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September 20 2017 FEA Europe Update

Terry's Update

20 September, 2017

1. Great Start
2. BAS Sub Coverage Update
3. Area Director's Travels
4. Association Evening Results
5. EAC
6. Pay Problem Package
7. Mark Your Calendar
8. NEA information
9. LES Reminder/Salary Organizer
10. HCR News and Newsletter site
11. RAT Travel Update
12. SF50 and Site for Access

1. Great Start -- A great start to the SY means simply that we the teachers had a smile, the classroom ready, and a welcoming word for the students. It obviously does not mean we have computers that work or work correctly, nor all paraprofessionals/aides, and in some cases our fellow colleagues are on board. FEA knows you work hard to ensure a great start and have witnessed it in many schools. FEA also is making sure that management, at all levels; know how difficult it is to start well when the 21st (CENTURY) equipment does not work nor when you are covering multiple assignments.


2. BAS Update -- Through the efforts of FEA the ‘no sub' idea for the BAS has been rescinded for the time being. At this point it is only for the first round, and of course for kindergarten students the first round is in January, so let's hope for the best.


3. Area Director's Travels -- The last two weeks there have been four FRS trainings that went very well, all FRSs were able to speak to lawyers and know what's happening in FEA. There was not nearly enough time, so there will be more questions as we move forward but all know that the FEA support team is here for them. I will be in Wiesbaden the beginning of October for a JCC with Dr. McMullen as well as a tour of the new HS. If there is any ‘Breaking News' I will distribute it as quickly as possible. Visiting the FEA website at www.FEAonline.org will give you up to the moment information. If responses to emails lag a bit I apologize, however, will answer as quickly as we can.


4. Association Evening -- Association evening was a resounding success even though Ms. Becky Pringle could not attend because of a family emergency. We will continue to move these around to each area so next Fall we hope you can plan to attend. There were about eighty members present, not to mention great food and discussion.


5. EAC -- The European Area Council met Thursday and Friday, September 14-15, in Kaiserslautern. Approved minutes of this meeting will be published on the FEA website. The EAC also met with Dr. McMullen, Mr. Gerry, and Mr. Kushmerek on Thursday 14 September. Although it was a great start of the SY, the EAC expressed their concerns over the IT issues as well as paraprofessionals/aides and teacher vacancies.


6. Pay Problem Package -- As we all still know, DFAS continues to send out debt collection letters. Bill Freeman, our General Counsel handling pay problems has updated his very useful pay problem package. Bill highly recommends that you please discard and discontinue using all previous versions. Also, Bill reminds "Please use these battle-tested forms and make no changes to the formats".


7. Mark Your Calendar --
September 21 -- Rosh Hashanah
September 30 -- Yom Kippur
October 9 -- Columbus Day Federal Holiday (no school)
October 23 -- 31 -- Red Ribbon Week
October 29 -- Daylight Savings Time Ends (Europe)
November 5 -- Daylight Savings Time Ends (United States)


8. National Education Association info (NEA) -- NEA provides a wealth of material for teachers and one of the pieces is ideas to combat bullying. There is even free ‘stuff' at this site thanks to member Brian Chance for this tip. Hope this can help, and we encourage you to visit the NEA webpages for all the information happening stateside.


9. LES -- It is always good to constantly check your LES as Bill Freeman will tell you that money can be taken sometimes without your knowledge. I have therefore attached again the salary organizer/pay tracker for your use. Hope it can help.


10. HCR Newsletter and Update -- You can find the information at this site This issue contains information about the purpose of the HCR program, the role of the Building HCR contact, resources for Hispanic Heritage Month, and contact information for HCR advocates. Thanks to member and FEA HCR World Coordinator Alina Rozanski for this information.


11. RAT Travel Update - Last spring, when a budget standoff delayed the issuing of summer travel orders, DoDEA management had threatened not to reimburse any employee who had booked their RAT travel prior to receiving their orders. Now, however, we have heard from several people who have been reimbursed for RAT even though they purchased before receiving those orders. FEA urges all overseas bargaining unit members to apply for RAT reimbursement ASAP, even if you were previously told you would not be reimbursed, and to contact FEA at this email if your reimbursement is denied due to the timing of your purchase. You can read FEA's legal update on this issue at this page.


12. SF 50: -- At the beginning of the school year, you should be receiving a new SF-50, showing your return to duty status, etc. If you have not, please check with your school secretary. Once you receive this, double check to insure that all the information is correct and save this for your records. Also verify that the number of leave days indicated is correct and that health insurance premiums (FEHB) are being correctly deducted. You can also access all your own information as well as your own sf50 at this site if you would like.


Terry McClain
FEA Europe Area Director