September 27 2016 FEA Europe Update
1. Daily Rate
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. Pay Problem Package
4. FEGLI Open Season
7. Area JCC
8. Association Dues
9. Federal Long Time Care Insurance
10. Red Ribbon week
11. Mark Your Calendar
12. Daylight Savings Time Ends
13. National Day on Writing
14. American Foreign Services
15. OPM Open Season
16. HCR Newsletter
17. SF 50's
1. Daily Rate -- Recently at our FRS trainings the question kept coming up about the daily rate that is listed on our LES. People felt that it did not seem to be high enough to reflect their actual annual salary. Here as best I can explain it is the reason. Everyone knows that we work each year 190 days. If you were asked to work an extra day then you would be paid at 1/190 of your annual salary. However, that is not reflective of the daily rate on your LES because while we work 190 days our salary is spread out over the school year, which includes days we are not working. (Think Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Spring Break, etc.) If you check a LES from last year you would find that we were paid for 213 days. To prove that simply multiply the daily rate listed by 213 and you would get your annual salary. This year we are being paid for 214, but we are still working only 190. It is the result of the anomaly of New Year's Day falling on a Sunday thus giving us an extra day for Winter Break. Again, do not consider that we started on a Tuesday. We are still only working 190 days but being paid over 214. This is true for those of us on the 21 pay period plan. For those on the 26 pay period plan, the magic number to use to multiply your daily rate is 261. Last year it was 260. I hope this helps answer some of the questions that are out there.
2. Area Directors' Travels -- Last week was a very busy one, as I helped conduct FRS trainings in Nuremberg and Kaiserslautern. I also spent three days in England attending the annual European Area Council and also attending the FEA Association Day. Towards the end of this week I shall make some further school visits, ending my journey by taking part in the Area JCC on Wednesday, October 5, in Sembach.
3. Pay Problem Package -- As we all still unhappily 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 (see attached). 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".
4. FEGLI -- For the first time in 12 years the Federal Employee's Group Life is having an open season. This will occur from September 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016. During the Open Season, FEGLI-eligible employees can enroll in FEGLI or increase coverage up to the maximum offered by the program. FEGLI-eligible employees can elect any coverage the program offers, including Option C coverage on the lives of your spouse and eligible dependent children under age 22. As a reminder, enrolled employees can cancel coverage, reduce coverage, or change beneficiaries at any time - no need to wait until a FEGLI Open Season. There is no medical exam required and there are no health questions with your FEGLI Open Season election. You can find further information here: FEGLI Open Season info. In addition, please review again the attachment that was sent out earlier this week. Remember that you only have two days left to decide.
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. The next Update will be the President's Report on or about October 1. 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. EAC -- As noted above, the European Area Council met on September 15 and 16 at RAF Feltwell in England. The meeting covered a lengthy agenda and was attended by a number of visitors from the States, including Chuck McCarter, H.T. Nguyen, Jan and Bill Freeman, and Alex Nguyen. The culminating activity was Association Day on Saturday the 17th. This event was well attended and featured an inspiring talk from the current President of the National Education Association, Lily Eskelsen Garcia.
7. Area JCC -- The next Area JCC will be held in Sembach on Wednesday, October 5. We will publish the minutes as soon as they are finalized.
8. Association Dues -- For those members paying their dues through the payroll deduction plan please be aware of the following information. The first deduction will be taken from the pay period ending October 15, and then they will continue for 10 pay periods. Thanks to John Crowe, our FEA Europe Membership Coordinator for this clarification.
9. Federal Long Time Care Insurance (FLTCIP) -- The news is out that the premiums for FLTCIP will be increasing dramatically. If this would affect you, then read more at this site.
10.Red Ribbon Week - Enrique (Kiki) Camarena was a Drug Enforcement Administration Agent who was tortured and killed in Mexico in 1985. Camarena worked his way through college, served in the Marines and became a police officer. When he decided to join the US Drug Enforcement Administration, his mother tried to talk him out of it. "I'm only one person," he told her, "but I want to make a difference." In honor of Camarena's memory and his battle against illegal drugs, friends and neighbors began to wear red badges of satin. Parents, sick of the destruction of alcohol and other drugs, had begun forming coalitions. Some of these new coalitions took Camarena as their model and embraced his belief that one person can make a difference. These coalitions also adopted the symbol of Camarena's memory, the red ribbon. The National Family Partnership organized the first Nationwide Red Ribbon Campaign. Since that time, the campaign has reached millions of U.S. children and families. The National Family Partnership (NFP) and its network of individuals and organizations continue to deliver his message of hope to millions of people every year, through the National Red Ribbon Campaign. Red Ribbon Week is scheduled for October 23 through October 31. See this site for more information.
11. Mark Your Calendar-
October 3 -- Rosh Hashanah
October 10 -- Columbus Day Federal Holiday (no school)
October 12 -- Yom Kippur
October 23 -- 31 -- Red Ribbon Week
October 30 -- Daylight Savings Time Ends (Europe)
November 6 -- Daylight Savings Time Ends (United States)
12. Daylight Saving Time Ends -- Daylight Saving Time officially ends on October 30 in most of Europe and one week later (November 6) in the States. Check the website here for more interesting and useful information on this topic. Time and Date . Remember: Fall back, spring ahead! On a good note, you will get an extra hour sleep on Sunday morning!
13. National Day on Writing -- Tuesday, October 20, has been designated as the National Day on Writing by the National Council of Teachers of English. Go here for more information and activities. Day on Writing
14. American Foreign Services -- The American Foreign Services Protective Association will be traveling through Europe in the coming month 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. Please watch your school announcements for exact locations, dates, and times.
15. 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 9, 2016 through December 14, 2016.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. For further information go to: OPM . (You will see this again in future Updates. I don't want anyone to miss these dates if they are contemplating a change.)
16. HCR Newsletter -- The most recent edition of the HCR Newsletter is now out. It will now take on the new name of The Advocate. Thanks to FEA HCR Coordinator Alina Rozanski for this informative read. Read the HCR newsletter here.
17. SF-50's -- 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.
FEA Europe Area Director