January 15 2010 FEA President's ReportTo: FEA Members and Local Leaders
From: Michael Priser, FEA President
Re: FEA President's Report
Date: January 15, 2010
HAPPY NEW YEAR -- Since this is my first President's Report of 2010, let me quickly say "welcome back" and I hope you have a very happy new year.
TRANSFER PROGRAM -- As reported just prior to the holiday break, FEA and DoDEA have signed off on the School Year 2010-2011 DoDDS Transfer Program Agreement. The agreement contains no significant changes from the previous year's Transfer Program. You can read the full Transfer Program Agreement and get other Transfer-related information by going to www.feaonline.org
The deadline for Transfer applications to be submitted is February 12, 2010. Round One is scheduled to begin on March 8. As always, FEA will have representatives present during the Transfer Round to monitor the process and track FEA members' applications. This year, FEA Pacific Area Director Debra Degalis and Europe Area Director John Luchtman will join Connie Shanaghan as monitors on behalf of FEA.
STAFFING DOCUMENTS - Staffing documents should be available at your school soon, if they are not available already. Your FRS will work with your building principal to determine if any excessing of employees will occur and ensure that all safeguards are followed in the excessing process. Your FRS also ensures that all vacancies at your school are reported for the upcoming Transfer Program. Thanks very much to all our FRS's for performing this very important role!
TIPS FOR TRANSFERS -- Connie Shanaghan, FEA's Director of Administration and all-around Transfer Guru, has posted her annual Tips for Transfers on the FEA Web site (www.feaonline.org). All FEA members applying for the Transfer Program are highly encouraged to read these tips and take advantage of Connie's extensive expertise in the Transfer process. Reading Connie's Tips for Transfers has helped numerous members avoid potential mistakes on their applications that could have prevented them from getting the transfer they wanted.
NEW FEA JOURNAL -- A special issue of the FEA Journal newsletter is now arriving in members' mailboxes. This newsletter contains very important information on educators' performance and job protection. FEA encourages every single member of our bargaining unit to read this newsletter carefully and immediately inform their building's FRS of any issues related to the newsletter content that may arise. The Journal is also available online as a PDF document at www.feaonline.org
NEW ORGANIZATION -- FEA's membership and active participation in the United DoD Workers Coalition over the past several years helped to protect our members from the threat of the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) until Congress finally pulled the plug on that failed initiative last year. Now, to expand upon that success and to continue progress on issues affecting our members and other federal employees, FEA/NEA is a founding member of the new Federal Workers Alliance (FWA). The FWA currently consists of 21 labor organizations representing roughly 300,000 federal workers, with the hope of more organizations joining in the near future. The FWA's top priorities in 2010 will include working with the Obama Administration on implementation of its recent Executive Order on labor-management partnerships. The FWA will also work with the Obama Administration and Congress on proposed civil service reforms.
MEETINGS AND VISITS -- Over the past week, I have paid visits to our FEA members at Fort Rucker, Maxwell Air Force Base, and Fort Benning. I really want to thank the local presidents, FRS's, and members that made the visits so great. The educators there are phenomenal. In spite of all the pressures and added requirements due to the upcoming accreditation visit, children are always engaged in exciting learning programs. Next week, I will be visiting Fort Campbell and Fort Knox and am looking forward to the opportunity to visit those schools and meet with members. Later I will be traveling onto Cincinnati to attend the NEA Mid-Atlantic Regional meetings. There I will join a number of FEA members who are attending the Mid-Atlantic Leadership Conferences, including the Women's and Minorities Leadership Conferences. My thanks to all the Stateside leaders and members hosting me on this trip and to all the FEA members giving their time to attend the leadership conferences in Cincinnati.
100 PERCENT -- Congratulations to the local leaders -- and a very big "thank you" to the staff -- at Lester Middle School in Okinawa for reaching 100 percent membership in their local affiliate of FEA. We are proud to represent you and greatly appreciate this show of support.
MLK WEEKEND -- As we head into this long weekend, it is appropriate to remember the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., who had this to say about the field we've dedicated our lives to: "The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character -- that is the goal of true education."
Have a great weekend!