Novembe 13, 2013 FEA Pacific Update

NOVEMBER 13, 2013

Debra Degalis, FEA Pacific Area Director

Welcome Dr. Linda Curtis
Area Director Report
Upcoming Events
American Education Week
School Psychology Awareness Week
Office of Personnel Management Open Season
Technology and program challenges
Administration List
Do You Know your Negotiated Agreement?
Yen and Won Rates

Welcome Dr. Curtis: Dr. Linda Curtis has joined the Pacific as our Director of the Pacific Area. She is a veteran leader, having worked in DoDDS Europe as well as DDESS. We welcome Dr. Curtis to the Pacific and look forward to a productive working relationship.

Area Director Report: Whirlwind. This word seems to sum up the activity since the September 4th update. We have undergone the repudiation of concepts worked out in BAS negotiations, the government shutdown, furloughs, continued pay problems, problems with LQA advances in Korea, technology woes, typhoons, not to mention first quarter and schools undergoing the AdvancEd process. Day after day I hear from teachers and your Association leaders that you want to teach. But, top-down management takes more and more of your time away from actual teaching and in the classroom. Your wagons are already heaped high. FEA hears you. We are not standing still.

The Fall FRS and Joint Labor Management Training in September was a success. I want to thank the three district Presidents as well as the officers and FRSs for assisting with logistics, shuttling and of course enthusiastically participating in the training.

Next week I will attend the FEA Board of Directors Meeting in Washington, D.C. I will check my Outlook as often as possible as well as gmail. Please forgive delays in responses. Michael Bauernfeind will be available for emergencies as well as your FRS and District President.

Wishing all a great Thanksgiving!

Past and Upcoming Events:
September 19-27 Fall FRS and JLMT Training in the three districts
September 28-29 Pacific Area Leaders (PAL) Council -- Yongsan
September 30 Humphreys School Visit
October 26 NEATA Board Meeting
October 27 FEA Teleconference Board Meeting
November 14 Area Advisory Council Meeting (VTC)
November 17-22 FEA Board of Directors Meeting

American Education Week 17-23: This week is time to celebrate Public Education and its benefits for the American society as well as honor those individuals who have contributed to public education. Please feel free to send photos and examples of celebrations at your school to me and I will share with FEA DC. The following NEA link can provide you with ideas.

School Psychology Awareness Week: This week, November 11-15, is School Psychology Awareness week. The theme is "We're All IN! Teams Work!" Please share your appreciation with your school psychologist.

Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Open Season: The time to review and make changes to your Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) is here. Open Season runs from 11 November through December 9, 2013. Changes will take effect January 12, 2014. Attached is the announcement. If you have not received the announcement, including the guide, check with your school secretary.

Technology and Program Challenges: Windows 7 has become our problem child. Implementation has not rolled out smoothly. I have kept Dr. Curtis and FEA DC updated on technology in your schools. Please continue to share the pros and cons of software programs, computer usage and other concerns with your FRS. We continue to for solutions.

Reminders: The holiday season changes our focus away from business details. I do want to remind to check the dates on your driver's license both military and stateside, your passports, DOD ID cards, car insurance and teaching certification to mention just a few. FEA recommends that you provide the school with a point of contact in case of an emergency. The Pacific Area Human Resources Office (HR) has made it easy to obtain a Letter of Employment (LOE). A LOE is often required for business on base as well as buying homes, etc. Click here to obtain an LOE.

Do You Know your Negotiated Agreement? Leave - Articles 21, 22, 23 & 24.
Did you know that leave is covered in four articles of the Negotiated Agreement? Article 21 details the basics of teacher leave. Article 22 explains excused absences while Article 23 is about leave without pay (LWOP). Finally Article 24 clarifies leave for witnesses.

Yen and Won Rates: To check the rates go to this site.

Until the next Update,

Debra S. Degalis
FEA Pacific Area Director