May 9 2018 FEA Europe Update
May 9, 2018
1. RAT Travel and DTS info
2. Tax on PCS moves info
3. Updates for actions on FEA Online
4. FRS Elections
5. National Teacher Day
6. National School Nurse Day
7. Weingarten Rights
8. Mark Your Calendar
9. Local Rebates
10. National Caribbean-American Heritage Month
11. Goodbye Grievance info
12. Area Director's Travel
1. RAT Travel and DTS -- A new layer in order to get orders. There are essentially three steps to getting RAT/ED Travel orders now. 1. Apply in TOPS for orders, 2. Fill out the DTS Profile with SS, 3. Either purchase your own ticket, (beware of city pairs prices) or fill out the DTS reservation request form for DTS to purchase your tickets as many SATO offices will no longer make the reservations for teachers. We are still gathering more info and as we get it will forward it. The timing of beginning the new layer is about as bad as it could have been. More on the issue now is that DTS, once they have your DTS profile form, will issue a DD 1610 that gives the amount associated with your RAT/TOP's orders in boxes 20 a,b,c,d. This form with your orders can then be used at some SATO offices or with DTS (not as much flexibility), or to purchase your own tickets. Please be aware that purchasing your own tickets could result in a city pairs price which can be googled for the fare. Other things to know on the DTS profile form….
1. The mailing address can be an APO (forms are now corrected and boxes should be fillable)
2. The residential address must be your European address
3. TOPS orders are used to generate the profile in DTS which then sends the profile fillable form
4. You will have separate DTS orders for your spouse and every dependent
5. You can have tickets reserved for you from CTO with your TOPS orders while you wait for your DTS orders.
6. The email for CTO/SATO to get tickets with the orders and dd-1610 should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Info on Tax on PCS moves -- This has been a hot topic recently and here is the latest news. DoD (DCPAS, DFAS) is working with GSA and the IRS. From the DFAS site it states:
Non-taxable reimbursements include:
1. Household Goods (HHG) Shipment - Government Bill of Lading (GBL)
2. Household Goods (HHG) Storage for first 30 days
3. En route travel (lodging and transportation, to include government issued airline tickets)
4. Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) shipment
"... For the above taxable items, DFAS issues a PCS W-2 by January 31
following the year of reimbursement."
Therefore it seems much is covered for what is needed when teachers PCS. An article recently published in the FED Weekly also seems to give some calm to the situation and can be read at https://www.fedweek.com/fedweek/senators-join-call-for-relief-from-relocation-tax-policy-change/ Stay tuned and check www.feaonline.org for other info as things change.
3. President's Report from April 17 -- While I cannot list what was in it here or the contents of it, the President's Report had important information about what FEA and we are confronted with right now. There will be constant updates as well as actions members can take and how to take them listed on the FEA website. www.feaonline.org
4. 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 18/19. 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.
5. 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
6. 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!
7. 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.
8. Mark Your Calendar
May 1-31 - Jewish American Heritage Month
May 7-11 - Teacher Appreciation Week
May 9 - National Teacher Day
May 10 - National School Nurses Day
May 13 - Mother's Day
May 17-20 PTA Conference in Garmisch
May 28 Memorial Day
9. 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.
10. 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. http://caribbeanamericanmonth.org/
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 that is not a FEA 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. Please be aware that NOW is the time to make sure that this is accomplished before the end of the year.
12. Area Director's Travel -- I will be traveling to Washington D.C. for an arbitration hearing from 29 May to 2 June. If there is any ‘Breaking News' I will distribute it as quickly as possible. Visiting the FEA website at www.FEAonline.org will also give you up to the minute information.