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February 15, 2012 FEA President's Report

To: FEA Members and Local Leaders Worldwide
From: Michael Priser, FEA President
Re: FEA President's Report
Date: February 15, 2012

TRANSFER PROGRAM DEADLINES -- Remember, the deadline to apply for this spring's DoDDS Transfer Program is February 24, 2012. Applicants will then have until March 12 to amend their applications and the transfer round will begin on March 14.

FAQs and TRANSFER TIPS -- FEA Transfer Guru Connie Shanaghan has posted her answers to frequently asked questions and her Tips for Transfers on the FEA Web site. Both documents are provided exclusively for FEA members as tools to maximize your chances of getting the transfer that you want. FEA members can access both the FAQs and Transfer Tips through our FEA Transfer Information Page.

ATTENTION PACIFIC EDUCATORS - Under an agreement between FEA and DoDDS, educators in the Pacific who are declared excess have been granted an extension of the deadline to apply for VERA and the Early Award Notice. Such educators will have three working days to apply for VERA and the Early Award Notice once they have been told they are excess. The three-day grace period is the result of an agreement to move the deadline for principals in the Pacific to identify excess educators. The old deadline was February 10 but, due to some scheduling problems that made it impossible for all Pacific principals to collaborate with school FRSs and notify employees they are excess, the deadline was moved to February 15. So, for example, an educator notified February 13 that they are excess would have until February 16 to apply for VERA and the Early Award Notice; an educator notified on February 15 would have until February 18, etc.

MORE PAIN AHEAD? -- Budget proposals from both Congress and the White House include some measure of pain for federal employees. This week, President Obama's budget plan called for increasing the amount federal employees contribute towards their retirement plans by 0.4 percent each year for the next three years. The good news, however, is that the president also proposes resuming increases in salaries for feds after the current two-year pay freeze ends in 2013.

The majority in the House of Representatives, on the other hand, is pushing for a 1.5 percent increase in fed retirement contributions over three years and an extension of the federal pay freeze by at least one additional year as well as no longer allowing step increases for federal workers while their salary schedules are frozen.

Furthermore, the House is considering a change that would base federal retiree pensions on an employee's high five years of service, rather than the current high three years.

FEA and NEA, along with our partners in the Federal Workers Alliance, are opposed to any increases in employees' retirement contributions or changes to the present pension calculations, particularly after feds have already been subject to a two-year pay freeze to help solve the budget crisis. You can visit the FEA Web site at www.feaonline.org for more information.

ALTERNATE ASSESSMENT EXTENSION -- For the second consecutive year, DoDDS and FEA have agreed to an extension of the data-collection period for the Alternate Assessment. Data collection (for moderate/severe special education) began this past Monday, February 13, and was originally to be wrapped up by March 23. Instead, the period for data collection has been extended to April 20, 2012. Data will still have to be submitted for scoring by May 1, 2012.

READ ACROSS AMERICA -- Read Across America day is just over two weeks away. Whether you're looking for ideas of how to celebrate or just need a few last minute materials to finish your planning, you can find what you need at www.nea.org/readacross

I hope you're having a great week!