January 10, 2014 FEA President's Report

TO: FEA Members Worldwide
FROM: Chuck McCarter, FEA President
RE: FEA President's Report
DATE: January 10, 2014

VSIP/VERA -- DoDEA sent out Offers for Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay and Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VSIP/VERA) late Thursday night to educators from DoDDS schools that will be closing after this school year. There is a very short turnaround on this round, with replies being due by this Monday, January 13, at 5 p.m. Eastern Time. A second round of VSIP/VERA offers will be made once staffing documents are released later this month. That round will include employees at all schools, not just those that are closing.

PAY FREEZE -- As you know, the pay freeze on federal civilian employees was lifted January 1. Please remember that DoDDS salaries are determined by a separate law than that governing GS salaries. FEA is examining how the lifting of the pay freeze will impact our members.

SCHOOL VISITS -- I'm looking forward to visiting with members at Fort Jackson and Quantico later this month. I'll be at Jackson on January 21 and Quantico on January 28. There's no better way for me to share information and learn more about what members are dealing with than by hearing directly from all of you at meetings such as these. Thanks in advance to everyone at these locals who is setting up these meetings and to the members for letting me know what is on your minds.

CONTRACT RENEGOTIATIONS -- A quick update on where we are with the renegotiation of the FEA/DoDDS Negotiated Agreement. We remain in the very early stages of the process. FEA has requested release time for our bargaining team to meet and work on proposals. Once that is finished, FEA and DoDDS will meet to bargain the ground rules for the full contract negotiations. When those ground rules are put in place, then the actual contract negotiations will begin. As you can imagine, it is a lengthy process. This means you still have time to let FEA know what issues and concerns are on your mind as we work out a new contract. Please send your input to us at

MLK DAY -- January 20 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For a list of resources to help you and your students learn more about Dr. King, visit NEA's MLK Day Information page.

AREA DIRECTOR ELECTIONS -- The nomination period for the upcoming election of FEA Area Directors has now closed. The full list of candidates will be posted on the FEA Web site ( by the middle of next week. Ballots will be sent out to members at the end of February.

IN MEMORIAM -- I was very sad to learn of the recent passing of Caroline Myers, a longtime local president and former Area Director in our Stateside schools before her retirement in 2008. Caroline was not only a great leader, she was a smart, funny and very gracious lady. All who knew her will miss her southern charm and her great wit. In accordance with her family's wishes, donations may be made in Caroline B. Myers's name to:

Dr. Courtney DiNardo
Department of Leukemia (Unit 428)
M D Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Blvd.
Houston, TX 77030

READ ACROSS AMERICA -- Read Across America day is March 3, 2014. Find resources and ideas for your reading celebration by going to NEA's Read Across America page at Also, local associations are encouraged to use FEA's sample news release to let local media know about your plans for the big day. Spread the word and encourage others to join in!

The release is available in Word format here.