April 21 2010 FEA Europe Update1. Never a Dull Moment!
2. EAC Meeting
3. HCR Meeting Cancelled
4. FEA President's Travel
5. New Salary Scale
6. Retiring Members
7. Unity Mailing
8. Local Elections
9. "Poem in Your Pocket Day"
10. National Teacher Day
11. National School Nurse Day
12. Area JCC Minutes
1. Never a Dull Moment! Well, what should have been a relaxing vacation for many of our members has turned out to be an adventure they will never forget, stranding them in far away places. Many of them have made extraordinary efforts to make their way back to work, while others are still stranded at great inconvenience and expense. For those who were able to return to work on Monday, many pitched and worked in countless ways to insure that our students continue to learn in a supportive, orderly environment. As usual, DoDEA teachers have made the best of a very difficult situation in a "world class" way. This truly was an unprecedented event. Hopefully, slowly things will return to "normal," (if we can use that word) and we wish all of you safe travels as you make your way home.
As you have hopefully seen by now, DoDEA Director Dr. Shirley Miles has issued a memorandum authorizing the granting of administrative leave for DoDEA employees who have been unable to return to their work locations due to the unprecedented shut down of air traffic in Europe and around the world due to the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland. FEA wishes to thank Dr. Miles for her quick action in issuing this memo and we echo her words of praise for all DoDEA employees as they band together to get through this situation.
2. EAC Meeting - Like many meetings and events, we have had to cancel our spring meeting of the European Area Council. We will conduct some of our business by email or phone and are looking into rescheduling the meeting.
3. HCR Meeting Cancelled - The HCR training which was scheduled in Kaiserslautern for this weekend, April 24, 25 has been cancelled. The NEA trainers were not able to travel due to the air traffic disruption. Hopefully, it can be rescheduled.
4. FEA President's Travel - Luckily, Michael Priser was already here in Europe so his schedule has not been too severely disrupted by current events. He will continue to make school visits and local events as planned.
5. New Salary Scale - By now most of you know that our new salary scale has been set, and in spite of the difficult economic situation in the US, we will indeed be getting a raise, even if it is smaller than usual this year. As noted in the messages that went out: "The pay for overseas educators and administrators in the Teaching Position (TP) pay plan is based on the pay for similar positions in urban school districts in the United States of 100,000 or more population. An educator's pay is based upon the educational level of the employee and the number of years of creditable experience. Teachers are paid on seven (7) different academic salary lanes (ASL) which reflect degrees and graduate course work completed after each degree. The current ASL's are bachelor's degree, bachelor's plus 15 semester hours, bachelor's plus 30 semester hours, master's degree, master's plus 15 semester hours, master's plus 30 semester hours, and doctorate degree. Service increments or steps are provided to recognize years of verified experience up to the allowed maximum." FEA fought for and won a retroactive pay adjustment for all DoDDS educators to ensure that you receive your full amount of pay for a given school year, instead of waiting for the next school year to start before switching to the new salary schedule.
The retroactive pay adjustments for DoDDS educators should be sent out in the next four to six weeks.
The complete updated DoDDS educators' salary schedules for SY 09-10 are now available at www.feaonline.org/passport/salary/ (FEA member login is required) and a PDF is attached as well. Also attached is an Excel attachment by Michel Schadt, Kinnick HS in Japan, which gives a breakdown by step and pay lane.
6. Retiring Members - Please remember, if you have FEA members at your school who are retiring, to send the names of those members to Deborah Gothia (on Outlook) so that FEA HQ can prepare certificates for them.
7. Unity Mailing - We are mailing out the third edition of the FEA Europe Unity now, so FRS's should watch their mail for it and distribute it to members as soon as possible.
8. Local Elections - Please let your and District Reps and Area Directors know the results of local elections for FRS, Local Officers, etc. as soon as those results are available.
9. "Poem in Your Pocket Day" - Celebrate National "Poem in Your Pocket Day" on Thursday, April 29th, 2010. The idea is simple: select a poem you love during National Poetry Month and then carry it with you to share with friends, co-workers, and students. For more information about this celebration of poetry and teaching poetry, go to http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/406 and click in the top right on the menu "For Educators." This is part of the celebration of April as National Poetry Month. You will find information there on how to teach poetry, lesson plans, and other resources.
10. National Teacher Day - May 4th has been designated "National Teacher Day" to honor teachers. For information on this important celebration go to http://www.nea.org/grants/1359.htm. In a year when many teachers have not felt supported or valued by our system, this is a great time to celebrate the wonderful work that you do every day of the year.
11. National School Nurse Day - Wednesday May 12th is National School Nurse Day. This is a perfect time to say thank you to those valuable health care professionals who help students and faculty alike. As Michael Priser noted in his recent President's Report: "FEA is aware that DoDEA administrators are floating a proposal to cut a dozen or more school nurse positions overseas. FEA strongly opposes any attempts to cut medical services by highly trained school nurse professionals, especially those meeting the needs of military dependents in foreign countries. Medical facilities in most countries are very different than what most of us are used to and often military families may be isolated from quality facilities, making the services these nurses provide to students even more valuable."
12. Area JCC Minutes - In an effort to cut down on the various e-mails we send out, I have attached are the minutes of our most recent JCC meeting to this Update. Our next meeting is schedule for May 24th.
Where EVER you are, hang in there!
FEA Europe Area Director
0611-44756131 or DSN 335-5373/69