February 7, 2014 FEA Europe Update

Lisa's FEA Europe Update

07 February 2014

1. Focus on the Contract
2. Retirement Articles
3. Professional Development Website
4. Manpower Documents
5. Upcoming Important Days
6. Email Chains

Focus on the Contract: This week's Focus on the Contract centers around Article 14, Performance Appraisal System. Article 14, Section 1 states the following: The primary objective of the classroom teacher evaluation procedure, as set forth herein, shall be the improvement of instruction. The primary objective of the evaluation of other unit employees, as set forth herein, shall be the improvement of the services which are provided by such employees and which are designed to enhance and complement the educational process.

Article 14, Section 2 says that the performance of all unit employees shall be evaluated according to appropriate OPM requirements and that the evaluator shall take into consideration any circumstances that may adversely affect a unit employee's performance, such as class size, special learning disabilities, physical facilities, multiple duty assignments, geographical difficulties, time constraints, and involuntary reassignments. The Employer MUST apply the performance standards in such a manner that a fully competent unit employee can reasonably be expected to attain them.

Section 4 of this same article goes on to say that although it is understood that the supervisor assigns duties, establishes critical elements and performance standards, and evaluates the performance of the duties, it is recognized that all unit employees must be clearly advised as to what must be done (critical elements) and how well it must be done (performance standards).

For a complete listing of Article 14, Performance Appraisal System, please refer to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which may be found in its entirety at You will need your FEA membership number to log in.

Articles from Retirement Website: I am providing links to some articles from, that I found useful. This is a free website, so anyone can join.

TSP returns February 4, 2014:
TSP Rollovers to an IRA:
New Rules on Reverse Mortgages:
Claiming Social Security Benefits:
Annuitants Working During Retirement:

Web Teaching: I found this website offering online graduate courses. FEA is not endorsing this site---but I thought some of you might find this useful.

Manpower Documents: Updated manpower documents were received this week. There may or may not have been changes to what was published for your school previously. I realize this is a very stressful time for those of you affected by excessing. Your union leadership is working very hard on a myriad of issues related to excessing and are trying our best to provide as many options for you as possible. If you are declared excess, please talk to your principal about your options, and check with your FRS for the latest information from FEA.

Important Days: Don't forget Valentine's Day is next Friday, February 14th, followed by the President's Day Holiday on Monday, February 17th.

Email Chains: I know that at some point, all of us have been involved in a lengthy chain of emails, sometimes involving numerous people. Often we decide to start a new chain regarding the same subject, just to make it easier for us to know what is going on. However, this is not always the best thing to do, especially when working with someone trying to solve a problem for you. When you are communicating with one of your union leaders regarding a particular issue, please check before discontinuing the e-mail chain, and starting a new one, as we don't want to lose any of your information and this will help us keep everything together. Thank you.

"Don't be afraid of history. Take all of it you can get."---Charles Eames, American Designer

Have a great weekend!

Lisa Ali
FEA Area Director
Isles, Wiesbaden, Stuttgart, Cuba