October 22 2014 FEA Europe Update

Alex's Update


1. Moving Ahead
2. Area Director's Travel
3. OPM Open Season
4. Red Ribbon Week
6. Update
7. HCR News
8. Daylight Savings Time
9. Championship Time
10. Mark Your Calendars
11. Pay Problem Package
12. Area JCC
13.Treats, Not Tricks

1. Moving Ahead -- We are now finishing the first quarter of the school year and most of us have settled in to the routines that will take us the rest of the way. While there have been some isolated problems (some serious) and concerns, so far it has generally been a good start. However, always remain vigilant. I think most of us know that it doesn't take much to turn a good year in to a bad one. Be aware of your FEA representatives, your FEA Attorneys, and that little card inside the front cover of your FEA calendar, your Weingarten Rights. Armed with these tools I feel certain that you all will continue to have a good year.

(As a former coach, I always used to think that we are now reaching the one-third mark of the year rather than the one-quarter, since fall sports were now ending and there are 3 seasons.Just a mental game to think that we are further ahead than reality!)

2. Area Directors' Travels -- At the moment, my travels are on hold. In November, however, I will be traveling to Wiesbaden for the next JCC and then on to the States for the FEA Board of Directors meeting in Washington. I will give more specific dates and contact information in my next Update.

3. Office of Personnel Management Open Season -Each year, Open Season runs from the Monday of the second full workweek in November through the Monday of the second full workweek in December. This year, Open Season runs from November 10, 2014 through December 8, 2014.This is an opportunity to change insurance plans and to elect other Federal benefits, such as the flexible savings accounts. While it is still a while away it doesn't hurt to start thinking about this now since the Open Season coincides with one of the busiest times of the year. For further information, click here. (You may remember that this was in my last Update. And it will be again! Don't want anyone to miss these dates if they are contemplating a change.)

4. Red Ribbon Week -- As mentioned before, Red Ribbon Week is scheduled for October 23 through October 31. See here for more information.

5. FSAFEDS - You MUST re-enroll in FSAFEDS each year to continue your participation. As mentioned above the Federal Benefits Open Season begins Monday, November 10 and ends on Monday, December 8. Don't forget to enroll! For further information go to the FSAFEDS home page.

6. Update- We will always let you know if something newsworthy comes up. In the meantime, check regularly with for your best source for breaking news. My next Update is scheduled for November 5.

7. HCR News -- Attached is an HCR newsletter courtesy of Alina Rozanski, our FEA Europe Human and Civil Rights Coordinator. Thanks Alina!

8. Daylight Saving Time Ends -- Well, in my last Update it was just a warning to be prepared. Now it is upon us. Daylight Saving Time officially ends on October 26 (this coming Sunday) in most of Europe and one week later (November 2) in the States. Check the website here for more interesting and useful information on this topic. Remember: Fall back, Spring ahead! On a good note, you will get an extra hour sleep on Sunday morning!

9. Championship Time -- DoDDS-E Fall sports seasons are now rapidly coming to a close. That means it is now Championship Time. Below is an updated list of where and when these events will be held. (Swimming teams continue on in to the Winter season.) Golf has completed their competition. Congratulations to the winners and to all participants.
Cross Country -- European Championships Oct. 25 Baumholder
Football - ‘Final Four' Nov. 1 Kaiserslautern
Tennis European Championships - Oct. 23-25 Wiesbaden
Volleyball European Championships -- Oct. 30-November 1 Ramstein/KMCf
Winter Sports season begins Nov. 10.

10. Mark Your Calendars --
October 26 -- Daylight Savings Time Ends (Most of Europe)
October 30 -- First Quarter Ends
October 31 -- Halloween
October 31 -- Teacher Workday
November 2 -- Daylight Savings Time Ends (Most of North America)
November 3 -- Beginning of second quarter
November 11 -- Veterans Day (Federal Holiday)

11. Pay Problem Package -- As we all still unhappily know, DFAS continues to send out debt collection letters. Bill Freeman, our General Counsel handling pay problems has updated his very useful pay problem package (attached). Bill highly recommends that you please discard and discontinue using all previous versions.

12. Area JCC -- The next Area JCC is very tentatively scheduled to be held in Wiesbaden on Friday, November 14. Also tentatively scheduled is the December JCC on the 17th. This will be the last JCC with Dr. Bresell.

13. Treats, Not Tricks -- The following web page has some of the most classic Halloween cartoons ever made, one of which is over 83 years old. This is just for fun but when I found this page I knew that I just had to share it. A few of them have been removed for copyright problems, but the rest are worth it. Also, I previewed all the clips and they would be usable in any classroom if you are celebrating the holiday and ‘treating' the students. Classic Halloween Cartoons.

Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director