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December 1 2010 FEA President's Report

To: FEA Members and Local Leaders Worldwide
From: Michael Priser, FEA President
Re: FEA President's Report
Date: December 1, 2010


FEDERAL PAY FREEZE -- On Monday, President Obama announced his intention to freeze the salaries of federal employees for the next two fiscal years. At this time, we are uncertain what impact this move will have upon the salaries of DoDDS and DDESS employees. FEA will be monitoring this issue as it develops and will do all we can to protect the salaries of our members, most of whom have already been subject to very small salary increases the past few years due to the economic downturn's impact upon education funding nationwide. While FEA understands the need to address the Federal deficit, we believe that any approach to this problem needs to be a comprehensive package. The President's proposal will still have to be approved by Congress. FEA will be working with the NEA and our coalition partners to ensure that all Federal workers are treated fairly and that actions do not counter plans to stimulate consumer spending and the economy.

COACHES SETTLEMENT -- A reminder that anyone eligible to file a claim under the recent settlement agreement between FEA and DoDEA for Association Grievance 08-08, concerning management's refusal to pay for coaches' hotel expenses when the coaches had to stay in hotels with their teams, must do so by December 10, 2010. Complete details on the settlement agreement, including the claim form to be filed and information on where to send it, was sent out to members last month and can be found at http://www.feaonline.org/passport/legal/updates/coaches_expenses.htm
We urge anyone who thinks they may be owed under this settlement to examine this information and, if appropriate, file the claim form by the December 10 deadline.

MOUs -- Two recent Memoranda of Understanding between FEA and DoDEA management, one dealing with implementation of UDDI and the other with Curriculum Materials for Chinese Language Courses, have been added to the FEA Web site. You can find them at http://www.feaonline.org/passport/legal/mous.htm? (member login required)

100 PERCENT -- Lester Middle School in Okinawa has become the latest DoDEA school to reach 100 percent FEA membership. Congratulations and a big "thank you" to all the members and local leaders at Lester for reaching this milestone. FEA is extremely proud and honored to represent you. If any other schools have reached 100 percent Association membership and not yet been recognized in this update, please let us know by emailing fea@feaonline.org

OPEN SEASON -- We're nearing last call for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Open Season, which closes on December 13. Get information at www.opm.gov/insure/health/

MARY HOAGUE - We recently learned of the passing of a person who played a major role in the lives of all FEA members. Mary Hoague, one of the founders and the first President of the Overseas Teachers Association (which grew to become FEA) passed away last month at her home in England. Our sincere condolences go to Mary's family and friends. We literally would not have an Association today without the groundbreaking work done by Mary and a handful of her colleagues back in the 1950s. We will strive always to honor her memory by maintaining the high standard she set for our organization.

THANKS FOR GREAT VISITS TO DDESS SCHOOLS -- Last month I was able to visit a number of DDESS schools and attend after school meetings with members at Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune, Fort Jackson and Laurel Bay. I appreciate the work of our local presidents Grace Merkle, Deborah Scobey, Wendy Woodworth, Wendy Russell and Cassandra White in setting up these visits. I had a great time meeting with educators and listening to our members. Thank you for all you do for children.

Have a great week!