February 27 2013 FEA Europe Update

1. Computer Issues
3. Excess Teacher Placement
4. Area JCC
5. Read Across America
6. FEA Europe Election
7. Focus on the Contract
8. From our Members

1. CAC Cards: As you are aware, CAC Card issues have created havoc in many schools. I would like to say a huge thank you to the IT people who are working so hard to have as many of us up and running as they can. Hopefully they will get the kinks worked out soon, but we know this will continue to take time. In the meantime, I am sending some computer Q&A that covers many issues that you are having.

2. VERA/VSIP: The VERA/VSIP information has been released. Please note there is a very short deadline for applying.

3. Excess Teacher Placement: Part of the VERA/VSIP announcement includes the guidelines for excess teacher placement. This information can also be found at the following website: Note there is a new flowchart listing placement procedures.

4. Area JCC: Our Area JCC meeting will be held tomorrow at the Area Office in Wiesbaden. We will include the minutes in a future update. We have several questions regarding excess procedures, staffing documents, and drawdowns. We know this is of particular interest to many of our teachers.

5. Read Across America: Don't forget that NEA's annual Read Across America Day is this Friday, 01 March. I know that it is difficult to focus on special activities right now, especially with all of the computer and staffing issues many of our schools are facing. However, please take the time to participate in this very important activity for our kids---no matter what you teach, and no matter what your age, or the age of your students, you must agree there are rewards in sharing a love of reading with students. FRSs (or another person at your school), please share a picture and caption of your school's Read Across America Activities for publication in our next issue of the UNITY magazine. FEA would love to share what you do with others. Contact me for more information.

6. FEA Europe Election: By now all schools should have received their materials for our European elections for the NEA Representative Assembly being held this summer in Atlanta, Georgia. This is the election for your district RA delegates only. Ballots for FEA Board of Directors positions (National Election) will be sent to individual members at their regular postal address. For more information regarding the National Election, please check

7. Involuntary Reassignments: This week I am including the portion of the Negotiated Agreement that deals with Involuntary Reassignments----an issue that crops up every year around this time. This information is from Article 10 and basically says the following: The need to effect a reassignment is a right retained by the Employer….Whenever possible, and if time permits, the Employer shall accomplish such reassignments through the use of qualified volunteers. Whenever qualified volunteers are not available, an individual may be selected for involuntary reassignment with as much advance notice as circumstances warrant. The written notice for involuntary reassignment will contain the following as a minimum:

a. Reason(s) for the reassignment
b. Why the unit employee was selected
c. An opportunity for the individual to give reasons why he/she should not be reassigned. In this statement the individual should include any extenuating circumstances of a personal nature which she/he feels should be taken into consideration.

8. From our Members: As always, if you have any news to share with our membership, please let Alex or me know, and if possible, we will include it in our updates.

Thank you and have a great week! Enjoy Reading Across America whether it be a Dr. Seuss book or something else you enjoy. And remember: "If you can't be a good example, then you will just have to be a horrible warning." ---Catherine Aird pseudonymous English writer

Lisa Ali
FEA Area Director
Heidelberg, Isles, Cuba