March 7 2013 FEA Pacific Report

March 7, 2013

Area Director Update
CAC and Privacy
Common Core and Testing Article
Do You Know your Negotiated Agreement? Article 10
Debt Letters and Pay Issues
NEA Representative Assembly and upcoming RA Delegate Elections
FEA Election for Officers
Mark Your Calendars
Other Tidbits

Area Director Update: It feels like a Blitzkrieg! Salvos are coming in faster than we can run. Terra Nova testing is racing towards us. The news from Washington about a pending furlough is confusing and depressing. This week the guidance on Excess, Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay and Voluntary Early Retirement Authority is finally confirmed. With all of this upheaval our schools continue to celebrate education by participating in the NEA's Read Across America. The places Dr. Suess can take our children are limited only by the imagination of our students. Parents, students, community members and educators take this opportunity to dress up in whacky outfits and read to a captivated audience. My Suess hat is off to you!

Excess/VERA/VSIP: March 8 is the suspense date for teachers willing to be in a declared excess category. The principal and FRS will follow past practice at the school level. Excess procedures and an excess letter will be provided. The teacher has the option of taking VSIP (VERA too if qualified). If the teacher chooses to remain in DoDDS, the teacher will complete a form designating certifications and preferred locations. Please understand that DODEA HQ will be placing all excess teachers finding matches within the District first if possible. All educators can apply for VSIP and/or VERA. The suspense date is March 11.

Furlough: NEA and FEA have worked intensely with the White House, Congress, DoD and with DODEA Director Marilee Fitzgerald in trying to exempt DODDS schools from furlough. Ensuring that our students meet accreditation requirements is vitally important for all of us. Please be assured that any furlough days will not involve "doubling up." The school will be closed to all. What can you do? Go to Do this at home on your personal computer. I have also attached information shared by Brian Chance, NEA Director for FEA from My Federal Retirement website about how a furlough may affect your TSP.

CAC Requirement and Privacy: It is a tribute to our tech savvy workforce that pushback has been minimal on the new CAC requirements. Changes in the ways that we use technology will require retooling. We will have to change the way in which we use USB mobile devices. Home access to our work computers requires mobile CAC readers. These are the changes we see right now. It is just the beginning. Take the time to thank your local AT and ET. They are working in overdrive to make sure that everything will mesh. External CAC readers for home usage are on order. That's kind of like saying the "The check's in the mail", but DODEA HQ knows what the need is at this point. One of our concerns has been privacy. I'm pasting an excerpt sent to me by Robb Riggs at Zama MS. FEA President Michael Priser also shared with Jeff Friedler, HQ Information Technology Chief, our "big brother" concern.

Access to Outlook Web Access (OWA) does not extend government monitoring onto a person's home computer. However, all emails that are sent/received via OWA are still flowing over the Government email services, so that means of communications remains protected by appropriate rules.

The only other note is that if you are using any form of Government-provided software such as the CAC ActiveClient software, the downloadable Anti-Virus Software, etc. the Government does reserve the right to ensure that use of the software is consistent with the licensing for it (i.e. the user can't make a copy of the software and hand it out to friends).

Common Core and Testing Article: Thanks to Don Kinghorn, AEAO District President for sharing the timely ASCD article, "Something to Ponder." See attachment.

Debt Letters and Pay: It seems like a daily occurrence. Someone at your school receives a DFAS debt letter. I cannot stress it enough, that you need guidance right away. When our members receive debt collection notifications they should contact the FEA Pacific UNISERV/General Counsel, Michael Bauernfeind and Assistant UNISERV Stephanie "Wonderful" Trotter at this email. Our advice, do not seek to pay off a debt with a personal check. Tracking such payments is remarkably difficult for DFAS. Scan all information received to Ms. Trotter. Start locating your old Leave and Earnings Statements that cover the debt period. To avoid future debt problems seek advice and guidance from the UNISERV Staff. Our lawyer and Assistant UNISERV are skilled at navigating the morass of laws and regulations which govern educator pay and debt collection.

Do You Know your Negotiated Agreement? Article 10 deals with involuntary reassignments within and outside of the school. Article 10 confirms that the Employer retains the right to reassignment work. However, the expectation is that involuntary reassignments will be kept to a minimum and whenever possible and if time permits, the Employer shall accomplish reassignments with qualified volunteers. If this is not possible, the Employer shall provide a written notice with the following minimum components:

A. reasons for the reassignment; B. why the employee was selected; and C. an opportunity for the individual to give reasons why he/she should not be reassigned.


NEA Representative Assembly and FEA Annual Membership Meeting: This year's Representative Assembly and FEA annual membership meeting will be in Atlanta, Georgia. Dates for the annual meeting are 29 June -- 1 July. The RA follows 2-6 July. You will soon receive information about for the RA delegates as well your district officer elections. Be on the look out and throw in your hat for the RA. It is an amazing event to watch 9,000 delegates participate in the largest democratic body on earth.

FEA Election for Officers: FEA HQ has released the candidates for Board of Director vacancies. To find the latest information go to

Mark Your Calendars

MARCH Women's History Month
8 International Women's Day
16 Publication of First Black Newspaper in America

NEA: Women's History Month for the Classroom
2013 Women's History Month Honorees
Library of Congress: About Women's History Month: Women's History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as "Women's History Week." Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as "Women's History Week." In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women's History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as "Women's History Month." Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women's History Month. Since 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as "Women's History Month."
Library of Congress Teacher Page
National Women's History Project
Presidential Proclamation: Women's History Month, 2013
Girls' day in Japan
Chemistry: About Women in Chemistry
Celebrating America's Women Physicians
Nobel Prize Awarded Women
National Women's History Museum
For more information about any of these events, go to this page.


DoDDS Reunion: Each summer there is a gathering of former and current DoDDS folks. The reunion will be held in Dallas, Texas at the Marriot City Center, July 18-21. For registration information

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

Until the next update,

Debra S. Degalis
FEA Pacific Area Director