September 7 2012 FEA President's Report
1. Youkoso! Hwanyonghamnida! Welcome!
2. Area Director Update
3. FEA Pacific Structure
4. Two Year Interview
5. Stay Informed
6. Maximize the Learning
7. Professional Learning Teams/Committees MOU
8. LES and SF50
9. Administrator List
10. Legal Eagle Corner
11. Mark Your Calendars
12. Other Tidbits
Welcome New and Returning DoDDS Pacific Educators: Here is your umpteenth welcome to SY 2012-13. I hope your school year opening went smoothly and you are adjusting to the challenges of new students, classes, moves, homes, and the life of a DoDDS educator. I know you have been busy and be assured your Association leaders from the school to the headquarters level have been working diligently for you and the students whom we teach.
Area Director Update: Even during the summer the members and the FEA leaders are active. June 29 -- 30, FEA held its annual membership meeting in Washington, D.C. After the membership meeting, delegates attended the National Education Association (NEA) Representative Assembly, July 1-5. The Pacific was well represented. Check out the FEA Journal from August for more about the RA. Our national level FEA worked with DODEA management on a number of agreements on a variety of issues. This summer I had a break after the annual meeting and RA. The emails didn't stop, and if you sent me one, and I did not respond, please do not hesitate to send a gentle reminder.
Soon we will conduct with fall contract training and Joint Labor Management Training (JLMT) in the three districts as well the Pacific Area Leaders meeting. FEA President Michael Priser will be our VIP from FEA HQ. Michael will attend all three trainings and after the Korea training and PAL meeting, he and I will visit the Sasebo and Iwakuni complex. Pacific General Counsel Mike Bauernfeind will help present training in all three districts.
Upcoming AD Activities:
September 13 Japan FRS Fall Training -- New Sanno
September 14 Japan joint training with administrators -- New Sanno
September 15 NEATA Board Meeting -- New Sanno
September 17 Okinawa joint training with administrators- Kadena Club
September 17 AEAO New School Year Social -- Crow's Nest
September 18 Okinawa FRS Fall Training
September 20 Korea FRS Fall Training -- Yongsan/Seoul
September 21 Korea joint training with administrators -- Korea DSO
September 22 TEAK Board Meeting - Yongsan
September 22-24 Pacific Area Leadership Council -- SAHS, Yongsan
September 25 Sasebo Schools/Complex Visit
September 27 Iwakuni Schools/Complex Visit
FEA Pacific Structure: The FEA pocket calendar contains a wealth of information about your organization. You will find the FEA leaders, their contact information as well as a pay organizer, salary schedule, important regulations, upcoming school calendar dates and what to do in cases of child abuse and your right to representation.
- Faculty Representative Spokesperson (FRS) - The FRS is your first and most important contact. If you have a concern that needs to be elevated, please go through your FRS.
- District President -- The District President works with the District Superintendent and your FRS. When needed, the District President elevates issues to the Pacific Area Director. Japan/NEATA President is Jeannette Ferguson; Korea/TEAK President is Joan Oana and Okinawa/AEAO President is Donald Kinghorn.
- Pacific Area Director -- The Pacific Area Director, Debra Degalis, works with Ms. Martha Brown, Acting Director, DoDEA Pacific. The Area Director works closely with the Pacific General Counsel/UniServ, Michael Bauernfeind. Unlike stateside organizations, FEA UniServs are attorneys.
- FEA Washington Headquarters and FEA Board of Directors --The FEA President, Michael Priser, works with the DoDEA Director, Ms. Marilee Fitzgerald. Michael is lucky to have an experienced staff in Washington. The Executive Director/General Counsel is H.T. Nguyen. The board is made up of the FEA president, Vice-President (Betty Lou Cummins), Secretary/Treasurer (Anita Lang), NEA Director for FEA (Brian Chance), Human and Civil Rights Coordinator (Noemi "Mimi" Cuadrado), the Europe Area Directors (Lisa Ali & Alex Veto) , Pacific Area Director and Stateside Area Director (Teri Arvidson).
Two Year Interview: Each year new, enthusiastic educators are hired locally or arrive from the States in the Pacific Area. These new educators are considered probationary teachers. I ask that you work with your FRS seeking help to navigate through the intricacies of DoDDS. Unique among stateside education associations, the FEA offers assistance in almost every aspect of life overseas. The best advice I can offer you is simple. Consider your first two years as an interview and join FEA!
Stay Informed: FEA and NEA provide a wealth of information to you. Visit www.feaonline.org, www.nea.org, www.academy.org, www.neamb.com. 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. If you are a new member, ask your FRS to contact FEA for an ID number.
Maximize the Learning: FEA is continuing the goal to maximize the time teachers have in the classroom to teach the students. The cliché we use, adding more to the plate, can't begin to describe the number of initiatives and directives that DoDEA expects our teachers to implement. If our goal is all-around well educated students, then this can only happen if our teachers are allowed to teach.
Professional Learning Team/Committees (PLT/PLC)MOU -- Michael Priser and DoDEA HQ signed an MOU on PLT/PLC . I attached it to this Update. Please read. It is one page and succinct. PLT and PLC are voluntary and cannot be required during the educator's non-instructional time, including all planning periods.
LES and SF50: It is vital that you carefully check your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) each pay period. We strongly urge you to utilize one of the pay organizers we offer. You have one in your handy dandy FEA pocket calendar and I have attached an excel format pay organizer thanks to FEA member, Larry Tjeltveit, in Europe. It is also vital that you review AND save your SF-50s (Standard Personnel Form). Your school secretary/payroll clerk should have given you your most updated SF-50 by now. More about what is on your LES and SF50 in a later update. If you have pay issues, please contact your FRS immediately, so we can get Michael Bauernfeind and Assistant UNISERV Stephanie Trotter involved.
Administrator List: Attached is the most updated list provided for the Pacific and Europe administrators.
Pacific's Legal Eagle Corner: Nostalgia can sometimes serve a useful purpose. The issues we face as DODDS educators remain about the same. Reviewing union successes reminds us that we do make progress, albeit very slowly sometimes. Here is an excerpt from my report to the Germany South Area Council in 1986:
• A proposed 3-day suspension was reduced to one day for a teacher who picked up a child under the arms and moved him to another seat. The child was squirming and straining when he fell out of her arms. The Regional Director defined corporal punishment as "the touching of a child in a disciplinary or corrective situation, except for the use of reasonable restraint to prevent physical injury to the student or others." There is no official definition of "corporal punishment" in DoDDS although physical correction is prohibited in DSA Administrative Instruction 5751.2. October 6, 1983.
• In arbitration Office of Dependents Schools characterized lunchtime monitoring by writing, "Monitoring the cafeteria is not a particularly onerous or demanding task and employees are able to eat their lunches while performing it. Such monitoring only requires that the employee be alert for any problems and take care of any problems which occur."
• As an Association leader, you are entitled to "reasonable" and "necessary" amounts of official time "to perform representational duties." These duties include preparing for pre-negotiations and JCC and assisting an educator in filing grievances or other appeals. [SEE 1985 Negotiated Agreement Article 5, Section 1 and 2(A).]
• If teachers are required to undergo urine testing for drugs, what will happen to the embarrassed teacher who just cannot produce? Will they be charged with withholding evidence, or will they just be forced to drink three cups of coffee and then relax?
Thanks to FEA action we have a Child Abuse Memorandum of Understanding with DODEA dated 1999. Management normally cooperates with our leaders in the use of representational time. We have a guaranteed duty-free lunch of at least 30 minutes. And, urine testing is out the window, so to speak!
This semester two grievances will go to arbitration. Association Grievance 11-16 will be held in DC and involves debt collection against retired bargaining unit members. The second arbitration will be held in Japan involving unjust removal of a veteran educator.
Mark Your Calendars
Check the AD Activities for FEA leader visits in your area.
September 08 - International Literacy Day
September 11 - Day of Remembrance/Patriot Day. To see a record of those who died, visit September 11: A Memorial.
September 11 - Grandparents Day
September 9-15 - National Arts in Education Week
September 15 -- Hispanic Heritage Month (until 10/15) See Hispanic Education: Background, Teaching Resources, Issues, & Scholarships.
September 16 - 18 Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)
September 17 -- U.S. Constitution Day
September 21 -- International Day of Peace
September 22 -- Autumn Equinox
September 25 -- School Desegregation Comes Back to Little Rock For more information, go to Central High School National Historic Site. See PBS Newshour Transcript on 40th anniversary.
September 24 -- Family Day -- A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children
September 25-26 -- Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
For more information about any of these events, go to this page
Yen and Won Rates: To check the rates go to this page.
Until the next update,
Debra S. Degalis
FEA Pacific Area Director