November 15 2012 FEA President's Report

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

10-YEAR RULE -- As a reminder, FEA's Legal Department posted an important update and revised guidance recently on the 10-Year Rule for Privately Owned Quarters (POQ). You can read both by going to this page.

NETSUPPORT MOU EXTENDED -- DoDEA and FEA have agreed to extend the MOU on NetSupport School until November 30, 2013, for the DoDDS schools. The MOU can be found on the FEA website at this page.

POSTAGE ISSUE -- FEA met with DoDEA personnel earlier this week about this issue, which involves members improperly being denied reimbursement for shipments of up to 100 pounds of excess baggage per family member between their duty station and home of record during RAT travel. The DoDEA personnel stated that they agree with FEA's position in this matter but that DFAS continues to refuse to make the reimbursements. DoDEA has promised to continue to work on this issue with DFAS. Meanwhile, as was reported previously, FEA has filed an Association Grievance over this issue and, unless it is resolved in the immediate future, we will litigate in order to ensure members are properly reimbursed for their postage costs. Our Association Grievance covers all members of the bargaining unit. If you think you may be affected in any way by this issue, you should be certain to retain all receipts and documentation for your postage expenses and shipping information. FEA will let you know if and when it becomes necessary to send copies of that information to us. For more background on this issue, see the second half of the FEA legal update at this page.

NEW TECHNOLOGY -- DoDEA has ordered iTouch tablets to facilitate data collection for the curricula being used in Sure Start (for DoDDS) and Pre-School Kindergarten (for DDESS). Both FEA's Washington office and the FEA Stateside Region's leadership are working with management to bargain training on these devices.

OPEN SEASON -- Federal Employees Benefits Open Season continues now through December 10, 2012. To learn more, go to OPM's site.

TEACHER HALL OF FAME -- Nominations are now being sought for inductees to the National Teachers Hall of Fame in Emporia, Kansas. Five teachers are honored with induction each year. In 2012, three of the five inductees were NEA members. If you know of a deserving PreK-12 teacher, please visit the National Teacher Hall of Fame site to review the nomination criteria and materials. The deadline for submitting nominations is January 2, 2013.

MILITARY FAMILY APPRECIATION -- November is designated as Military Family Appreciation Month. Of course, as DoDEA employees, we witness and are grateful every day for the sacrifices of military families, but it is a well-deserved honor for this month to be formally declared a time to recognize military families. You can learn more by going to this site.

AMERICAN EDUCATION WEEK -- I hope all FEA members are enjoying American Education Week, now through November 17, and have been receiving some nice pats on the back for all of your hard work throughout the year. As FEA President, I am always amazed and grateful for the incredible work you do, so I'd like to add my own thanks to you all. Friday, November 16, is Substitute Educators Day. Please show your appreciation to the substitute educators who play such an important role in keeping our schools running smoothly.

CORRECTION -- An article in the November FEA Journal incorrectly identified our 2013 Nominee for the NEA Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence. Christine Anderson is our 2013 nominee. She was misidentified as "Christine Stewart" in the FEA Journal article. FEA apologizes to Christine for the error and again congratulates her on her nomination.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING -- My best wishes for a very happy Thanksgiving to all FEA members and their families, as well as to our DoDEA students and their families, particularly those with a loved one currently deployed. We all have so much to be thankful for and I hope your holiday is an enjoyable one.