June 2, 2011 FEA Pacific Report

Area Director Update
District Officers for SY 11-12
FEA Annual Membership Meeting and NEA Representative Assembly
Home Visits for Preschool Services for Children Disabilities (PSCD) Program
Math and Social Studies Materials MOU
Article 51 -- Pupil Grades
Did You Know?
Legal Eagle Corner
Mark Your Calendars
Other Tidbits

Area Director Update
Memorial Day provided us a time to honor those who have fought and died for our country, and I hope the long weekend recharged you for the final weeks of the school year. It is June, and the days are becoming a blur with the end of the year activities as we prepare for June 17, begin SY 11-12, retire, transfer, separate and gear up for our summer plans. Whew! It exhausts me to think of it. For me, April was consumed with the Japan crisis, catch-up from the two weeks attending the March BOD and Transfer Program and the Spring Break we all deserved. May brought the FRS Spring Training, meetings and visits, which meant there would be more catch-up for all of us involved. Michael Priser, FEA President and HT Nguyen, FEA Executive Director/General Counsel, joined Michael Bauernfeind, FEA Pacific UniServ Director, and me for the training in the three districts. I want to extend my appreciation to Michael and HT for visiting the four complexes in Japan that were affected by the Japan earthquake/tsunami and nuclear crisis as well as for working for our members as a vital part of the crisis team with DoDEA HQ during and after the crisis.

AD Activities
  • May 6-7 - FRS Spring Training and TEAK Meeting, Osan, Korea
  • May 9 - Yokosuka School Visit and General Meeting with HT Nguyen, FEA Executive Dir.
  • May 12 - Zama Complex General Meeting with HT Nguyen
  • May 11 - FRS Spring Training and AEAO Retirement and Officer Installation, Okinawa
  • May 13 - FRS Spring Training, New Sanno, Tokyo
  • May 14-16 - NEATA Meeting (14th) and PAL Council Meeting, Tokyo

Upcoming AD Activities
  • 29-30 June - FEA Annual Membership Meeting, Chicago, IL
  • 31 June-6 July - NEA Representative Assembly, Chicago IL

District Officers for SY 11-12
The three districts have completed their FRS and Officer elections for SY 2011-12. Many thanks to the outgoing FRSs and Officers and a special thanks to Melanie Horton, AEAO President (2008-2011) as well a Bill Riggs, TEAK (2010-2011). Please take a moment to thank your 2010-11 FRS and officers. Our Association is strong because these educators are willing to devote their time and efforts on your behalf. Congratulations to the new FRSs and Officers.

FEA Annual Membership Meeting and NEA Representative Assembly
Before we know it, the FEA Board of Directors and elected Representative Delegates from your districts and across DoDDS and DDESS will be meeting in Chicago for the FEA Annual Membership Meeting (June 29-30) followed by the NEA Representative Assembly. Any FEA member is allowed to attend the membership meeting, so stop on by the Blackstone Renaissance Hotel if you are in the area during these two days. For more fun and learning, join us at the NEA Representative Assembly as a guest. For more information, go to or contact a RA Delegate in your district. Your RA Delegates are there to represent you at both the FEA Annual Meeting as well as the NEA RA, so contact them and let your voice be heard. The following members are the delegates from each district

Don Kinghorn

Yvonne Brown

Theresa Snowden

Kay Kinghorn

Maryann Harris

Debra Degalis

Jeanette Ferguson

Trevor Stanton

Alethea Daniels

Renee LaPorte

Mike Napoli

Rosalyn Thompson

Chad Jimison

Karen Morton

Luke Spencer

Home Visits for Preschool Services of Disabled Children (PSCD) Program
Attached is the MOU covering home visits for the PSCD teacher at the beginning of the school year.

Math Materials and Social Studies Materials MOU
Attached is the MOU covering the Math and Social Studies Material roll-out, training, etc.

Article 51 -- Pupil Grades
The end of the year and grading time is quickly approaching. Pasted below is the NA Article on pupil grades.
Section 1.
A unit employee may establish his/her own grading system. In such cases, the unit employee is responsible for translating the grading system to the Employer's. The unit employee's record of grades shall contain a key for translating his/her system to the established grading system in use.

Section 2.
Students' grades may be requested for review and approval by the Employer before grade reports are distributed to students or parents.

Section 3.
In the event that any grade is challenged, the unit employee shall explain and justify the grade assigned.

Section 4.
If the Employer takes action to change a student's grade without the consent of the affected unit employee or directs the unit employee to change a grade, a written statement from the Employer shall be provided to the unit employee, stating that the change in grade and/or the passing or failing of the student was done at the discretion of the Employer.

Did You Know?
Room moves/packing is a change in working conditions? At this time of year, it is not unusual to receive inquiries from your FRS regarding teacher rights when this happens. If you or your colleagues have been mandated to move to another room or prepare for major renovations to your room, did you know that you are responsible to pack and move only your personal items? When moves or room preparation requires extensive time and labor, management is obligated to provide time as well as the boxes and manpower to accomplish the moves/packing.

How do I know what are excused absences for PCS and conducting official business of a personal nature or business with official offices? See Article 22 -- Excused Absences. You are entitled to excused leave from duty without loss of pay and without charge to leave when such actions require the presence of the unit employee and cannot be accomplished outside the duty day.

Pacific Legal Eagle Corner

In crisis times like the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986, the evacuation of Pinatubo in 1991 and the recent catastrophe in Mainland Japan, it is solidarity that gives us the strength and resolve to recover. The leadership in Japan during the Great Shake was steady and calm. With thoughtful responses from NEATA President Jeannette Ferguson and Area Director Debra Degalis the voluntary evacuation from Japan was less traumatic than it might have been.
  1. For those members who evacuated from Japan in mid-March, understanding that they would not lose salary, the harsh reality appears to be that some remain in LWOP status. Our advice is for you to request that your principal substitute excused absence for LWOP. If your request is denied then you should file a grievance within 15 days of receipt of the denial. We will then process the grievance based upon the individual facts of each case seeking settlement or a legal conclusion.
  2. An Association Grievance involving Debt Collection Act violations by DFAS is now set for arbitration. A settlement conference is scheduled in Washington, D.C. for 13 and 14 June. We have joined 13 members in this one grievance. Another grievance involving a retired member from Okinawa is currently set for arbitration hearing on 12 August.
  3. Additionally, ten association grievances involving over 100 current and former members are awaiting arbitrator selection. The issues involve inaccurate debt notices, distorted facts and stale processing. Many of the debts involve claims by DFAS going back ten years! There are at least two additional grievances that will be filed this summer.
    I think we have our hands full!

  4. Just a reminder, to those of you who do not study the Negotiated Agreement during recess and other vacation periods, involuntary reassignments are covered by Article 10. It is a short, but powerful, Article.


The need to effect a reassignment is a right retained by the Employer. While
involuntary reassignments shall be kept to a minimum, pursuant to the
Employer's education mission, it may become necessary to involuntarily reassign
a unit employee either from one school location to another school location or
from one assignment in one grade/subject area to another grade/subject area
with different qualification standards from the grade/subject area currently being
taught. Whenever possible, and if time permits, the Employer shall accomplish
such reassignments through the use of qualified volunteers. Whenever qualified
volunteers are not available, an individual may be selected for involuntary
reassignment with as much advance notice as circumstances warrant. The
written notice for involuntary reassignment will contain the following as a

A. reason(s) for the reassignment;
B. why the unit employee was selected;
C. an opportunity for the individual to give reasons why he/she should not
be reassigned. In this statement the individual should include any extenuating
circumstances of a personal nature which she/he feels should be taken into

The operative concept here is that an involuntary change in your job assignment is disruptive. There might be adverse impacts on the member chosen for reassignment. The administration must explain why you are being chosen and most importantly, the administration must take reasonable means to advertize the involuntary move seeking qualified volunteers from the staff to make the move instead of you. Too often members overlook this simple provision in the contract. Remember that DODDS and the FEA made this agreement over two decades ago. The concept is firmly part of your rights as a member of the bargaining unit.

Mark Your Calendars
Flag Day - June 14
End of 4th Quarter/.5 Teacher Work Day - June 16
Last Teacher Work Day - June 17
Father's Day - June 19

Flashlight Worthy: Handpicked Book Recommendations on Hundreds of Topics
A labor of love by dedicated readers Peter Steinberg and Eric Mueller, who want to help you find the best books on any topic. There's something for just about every taste, here, such as "Fan Fiction for Adults," "Best Graphic Novels," "Laugh-Out-Loud Funny Books Written by Women," "Children's Books To Read Aloud," " These Books Will Help You Survive After an Apocalypse, and so much more. Readers are invited to submit their own lists.

Worth Repeating:

Annuity Estimates for Retirement - DLA has the following web site those who want an annuity estimate: Print a copy of the submission for your record.

You can also go into EBIS for an annuity estimate. If all federal service was with DoDDS and with no breaks in service with DoDDS, the estimate in EBIS will be the same that would be received from DLA. There will be no difference.

Federal Retirement Website - FEA Europe Area Director Chuck McCarter shared the following website with me. I checked it out and subscribed to their newsletters.

Yen and Won Rates - To check the rates go to

Until the next update,

Debra S. Degalis
FEA Pacific Area Director