May 11 2015 FEA Europe Update
2. Ansbach #2
3. Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month
4. Jewish American Heritage Month
5. Area JCC
7. Local Rebates
8. FRS Elections
9. "Goodbye" Grievance
10. Better Hearing & Speech Month
11. Mark Your Calendar
12. Weingarten Rights
13. TSP Loans
14. Mileage Rates
15. European Sports
1. Ansbach -- As most of you know, the news came out last week that both Illesheim ES and Rainbow ES of the Ansbach complex will be closing at the end of this school year. This announcement was made to all teachers who are stake holders in this complex in a meeting held at Ansbach M/HS, and was made by Dr. Liz Dunham, the Superintendent of the Bavaria District. If you wish to read more about this story please log on to www.feaonline.com .
2. Ansbach #2 -- As a result of the information contained above, there were special meetings held this past week at the DSO on Barton Barracks. In attendance at these meetings were myself, Terry McClain (the Bavaria Division Representative), Dr. Liz Dunham and Dr. Shirley Sheck of the DSO, as well as Human Resources specialists from both the Area office and DoDEA Headquarters in DC. After three long days of meticulous work, we walked away with nearly all excessed teachers from the Ansbach complex either placed in their new positions or granted a VSIP if that was their wish. There were still two teachers that were requiring a little more work to be placed, but I feel confident that by the time this Update reaches your inbox that they too will have been placed. I was in awe of the professionalism and caring that this committee showed through the three days of meetings, and was very proud to have been a small part of it.
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 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.
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 20.
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. "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.
10. Better Hearing and Speech Month - Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) was founded in 1927, by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).The aim of BHSM is to raise awareness about hearing and speech problems, encouraging people to analyze their own hearing and speech, and to take action if they think there might be a problem. Treatment can then be given to improve the quality of life in people with communication problems. AHSA offer many resources for this annual BHSM campaign held throughout May. These resources are tailored for patients, health professionals and members of the public. A section of their website is dedicated to Better Hearing and Speech Month which features personal stories about this month.
11. Mark Your Calendars --
May1-31 - Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
May 1-31 - Jewish American Heritage Month
May 1--31 -- Better Hearing and Speech Month
12. Weingarten Rights -- This, unfortunately, is the time of the year when child abuse allegations reach a peak. These can be leveled at any one, not just teachers, who are in contact with children. Should you be accused it is imperative that you invoke your Weingarten Rights. Weingarten Rights guarantee an employee the right to union representation during an investigatory interview by an employer. If the interview could in any way lead to the employee being disciplined or terminated or affect his or her personal or working conditions, he or she should respectfully request that a union representative or officer be present at the meeting. Without representation, the employee may choose not to answer any questions. On the inside cover of the FEA calendar there is a card detailing what you must do. I hope none of us ever need it.
13. TSP Loans - Many of us have had or have TSP Loans. One critical thing you must do at this time is to file the Notification to TSP of Non Pay Status, TSP Form 41. This is filed through your local payroll person. If this is not filed, then for those on the 21 pay plan the agency will be trying to take payment when there is no pay. This can cause a number of problems. When you return to pay status make sure also that you restart your payments. You can find the form here.
14. Mileage Rates -- The current mileage rate for POV's is $.575 per mile. Please see this site for more information.
15. European Sports -- In the coming weeks the European Finals are being held for several high school sports. As a former DoDDS coach I know that this is an exciting time for both coaches and players alike. Our coaches are very hard working and deserve lots of credit. If you are free and in the area you might want to check out one of the tournaments listed below:
Drill Finals May 16 Ansbach
Baseball/Softball May 21 -- 23 Ramstein/Kaiserslautern
Soccer May 18 -- 21 Ramstein/Kaiserslautern
Track May 22 -- 23 Kaiserslautern Stadium (HS)
For further information and updates, check Stars and Stripes.
FEA Europe Area Director