Content

September 30 2009 FEA Europe Report

1. What's Wrong with this Picture?
2. What is FEA doing for you?
3. Best Practices
4. Human Resources Contacts
5. Non-Temporary Storage
6. Mark Your Calendars
7. AdvancEd and Other Visits
8. Area Directors' Travels
9. Area JCC
10. NEA Resources


1. What's Wrong with this Picture? - What a month it has been! Apparently, the people who are setting ALL of these deadlines for the month of September have forgotten what it is like to actually be IN a classroom. The beginning days of school are always hard work, but this year, with new standards, new texts, and countless new demands on our time, has been unnecessarily difficult and made even worse by poor communication and these short, unreasonable suspense dates.

2. What is FEA doing for you? DoDEA HQ has mandated a number of changes which are impacting on your time and your working conditions. Many of DoDEA HQ's decisions and actions are not in the best interest of children. In the process, many of the changes have been implemented without negotiation as required in our contract. Since management is unwilling to negotiate, FEA has filed a number of Association Grievances. Recently filed grievances involve the following: unilaterally mandated changes to school schedules, violation of MOU on GradeSpeed, Implementation of new English Language Arts program, preparation periods, and failure to reimburse and/or compensate educators for EXCENT and ASPEN.

FEA leaders on the state, area and district level have been sending guidance to your FRS on how to handle the issues that have been raised by management's actions. Please carefully review the Legal Updates, FEA President Reports and our FEA Europe Updates. It is especially important for you to carefully document all your time spent during your preparation periods as well as before and after school and a description of the activities that do not allow you to prepare for your students. When management requires training and activities such as CSI and team meetings, management should provide time within the duty day, not your preparation time. Please talk to your FRS if you are not sure what you should do. Go to FEA's online website (www.feaonline.org) for updates, guidance and links. Remember to have your membership ID number handy.

It is also important for you to keep FEA informed as new directives and mandates come out. Since management is not keeping FEA informed, it is especially important for you to let us know of new programs and policies that are coming out at the school level.

3. Best Practices - One principal, noting the additional stress and work being placed on teachers during the first few weeks of school, offered to sub for teachers if they needed a few minutes to catch up on things that they were not able to get done. What a great show of support and understanding for teachers! Good administrators "get" that teachers' working conditions are really kids' learning conditions. Creating a stressful environment for teachers does not create a good learning environment for students.

4. Human Resources Contacts - Attached are telephone numbers for your Human Resources contacts for all districts. Also included are specific lists for the Isles and Kaiserslautern Districts with specific school assignments for the POC's. The other two districts still have vacancies to fill.

5. Non-Temporary Storage - Non-temporary storage (NTS) of household goods (HHG), regulated by the Joint Travel Regulations (JTR), Volume 2, subparagraph C5195.B., states that an employee stationed at, transferred to, or newly assigned to an overseas permanent duty station (PDS) may be allowed NTS within DoD guidelines.
The following are general guidelines that should be followed:
  • *Upon arrival at a new Permanent Duty Station (PDS), employees must fax or Email a copy of the DD Form 1164 (Services Orders for Personal Property) or the DD Form 1299 (Application for Shipment and/or Storage of Personal Property) to the Human Resources Center. The DD Form 1164 is provided to the employee after the Transportation Management Office (TMO) handling the shipment has placed the household goods into a non-temporary storage facility. Either document should be faxed or emailed to the attention of Ms. Karen Baldwin, the NTS Coordinator.
  • *Current employees who PCS to a new duty station should notify the TMO, or Contract Organization handling their storage, and inform them of the move.

Annually, the TMO or Contract Organization that handles HHGs/Personal Property requires a fiscal year fund citation memorandum for the upcoming fiscal year. Most requests for fund citation letters are forwarded to the Human Resources Center and to the employee. Any employee who has received a letter from the TMO or Contract Organization and who did not receive a new fiscal year citation letter by the middle of September, should send a message to Ms. Baldwin.

Employees located in Europe who have questions regarding their NTS should contact Ms. Karen Baldwin, Customer Team-Europe at karen.baldwin@hq.dodea.edu or 703-588-3985.

6. Mark Your Calendars -
November 9 -- Health Insurance Open Season Begins
November 15-21 -- American Education Week (Wednesday, Nov 18 is National Educational Support Professional Day)
Dec 4-6 - "Quality in Education" workshop with Tamara Hamilton, of the NEA. Please contact Terese Sarno or Linda Callender for information.

7. AdvancED and Other Visits - As you are planning for your AdvancED or NCA or other visits this year, here is a reminder from the AdvancED guide: "Please note that team members are not allowed to accept gifts from the school (school pens, pads of paper, and other items to assist the team with their work are acceptable to provide)." As stated in the April 2008 Area JCC notes, there is also no DoDDS-E expectation or direction that gift bags, baskets, or other special welcome items be prepared by teachers.

8. Area Directors' Travels - Next week I will be visiting schools at AFNORTH, Geilenkirchen and Kleine Brogel. On Thursday Oct 8, John and I will both be attending the Area Advisory Council meeting here in Wiesbaden. The following week I will be heading to visit our schools in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, followed by the FEA Board of Directors' meeting in DC (Oct 19-23). As always, I will check email as often as possible while traveling.

9. Area JCC - John and I met this week with Dr. Nancy Bresell, DoDDS-E Director, Paul Dellacroce, Area Superintendent for Curriculum, and Derek Kushmerek, LER Specialist. We will have the notes out to FRS's as soon as possible. Our next regular meeting is scheduled for November 3rd.

10. NEA Resources - The NEA website (www.nea.org) is loaded with useful information. This link has six activities to take advantage of the changing seasons.

These are stressful times...Try to be supportive of each other and good to yourselves.

Thanks for all you do,
Chuck

Chuck McCarter
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel/Fax: 0611-44756234 or
0611-44756131 or DSN 337-6251