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November 1 2009 FEA President's Report

To: FEA Members and Local Leaders
From: Michael Priser, FEA President
Re: FEA President's Report
Date: November 1, 2009


GOODBYE NSPS -- The final curtain has been brought down on the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) this week, with the signing by President Obama of the 2010 DoD Authorization Act. That act included language to completely phase out NSPS by January 1, 2012. It's been a long fight (six-and-a-half years) and FEA has been in the forefront, along with our brothers and sisters in the United DoD Workers Coalition. I want to thank all of our members who have called and written Congress over the years; your efforts helped us keep NSPS from ever directly impacting FEA members, and have now helped all DoD civilian employees. I especially want to thank FEA Executive Director/General Counsel H.T. Nguyen, and FEA Association General Counsel Richard Tarr, for all of their work with the Coalition on behalf of FEA members, as well as our many friends within NEA who helped us keep up the fight.
Also included in the Authorization Act signed by the president was language to allow FERS employees to credit unused sick leave toward their retirement, and a provision to introduce locality pay in place of COLA for DoD workers in locations such as Guam, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories, as well as Hawaii. Clearly, this bill will mark some major changes for our members.

WELCOME DSO MEMBERS -- In late October, the Federal Labor Relations Authority officially certified the vote creating a new bargaining unit, represented exclusively by FEA, for above-school-level educators in DoDDS. Now that this vote is "officially official," I want to again thank these educators for entrusting FEA with the honor of representing them, and to welcome you all to the FEA family. Information packets on FEA have now been mailed to all of you and should be arriving soon. Once we have determined which members of this new bargaining unit are joining FEA, we will be able to elect Faculty Representative Spokespeople (one each for the Pacific and Europe) to represent the interests of above-school-level educators within FEA.
For too long, these educators have been denied the right of collective bargaining and union representation. FEA looks forward to organizing your new bargaining unit and beginning the process of working with our new members to get you under a negotiated agreement as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, if any of you have questions about any aspect of FEA, I encourage you to call us at 202-822-7850 or email us at fea@feaonline.org.
Again, thank you and welcome!

H1N1 NEGOTIATION -- FEA is aware that DoDEA Headquarters has instructed schools to come up with a plan for their school should a pandemic outbreak occur. FEA worked this week with management to come up with a controlling document to cover key areas, such as when these plans would be activated, compensation for employees required to work outside the duty day, protecting the safety of employees, and reasonable expectation when alternative worksites are required. FEA expects to reach agreement with management by next week.

IMPORTANT SURVEY COMING -- FEA is working with DoDEA Headquarters to develop a survey to evaluate the professional development training that has occurred and is occurring for the TerraNova Modules (1 and 2), UDDI (Utilizing Data for Differential Instruction, Module 1) and the new DoDEA Standards Review. FEA believes that feedback from all employees on these in-services is important prior to moving forward in this process. More information will be forthcoming.

NEW COMPUTERS IN THE SCHOOLS -- FEA is aware that over 20,000 new computers are slated to arrive in the schools over the next year. FEA is working with management to ensure that schools are able to address local concerns and that the technology to meet the unique needs of each school remains in place.

ADEQUATE TRAINING FOR CURRICULAR IMPLEMENATION -- FEA met with management this week to ensure that adequate and appropriate inservice training is provided on all curricular implementations prior to their being used by educators in the classroom. This is to include all materials involved, textbooks, supplemental materials and software. FEA is aware that this was not the case this school year. We hope to reach agreement to rectify this situation and move forward in a positive direction for school year 10-11.

HCR TRAINING NOVEMBER 7 -- I will be attending a special Human and Civil Rights Training at Fort Jackson (Columbia, South Carolina) next weekend. This has been arranged by FEA Human & Civil Rights Coordinator Wanda Beatty, to address how members can acquire skills for consensus building and leadership. Assisting in this training is Mr. Daniel Hand, Director of NEA Affiliate Learning and Effectiveness.

100 PERCENT -- Congratulations to the faculty and staff at Garmisch Elementary School for reaching 100 percent FEA membership! FEA thanks you for your support and we are honored by the trust you have placed in us. If your school building has reached 100 percent membership this year and we have not yet recognized you in this update, please send us a note at fea@feaonline.org to let us know.

AFSPA -- The American Foreign Services Protective Association (AFSPA) will be presenting a workshop on the Federal Employees Health Benefit Open Season at the following locations:
Thursday, November 5th- Yokota
Monday, November 9th- Yokosuka
Tuesday, November 10th- Zama, Kadena
Thursday, November 12th- Sasebo, Kubasaki
Friday, November 13th- Iwakuni
Monday, November 16th- Naval Base Guam, Yongsan
Tuesday, November 17th- Andersen AFB (Guam), Osan
Wednesday, November 18th- Daegu
Thursday, November 19th- Camp Humphreys

The FEHB Open Season runs from November 9 to December 14. For more information on FEHB Open Season visit this site.

VETERANS DAY -- My next update won't go out until November 15, so let me take this opportunity to remind everyone that Veterans Day is November 11. Please take a few moments that day (and everyday) to reflect on all that our veterans have done for us.

AMERICAN EDUCATION WEEK -- You still have time to plan your events to celebrate American Education Week, November 15-21, and Education Support Professionals Day, November 18. You can find materials to help you plan your celebration, including artwork, proclamations and certificates to give to your members, at NEA's AEW page.

I hope you have a great weekend!