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October 15, 2012 FEA President's Report

TO: FEA Members Worldwide
FROM: Michael Priser, FEA President
RE: FEA President's Report
DATE: October 15, 2012



NEWLY ASSIGNED READ 180 TEACHERS -- FEA has signed an MOU for DoDDS educators who are newly assigned to teach Read 180. Training should have been provided last week. For those educators who were unable to participate in that training, please see your principal to arrange time to do the training via Blackboard. The MOU can viewed on the FEA website at www.feaonline.org/mous.htm


LEGAL UPDATES COMING -- FEA's Legal Department is preparing a pair of legal updates, which should both be available at www.feaonline.org later this week. One update will deal with the 10-year-rule for LQA. The second will deal with DoDDS employees being erroneously denied reimbursement for shipment of up to 100 pounds of excess baggage (per family member) between their duty station and home of record during RAT travel. FEA members are urged to visit www.feaonline.org later this week and read these important updates. Those of you who subscribe to our FEA listserv will also receive notices of those updates directly. You can sign up for the listserv at www.feaonline.org/listserv.htm (member login is required)


DDESS VISITS -- My thanks to our members and leaders at Dahlgren for hosting and attending my presentation last week. We had a very good conversation about issues impacting DDESS. I will be visiting Quantico on October 18 for a similar presentation. Thanks in advance to everyone at Quantico for their work in setting up the meeting and for coming out to speak with me. I look forward to seeing you all.


OPEN SEASON -- The open season for the federal employees' health, dental and vision insurances, as well as flexible spending accounts (FSAFEDS), is coming up in November 12 through December 10. Get complete information on the Federal Benefits Open Season at OPM's web site.

The American Foreign Service Protective Association has prepared a chart showing the percentage of change in rates for a number of Federal Employees Health Benefits plans plans. That chart can be found at http://feaonline.org/media/FEHB_Rates_Comparison.pdf


ABSENTEE VOTING -- Voting is the right and responsibility of every good citizen. Registering to vote and voting in elections are not violations of the Hatch Act and, in fact, the federal government actively encourages all of its employees to vote. As always, you must follow all Hatch Act prohibitions against partisan and political activities in the workplace and in your capacity as a federal employee. For more information on the Hatch Act, see DoDEA's page on allowable and prohibited political activities at this page.

According to the Federal Voting Assistance Program (www.fvap.gov), all U.S. states and territories are required to mail absentee ballots at least 45 days before an election to all those who properly request one. If you made such a request and have not yet received your ballot, FVAP recommends contacting the local election office at your home of record. If you have trouble contacting your local office, you should contact FVAP through their web site. The FVAP site has listings of all state election boards, as well as information about the back-up Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot you can use if your state's absentee ballot has not yet arrived. If you wish to vote absentee but have not yet requested an absentee ballot, you may still be able to do so. Use the FVAP site's links to your state's election board to find out about deadlines and requirements for requesting an absentee ballot. Again, that site can be found at www.fvap.gov.


100 PERCENT -- Congratulations and a very big "thank you" to the staffs and association leaders at Andersen Middle School (Guam), Lakenheath High School (England) and Liberty Intermediate School (England) for achieving 100 percent association membership this school year. FEA is very proud to represent you and we are so grateful for the trust and confidence you have placed in us. FRS's please remember: if your school has achieved 100 percent membership, we want to know! Send a message to FEA Director of Communications Gary Hritz at ghritz@nea.org to let us know about your accomplishment so we can highlight you in a future FEA President's Report.


NOMINATIONS SOUGHT -- NEA is holding a Dialogue on Social Justice in Washington, DC, December 7 and 8, 2012, and is looking for nominations for individuals to be presenters and participants at the meeting. Any NEA member may nominate herself/himself or another NEA member. The deadline to nominate is October 26 and the nomination form can be found at this page.