November 3 2009 FEA Europe Update

1. Latest Changes
2. Area Director's Travel
3. BOD Meeting
4. Training Opportunities
5. EEO Workshop
6. NEA Trainer
7. Strategic Leadership
8. Arbitration
9. American Education Week
10. Correction for Unity
11. Looking for Delegates
12. Open Season
13. NEA Today
14. Veterans' Day

1. Latest Changes - Watch future FEA publications for how the repeal of NSPS and the changes in crediting sick leave toward retirement for FERS employees will impact you.

2. Area Director's Travel - Since I wrote my last Update, I have visited our two schools in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The teachers there always provide a very warm welcome and even arranged for some hurricane-free weather. BettyLou Cummins, FEA Vice President, made the trip with me. Thanks to all the members who made our visit to DoDDS' oldest school (established 1931) so pleasant and productive.

3. BOD meeting - From Cuba, we traveled to DC for a week of FEA BOD meetings. During the meetings, as per our past practice, we invited Dr. Miles and members of her senior staff to meet with us. As we have in the past, we sent them a list of questions we hoped to discuss during the meeting. Unfortunately, most of the questions were not addressed during the two hour discussion. We have asked for HQ to follow up with written answers to those questions. The Board was very clear in our message to HQ that short suspense dates, new mandates, and violations of the contract and past practice had made this school year extremely difficult.

During the meeting, we also met with NEA officials to discuss the recent passage of the bill ending the National Security Personnel System. This bill will also allow FERS employees to use unused sick leave to extend their retirement dates. The Board gave their appreciation to HT Nguyen and the NEA President, Dennis Van Roekel, along with his senior staff for their tireless efforts in eliminating the NSPS and its negative impact on Federal employees. We also discussed current issues in DoDEA and were assured of NEA's continuing support.

In addition, the Board gave President Michael Priser and Executive Director HT Nguyen input on issues which we are facing in the field. John and I had a lengthy list of questions and concerns from Europe which we were able to present.

4. Training Opportunities - Listed below are a series of training opportunities and workshops being offered in Europe. FEA, with the help of NEA, plans to continue to offer as many training opportunities as possible in as many diverse locations as possible.

5. EEO Workshop - On Saturday, Nov 14th, FEA Europe Human and Civil Rights Coordinator Linda Callendar has planned a workshop on EEO procedures, policies, and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Considering our current climate, the topic of EEO and how teachers can avail themselves of the EEO process--both informal and formal---should be of interest to our members. The workshops will be conducted by Mr. William Suddeth, the EEO Program Manager for DODDS Europe, and Mr. Luis Agosto, the DODDS EEO Counselor.
Date: Nov 14, 2009
Time: 10:00 - 13:00 (Lunch will be provided afterwards)
Location: Bistro "21" Kaiserslautern Rathaus/City Hall, 21st Floor, Willy-Brandt Platz 1, 67655 Kaiserslautern
Parking: Street Parking or in the Pfalztheater Underground Garage

This event is sponsored in cooperation with the KAEA. All FEA members are welcome to attend. Please contact Linda Callendar if you plan to attend. Linda has also planned other workshops at locations throughout Europe so watch for further announcements.

6. NEA Trainer - FEA Europe is very pleased to have Jerry Newberry, Executive Director of the NEA Health Information Network (Bio attached), to present a series of after school workshops on "Defusing Conflict: Successful Parent Conferences". This is an excellent opportunity and well worth the time. Dates and locations are as follows:
Tuesday Nov 17 - Kaiserslautern High School Auditorium, 4:00 - 6:00
Wednesday Nov 18 - Wiesbaden MS Media Center, 3:30 - 5:30
Thursday Nov 19 - Patch High School (Stuttgart) Media Center, 3:30 - 5:30

Some additional sessions are also being planned for counselors. Details will follow.

7. Strategic Leadership - We are also very pleased to have Tamara Hamilton of the NEA present a weekend workshop on Strategic Leadership Development. This is a uniquely designed graduate track for educators who want to take their leadership skills to a higher level of effectiveness. It will assist educators in developing strategies to achieve their professional objectives and their personal goals.
Date: Dec 5-6, 2009
Time: 09:00 - 17:00 (Lunch is provided)
Location: Bistro "21" Kaiserslautern Rathaus/City Hall, 21st Floor, Willy-Brandt Platz 1, 67655 Kaiserslautern
Parking: Street Parking or in the Pfalztheater Underground Garage
For this training, graduate credit is offered through either University of San Diego or Ashland. If you plan to attend, please contact Terese Sarno as materials need to be ordered. There is a $15 registration fee, which includes lunch. The fee for the one graduate credit is to be paid directly to the university when you register. There will be a follow up paper due no later than December 16, 2009. All FEA members are welcome, but preference is given to those taking the course for credit. To register or for further information, please contact Terese Sarno. This event is sponsored by the KAEA and the FEA Europe HCR program.

8. Arbitration - Jan and Bill Freeman are currently in Arlington arbitrating another in the unending series of pay cases, in order to insure that teachers are not responsible for incorrectly calculated debts and that they are paid correctly for salary and benefits. With all the changes in DoDEA this year, no additional steps seem to be taken to ensure correct and timely pay for our teachers.

9. American Education Week - November 16-21 - NEA's American Education Week (AEW) spotlights the importance of providing every child in America with a quality public education from kindergarten through college, and the need for everyone to do his or her part in making public schools great. Wednesday is designated as Support Professional Day; it is a great time to thank the paraprofessionals in your school.

10. Correction for Unity: Nomination Forms - Due to an oversight, the European HCR position was left off of the Nomination Form included in the Unity. You may add this position to the District HCR form if you are interested in this office. This position is a two year term and is a member of the European Area Council. For further information, please contact Chuck McCarter. Please accept our sincere apologies for this oversight.

FRS's: If your school has not received the Unity, please let me know.

11. Looking for Delegates - FEA Europe is looking for interested members to serve as delegates to the NEA Mid-Atlantic Conferences. These three conferences will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio and travel and expenses are funded by NEA. We need 2 delegates for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Leadership Conference (MARLC) January 22-24, 2010. One of these delegates must be an ethnic-minority. We also need one ethnic minority delegate for the NEA Minority Leadership Training (MLT) Seminar, January 20-22, 2010; this is a two year commitment. These delegates also attend the MARL Conference. Finally we need two delegates for the Women's Leadership Training Conference, January 20-22, 2010. These delegates also attend the MARL Conference. There is a short suspense on this so please let your Area Director immediately know if you are interested in attending. We will request that DoDEA grant Admin Leave for the selected participants.

12. Open Season - Don't forget, Open Season for Health Insurance begins Nov 9, 2009.

13. NEA Today - The latest edition of the NEA Today has an article on dealing with classroom disruptions. Be sure to check that out, along with all the other articles and information in this great publication.

14. Veterans' Day - Next Wednesday, November 11th, is Veterans' Day. This is a perfect opportunity to take a few moments to reflect on all that our veterans have done for us. Because of the holiday, John will send out the next Update on Tuesday, November 10.

This has been a very difficult year so good to yourself and to your colleagues.

Thanks for all you do,


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