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August 23, 2017 FEA Europe Update

Terry's Update

23 August, 2017

1. Welcome Back
2. News Article on BAS Sub Coverage
3. Area Director's Travels
4. Association Evening>br /> 5. EAC
6. FEA Europe Leadership
7. TSP Loans
8. NEA information
9. LES Check up
10. FRS Training Dates
11. Non-Temporary Storage info
12. HCR News and credit possibility
13. RAT info from HQ

1. Welcome Back -- Welcome back to returnees, and hello to all new colleagues. It is hard to believe that the summer passed so quickly and seems yesterday we were talking about what we would do when school was finished. There have been changes over the summer to a number of policies in DoDEA, and FEA has been working hard to keep all updated. Visiting www.FEAonine.org will give you the updates and also allow you to sign up for the President's report. This report went out on Monday, has up-to-date info, and goes out twice monthly. I will send out updates as well, and of course when there is ‘Breaking News' will inform all immediately.

2. News Article S&S -- As I mentioned above FEA has been working all summer to keep you updated and if you have not read your FEA Journal or did not see the article in the S&S you can read here about the elimination of substitutes for BAS testing in the elementary. Click here for the article.

3. Area Director's Travels -- If you look at the list under #5 below you will see a number of meetings and trainings that are scheduled for the next two weeks. We will be working with all building reps in the FEA area during the month of September so they will be prepared to best represent the members. If responses to emails lag a bit we apologize, however, will answer as quickly as we can.

4. Association Evening -- Please note also that September 13 will be an Association Evening at the Kaiserslautern Stadium starting at 1700 with a light dinner and Ms. Becky Pringle, Vice President of NEA, as the guest speaker. All members are invited, and a reminder flyer will be sent soon.

5. EAC -- The European Area Council will be meeting on Thursday and Friday, September 14-15, in Kaiserslautern. Approved minutes of this meeting will be published on the FEA website.

6. FEA Europe Leadership -- The Division Representatives and other FEA leaders for Europe for SY 16-17 are as follows:
• Europe West, Anita Lang
• Europe East 1, Susan Kelly
• Europe East 2, Alex Veto
• Patricia Hannon, Europe Area HCR Coordinator
• Terry McClain, Europe Area Representative

7. 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

8. National Education Association info (NEA) -- NEA provides a wealth of material for teachers and one of the pieces is ideas to start the school year in this link. They also provide ideas for proven complete lessons, aligned to CCR standards with this link. Hope this can help, and we encourage you to visit the NEA webpages for all the information happening stateside.

9. LES -- With the first full paycheck of the school year coming up on September 23, for those on the 21 pay plan as well as those on the 26 pay plan, please again check your Leave and Earnings statement carefully. Some things to watch for: that you are being paid on the right step; that your SCD is correct; that you have the correct number of leave days to include the 10 credited this year, and that any allotments you have are still correct. Also, for those who have a TSP loan and who stopped their payments over the summer be sure that the Agency has restarted the payments. Failure to do so can cause problems with TSP at tax time. If they are not taking out the payments you can use form TSP-41 to get them restarted.

10. Mark Your Calendar-
September 6 -- Europe West Contract Training (UK Alconbury)
September 8 -- Europe West Continent Contract Training (Brussels)
September 11-- Europe East 2 Contract Training (Nuremburg)
September 13--Europe East 1 Contract Training (Kaiserslautern) Association Evening 1700
September 14-15 -- European Area Council Meetings

11. Non-Temporary Storage - Goods in Storage: If you have goods in storage, you should normally receive a "fund cite" in September. The fund citations for the storage are done on a fiscal year basis. DoDEA notifies the storage companies of the new fund citations and employees about the same time. The notices go initially to the school secretary, who should distribute them to employees. If you have not received a notice, please check first with your school secretary.

12. From the HCR Desk: -- "Introduction to Peace Education" is being offered for up to 20 DoDEA Educators via the British Quaker Leadership. The course focus is for those teaching ages 5-12, but any member worldwide is welcome to participate. The course is completely online and runs from Sept 4-Oct 15. Sign-up instructions will be shared via union leadership pending credit approval, so watch your email closely! Contact Patricia Hannon for more information or see the course description at this site.

13. RAT Information:

Background
In the Spring of 2017, DODDS announced that bargaining unit members who purchased tickets for RAT travel BEFORE receiving RAT Orders would not be reimbursed for those tickets. Subsequently, FEA filed Association Grievance 17-04 to deal with this issue on behalf of all DODDS Educators in the FEA bargaining unit. We have learned that educators who exercised/used RAT and submitted requests for reimbursement have been reimbursed, regardless of when the tickets were purchased.

Steps to be taken by all DODDS Educators in the FEA Bargaining Unit
Upon return from RAT, educators will need to submit their requests for RAT reimbursement ASAP. In light of the above-mentioned development, the Association hopes that RAT will be reimbursed REGARDLESS of when the tickets were purchased. If your requests for RAT reimbursement are denied due to the timing of your purchase, please notify/contact the Association at FEAlegal@nea.org. Association Grievance 17-04 remains on active status in case we need to litigate the issue.

Terry McClain
FEA Europe Representative