May 14, 2014 FEA Europe Update

Alex's Update


1. Retirements
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. Weingarten Rights
4. TSP Loans
5. Excess Placement
6. Update
7. FEA Annual Meeting/NEA RA
8. Area JCC
9. Summer Reading
10. Mark Your Calendars
11. European Sports
12. Mileage Rates
13. Better Hearing and Speech Month
14. Recertification
15. "Goodbye" Grievance
16. Faculty Representative Spokesperson

1 Retirements -- Over the past two weeks I have been noting the number of retirees we have this year. I will be curious to find out how the number this year compare to other years. Many biographies are being sent out and they really are amazing to read. The places they worked and the places they played are truly remarkable. The thing that impresses me most is the feeling that they really have enjoyed their careers and would do it all again. I hope that can eventually be true for all of us!

2. Area Directors' Travels -- Within the next two weeks I will be traveling to both the Schweinfurt complex and the Bamberg complex as they will be closing at the end of this SY. Also, on June 3 I will be in Wiesbaden for the last JCC of SY 13/14. Note: Whenever my ‘Out of Office' reply message comes up it does not necessarily mean that I am unavailable. It may just be a CAC issue as I am traveling. In that case, if you need an answer quickly, write to . I will be able to get on there from almost anywhere. Also, if you feel the need to actually speak with me, please leave me a message at that same address with a number and I will call as soon I can.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Excess Placement -- As of this writing the excess placement program is nearing completion. The FEA President's Report is due out on May 15 (tomorrow) and I expect we will get the very latest news from DC on the status of the program. Please check it out on

6. Update- Lisa will be back next week with the Update. I will return on or about May 28. In the meantime, as always, keep up to date at

7. FEA Annual Meeting/NEA RA - We often say that FEA is unique among the NEA's 51 "state" affiliates. One of the ways in which we differ from the other states is that, due to our worldwide locations, we hold our Annual Meeting in conjunction with the RA. This is the only time of the year that we are able to bring so many members from our worldwide locations together to discuss the issues which face FEA and DoDEA. This year's annual meeting is June 30 & July 1 in Denver, Colorado. Any member is welcome to attend, so if you are going to be in the Denver area during that time, check out the information on the FEA website and plan to stop by and participate.

8 . Area JCC -- The final Area JCC for SY 2013/14 will be held in Wiesbaden at 1000 on June 3. Any other issues that will need to be discussed after that date will be handled on a case by case basis. Minutes of the JCC will be distributed as soon as possible after the meeting.

9. Summer Reading -- For those of you planning on curling up with a good book this summer, you might be interested in Project READ from the University of San Diego. With recertification credits sometimes hard to find, this program, designed specifically for DoDEA educators, can provide an opportunity to earn a graduate credit while enjoying a good book at the same time. Click here for more info.

10. Mark Your Calendars --
May1--31 Asian Pacific American Heritage Months
May 1-31 Jewish American Heritage Month
May 1-31 Better Hearing and Speech Month

11. European Sports -- This week 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 17 Ansbach
Baseball/Softball May 22 -- 24 Ramstein/Kaiserslautern
Soccer May 20 -- 23 Ramstein/Kaiserslautern
Track May 23 -- 24 Wiesbaden (Russelheim)
For further information and updates, check Stars and Stripes.

12. Mileage Rates -- The current mileage rate for POV's is $.56 per mile. Please see this site for more information.

13. Better Hearing and Speech Month - May is a busy month on the calendar and I missed this in my last Update. May is also Better Hearing and Speech Month, a month designed to raise awareness about communication disorders. We have many professionals working in our schools who reminded me of this and its importance. For more information look here.

# The following 3 items have been here before but I feel they are important to repeat.

14. Recertification - A reminder about your DoDDS certification: All educators must be recertified every six years. The basic requirements for Recertification are: Educators must complete six semester hours of undergraduate or graduate level course work taken at a U.S. regionally accredited educational institution after the date the last DoDEA certificate was issued. You can find more info at this site

15. "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.

16. Faculty Representative Spokesperson (FRS) -- It is the time of the year again when schools need to be thinking about choosing their FRS for school year 2014/2015. Normally this is completed in May. Attached is the current SOP for such elections that was adopted by the EAC. Please note that most of what is in the SOP are recommendations. Please notify your respective Area Director with the results as soon as possible.


Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director