May 23 2012 FEA Europe Update

1. Principal Placements
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. Retirement Recognition
4. European Sports
5. Article 51
6. Mileage Rates
7. Speaking of the Summer
8. Unity
9. BAS
10. Mark Your Calendars
11. Faculty Representative Spokesperson (FRS)
12. FEA Annual Meeting/NEA RA
13. TSP Loans
14. Update
15. Transfer Program Update

1. Principal Placements -- Principal reassignments and appointments are still being finalized. Attached is the most current list provided by the Area office. It is as of May 21. They are also currently working on any possible moves at the DSO level.

2. Area Directors' Travels -- We are beginning to wind down on our travels for this year. Last week I spent 3 days in Ramstein visiting the schools there. On the day I arrived it actually snowed for about one minute, but after that the weather was wonderful as were all the people I met along the way. This Friday I will make a quick visit to Netzaberg MS and then plan on recharging the battery over the long weekend. Hope you all do the same!

3. Retirement Recognition - Over 40 names were sent forward to FEA Headquarters. They will begin mailing out the certificates to the address that was provided when the names were turned in. I will say more in my last Update but for now a very quick congratulations to those who ‘made it'!

4. 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:
• Baseball/Softball May 24 -- 26 Ramstein/Kaiserslautern
• Soccer May 21 -- 24 Ramstein/Kaiserslautern
• Track May 24 -- 25 Wiesbaden (Russelheim)
For further information and updates, check Stars and Stripes.

5. Article 51 -- Pupil Grades - At this time of year, we often receive questions about grades and grade policies. Article 51 of the Negotiated Agreement, cited below, may be helpful. 

Section 1.

A unit employee may establish his/her own grading system. In such cases, the unit employee is responsible for translating the grading system to the Employer's. The unit employee's record of grades shall contain a key for translating his/her system to the established grading system in use. 

Section 2.

Students' grades may be requested for review and approved by the Employer before grade reports are distributed to students or parents. 

Section 3.

In the event that any grade is challenged, the unit employee shall explain and justify the grade assigned. 

Section 4.

If the Employer takes action to change a student's grade without the consent of the affected unit employee or directs the unit employee to change a grade, a written statement from the Employer shall be provided to the unit employee, stating that the change in grade and/or the passing or failing of the student was done at the discretion of the Employer.

6. Mileage Rates -- As of April 17 official mileage rates have changed to $.555 per mile. Please see here for more information.

7. Speaking of the Summer -- Please keep this information in mind. Your FEA leaders and UniServs will also be on leave as well this summer. Lisa and I will check our email account periodically as we travel but there may be some delays in response. I will also send out to FRS's a phone number where I can be reached while in the States. The FEA office in Washington, D.C. will be open on a summer schedule: 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. More information for the FEA Washington Office is in your calendar. The NEA office building is closed on Friday's during the summer starting Friday July 6th through August 31. Since our offices are in the NEA building the FEA office will be closed then too.

8. Unity -- The final edition of the Unity for SY 11/12 has now been picked up from the printer and should be hitting your mailbox soon. Next year the EAC has decided to try experimenting with putting at least one edition a year on line. There are a number of reasons for this and after we try it for a year we will be seeking feedback from membership.

9. BAS -- BAS testing continues at our elementary schools. FEA has received assurances from DoDEA that the MOU will be followed in terms of the procedures involved with the testing.

10. Mark Your Calendars --
May 28 -- Memorial Day
June 14 -- Flag Day
June 15 -- Last Duty Day

11. Faculty Representative Spokesperson (FRS) -- By now all schools should have completed the process of electing their FRS for next school year. Many of you have already sent us the results, but if you have not please do so soon. It is very important that we have an up to date roster before we leave for summer break.

12. 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 29 & 30 in Washington, D.C. Any member is welcome to attend, so if you are going to be in the Washington area during that time, check out the information on the FEA website and plan to stop by and participate.

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. Update -- The next Update will be sent out by Lisa on May 30.. My next Update will be June 6, and that will be my final Update for SY 12/13. Hard to believe really ! Please know that if there is any breaking news that we will get it out immediately.

15.Transfer Program Update - (This is still the latest news that we have. This appeared in Lisa's last Update) DoDEA has recently informed FEA that they will be able to offer an additional four transfers. The placements will go to applicants who match vacancies beginning with applicants from Group D and will be determined based upon Service Computation Date within each transfer group. Any teacher in Group D or F who receives an offer at this late date, may decline without penalty. Group D/F transfers will be made to vacancies that could not be used for Group A+, A, B or C placements. Although these four additional transfer placements are better than none, FEA continues to feel that this year's transfer program was grossly underfunded and will hurt morale and professional growth opportunities for DoDDS educators. (from the May 15, 2012, President's Report) Please continue to check for the latest news at


Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel: 0160 2388051