September 4, 2013 FEA Europe Update
1. Contact Information for Schools
2. Area Directors' Travels
4. Article 5, Section 5 -- Training
5. September 11, 2001
6. Membership Information
7. FRS Training Dates
9. Non-Temporary Storage
10. Mark Your Calendars
11. Student Activities Calendar
12. Pay Problem Package
14. Enjoy the Sun !
1. Contact Information for Schools - Please make sure to notify us if there has been a change in FRS/FR or Local Officers, etc. We want to make sure that information, including these Updates, is going to the right people in each school. We believe we have everything correct as of the end of last SY, but want to keep an eye on the few outstanding elections that were taking place on the return to school this August.
2. Area Directors' Travels -- The month of September will be mostly devoted to the trainings as noted below. If there are any additional travels in that time frame we will let you know.
3. LES -- With the first full paycheck of the school year coming up on September 13, for those on the 21 pay plan as well as those on the 26 pay plan, please again check your Leave and Earnings statement carefully. Some things to watch for: that you are being paid on the right step; that your SCD is correct; that you have the correct number of leave days to include the 10 credited this year, and that any allotments you have are still correct. Also, for those who have a TSP loan and who stopped their payments over the summer be sure that the Agency has restarted the payments. Failure to do so can cause problems with TSP at tax time. If they are not taking out the payments you can use form TSP-41 to get them restarted.
4. Article 5, Section 5- Training --With FRS Training coming up it is important to revisit how many members from each school are allowed to attend. It is spelled out in Article 5, Section 5 of the Negotiated Agreement. Please note that a unit employee need not be a member, but simply one who is eligible to join.
"The Association shall be entitled to two (2) full workdays during the first school year of this Agreement and one (1) full workday for each year thereafter that this Agreement is in effect to conduct workshops or otherwise train Association representatives concerning labor-management relations and this Agreement. For such training, the Association shall be entitled to one (1) representative per school with one to twenty-five (25) unit employees and two (2) representatives per school with twenty-six (26) or more unit employees. In schools with seventy-five (75) or more unit employees, the Association may be entitled to one additional representative for said training."
5. September 11, 2001 -- It is hard now to believe that 12 years have gone by since this event. Those of us that were here in Europe remember how life changed overnight. There is never a day that goes by when our gates are not manned by armed security guards. Pre 9/11 most posts and bases were open and local nationals could drive around on a Sunday afternoon and see how we Americans live. No more. Attached is a short tribute video put together by Middle School students in the aftermath of this event. It may help if you wish to discuss this with students who are now too young to have even been alive in 2001. It is from School Tube so it is ‘safe'. Here is that video.
6. Membership Information -- Membership information has been sent from FEA-Washington during the summer to either the FRS or Membership Chairperson at each school. If your school has not received this information please contact your respective District Representative and/or Area Director. This is a repeat from last Update but I want to be sure that everything has been delivered and in sufficient quantities.
7. FRS Training Dates - Following are the dates for FRS training next month. District Representatives are in the process now of sending out additional information.
Friday, September 13 -- Bavaria
Monday, September 16 -- Kaiserslautern
Tuesday, September 17 -- Wiesbaden/Stuttgart/Isles Continent Schools
Monday, September 23 -- Isles UK
8. NetSupport -- Many FRS's have been questioning where FEA and DoDEA were on the issue of NetSupport. The most recent edition of the President's Report included the following. Please be advised. "FEA and DODDS have agreed to again extend the existing MOU on NetSupport School. The existing MOU can be found here."
9. 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.
10. Mark Your Calendars --
September 5 -- Rosh Hashanah
September 8 -- Grandparent's Day
September 11 -- Anniversary of 9/11
September 18-20 -- EAC (Wiesbaden)
11. Student Activities Calendar -- Attached is the Calendar of Student Activities Calendar for SY 2013 -- 2014. There are many varied and interesting activities planned, some of which you would find extremely interesting if you can plan to attend. In addition, the DoDDS-E sports calendar will be kicking off this weekend. Most sports are playing one less game/match/meet this year due to budget constraints so make sure you get out there and cheer for your local team.
12. Pay Problem Package -- I included this in my last Update but I am doing so again since Bill Freeman has subsequently sent us a new packet that contains some changes. (attached) Also, Lisa's suggestion to always check with the POC at your school is extremely good advice.
13. Update - The next Update is scheduled to be Lisa's on September 11. However, that date as well as some of the ensuing dates may be subject to change, since we will both be on the road quite a bit taking care of FRS Trainings and participating in the EAC meeting, . Please know that if there is any breaking news that we will get it out immediately. Also, remember to check www.feaonline.org for the latest.
14. Enjoy the Sun! -- I just rechecked my weather pages and still can't believe my eyes. It seems, unless there is a big change, that beautiful weather is heading our way. It appears that throughout Europe the last part of this week in to the weekend that the weather will be sunny and well in to the 70's. Having lived in Germany since 1986 I know that this will be a circumstance that doesn't occur in mid-September very often and needs to be enjoyed. I ask everyone to fight our basic instinct as educators and try to arrange it so that you do not have to be in the classroom this weekend and try to plan to get outdoors. Doing these kinds of things now will help reduce the stress we will feel later in the year when we go weeks without seeing the sun. For at least one more week, we can keep our Vitamin D supplements on the shelf!
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel: 0160 2388051