November 10 2009 FEA Pacific Update

November 10, 2009
Debra Degalis, FEA Pacific Area Director

• DoDDS Educators are the Best
· Area Director Update
· Upcoming AD Activities
· Task Force Groups, Trainings, Volunteers
· Unilateral Changes and Violation of the Negotiated Agreement, MOUs and Past Practice
· Mark Your Calendars
· FEA Online
· Legal Eagle Corner -- Non-temporary Storage (NTS)
· Other Tidbits

DoDDS Educators are the Best! You have completed the first quarter of the 2009-2010 school year. Despite the torrent of DoDEA trainings and many un-negotiated mandates, you have remained the foundation and bedrock for the students. Your hard work and desire to help each student reach his/her potential is appreciated. Congratulate yourself and your colleagues. You are the best!

Area Director Update- The month of October was a busy one for all. The Kanto Plain/Iwakuni visits in Japan with FEA President, Michael Priser, went very well. Michael and I want to thank the FRSes who assisted us and the warm reception by the teachers. After our visits, the Fall Joint Labor Management Training (JLMT) and FRS Training were held in all three districts. Michael Priser was able to attend the Korea training and also work in a visit to the Osan Complex. FEA General Counsel, H.T. Nguyen, and Pacific General Counsel/Uniserv, attended the Okinawa and Japan trainings. Japan FRSes and administrators had the privilege of a visit from Lily Eskelsen, NEA Vice President. Last but not least, a huge thanks goes to Pacific Counsel/Uniserv, Michael Bauernfeind as he conducted the FRS training and co-led the JLMT with Area Labor Management Specialists.

Squeezed in between the trainings, we held the Pacific Area Leaders (PAL) meeting over the weekend in Korea. After the visits, trainings and PAL meeting, I attended the FEA Board of Directors (BOD) meeting in Washington, D.C. During our week-long meeting a number of NEA officers and staff visited as well as Dr. Miles, Mr. Toth and Ed Banka. When reflecting upon the busy three weeks, I was once again assured that your school level leaders, district leaders, state leaders and national leaders are well aware of how hard you work and they are all working diligently to allow you to be the best educators possible. Now, we are working hard to insure that DoDEA HQ also understands that a great school organization works because of its teachers, specialists and education support personnel. This requires working with, not around, educators.

Upcoming AD Activities:
· 15-20 November Korea Complex/School Visits
· 7-11 December 21st Century Skills Task Group Meeting in Southbridge, Mass

Task Force Groups, Training and Volunteers- Thank you for answering the call and volunteering to be a FEA representative for any task groups, trainings and meetings that might come up this school year. Please forgive me if I haven't responded to your submission. I am still in the catch up phase, but be assured I have your application. In the September update, I wrote that HQ has generated four more task forces. FEA representatives for the task groups: Michael Priser -- Middle School; Donna Wilson -- Early Childhood Education; Betty Lou Cummins- Scheduling; Debra Degalis -- 21st Century Skills.

Unilateral Changes and Violation of the Negotiated Agreement, MOUs and Past Practice
We know many of your school administrators are implementing changes at your school. When management requires training, or makes decisions that impact on your time and working conditions, management must negotiate with the Association as guaranteed by Federal law and the Negotiated Agreement. Yes, we realize that some administrators are not doing this for a variety of reasons. If you find your colleagues and yourself required to implement changes such as new programs, weekly team meetings, taking minutes, training during your preparation time, supervising students during your preparation time, and the list could go on, please notify your FRS. If the administrator is not bargaining or telling you that he/she is not in control, contact your FRS and District President. It is time to file grievances and Unfair Labor Practices (ULPs). You can also go to the FEA website for updates, guidance and links. Please remember to refrain from accessing outside websites during the duty day.

Mark Your Calendars
November 11 -- Veteran's Day Wednesday is Veteran's Day. It is the perfect time to reflect on what veteran's have done for us!
November 9 -- Health Insurance Open Season Begins (FEHB)
November 15-21 -- American Education Week (Wed., Nov. 18 is National Educational Support Professional Day)
December 5, 2009 TSP Catch Up 2010 IRS LIMITS FOR TSP… contact your HR for questions.
· Elective Deferral Calculator on the TSP website
TSP information:

No more waiting period for agency contributions -- All FERS employees are now eligible to receive agency contributions. There is no longer a waiting period for receiving Agency Automatic (1%) Contributions or Matching Contributions.

No required minimum distributions for 2009 -- For 2009 only, tax law suspends required minimum distributions for separated participants age 70˝ or older. If this affects you, you should have received an explanatory letter from the TSP.

Conversion from NTE Status: Attached is a FAQ document concerning conversions. Thanks to John Luchtman, Europe AD.

Pacific's Legal Eagle Corner

All of our members should be aware that DODEA does not track Non-Temporary Storage of household goods unless you provide the proper documentation to DODEA.

A member form Okinawa asked for guidance recently because he was unable to get any response from DODEA regarding his NTS. A couple of years ago he moved to the Pacific from Europe. Since the PCS move, he has received no documentation from any storage company. He received no fund cite. Not a very comforting situation to be in, obviously.

In contacting the Customer Operation Team in DODEA we learned that they expect the employee to forward a number of documents directly to DODEA. The responsibility is placed directly on the educator. Here is what we were told:

Thank you for your inquiry. I reviewed DoDEA NTS data base and there is no NTS record for [your member]. Although, during PCS move of summer 2007, [he] may have placed HHGS into NTS but he may not have provided us the appropriate shipping documents to start up a NTS file under his name. If HHGS are placed into NTS, the employee is required to forward a copy of the DD Form 1164 (Service Order for Personal Property) and/or DD Form 1299 (Application for Shipment and/or Storage of Personnel Property) to DoDEA-HQ. Once, we (DoDEA-HQ) receive the shipping documents, we established an NTS file for the employee, and a copy of fund cite letter is issued to employee and copy to the NTS facility each fiscal year.

Reference [your member's] HHGS, I contacted the NTS facilities and I was able to locate his HHGs. His HHGs are located at the Guardian Moving and Storage Company in Baltimore, MD. The NTS representative was able to provide me shipping documents.

Based on these documents, we will establish a NTS file and issue a copy fund cite letter to [him] and a copy to the NTS facility.

The fund citation should look like the attachment labeled HHG Fund Cite:

Ultimately, each member should be certain that s/he receives a yearly notice from DODEA regarding the NTS. There have been a number of members in the past who have moved, not checked on NTS and then found that their entire household goods have been sold at public auction. Treat this matter seriously. We are in transition right now because of DODEA reorganization. It appears that all responsibility for NTS fund citations will be handled by the Defense Logistics Agency. To follow up you will need contact DLA. Use this email address: Next year DLA will send out fund cite letters to DODDS employees just prior to 30 September 2010. DODEA should have sent out cites just recently for this past fiscal year.

Other Tidbits
NEA's Read Across America 2010 Calendar and Toolkit Request
Fill out this form and we'll put your name on the list to receive a 2010 Resource Calendar and Toolkit. Be sure to select your correct member status. Requests are filled on a first come, first served basis.

Read Across America on SchoolTube

About NEA's Read Across America
The National Education Association is building a nation of readers through its signature program, NEA's Read Across America. Now in its fourteenth year, this year-round program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources.
NEA's Read Across America Day, NEA's national reading celebration takes place each year on or near March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books, and you can too!

Yen and Won Rates: To check the rates go to

Take care of yourselves,

Debra S. Degalis
FEA Pacific Area Director
DSN 315-267-6159