September 29 2010 FEA Europe Update

1. An Explanation (Part 2)
2. Correction
3. Area Directors' Travels
5. Next Year's calendar
6. Non-Temporary Storage
7. FEA Local Leader & Member Training
8. LWOP Approval Process
9. Compare Health Plans
10. Mark Your Calendars
11. Voluntary Leave Transfer Program

1. An Explanation (Part 2) -- Due to continuing difficulties with my school computer I am sending this out from the mailbox of my wife, Priscilla. Hopefully this will all be ‘fixed' by the time of my next Update. Please do not hit reply to this message.

2. Correction - In Chuck's 10-09-22 Update, one important guest was left off of the list of those attending our Fall EAC Meeting. BettyLou Cummins, FEA Vice-President was also in attendance and lent her advice and expertise to the meetings. We apologize for the oversight.

3. Area Directors' Travels -- After a very hectic last two weeks, things will slow down just a little this week . Chuck and I will be at the Area Office on October 1 for our JCC. On Tuesday October 5 I will be visiting the Sembach schools and along with Chuck will be attending the FEA Board of Directors' meeting in Washing, D.C., from October 18 -- 22.

4. FSAFEDS -- This information just came out from HQ but may not have reached you yet. If you are newly hired than it is especially important and time sensitive. Newly hired eligible employees and newly eligible employees cannot enroll in FSAFEDS for the current (2010) Benefit Period after September 30, 2010. 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, 2011. Alternatively, they can enroll on/after January 1, 2011 (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 8 through December 13, 2010. 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:

5. Next Year's Calendar -- Recently the message has gone out that the first day for teachers to report next SY is August 23, a Tuesday. However, I have been receiving questions as to why. The simple explanation is that January 1, 2011, is a Sunday so the Federal Holiday falls on Monday. This means 11 school days off at Winter Break instead of the usual 10. To maintain the 190 days of work we are scheduled to come back a day early. You may hate it in August but will love it in January.

6. 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.

7. FEA Local Leader and Membership Training - This past Saturday I facilitated a membership training at Baumholder HS. We met from 9 a.m. until approximately 2 p.m. I wish to thank all those who attended and also the BEA for providing refreshments and lunch. There was good discussion and many topical questions were asked. I am available to any school/complex that would like to host a similar event.

8. LWOP Approval Process - Please find attached a chart that shows the Leave Approval Process, especially for Leave Without Pay (LWOP). This is not a new process, but I thought it may help some if questions are still out there.

9. Compare Health Plans -- As Open Season approaches you may want to compare health plans. Attached is a link to the web site. Simply enter your zip code and click overseas.

10. Mark Your Calendars --
October 1 -- Area JCC Wiesbaden
October 16,17 -- Strategic Leadership/Group Process Skills, Kaiserslautern POC: Terese Sarno
October 18 -- 22 - FEA Board of Directors meeting Washington, D.C.
October 31 -- Halloween
November 5-7 -- Social Justice and Diversity Training, Wiesbaden POC: Nancy Almendras
November 8 -- December 13 -- FEHB Open Season

11. VLTP -- Attached is information on Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP) which I hope you never have to use.

The next Update will be out on October 6.


Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel: 0160 2388051