October 9, 2012, FEA Europe Update

1. FEA President Visits
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. American Foreign Services
4. Information on DoDDS Pay Lane Case
5. Pay Problem Package
6. Multicultural Diversity Day
7. Open Season
8. Mark Your Calendars
9. Daylight Saving Time Ends
10. Update
11. Article 51
12. Championship Time
14. NEA Representative Assembly
15. Future Educators Association

1. FEA President Visits -- Michael Priser, FEA President, is currently finalizing the details for a trip to Europe beginning early next year. He should be arriving around January 21 and staying until February 9/10. While here he will visit many schools and complexes. He will be visiting schools in England, Belgium, Holland, and Germany. While it will be impossible for him to visit every school there will be a number of evening events and some should be in your area. As his schedule solidifies I will continue to include it in this Update.

2. Area Directors' Travels -- Last week I attended the Area JCC in Wiesbaden, visited Rainbow ES, got in to all three Baumholder schools, and also spent a day at Vogelweh ES . I want to thank everyone at these schools for their hospitality. I am currently working on future visits.

3. American Foreign Services -- The American Foreign Services Protective Association will be traveling through Europe in the coming months to give presentations on the various insurance packages that they offer. While this is a very good company please be aware that there are other quality insurers that also will be visiting during the year. FEA will alert you when we get their plans. Attached is the revised schedule of visits for the AFSPA.

4. Information on DoDDS Pay Lane Case - As a result of FEA legal action, an arbitrator recently ruled that DoDDS has for years been granting inadequate credit to many employees in the MA+15 and MA+30 lanes of the DoDDS salary schedule. This means many current and former DoDDS employees (including retirees and those now working in DDESS) may qualify for backpay and interest. Learn more about the case, including whether you qualify and how to file your claim with FEA, by viewing our legal update

5. Pay Problem Package -- At the recent FRS trainings FEA Attorney Bill Freeman reminded everyone that debt letters are still being issued almost daily. If you should be so unfortunate as to receive one then Bill asks that you follow the instructions and use the forms which are in the attachment above. This is the last time I will include this for a while so please save the attachment.

6 . Multicultural Diversity Day - Celebrated on the third Monday in October (this year October 15), this day was adopted as a national event by NEA's 1993 Representative Assembly. See Multicultural Diversity Day for more information.

7. 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 12, 2012 through December 10, 2012.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.

8. Mark Your Calendars --
October 28 -- Daylight saving Time ends (Europe)
November 1 -- First Quarter Ends
November 4 -- Daylight Saving Time ends (USA)
November 12 -- Veterans Day (Federal Holiday)

9. Daylight Saving Time Ends -- Unfortunately , one does not have to look too far to see the signs that summer is now over and that winter is not too far off. I had to scrape my windshield for the first time just a few days ago. With this being the case it is also time to prepare to change our clocks. Daylight Saving Time officially ends on October 28 in most of Europe and one week later (November 4) in the states. Check the website here for more interesting and useful information on this topic.

10. Update -- Lisa will be back with her next Update on October 17. Please know that if there is any breaking news that we will get it out immediately and remember to also to check in regularly to

11. Article 51 - As we near the end of the first quarter, we often receive questions about grades and grade policies. Article 51 of the contract, cited below, may be helpful!

Section 1. A unit employee may establish his/her own grading system. In such cases, the unit employee is responsible for translating the grading system to the Employer's. The unit employee's record of grades shall contain a key for translating his/her system to the established grading system in use. 

Section 2. Students' grades may be requested for review and approval by the Employer before grade reports are distributed to students or parents. 

Section 3. In the event that any grade is challenged, the unit employee shall explain and justify the grade assigned. 

Section 4. If the Employer takes action to change a student's grade without the consent of the affected unit employee or directs the unit employee to change a grade, a written statement from the Employer shall be provided to the unit employee, stating that the change in grade and/or the passing or failing of the student was done at the discretion of the Employer

12. Championship Time -- DoDDS-E Fall sports seasons are now rapidly coming to a close. That means it is now Championship Time. Below is a list of where and when these events will be held. (Swimming teams continue on in to the Winter season.)

Cross Country -- European Championships Oct. 27 Baumholder
Football - ‘Super Six' Nov. 3 TBD
Golf - European Championships Oct. 11-12 Heidelberg
Tennis European Championships Oct. 25-27 Wiesbaden
Volleyball European Championships Nov. 1-3 Ramstein/KMC

Winter Sports season begins Nov. 12.

13. FSAFEDS - You MUST re-enroll in FSAFEDS each year to continue your participation. As mentioned above the Federal Benefits Open Season begins Monday, November 12 and ends on Monday, December 10. Don't forget to enroll! For further information go to the FSAFEDS home page

14. NEA Representative Assembly - For those of you considering running to be a delegate to the NEA RA in upcoming years, or just wishing to visit, here is the latest news on locations. Thanks to Brian Chance, NEA Director for FEA, for this up to the minute information.

Plans are moving ahead to hold the 2013 Representative Assembly in Atlanta and the 2014 RA in Denver, however plans to visit Miami in 2015
have fallen through. Instead, the 2015 RA is now scheduled for another popular Florida tourist destination--Orlando. NEA evaluated bids from five cities, and Orlando beat out Anaheim, Denver, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. Miami offered an attractive bid 10 years ago, but in discussions late last year it became apparent that Miami would not be able to meet NEA's requirements for convention facilities, hotel capacity, and hotel rates.
After Orlando, future RAs are planned in the following cities:
2016-Washington D.C., 2017-Boston, 2018-Minneapolis, and 2019-Houston.

15. Future Educators Association -- We have a number of high schools in Europe with very active FEA groups. They serve a very worthwhile purpose in helping to ensure that there will be quality educators for generations to come. You can find information about this organization at the following link. I am including this now because of the fact that there are some notable deadlines approaching. 


Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel: 0160 2388051