May 28 2014 FEA Europe Update
1. Summer Reminders
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. Weingarten Rights
4. Membership Information
5. Speaking of the Summer
7. Graduation Dates
8. Area JCC
9. Excess Placement Update
10. Mark Your Calendars
11. National Caribbean-American Month
12. Faculty Representative Spokesperson
13. No Explanation Needed
14. "Goodbye" Grievance -- Final Reminder
1 Summer Reminders -- I was checking through my wallet the other day and noticed that my New Jersey driver's license was expiring on June 30. I took steps to take care of that, but as a result I started checking expiration dates on everything: driver's license (both here and the States), fuel card, passport, etc. I have a few other things that I also better take care of soon. Before you leave here for summer please take a moment and check your expiration dates. I would hate to see you inconvenienced on your return. Time flies by on these things!
2. Area Directors' Travels -- I visited Grafenwohr ES this past week, and will soon be heading to Wiesbaden for the next Area JCC and also to a chance to meet with our new Director, Mr. Tom Brady. Also, in the little time still remaining I will be visiting the closing schools both in Schweinfurt and Bamberg. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org . 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. (I am running this one again because since it appeared here just two weeks ago we had three allegations of child abuse leveled at our teachers.)
4. Membership Information -- Membership information will be sent from FEA Washington during the summer to either the FRS or the Membership Chairperson. Please make sure our Washington office has your correct CMR mailing address.
5. 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 4th through August 29. Since our offices are in the NEA building the FEA office will be closed then too.
6. Update - Lisa will be back next week with the Update. I will return on or about June 11 with the last Update of the year. Hard to believe, but I am not complaining. In the meantime, as always, keep up to date at www.feaonline.org
7. Graduation Dates -- Attached (thanks Hope Matthews!) is the current schedule of Commencement ceremonies for DoDDS-E. I believe that some of these will be televised. Check the DoDDS-E website or the website of the individual schools for further information.
8 . Area JCC -- The final Area JCC for SY 2013/14 will be held in Wiesbaden at 1000 on June 4. (This is a change since my previous Update.) 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. Excess Placement Update -- The current ‘unofficial' word is that the excess placement program is still open. However, the reality is that it is very nearly finished with only a few teachers left to place. The FEA President's Report will be out on or about June1 so I will defer to that for the final word on this issue. If you do not already receive it directly, you can find it at www.feaonline.org .
10. Mark Your Calendars --
June 1-30 National Caribbean-American Heritage Month
June 13 -- Last Duty Day
June 14 -- Flag Day
June 15 -- Father's Day
June 17 -- My Birthday ☺
June 28 -- 29 FEA Board of Directors Meeting, Denver
11. National Caribbean-American Heritage Month -- June is Caribbean-American Heritage Month. During this month we celebrate the ways that Caribbean-Americans have enriched our society and added to the strength of America. For more information visit the Caribbean American Heritage Month website. here
12. Faculty Representative Spokesperson (FRS) -- By now we would anticipate that most elections for FRS are either completed or are near that stage. Please remember to send the results to your respective Area Director as soon as possible.
13. No Explanation Needed --
14. "Goodbye" Grievance: A Final Reminder - 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. Note: If you have not done this yet, do it now!!
FEA Europe Area Director