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December 10 2012 FEA President's Report

TO: FEA Members Worldwide
FROM: Michael Priser, FEA President
RE: FEA President's Report
DATE: December 10, 2012


REIMBURSEMENT FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN CONJUNCTION WITH RAT - FEA Executive Director/General Counsel H.T. Nguyen and I met with the DoDEA Director today concerning the full reimbursement of the shipment of 100 pounds of household goods (HHG) with RAT travel. As you may recall, H.T. addressed this issue in his June 4, June 8 and November 2, 2012 Legal Updates. For additional background information, please review these Legal Updates on this issue.

In our meeting, the DoDEA Director shared a copy of a memorandum, dated December 7, 2012, that had just been sent to the Director of DFAS. That memorandum states that as this matter is addressed in the Negotiated Agreement between FEA and DoDDS, educators in the FEA bargaining unit should be paid for the shipment of HHG in conjunction with RAT travel. When further details in the implementation of the DoDEA Director's memorandum become available, FEA will immediately send out this information.

TRAVEL COSTS -- The government is trying to deny full reimbursement for travel costs to several educators who traveled to their homes of record on RAT travel this past summer. In a break from past practice and a clear violation of regulations, the government is claiming it is only required to reimburse individuals for the cost of travel between their duty station and whatever major U.S. city is nearest to their home of record (for example, an educator stationed at Yokota and traveling on RAT to their home of record in rural Virginia would only be reimbursed for the "constructive cost" of travel between Tokyo and Washington DC, and not reimbursed the additional cost of a commuter flight between Washington and their home of record, even if their home is hundreds of miles away from Washington). In the past, reimbursements have always been based upon the cost of travel to the actual home of record. FEA is working with DoDEA to resolve this issue but if it is not resolved correctly and in a timely manner we will be filing an association grievance.

ESL SUMMER TRAINING PAY FROM 2012 -- Last summer, a number of ESL teachers chose to participate in the online training for the new assessment and standards and be paid for that time. FEA recently learned that a number of teachers had still not been paid. DoDEA Headquarters has now assured us that all ESL teachers who completed the online summer training should have been paid by December 7, 2012. If you have not received payment please let your principal and FRS know immediately. (Your principal may need to contact the District/Area ESL POC.)

DDESS SCHOOLS UNDER THREAT -- One of many potential budget cutting moves being considered by lawmakers in Washington is turning some or all DDESS schools over to the local public school agencies in their respective areas. You can learn more about this threat, including what you can do, by going to www.feaonline.org/kidsovercuts.htm. Please do so only while off duty, off government property and while using non-government-owned computer equipment.

RECOGNITION -- FEA member Daniele Massey, a mathematics teacher at Vilseck High School in Germany and DoDEA's 2013 Teacher of the Year, has been recognized as one of NEA's Classroom Superheroes. The Classroom Superheroes project recognizes and celebrates outstanding educators. You can read about Daniele and leave her a message of encouragement by going to the Classroom Superheroes page. Congratulations Daniele!

ELECTIONS -- A reminder: the deadline for nominating yourself or another FEA Active member for an at-large office on the FEA Board of Directors (President, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, NEA Director, or Human & Civil Rights Coordinator) is December 19, 2012. You can get nomination materials from your FRS, from the November FEA Journal, or at this page

HAPPY HOLIDAYS -- This will be the last scheduled FEA President's Report of 2012. I hope you have had a great year and may 2013 be an even greater year for you and yours. I wish you a very safe and happy holiday season!