December 1 2008 FEA President's Report

To: FEA Members and Local Leaders
From: Michael Priser, FEA President
Re: FEA President's Report
Date: December 1, 2008

OPEN SEASON -- The Open Season for enrolling in or making changes to federal benefits programs is less than a week away. December 8 is the deadline for taking any action regarding the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Program (FEDVIP), and the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program also known as FSAFEDS. Visit OPM's Federal Benefits Open Season page for information and materials.

VERA APPLICATIONS -- Deadlines are also approaching for submitting your application for Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA). Deadline dates vary depending upon where you are located. Check with your building administrator or District Office if you are interested in applying for VERA.

EARLY NOTICE AWARDS -- DoDDS educators planning to leave the school system at the end of the current school year should notify management of their decision by January 6, 2009, in order to receive a $500 award. To receive the reward, you must initiate a Request for Personnel Action (RPA) no later than January 6 through your building administrator, requesting voluntary separation (resignation or retirement) to be effective at the end of the school year or during the summer recess period. The $500 award is available only to full-time, school-level, non-supervisory, professional educators on permanent appointments. Turning in your notice of retirement/resignation by the January 6 deadline will help to create transfer vacancies and to accommodate excess educators. DoDEA has stated there will be NO Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments (VSIP) this school year.

DDESS TO DODDS MOVES -- FEA and management have signed an MOU stating that permanent educators who have worked for 2 years in DDESS and are now transferring to a DoDDS school do not have to serve a probationary period in DoDDS. The MOU will be posted on FEAONLINE within a few days.

NEA FOUNDATION AWARD -- FEA may submit one members' name into nomination for the NEA Foundation's Awards for Teaching Excellence. The top prize winner receives a $25,000 award. Four other finalists get $10,000 each. Nomination materials can be downloaded at the NEA Foundation site. The completed nomination materials should be submitted to FEA no later than APRIL 1, 2009. FEA will review any applications received by that date and may choose to submit one nominee's materials to NEA by the May 1 final deadline. Send nomination materials to: FEA, 1201 16th St NW, Suite 117, Washington DC 20036.

REMEMBER TO CLICK AND SAVE -- FEA members who like to do holiday shopping online are reminded to check out NEA Member Benefits' Click & Save program. By registering at the Member Benefits Click & Save site you can take advantage of exclusive savings at leading retailers such as Target, Sony and Bloomingdale's. Enrolling is free and does not obligate you to purchase anything -- it's just another great benefit of your membership in FEA/NEA!

FACE TO FACE -- The Face to Face section on FEA's Web site now includes photos of my recent visit to Camp Lejeune, as well as pics from my visits to various FEA locals so far this school year. Take a look.

SUBSCRIBE -- FEA members are highly encouraged to subscribe to this electronic update. To do so, go to the FEA President's Report subscription page and enter your membership information. Once you do so, this update will be sent directly to the e-mail address you provide.

Have a great week!