December 16 2011 FEA Pacific Update

Area Director Update
Acting Pacific Area Director
Transcript Review Suspense Date
Retiring or Separating Soon?
Certification and Recertification Delays
DoDEA Students Outperform
Do you know the Negotiated Agreement?
Read Across America
Legal Eagle Corner
Mark Your Calendars
Other Tidbits

Area Director Update: ‘Tis the season for celebration, family, holiday wishes, good cheer, vacations as well as reflections of 2011 and looking forward to 2012 with fulfilled New Year's Resolutions. This past calendar year has served up many challenges but also an equal number of successes. As always, thanks for the support you give me as I try to protect the contract and our members. I wish you a joyous holiday season with your friends and family. We should all look forward to a New Year!

Acting DoDEA Pacific Area Director: Since the last Pacific Update, Dr. Steven Bloom was announced as the Pacific Acting Director for 120 days. I have worked with Dr. Bloom for a number of years and find him cooperative and mindful of the rights educators have through their Association. We will work closely with him during this interim period.

Transcript Review Suspense Date: DoDEA Director Marilee Fitzgerald has tasked the Area Offices to ensure that the management of student records in all DoDEA high schools and especially student transcripts are accurate. The mandate includes an audit of high school student records. Yes, this means that our counselors have been tasked with another duty. The Pacific counselors were to have submitted all senior records for review by 16 December. I asked questions and presented the difficulties of meeting the early suspense date. There is now a new suspense date. It is 13 January 2012. I will continue to work with management to include the suspense date for high school juniors. Thanks to those counselors who forwarded alerts and provided input on the difficulties presented by the first suspense dates.

K-3 BAS (Basic Skills Assessment): The FEA President's Report recently covered K-3 Reading Assessment. It is worth reiterating the announcement.
There is NO limitation on the number of substitute days to administer the test.
Teachers DO NOT enter data.
The MOU requires ALL protocols to be copied and ready for use prior to testing and NOT by the teacher.
There is NO requirement to retest in May. FEA will be collecting data to decide the future of testing with the BAS.

New Students? Teachers will receive substitute time to test new students. The MOU applies to them too. If your principal denies sub coverage please elevate to your FRS and we go up the ladder.

Retiring or Separating Soon? If you are one of the fortunate ones that will retire in the near future or moving on with family for other reasons, please file the Goodbye Grievance. Many of us have had the unpleasant experience of receiving debt notices once we separate from DODDS. FEA will assist members after departing our system so please file the attached Goodbye Grievance if you are departing soon.

Certification, Additional Endorsements and Recertification Delays: Recently I learned that the DODEA Certificate Program has experienced technical difficulties. The Licensure Branch worked with DLA (Defense Logistics Agency) to get the program up and running. There are a number of actions that must be completed by the Licensure Unit in January 2012. Please work with your secretary to check on your status and expect delays. Keep copies of all correspondence in case you need to elevate a serious concern to your FRS.

DoDEA Students Outperform: We know we have a great system and the best students in the world. Find out what a recent NY Time article had to say. Thanks to Terri Arvidson, FEA DDESS Stateside Director.

Do you know the Negotiated Agreement? Article 31 covers Education and Training Opportunities. Soon DoDEA announcements will be published regarding various educational opportunities. Be sure to monitor the offerings in case you need to meet new qualification standards.

NEA Read Across America: It is never too early to gear up for NEA's Read Across America! (Subscription to the e-newsletter is at the bottom of the web page.)

For updates for the March 2, 2012 Read Across America event please subscribe to the e-newsletter. Our free e-newsletter provides the latest news in reading from Read Across America and partner organizations. You'll find links to grant information, classroom and parent materials, and more.

Pacific's Legal Eagle Corner:

A Jurisprudential Potpourri for the holiday season includes the following:
1. Normally teacher vacancies are not announced if they are filled through the Employment Application System. If there is a current ISS vacancy that has not closed it would be announced along with General Schedule openings. Administrator vacancies they are filled through Educator Career Program. Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent positions for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment (CIA) are announced from DODEA Headquarters and can be viewed at Office of Personnel Management's USAJobs website if they have not closed.

2. All first year CONUS hire educators and educators transferring from DDESS to DoDDS receive pay over 21 pay periods during the school year and do not have the option of switching to the 26 period pay until their second year because the change must be effective August 1. This means, you will not receive pay during your first summer recess. After your first year, you may elect to change to the 26 period pay option and the effective date of the change would be 1 August 1, 2013.

3. According to the Department of State Standardized Regulations Section 113.4, you are required to take all reasonable steps to recover any advance LQA payments made to a landlord when you are required to move out early. If you have to break a lease because of reassignment, authorized separation from service or constructive eviction you can be relieved of the obligation to repay to the Government the rest of the advanced LQA under this section of the DSSR. The Government can recoup the balance of the lease from your pay unless you meet the standards imposed by the regulation. What is the standard?

In unusual circumstances when it is shown that the advance rent paid has not been recovered by the employee after all reasonable steps have been taken for such recovery and that recovery from the employee would be against equity and good conscience or against the public interest, the head of agency may waive, in whole or in part, any right of recovery under this subsection.

These reasonable steps might include dispose of your quarters to others, including efforts to sublease or assign even at a financial sacrifice, and that the unpaid balance did not result from any action within the control of the employee.

4. If you were hired by DODDS from the States and did not place your household goods in Non-Temporary Storage before coming overseas, you have up to two years to move your things into storage in the States. Submit a request in TOPS. The Joint Travel Regulations Paragraph C5195.B.1.b is applicable.

5. According to a settlement agreement between the U.S. Army and the FEA in 1998 teachers have the right to be represented during any child abuse investigation. This settlement affirms that Weingarten rights will be respected by the military commands. The settlement was the result of an unfair labor practice charge filed in Bavaria against the United State Army Europe.
During the course of an investigation into suspected child or spouse abuse by DoDDS educators, an educator has the right to have a union representative present during any questioning of the educator by social workers, case workers, or other members of the Family Advocacy Program within the European Regional Medical Command when:
a. the educator reasonably believes that the questioning may result in disciplinary action against the educator; and,
b. the educator requests representation.

3. There is no requirement that the educator be advised of their right to have a representative present. The right to a union representative only applies to the actual questioning of a DoDDS educator and does not otherwise impact an investigation. Accordingly, when an educator is entitled to the presence of a union representative, the health care professional must decide whether to question the educator with a union representative present or proceed with the investigation without an interview of the DoDDS educator.

6. DODEA does have an office that equates to that of an Inspector General. Gloria Rios is serving as the Program Analyst for the Office of Compliance and Assistance at DODEA HQs.

7. According to Flourey vs. Sioux Falls School District it is still legal to wish your colleagues a Merry Christmas! So, Merry Christmas and a joyful holiday season to all of you.

Mark Your Calendars
· Dec. 18- Jan. 2 Winter Recess
· January 3 School Resumes
· January 16 Martin Luther King Jr. Day


Stay Informed: FEA and NEA provide a wealth of information to you. Remember to have your membership ID ready in order to access information for members only. You will find your ID number on your membership card. Instructions for new members to gain access to are at

NEA Websites you can use:
NEA Website
NEA Academy
NEA Member Benefits
NEA Health Information Network
NEA Read Across America

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

Happy Holidays,

Debra S. Degalis
FEA Pacific Area Director