April 20 2011 FEA Europe Update1. Transfer Information
2. Notes from the Pacific
3. Association Day
4. Retiree Names
5. Teacher Appreciation Week
6. National Teacher Day
7. Appraisal System
8. Allowance Rates
9. Leave and Earning Statements
10. Area Directors' Travels
11. Contacting Me
12. Updated HR Phone Roster
13. Federal Long Term Care Insurance
14. Mark Your Calendars
I hope everyone has had a good spring break and is rested and ready for the final quarter! I also hope your weather is as beautiful as it is here.
1. Transfer Information -- Finally, transfer notifications should be going out! According to the FEA Website, "We have just been notified that DoDEA is resuming the DoDDS transfer program and notifications to those who received transfers will go out later this week. The notifications are sent out according to receiving district, so it is possible for people currently at the same school to receive their notifications days apart if they are being transferred to different districts. FEA does not release any information on individual transfer applications until all notifications have been sent out by DoDEA. We know the delay in announcing the transfer assignments has caused anxiety for our members and we appreciate your patience throughout this situation."
Having worked on the transfers this year, I know that every attempt was made to give teachers the best possible placements.
Please remember, if you send questions to FEA (FEAAdmin@nea.org) concerning your placement, etc., please remember to include your Service Comp Date and your group (A+, A, B, etc.)
2. Notes from the Pacific - I know many of you have been concerned about our colleagues in Japan. Please see the following information from Pacific Area Director Debra Degalis' latest Update:
"There are moments and events that will always be etched in our individual and collective memories. March 11, 2001, is one of those events for our Japanese friends and families as well as our DoDDS colleagues in Misawa, Yokosuka, Yokota and Zama/Atsugi. I want to thank the teachers in these areas for your calm during the maelstrom and continued dedication to the students. You are heroes to many. I also want to express my appreciation to the teachers in Iwakuni and Sasebo as well the Korea and Okinawa districts for your concern and understanding during the Japan crisis. Last but not least I cannot tell you how much Michael Priser, HT Nguyen, the FEA staff and Jeannette Ferguson, NEATA President, have done for our teachers in Japan during this very difficult time. Their quick and ongoing assistance, wisdom, equanimity, and caring has proven once again that we need our union and FEA is the best.
Most of you aware that Acting DoDEA Director, Ms. Marilee Fitzgerald and DoDEA Pacific Area Director, Diana Ohman, came to Japan this week to visit the schools, teachers and communities in the Yokosuka, Yokota and Zama/Atsugi complexes. Their visits have been well received and they have both confirmed that DoDDS teachers are the best and provide an excellent education to our students. The commands and parents have also praised the teachers during this time. The parents and command also thanked the teachers for keeping the schools open and their commitment to their children and providing as much normalcy as possible. They have reaffirmed what we know. We are professionals and despite the worries, frustrations and fear this disaster has created for you, you will carry out the mission. You teach the children.
There are still many issues to work and resolve for our Japan colleagues due to the crisis. Please be assured that we will assist you and work through each of them and continue to work on all our members' needs. I thank you for your patience and understanding during this time."
3. Association Day -- FEA Europe's Association Day will be at the Community Activity Center on Wiesbaden Army Airfield on April 30th. It should be a great day of information for members. Our Keynote speaker will be Becky Pringle, the Secretary Treasurer of the NEA. This is a great opportunity for our members to hear Becky, who is a dynamic speaker and a national advocate for schools and teachers.
It will help us greatly with our planning if you let us know if you are planning to attend. This is not a reservation or commitment, but merely to help us with planning our numbers. Please let your Area Director know by Friday if you are planning to attend or if you have questions, etc. (see the attachments for additional information and directions.)
4. Retiree Names -- If you have members who are retiring this year, and you would like an FEA certificate to present to them, please send a list of your retirees to Gretchen Wessels on Outlook. We will forward that to FEA HQ so that those members can receive a certificate of appreciation for their service and membership. Please include the address where the certificates should be mailed.
5. Teacher Appreciation Week -- "A teacher affects eternity. He can never tell where his influence stops." Henry Adams.
This year, perhaps more than in the past, it is important to celebrate our profession, our colleagues, and the important work that we do. May 1 -- 7 is Teacher Appreciation Week. Take time to give a colleague a word of encouragement or praise, let them know YOU notice the great work they do. Plan now to honor your colleagues and the teaching profession. Need some more ideas or inspiration? "Google" the phrase "teachers are heroes" for some truly inspiring essays, video clips, etc.
One of the "perks" of my job is the chance to visit so many schools and to see our teachers working their "magic" with students. It is inspiring to see the wonderful work our members do every single day.
6. National Teacher Day -- During Teacher Appreciation Week, Tuesday May 3rd is set aside as National Teacher Day. For more information on how to celebrate this special day go to: http://www.nea.org/grants/1359.htm
7. Appraisal System -- At this time of year, there are often questions about the Educator Performance Appraisal System. Here are links to the negotiated system and the related forms and questions:
Educator appraisal pdf
Performance appraisal FAQs
8. Allowance Rates -- For the latest allowance rates, you can use the following link: allowance rates
9. Leave and Earning Statements -- Please remember it is important to watch your LES for changes to your pay and entitlements and to keep all records. FEA continues to press DoDEA for a "smarter LES" which will give teachers more information about how their pay and entitlements are calculated. According to Bill Freeman, our UniServ pay expert, "our members should be provided with all calculations used to determine their pay. If our members were able to fully understand how their pay (and alleged debts) were calculated, they could take action early enough to prevent the majority of pay problems." We will keep members posted on this issue.
10. Area Directors' Travels -- Alex and I will be attending the Area Advisory Council in Wiesbaden on Tuesday, April 26. On Wednesday, April 27 we will begin the European Area Council meetings in Wiesbaden, continuing through Association Day on April 30. Because we will both be out of our offices much of next week, there will not be a regular Update, but we will send any late breaking bulletins, etc.
I will be in Mannheim May 3rd, Heidelberg on May 5th, and visiting schools in the UK May 9-12. Exact dates and locations have not been confirmed yet.
11. Contacting Me -- The best number for calling my office is the 131 number listed below, or if you use the DSN number, ask for the 131 extension. If you have sent me an e-mail and I have not responded, please send me a reminder.
12. Update HR Phone Roster -- Attached is an updated phone roster for your HR contacts.
13. Federal Long Term Care Insurance - The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) Open Season began April 4, 2011 and will continue through June 24, 2011. I have attached a bulletin and information about the International Webinars concerning this program.
14. Mark Your Calendars-
27-29 April -- EAC Spring Meeting, Wiesbaden
30 April -- FEA Europe Association Day, Wiesbaden
1 -- 7 May -- Teacher Appreciation Week
3 May -- National Teacher Day
13 May -- Area JCC, Wiesbaden
Thanks for all you do,
FEA Europe Area Director
0611-44756131 or DSN 335-5373/69