November 20 2009 FEA President's Report

To: FEA Members and Local Leaders Worldwide
From: Michael Priser, FEA President
Re: FEA President's Report
Date: November 20, 2009

VERA/ELWOP/ARR -- VERA (Voluntary Early Retirement Authority) has been granted for DoDEA educators worldwide. If interested, members should contact their school administrator for the application and process. Applications will need to be returned soon after the winter break. Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay (VSIP) is not being offered at this time and DoDEA management has said it does not expect to offer VSIP this school year.

ELWOP/ARR -- Additionally, educators in Europe and the Pacific (including DoDDS educators in Cuba and DDESS educators in Guam) can now apply for the Educational Leave Without Pay (ELWOP) and Administrative Reemployments Rights (ARR) programs.

The application deadline for VERA, ELWOP and ARR is January 8, 2010. Application materials, as well as copies of the DoDEA memos announcing these programs, can be found on the FEA Web site, or you can contact your building administrator for information.

Educators in DDESS schools (except Guam) have a different procedure to follow, as outlined by DoDEA's Human Resources department: "DDESS has a different procedure for Educational Leave Programs covered by the FEA-SR MLA, Appendix K. Under the DDESS procedures, teachers can request Educational Leave at any time through their principal and superintendent and the approval process is handled at that level. There is no travel or orders involved in the DDESS program - if approved, the teacher is just placed on LWOP or separated for the duration of the training."

SOCIAL STUDIES SOFTWARE INSTALLATION AND INSERVICE -- In a memo sent out by DoDEA Headquarters in September, secondary Social Studies teachers were given time to review Social Studies materials during the school day based on the number of Social Studies courses assigned (teachers assigned to teach one to two courses were given 2 hours of review time and teachers assigned three or more social studies courses were given 4 hours). However, the Social Studies software (which was also ordered last school year) is only now being installed. FEA has asked Headquarters on three occasions to give secondary Social Studies teachers who have already reviewed the curricula an additional 2 hours to go over this newly installed software material if needed. No response has been received. Dr. Miles was asked directly this week and would not answer. FEA will continue to pursue this matter in order that newly adopted educational programs be implemented in the best manner for students.

H1N1 EMERGENCY PLANS -- DoDEA Headquarters has sent out a number of memos to schools asking for them to develop emergency plans if schools are closed. FEA has asked that these be held in abeyance in order to work out important details to protect the safety of all students and personnel. Agreement has not yet been reached.

SURVEY ON UDDI/TERRANOVA MODULES AND STANDARDS -- FEA requested that a survey be developed in order to obtain frank and open feedback on these 3 in-services. FEA feels it is imperative that educators in the field give input into their own professional development needs. So far we have not been able to reach agreement on the questions in this survey. FEA has asked for Dr. Miles to intervene, but she will not do so.

NACI (National Agency Check Investigation) -- The security clearance information required for employment has been misplaced by management and will need to be replaced. Last school year, DoDEA Headquarters released over two dozen pages that must be read and completed, along with providing fingerprints. FEA is requesting time be given to employees who have to re-do this work for management. We are awaiting a reply, but have asked that this monumental process not begin until we can reach agreement. If you are asked by your school administrator to complete this work, contact FEA-Washington immediately.

CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT -- FEA is very concerned that the "confidentiality agreement" that management requires the DoDEA Task Force members to sign is overly broad and appears to restrict all communication from its members and threatens them with punitive actions. FEA has asked for this to be re-written to adhere to the guidelines established by Dr. Joe Tafoya. DoDEA Headquarters promised a response last Wednesday (November 18). When none was received, Dr. Miles was contacted but has thus far refused to intervene. FEA is concerned that a gag order with expressed punitive action is not the way to promote true involvement from stakeholders or the transparency in DoDEA that Dr. Miles has repeatedly touted.