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April 20 2015 FEA Europe Update

Alex's Update
4/22/2015

1. Transfer Update
2. Retiring Members
3. Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month
4. Jewish American Heritage Month
5. Area Director's Travel
6. Update
7. Local Rebates
8. FRS Elections
9. HCR Update
10. Area JCC
11. Mark Your Calendars
12. National Teacher Appreciation Week
13. National Teacher Day
14. U.S. Citizens Abroad Tax Information
15. National School Nurse Day
16. "Goodbye" Grievance
17. TQSA
18. Unity




1. Transfer Update -- Below is an excerpt from the FEA website home page. It contains the most up-to- date information that we have. As soon as any new developments arise the message will be quickly disseminated.
Transfer Program Concludes
The DODDS Transfer Program has concluded and transfer reassignment letters are now being sent out by DoDEA Headquarters.

A total of 132 offers were made before DoDEA reached its budget limit. All of those offers were made to applicants in the A+ transfer group. This means that about half of the A+ applicants received a transfer placement, but there will be no transfer offers to applicants in Groups A, B, D or F. FEA has voiced its displeasure that additional funds could not be found to pay for more transfers.

Only true vacancies were used for the above A+ placements. Backfill vacancies, as well as the true vacancies not used for the A+ placements, were used to place excessed educators.

All but 15 of the 96 Group C (excessed) applicants were placed. The cost of these transfers was taken from a separate budget. Headquarters has indicated it may offer additional VSIPs to place the remaining excessed educators.

Group C applicants may request reconsideration for the following reasons:

1. To remain in their current district if placed outside of that district;
2. If placed in an area that will not meet their medical needs, or;
3. If placed in a teaching category in which you have had no experience or training in the last five years.

Reconsiderations will continue until May 1.

FEA cannot release specific information about placements until DoDEA Headquarters has sent out all the transfer reassignment letters. If you have a question about placements, please contact Connie Shanaghan at cshanaghan@nea.org. Be sure to include your SCD and transfer group.

FEA realizes that many of our members will be disappointed that they did not receive a transfer. Since the time DoDEA announced that it would hold a transfer program this year, FEA has called for additional funding to increase the number of reassignments that could be made. Unfortunately, such funding was not made available. Although we are glad to see that well over 100 educators will receive transfers this year, we know there are hundreds more who want similar opportunities. FEA will continue to advocate for a full and robust transfer program in the future.

2. Retiring Members - Please remember, if you have FEA members at your school who are retiring, to send the names of those members to me at aveto@live.com by May 15, so that we can prepare certificates for them.

3. Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month -- May 1 -- May 31 - A diverse group whose heritages represent more than 50 ethnic groups and 100 languages, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made enormous contributions to the civic, cultural, and economic fabric of our nation. Read more at these sites:
Asians/Pacific Islanders (NEA)
Library of Congress
The Art of Asia
Asia for Educators
Notable Asian Pacific Americans

4. Jewish American Heritage Month -- In May we also celebrate another important group. On April 20, 2006, President George W. Bush proclaimed that May would be Jewish American Heritage Month, recognizing the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture. Read more at these sites:
Jewish American Heritage Month
The Library of Congress
Law Library of Congress: Research Guide
American Jewish Historical Society
National Register of Historic Places

5. Area Directors' Travels --Later this week I will be traveling to the Kaiserslautern/Ramstein Area to visit schools and to attend a Memorial Concert on Saturday at Kaiserslautern HS. I will continue to check mail as time allows as I will have my CAC reader with me. For more immediate responses contact me at aveto@live.com .

6. Update- We will always let you know if something newsworthy comes up. In the meantime, check regularly with www.feaonline.org for your best source for breaking news. My next Update is scheduled for May 6. (I think that it is exciting that I now am writing May!)

7. Local Rebates -- Recently, John Crowe, our FEA Europe Membership Processor sent out rebate notices to all FEA Europe Area local associations. I want to personally thank John for all of his hard work and efficiency in doing this. If your local EA has not yet heard from John then you should contact him.

8. FRS Elections -- It is nearing the time of year when schools will be choosing their Faculty Representative Spokesperson for SY 15/16. This is a very important task and I hope that all schools will do all they can to run open, fair and transparent elections. Current FRS's will be provided with the SOP for such elections that was adopted by the EAC. Please note that most of what is in the SOP are recommendations as the election of a FRS is a very local matter. If your school has not done this yet it is now getting to be time.

9. HCR Update -- Attached you will find the Europe HCR update for April. Thanks to European Area HCR Coordinator Alina Rozanski for providing this.

10. Area JCC -- The next Area JCC has now been scheduled. It will be held in Sembach on Wednesday, May 20 at 1100.We will put the agenda together approximately a week before that.

11. Mark Your Calendars --
May1-31 - Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
May 1-31 - Jewish American Heritage Month
May 5 -- Cinco de Mayo
May 4-8- Teacher Appreciation Week
May 5 - National Teacher Day
May 6 - National School Nurses Day
May 10 - Mother's Day

12. National Teacher Appreciation Week -- May 4 -8 is the week to thank a teacher and take action to ensure public school educators are recognized, valued, and respected. This will come up very quickly after Spring Break, so now might be the time to plan some events for your school and community. May 5 of that week is National Teacher Day.

13. National Teacher Day - National Teacher Day is a day for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives. Congress declared March 7, 1980, as National Teacher Day for that year only. NEA and its affiliates continued to observe National Teacher Day in March until 1985, when the NEA Representative Assembly voted to change the event to Tuesday of the first full week of May. In May of 2009, a bill was introduced in Congress that created a national day of teacher recognition on the Tuesday of the first full week of May. http://www.nea.org/grants/teacherday.html

14. U.S. Citizens Abroad Tax Information -- Attached is information from the IRS for all of us living outside of CONUS for filing our 2014 Income Tax. It includes deadlines, forms, addresses, and other useful information. No one likes to think about it but this site may help. This will be the last time that I will include this item in my Updates. http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/U.S.-Citizens-and-Resident-Aliens-Abroad

15. National School Nurse Day -- This coming Wednesday, May 7, is National School Nurse Day. School nurses work to promote health and provide the best care possible to students and their families. Take time on this day to look at the difference school nurses make in our schools. On a personal note, I would like to thank all our dedicated nurses for their hard work and patience in dealing with our students (and teachers)! They look after us as well!

16. "Goodbye" Grievance -- If you are planning on retiring or resigning this year, make sure you FILE and ELEVATE a goodbye grievance before your last duty day. It has also been recommended even if you are just switching to another Area. If your FRS does not have a copy of it, please contact your District Rep or Area Director. Also, keep it in a safe place and keep it forever. I could tell you horror stories from those who did not.

17. TQSA -- TQSA (or Temporary Quarters Subsistence Allowance) is an acronym that many of us will become familiar with in the next few months, what with VSIP's, retirements, and transfers. All questions concerning it can be answered by a quick reading of the Department of State Regulations governing it. Thanks to Anthony Ates of the Area Office for sending and verifying the regulation. Make special note of sections 121 a & b and 122.2. You can find it here: http://aoprals.state.gov/content.asp?content_id=239&menu_id=81

18. Unity -- It is anticipated that the Spring Unity will be published in May. If anyone has something that they would want included please send it to me at any time. We are particularly thinking of some photos of activities at your school, and even more especially photos taken during NEA's Read Across America Day on March 2. You can send these items to me at aveto@live.com Remember, while it is still fresh in your minds, send any photos that you may have of the event to me ASAP. The deadline for submission is May 1.

Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director
aveto@live.com