Content

September 28 2011 FEA Europe Report


1. HCR Contacts
2. Time Change
3. Area Directors' Travels
4. AFSPA
5. Homecoming
6. National Bullying Prevention Month
7. FSAFEDS
8. Non-Temporary Storage
9. PGP FAQ
10. Mileage Rates
11. Mark Your Calendars
12. Latest News
13. Update


1. HCR Contacts - One FEA Building HCR contact for each school needs to be identified by October 1st. The following is excerpted from the 2011 FEA Ethnic-Minority Compliance Plan and explain the duties of the Building HCR contact:
  • Assist efforts of the area and district to identify ethnic minority members.

  • Encourage ethnic minority members to become actively involved in local Association activities, such as JCC committees and to run for office.

  • Make special efforts to inform ethnic minority members in the local of the NEA RA delegate election process and encourage them to run for such positions.

  • Recommend the purchase of multi-cultural materials through the annual school budget process.

  • Encourage the allocation of funds towards increasing ethnic minority involvement in Association activities.

  • Perform other activities deemed necessary to advance the cause of ethnic minority involvement and interests.

  • Disseminate correspondence from the minority training program.
While the above is specifically addressing work with ethnic minorities, a building HCR contact may also choose to do the same for other protected classes under federal statute. For example, encouraging religious minorities, racial minorities, and women to become more actively involved as well. If you are interested in serving as the HCR contact for your school, please contact your FRS and/or your District HCR Coordinator. Please ask if you have any questions about how to put this into action at your school! (Thanks to Alina Rozanski, FEA European HCR Coordinator, for this information.)

2. Time Change -- For planning purposes please be aware that the time change will occur in Europe on the night/early morning of October 30. At this time we will ‘fall back' one hour. Also be aware that the United States will not change its clocks until a week later on November 6. You can find more about this as well as other time and date information at http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/clockchange.html?n=83

3. Area Directors' Travels -- I will be attending a JCC in Wiesbaden on October 13. Lisa will be joining me electronically. The week of October 17 -- 21 will find the both of us in Washington, D.C. for the FEA Board of Directors meeting.

4. AFSPA -- The American Foreign Service Protection Association will be traveling through Europe in October and early November. Attached is a tentative schedule of their briefings as well as a flyer with more information. AFSPA is one of a number of insurance companies that will travel through Europe this year.

5. Homecoming -- Many of us would like to be able to attend the annual Homecoming events held at high schools from which we graduated but of course that is virtually impossible. However, there is a great alternative. All of the high schools here in Europe have Homecoming events scheduled in which you can take part. There is of course the football game but generally all sports teams are scheduled to be at home during this weekend and they would all love your support. In addition, there are pep rallies, bon fires, fests, etc. as well as the sporting events. Contact your local HS for more information so that you can enjoy a very American tradition. Some have already been held but following is a list of upcoming Homecoming dates:
October 1 -- Ramstein, ISB (Sept. 30) ,Schweinfurt, and Naples
October 8 -- Kaiserslautern, Lakenheath, AFNORTH, Ansbach, Menwith Hill, Bamberg, Sigonella, and Vincenza
October 15 -- Wiesbaden, Vilseck, SHAPE, Baumholder, Hohenfels, Aviano, Alconbury, Brussels, and Rota
6. 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 web site to kick off your anti-bullying efforts. Some groups also observe Bullying Awareness Week in mid-November.


7. FSAFEDS -- Newly hired eligible employees and newly eligible employees cannot enroll in FSAFEDS for the current (2011) Benefit Period after September 30, 2011. Newly hired and newly eligible employees have 60 days from their hire/eligibility date to enroll, but no later than September 30 of the year. Of course, those employees can enroll during the Federal Benefits Open Season, with coverage effective January 1, 2012. Alternatively, they can enroll on/after January 1, 2012 (with coverage effective the day after they enroll), as long as their 60 days haven't ended by then.
Employees have advised us that their agencies have told them they can enroll after September 30 as long as they are still within their 60 days. That is not correct.
The Federal Benefits Open Season runs from November 14 through December 12, 2011. This is the time in which employees can enroll in the FSAFEDS Program for the 2011 Benefit Period. Current enrollees MUST re-enroll if they wish to participate in the 2011 Benefit Period. Enrollments DO NOT carry over year-to-year.
For more information go to: http://www.opm.gov/insure/flexible/

8. 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.

9. PGP FAQ -- Soon members will be asked to begin finalizing their Professional Growth Plan for SY 11/12. The attachment above answers many of the most frequently asked questions .The complete Performance Appraisal System can be found here.

10. Mileage Rates -- The current mileage rates as set by the U.S. General Services Administration are as follows:
Automobile
If use of privately-owned automobile is authorized or if no Government-owned automobile is available: January 1, 2011 - $0.51
If Government Owned Automobile available: January 1, 2011 - $0.19
Motorcycle: January 1, 2011 - $0.48

11. Mark Your Calendars --
October 10--Columbus Day
October 17 -- 21 - FEA Board of Directors meeting Washington, D.C.
October 31 -- Halloween
November 14 -- December 12 -- FEHB Open Season

12. Latest News -- Please as always remember that for the latest and most accurate information visit www.feaonline.org .

13. Update - Lisa will send out the next Update on October 5.

Alex

Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel: 0160 2388051