 4.2%. As a result, CSRS-offset and FERS employees, as well as employees subject to only FICA contributions will see their payroll deductions decrease by 2% up to the 2011 Social Security maximum taxable income of $106,800 (unchanged from 2010). There will be no deduction change based on this Act for CSRS employees.
The temporary reduction in the Social Security tax rate will not affect the employee retirement contribution rates for employees under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), CSRS-offset, or the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS).
For further information or questions, contact your HR representative.
8. Mileage Rate - The General Services Administration has increased the mileage reimbursement rate for federal employees using their own cars for official business to 51 cents per mile, up from 50 cents per mile in 2010. This change took effect January 1, 2011.
9. CTE Certification Vouchers - There has been a last minute change this quarter in the way that some CTE vouchers are being issued. As a result, some students are being denied the opportunity to take these industry standard examinations. If your students have been denied this experience and you feel they should have the opportunity, please send the name of the class and the number of students (not the names of the students) to Anita Lang (on Outlook) as soon as possible. No one knows their students or their curriculum better than teachers and teachers need input into these decisions.
10. Corrected Retirement and HR Information -- Please note, for all districts, retirement questions go directly to Laura Miedema -- 338-7537. Thanks to Terese Sarno for that update. For the Isles District, Rebecca Heinrichs is now lead HR representative (338-7373). Thanks to Lisa Ali for that note.
11. Local Delegates -- Local Associations can send delegates to the FEA Annual Meeting and the NEA RA. If you are interested in attending, please contact your local officers. If locals have questions, please contact your District Rep or Area Director. Names should be sent into FEA Washington by early April. Ballots for "state" (district) delegates are being mailed now to your FRS.
12. Debt Letters -- Unfortunately, the avalanche of Debt Letters continues to pile up. I have been contacted in the last week about 8 of them, ranging from $1,000 to $27,000. Bill Freeman, our UniServ attorney for pay issues, has received many more. If you receive such a letter, please use the FEA form to immediately invoke your rights.
13. Area JCC Notes -- Notes from our January meeting are attached. (Since this meeting was held, VERA has been approved. See Item #4 of this Update.)
14. Dates to Remember -
January 25 -- Deadline for VERA applications and Early Notice Awards
February 4 -- Area JCC
March 2 -- Read Across America
April 30 -- FEA Europe Association Day, Wiesbaden
May 1 -- Teacher Appreciation Week begins
Thanks for all you do,
FEA Europe Area Director
0611-44756131 or DSN 335-5373/69