April 17, 2013 FEA Europe Update

17 April 2013

1. Excess Teacher Placement
2. Focus on the Contract
3. Retirement Articles
4. Furloughs
5. From Our Members
6. April---Month of the Military Child
7. Laptop Survey
8. Honors Music Festival
9. Mathcounts Competition

1. Excess Teacher Placement: Finally some good news. All excessed teachers who applied for VERA/VSIP should have received their offers by now. Reassignment letters for other excess teachers should start arriving today. Please remember that not all teachers will be notified at the same time. Continued patience will be required, though I know it is difficult.

2. Focus on the Contract: This week's focus on the contract addresses the issue of Extra-Curricular Activities: Article 27, Section 1 of the Negotiated Agreement states the following: Members of the bargaining unit are encouraged to notify the Employer at the school of any interest they might have with regard to filling extra-curricular positions which might become available. The Employer will make every effort to fill extracurricular positions in accordance with the expressed preferences of the qualified employees in the bargaining unit in the school. In the event the Employer does not fill all available position in accordance with the preferences of the employees, then the Employer agrees to actively seek qualified volunteers from the bargaining unit at the school. Further, the Employer agrees that the filling of extra-curricular positions shall be done in a fair and equitable manner and shall not be arbitrary and capricious. No employee in the bargaining unit shall be required to accept an extra-curricular activity, except where the vacancy cannot be filled with a qualified volunteer.

3. Retirement Articles: I have attached three articles from, including the March TSP Returns, as well as How Federal Retirement Benefits are Taxed, parts V and VI.

4. Furloughs: More good news. According to information received from Ms. Fitzgerald, no school-level employees will be furloughed before the end of this school year. We will continue to keep you posted as more furlough information becomes available. Check the FEA website regularly for the most up-to-date information.

5. 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.

6. Month of the Military Child: Don't forget that April is the Month of the Military Child. For more information go to this site.

7. Laptop Survey: If you are one of the schools participating in the one-to-one laptop program, don't forget to complete the FEA online survey. Click here to access the survey.

8. Honors Music Festival: FEA congratulates all students and teachers selected to participate in the annual DoDDS-Europe Music Festival. This activity will culminate with a final concert being held Thursday, April 25, 2013, at 7:00 P.M., in the Kurhaus in Wiesbaden, Germany. Tickets will be available in the Kurhaus foyer beginning at 5:00 P.M., prior to the concert. These are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

9. 2013 DoDDS MATHCOUNTS State Competition: FEA congratulates our Mathletes and their sponsors for participating in the competition which was held on March 28th in Wiesbaden. Students from across Europe, as well as the Pacific, participated. The four highest individual scorers will advance to the nation competition, being held in Washington D.C., May 9-12, 2013. Teachers who volunteer make this activity for our students possible and for that we thank you.

"I recognize the feebleness of my effort, but fortunately, I am not alone."
---Eugene V. Debs, American Union Leader

Have a great first week of the last quarter of the year.


Lisa Ali
FEA Area Director
Heidelberg, Isles, Cuba