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May 27 2009 FEA Pacific Update

* Area Director Update
* Goodbye Grievance
* Excent Clerical Support Continued
* 21/26 Pay Periods
* Medical Billing -- Current, Retired and Other Former Employees
* Article 8 of the Negotiated Agreement for Staffing Procedures
* Staffing Proposals
* FEA Survey Reminder
* RA, FEA Annual Meeting and Delegates
* Private email address
* Dues Deductions
* Pacific Legal Corner - Prompt Payment Act
* Other Tidbits


Area Director Travel and Thanks- May 2-18, was the ĎAD Spring Whirlwind' as I was presenter for the Japan HCRC Spring Training on 2 May, and the Yokosuka school/complex visits with Michael Priser, FEA President and FEA Secretary/Treasurer, Brian Chance. Next, Michael and I traveled to Korea for the FRS Spring Training and TEAK Board meeting to be followed by our visit to Sasebo, on to Okinawa for Spring Training and Retirement Dinner to return to Tokyo for the final Spring Training in Japan with Michael. The grand finale for me was the PAL Council meeting held at Hardy Barracks. Other distinguished FEA presenters for the FRS Spring Trainings were HT Nguyen, FEA Executive Director/General Counsel, FEA Vice President, BettyLou Cummins (Korea), and Michael Bauernfeind, FEA Pacific Uniserv/Counsel. I want to thank the local and district leaders for their hospitality and support in all three districts. I also want to and extend my heartfelt appreciation to the 2008-09 FRSes and District Officers and a big thanks and welcome to the 2009-10 FRSes and District Officers.

Goodbye Grievance- For those educators retiring or resigning from DoDDS/DoDEA this school year, HT Nguyen, FEA Executive Director and General Counsel, recommends that you file a Goodbye Grievance in case DoDEA determines that you owe money. Could it happen to you? Absolutely, it could and has happened to former DoDDS educators including some that retired in June 2008! In order to insure that FEA can represent you, please complete and submit this grievance. If you have questions with the procedure, please contact your FRS. You will find the Goodbye Grievance attached and here's hoping that you will never have to use it.

Excent Clerical Support Continued - Michael Priser, FEA President, continues to work with Dr. Miles, DoDEA Director, on Excent issues. She recognizes Excent is not fixed. She has assured FEA that DoDEA will continue extra duty and sub support as needed. Recently, the Pacific Director's Office sent a notice to the special educators that support for Excent clerical duties would continue. In fact thanks to Mr. Priser's efforts, I sent a HQ notification to each FRS this morning that notifies the superintendents to insure special educators are compensated. If you have not received the notification or have questions, please contact your FRS.

21/26 Pay Periods Option 13 June Suspense Reminder- See attachment for the more information.

Medical Billing -- Current, Transferred, Retired and Other Former Employees- Some members had the unpleasant experience of receiving notices from their military hospital of unpaid medical bill(s). Thanks to quick action by Michael Bauernfeind, Pacific Uniserv/Counsel, FRSes, and Pacific District Presidents, most of these issues have been resolved. However, we are concerned that teachers in other arenas might receive notifications from Pacific military hospitals. If you learn of such a case, please advise the educator to contact Mr. Bauernfeind.

Article 8 of the Negotiated Agreement for Staffing Procedures
The Negotiated Agreement can be found here.

Article 8 of the Negotiated Agreement addresses staffing procedures.

Section 1: to fill vacancies with in the school
Section 2: to fill vacancies within the complex
Section 3: teaching assignments for the following school year

Staffing Proposals- DoDEA's recent staffing proposals and decisions will result in fewer teachers in the classroom and increased class sizes for the middle schools, kindergarten classes with para-educator assistance and another layer of management. The May 22, FEA President's Report discusses the issue at length. To learn more and see what you can do, visit www.feaonline.org/sos. Do not use a government computer or take any actions while you are on duty.

FEA Survey Reminder- FEA wants to hear from our members. The survey covers a range of topics affecting our working conditions and the Association's working conditions. If you have not done so, please submit this important survey. Go to www.feaonline.org/survey.htm. To login use your last name (ALL CAPS) as the username and your NEA/FEA ID number as the password. Don't remember your ID number? Look at your latest FEA Journal or FEA membership card. Still can't find it? Contact FEA. Do not use a government computer or complete it while you are on duty.

FEA Annual Meeting, NEA RA and Delegates - San Diego, California, will be the host city for the FEA Annual Meeting and NEA Representative Assembly. Each district has elected its delegates for the upcoming annual meeting and RA. The annual meeting will be held at the Marriot Mission Valley Hotel, 30 June and 1 July, and is open to all members. If you are in the area, come and join us. The NEA RA will be held at the San Diego Convention Center. You can also attend as a guest. To learn more, go to www.feaonline.org/ra. Contact your delegates if you have an issue, idea or thanks that you want presented. The delegates are as follows:
AEAO- Melanie Horton, Dr. Kardice Brown, Gerry Cain-Goodwin, & Jennifer Matthews
NEATA- Debra Degalis, Brian Chance, Robert Clay, Rosalyn Thompson, Mike Napoli & Frank Stratakos
TEAK- Buddy Leavitt, Bill Waldron & James Honeycutt

Private Email Address - FEA has asked your school FRS to collect members' private email addresses. Why? There are many reasons, but providing your private email address allows the FRS to keep you informed over the summer and will help your FEA leaders insure that there is an avenue to contact you in case Outlook is down or not available. In addition, in order to keep you informed of issues that cannot be addressed via a government computer, a private email address will allow FEA to keep you up-to-date.

Dues Deductions - Changing or Cancellation- The deadline to cancel payroll deductions for SY 2009-10, is 1 September 2009. The payroll deduction continues annually unless the finance officer receives Cancellation of Payroll Deductions for Labor Organization Dues, Form 1188 (available from your FRS or school secretary). If you are transferring to a different district in the Pacific, or to Europe, Cuba, and the Med. Thus, you will want to halt deductions in these cases, and reinstate in your new location. Please check with your FRS to insure you are following the district's procedures.

Pacific's Legal Eagle Corner
At this point in the school year many members are struggling with Renewal Agreement Travel orders and wondering whether they will be reimbursed for travel expenses in a timely fashion or not. Because FEA members are the only Department of Defense employees who are authorized to make their own travel arrangements, thanks to prior successful litigation, fronting travel costs can be a real financial burden. What remedies are available if DFAS does not reimburse you for a valid claim in an expeditious manner?

The main source of relief is the Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998. In conjunction with the Prompt Payment Act, these statutes guarantee that employees can request the equivalent of interest on delayed travel reimbursements. Section 2 of the Travel and Transportation Reform Acts reads:

(g) REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES.--In accordance with regulations prescribed by the Administrator of General Services, the head of an agency shall ensure that the agency reimburses an employee who submits a proper voucher for allowable travel expenses in accordance with applicable travel regulations within 30 days after submission of the voucher. If an agency fails to reimburse an employee who has submitted a proper voucher within 30 days after submission of the voucher, the agency shall pay the employee a late payment fee as prescribed by the Administrator.

So what do I have to do when my reimbursement is late? You will have to submit a supplemental claim for the late payment fee using DD Form 1351-2 Travel Voucher and submit it to your Customer Service Representative at the Pacific Area Office. It will then be sent to DFAS Columbus Travel Operations to compute the late payment fee.

The General Services Administration places certain demands on Federal agencies regarding the processing of travel claims. Your agency must reimburse you within 30 calendar days after you submit a proper travel claim to your agency's designated approving office. Your agency must ensure that it uses a satisfactory recordkeeping system to track submission of travel claims. For example, travel claims submitted by mail, in accordance with your agency's policy, could be annotated with the time and date of receipt by your agency. Your agency could consider travel claims electronically submitted to the designated approving office as submitted on the date indicated on an e-mail log, or on the next business day if submitted after normal working hours.

Additionally, your agency must notify you as soon as practicable after you submit your travel claim of any error that would prevent payment within 30 calendar days after submission and must provide the reason(s) why your travel claim is not proper. However, DFAS must notify you within seven working days if your travel claim in not in proper order.

Other Tidbits

NEA
bNet@Savvy-A Tool for Adults to Kids Connect Safely
This is a service for our members from NEA HIN (Health Information Network). Following are some of the topics:
Student- Summertime in Cyberspace: Helping Kids Make Safe Choices Teachers- Use the Summer to Get Tech-Savvy! Parents- Summer Time Safety Line
http://bnetsavvy.org/wp/

Cyber Summit on 21st Century Skills, June 1-12, 2009
NEA is a sponsor of this cyber summit. If you are interested in participating: www.21stcenturyskills.org/cybersummit http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=653&Itemid=197

Yen and Won Rates: To check the rates go to https://webapps.dodea.edu/lqarates/lqarates.cfm Thanks to Xavier Flores, NEATA President for this website.

Thanks to Trudy Pollard, NEA Director for FEA and Brian Chance, FEA Secretary/Treasurer for information pieces.

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