April 21, 2016 FEA Europe Update
1. Back and Retro Pay
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. Representative Assembly Delegates
4. Retiring Members
6. National Teacher Appreciation Week
7. National Teacher Day
8. Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month
9. Jewish American Heritage Month
10. DCAT Survey
11. Mark Your Calendar
12. Injury on the Job
13. Member Benefits
14. FRS Elections
15. DoDDS Reunion
16. "Goodbye" Grievance
18. National School Nurse Day
20. Breaking News
1. Back and Retro Pay -- As announced in the FEA President's Report of March 30, recently DoDDS employees received a little something extra in their pay checks. FEA gained this back pay plus interest for our DODDS members as a result of our successful legal suit in Federal court last year. While amounts varied, in most cases it represented a large portion of yearly Association dues, and is money that we would not have recouped if not for the hard work of our legal team. Also, as noted in the same report, we will still be receiving our retro payments for this school year. To quote, "FEA and DODDS are expecting to meet with the Wage Setting Authority staff around the middle of April to review and finalize the SY 15-16 salary figures for DODDS. We will update our members once that process is completed and let you know when you can expect to see your retroactive pay adjustment for this spring, reflecting your true pay amount for the current school year."
2. Area Directors' Travels -- On April 25 I will be in Sembach for the next Area JCC. Minutes will be published ASAP. Additional school visits are in the works.
3 Representative Assembly Delegates -- Congratulations to those members who were elected to represent FEA at the upcoming RA in Washington DC this summer. They were, in no particular order, William Dawson, Amy Rush, Anita Lang, Kevin Anglim, Micheline Huntley, and Michael Priser. Also, a special thanks to those who ran and were unsuccessful. I wish you all the best for the coming years and we appreciate your involvement. It makes FEA stronger.
4. 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 email@example.com by May 20, so that I can prepare certificates for them.
5. 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. The next Update will be the President's Report on or about May 2 or sooner. Please also be reminded again that if you do go to FEA online you can sign up to have the President's Report emailed directly to you.
6. National Teacher Appreciation Week -- May 2 -6 is the week to thank a teacher and take action to ensure public school educators are recognized, valued, and respected. May 3 of that week is National Teacher Day. (see below)
7. 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. National Teacher Day info
8 Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month -- May 1- 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 this site, complete with lesson plans: More info here
9. 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 here
10. DCAT Survey -- Questions about this survey have been coming in recently. It was addressed in the FEA Presidents Report dated March 30. What follows was taken directly from that report. " DoDEA will be participating in the Defense Competency Assessment Tool Survey. DCAT is a Department-wide competency assessment tool used to validate occupational competency models and assess civilian employees' proficiency levels in the competencies within their jobs and roles. The results of the competency assessments are used by the OSD Functional Community Managers and Components to develop strategies to close identified gaps and inform future training and development plans to effectively manage the Department's civilian workforce. Approximately 10% percent of our workforce will be invited to participate in this VOLUNTARY survey. Be aware, your supervisor will be asked to "validate" your responses, so the survey is not truly anonymous. The survey will be open April 11- May 13. Again, participation is voluntary. "
11. Mark Your Calendar-
May 1 -- 31 - Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month
May 1 -- 31 -- Jewish American Heritage Month
May 5 -- Cinco de Mayo
May 2 - 6 -- Teacher Appreciation Week
12. Injury on the Job: Should you be injured while on the job or school property (parking lot, sidewalks, steps) please make sure your supervisor is notified, the proper forms are filled out and the Nurse has it in their log. With some of the interesting weather that we experience all year here, it is especially good advice.
13. Member Benefits -- Members often forget the multitude of benefits that are at their disposal. Everything from credit cards, saving plans, online courses, various insurances, etc. Check out the full range of these benefits at www.neamb.com.
14. FRS Elections -- It is now that time of year when schools need to be choosing their Faculty Representative Spokesperson for SY 16/17. 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 have been 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.
15. DoDDS Reunion--The annual DoDDS reunion will be held July 14-July 17, 2016 in Spokane, Washington at The Oak Brook Marriot Hotel. For registration information go to: this site. Register early as prices go up as the event gets closer.
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 relay horror stories from those who did not.
17. VLTP -- I have noticed a number of names of members being approved for VLTP coming in to my mail box. The Voluntary Leave Transfer Program allows us to donate leave to others who have exhausted their own leave, generally due to illness of either themselves or of family members. I often wonder if the stresses of our job situations don't help to acerbate this situation. Regardless, the deeper we get in to the school year the harder we find it to donate, as we can only donate APL days at this time, a situation I would hope we could eventually have changed. If you are in a position to do so, please consider helping these members who often find themselves in rather dire straits. You merely need to pick a recipient and fill out the forms that you will get in your school office. You'll feel good for having done it.
18. National School Nurse Day -- Wednesday, May 11, 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!
19. 1954 -- My understanding is that the attachment above has been floating around on the internet for some time. Don't know exactly who to credit for finding it, but I will thank Brian Swenty of Vilseck HS for getting it in to my hands. And no, I was not in DoDDS in 1954, although some days it feels like it!!
20. Breaking News -- The retro pay and new salary scale for SY 15/16 that I referenced in number 1 above has now been announced. Please go to www.feaonline.org and read all about it in the Presidents Report.
FEA Europe Area Director