October 2 2010 FEA President's ReportTo: FEA Members and Leaders Worldwide
From: Michael Priser, FEA President
Re: FEA President's Report
Date: October 2, 2010
PAY PROBLEMS CONTINUE -- FEA continues to hear reports of numerous pay problems and garnishments of wages. If you receive a debt collection letter you should immediately invoke your rights under federal law. Remember, if you have a pay problem, file a pay inquiry with your building principal. Unresolved pay problems should be grieved. Be sure to check your LES every pay period for discrepancies. We have heard of many instances of money being deducted from pay with no advance notice or explanation being given. FEA's legal staff is working on literally hundreds of pay cases, many of which have cropped up in the last several months. We will continue to fight to ensure our members' rights regarding pay and benefits are always protected.
CHANGE FOR THE BETTER -- In an important, forward-moving step for DoDEA students and educators, FEA and Acting DoDEA Director Ms. Marilee Fitzgerald have signed off on a Memorandum of Understanding to implement Pre-Decisional Involvement, in accordance with an Executive Order affecting government agencies. This means that FEA will now have the opportunity to gather input from those in the field and provide feedback to management at the onset of any new program or initiative affecting education. This is a major change from past practice, in which DoDEA management too often would decide on a course of action and only then inform FEA of its intentions. The MOU is available on the FEA web site at www.feaonline.org/mous.htm (member login required)
FEA SURVEY -- We recently sent copies of a survey to all FRSs/Building Representatives in both DDESS and DoDDS with a request that they distribute the survey to both members and non-members of the association, collect the completed surveys, and return them to FEA. If you have not yet completed your survey, please do so and return it to your FRS/Building Representative. Your input from this survey is very important in ensuring FEA continues to represent your interests and priorities in all of our dealings with DoDEA management.
NO MOU ON UDDI TRAINING -- FEA is working with Marilee Fitzgerald on the goal of providing meaningful professional development for educators. During this process, we have asked that UDDI/TerraNova Bluebook training be held in abeyance pending negotiations. At this time, there is not a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between FEA and DoDEA management on training for UDDI (Utilizing Data for Differential Instruction). FEA expects to meet with DoDEA headquarters later this month. DoDEA has agreed that training on UDDI will not be held until this process is complete. FEA is aware that there may be misinformation in the field. Please let us know if you have questions. As soon as FEA and DoDEA reach an agreement, we will let our members know.
100 PERCENT -- Joy Elementary School in Korea is the second school this year to report achieving 100 percent FEA membership. Congratulations!! FEA is extremely grateful for your support of and active participation in your professional association. Thank you to the membership and local leadership at Joy ES for reaching this accomplishment. If your school has achieved 100 percent membership, please send us a message at email@example.com so we can recognize your accomplishment as well.
HISPANIC HERITAGE -- National Hispanic Heritage Month continues until October 15. The NEA web site has a number of suggested activities compiled from Education World available at http://www.nea.org/tools/13900.htm
TRAVELS -- This week, I am finishing up a visit to Japan for FRS training, the NEATA meeting, and visits with members at Yokosuka and Yokota. Next week, I'll be heading to Okinawa for visits to Killin ES, Ryukyu MS and Kadena HS, as well as attending the FRS training there. I will also be meeting with members at the AEAO Fall reception Tuesday night (October 5) at the Camp Shields Crows Next Club. I'll end the week in Korea for the FRS training and visits to the schools at Osan. Gary Hritz, FEA's Director of Communications and Membership Development, will be joining me on most of these visits. In addition, FEA Executive Director/General Counsel H.T. Nguyen is in Peachtree City this weekend attending the FEA Stateside Area Council Meeting. H.T. will then be traveling to Okinawa and Korea to attend the FRS trainings next week. Thank you to all those who have coordinated our travels throughout the fall and to all the members who have taken time to meet with us during our visits.
Have a great weekend!