May 4 2017 FEA Europe Update
1. Good News!
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. FRS Elections
4. HCR Building Representatives
6. National Teacher Day
7. Area JCC
8. National School Nurse Day
9. Summer Travel
10. Mark Your Calendar
11. "Goodbye" Grievance
12. FEA Election Results
13. Weingarten Rights
14. Summer Reminders
1. Good News! -- In my last Update I talked about the fact that it was getting close for our new salary schedule to be sent. Well, it has happened. The following average rates of increase for DODDS salaries in School Year 2016-2017 have been finalized.
Classroom teachers -- 2.29%
Guidance counselors -- 1.95%
School psychologists -- 1.6%
Speech pathologists -- 2.87%
The full SY 16-17 salary schedules for DODDS are available here (member login required). Please remember that the above figures represent OVERALL average increases for each position. Specific spots on each salary schedule (as determined by pay lane and step) may be higher or lower than this overall average. Retroactive pay is anticipated to be on our LES for May 19.
2. Area Directors' Travels -- My next scheduled trip would be to Sembach for the last Area JCC for SY 16/17 on May 16. If any other issues arise subsequent to the JCC we will handle them on a one by one basis.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. Always remember that for the most current news to check www.feaonline.org on a regular basis.
3. FRS Elections -- It is nearing the time of year (usually late April in to May) when schools will be choosing their Faculty Representative Spokesperson for SY 17/18. 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 you have not yet started the process you should do so now. Please also see #4 below. It would be optional for each school if they wish to conduct the school level HCR election in conjunction with the FRS election.
4. HCR -- The following item comes from Patricia Hannon, the FEA Europe HCR Coordinator from Hohenfels ES:
"Due to the recent surge in social activism surrounding Human and Civil Rights, The FEA European Area Council would like to encourage each building to include a Human and Civil Rights Representative category in their spring election this year. This person, known as a "building HCR" has the following duties:
Promote social justice, equity, and equal access at the building level.
Participate in and/or provide specialized training for social justice topics.
Serve as a point of contact in your building for social justice and equity concerns.
Participate in a community of HCR representatives to promote social justice training and leadership.
We are looking for passionate people from all walks of life to fill this role. Please contact Patricia Hannon, FEA Europe HCR, with any questions."
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. My next Update will be around May 17. 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 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. http://www.nea.org/grants/teacherday.html
7. Area JCC -- The next Area JCC has been scheduled for May 16 in Sembach. Minutes of the meeting will follow shortly thereafter.
8. National School Nurse Day -- Wednesday, May 10, 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!
9. Summer Travel -- Guidance on the purchase of tickets is attached. This advice from FEA remains in place, despite Congress acting April 28 to fund the government through at least May 5. A new budget has now been agreed upon, but as of this Update has not yet been signed in to law.
10. Mark Your Calendar-
May7-13 -- Teacher Appreciation Week
May 9 - National Teacher Day
May 10 -- National School Nurses Day
May 14 -- Mother's Day
May 29 -- Memorial Day
11. "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.
12. FEA Election Results - The winners of FEA's Area Director elections are:
Europe Area Director -- Terry McClain
Pacific Area Director -- Melanie Horton
FEA Director for DDESS -- Jane Loggins
Congratulations to all of the winners. Full election results can be found at www.feaonline.org
13. 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.
14. Summer Reminders -- I was in line to get gas about two weeks ago when I noticed that my fuel card had expired as of the end of March. I took steps to take care of that, but as a result I started checking expiration dates on everything: CAC card, driver's license (both here and the States), passport, etc. I have a few other things that I also better take care of soon. Before you leave here for the summer (and even if you are staying here) 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!
FEA Europe Area Director