September 26, 2012

1. Trainings, EAC, and Association Day
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. American Foreign Services
4. Non-Temporary Storage
5. Pay Problem Package
6. NEA Complimentary Life Insurance
7. Open Season
8. Mark Your Calendars
9. Daylight Saving Time Ends
10. Update
11. Hispanic Heritage Month
12. Area JCC
13. National Bullying Prevention Month
14. SR-50's
15. Professional Growth Plan (PGP)

1.Trainings, EAC, and Association Day -- The past two weeks were incredibly busy. There were two day FRS trainings in all four districts, the fall meeting of the European Area Council, and Association Day this past Saturday. Association Day was held just outside Lakenheath Air Base and featured a number of guest speakers including two from NEA who flew in from the States. Attendance was excellent (and the food even better). The list would be too long to name each individual separately but I want to thank everyone who contributed to making all of these meetings successful.

2. Area Directors' Travels -- I was in attendance at nearly all of the above mentioned functions as was Lisa. I returned to Germany on Sunday and have been playing catch up ever since, but happily I am nearly there. My next journey will take me to Wiesbaden on October 3 for the Area JCC. After that I will begin my school visits.

3. American Foreign Services -- The American Foreign Services Protective Association will be traveling through Europe in the coming months to give presentations on the various insurance packages that they offer. While this is a very good company please be aware that there are other quality insurers that also will be visiting during the year. FEA will alert you when we get their plans. Attached is the schedule of visits for the AFSPA.

4. 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.

5. Pay Problem Package -- At the recent FRS trainings FEA Attorney Bill Freeman reminded everyone that debt letters are still being issued almost daily. If you should be so unfortunate as to receive one then Bill asks that you follow the instructions and use the forms which are in the attachment above.

6. NEA Complimentary Life Insurance - All eligible members can take advantage of the valuable, automatic term life insurance coverage provided by NEA Complimentary Life Insurance. Although you are automatically covered by being an eligible member, please take a moment to be sure that you have registered a beneficiary of your choice. You can do that at the link below. Thanks to Brian Chance of Kaiserslautern Middle School for this timely reminder. Learn more.

7. Office of Personnel Management Open Season -Each year, Open Season runs from the Monday of the second full workweek in November through the Monday of the second full workweek in December. This year, Open Season runs from November 12, 2012 through December 10, 2012.This is an opportunity to change insurance plans and to elect other Federal benefits, such as the flexible savings accounts. While it is still a while away it doesn't hurt to start thinking about this now since the Open Season coincides with one of the busiest times of the year. More information can be found in the attachment.

8. Mark Your Calendars --
September 15 -- October 15 -- Hispanic Heritage Month
October 8 -- Columbus Day (Federal Holiday)

9. Daylight Saving Time Ends -- Unfortunately , one does not have to look too far to see the signs that summer is now over and that winter is not too far off. I had to scrape my windshield for the first time just a few days ago. With this being the case it is also time to prepare to change our clocks. Daylight Saving Time officially ends on October 28 in most of Europe and one week later (November 4) in the states. Check the website here for more interesting and useful information on this topic.

10. Update -- Lisa will be back with her next Update on October 3. Please know that if there is any breaking news that we will get it out immediately and remember to also to check in regularly to

11. Hispanic Heritage Month - September 15-October 15 - National Hispanic Heritage Month is a national observance authorized by Public Law 100-402. The observation was initiated in 1968 as National Hispanic Heritage Week but was expanded in 1988 to include the entire 31-day period. See NEA's National Hispanic Heritage Month resources. This site contains lesson plans and many activities to be used in the classroom.

12. Area JCC -- The next Area JCC will be held in Wiesbaden on Wednesday, October 3.

13. National Bullying Prevention Month - Traditionally held the first week in October, the event has been expanded to include activities, education, and awareness building for the entire month. Check out NEA's Bully Free: It Starts With Me website to kick off your anti-bullying efforts. Some groups also observe Bullying Awareness Week in mid-November . There is a trailer for the movie ‘Bully' attached to the website.

14. SF-50's -- At the beginning of the school year, you should have received 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.

15. Professional Growth Plans (PGP) -- Soon you will be asked to submit your PGP for SY 12/13. Attached you will find the actual document laying out the appraisal system as well as a list of frequently asked questions concerning the PGP.


Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel: 0160 2388051