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March 1, 2019 FEA President's Report

TO: FEA Members Worldwide
FROM: Chuck McCarter, FEA President
RE: FEA President's Report
DATE: March 1, 2019


DoDEA WITHDRAWS UNIFIED LAW PROPOSAL

As we reported recently, DoDEA has -- for now, anyhow -- withdrawn its proposed law that would have stripped employee rights and civil service protections under the guise of merging Stateside and Overseas schools into a single system. The DoDEA Director indicated that management is likely to attempt passing this law again sometime in the future, so FEA and NEA will remain vigilant. Read the update here


OVERSEAS CONTRACT

The Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP) recently reaffirmed its overwhelming bias in favor of management and against employees by giving DoDEA virtually everything it wanted in the ground rules for bargaining of a new contract for Overseas members (read the update here). The actual bargaining process for the new contract will get underway in the months ahead. Members are encouraged to continue sending their priorities for a new contract to FEA. You can send them to fealegal@nea.org or to fea@feaonline.org.

Both the Unified Law proposal and management's proposals for the ground rules show clearly that DoDEA leadership is not focused on improving our schools or supporting DoDEA educators, but rather in consolidating power at the Mark Center. This loss of focus and direction will be detrimental to our mission of providing the best possible education for military connected students.


OVERSEAS VSIP/VERA CALCULATIONS

Several Overseas members have contacted FEA with concerns about the accuracy of the VSIP calculations they received. For now, it is FEA's advice that any individual who is inclined to accept their current VSIP calculation should go ahead and do so. If it turns out there were errors in how the calculations were made, FEA will work with DoDEA to see that employees are made whole, or pursue litigation toward that end, if necessary.


OVERSEAS VSIP/VERA OFFERS

Most but not all of the VERA/VSIP offers to Overseas excessed educators have gone out by now. A few educators who were declared excess last week and who requested VERA/VSIP are still having their applications processed. If you are an excessed FEA Overseas member who applied for VERA or VSIP and you have not received your offer, contact FEA's Connie Shanaghan at cshanaghan@nea.org.


STATESIDE VERA/VSIP

At this point no VERA or VSIP offers have been sent out to Stateside employees. FEA-Stateside has been told that offers MAY be made to some Stateside employees but no decision has been made yet.


ATTENTION OVERSEAS EXCESS

March 1 at 5pm EST is the deadline for Overseas Excessed Employees to enter or make changes to their online application and list of preferred locations for placement. Please see our update about what to do before the deadline. Overseas employees being excessed can access the database by going to this site (you must use a government computer and CAC card to access the database).


NO SPECIAL NEEDS CONSIDERATION

An update on Section No. 9 of the Overseas Excess Placement Application -Special Educational Needs and/or Medical Requirements:
Management informed us February 28 that this section of the application has been blocked. Any information that an applicant may have typed into this section was not saved. In spite of FEA's objections, management will not take special needs into consideration during the excess placement program.


READ ACROSS AMERICA

It's here! NEA's annual celebration of reading takes place March 1. We've heard of so many great events planned in our schools. Please remember to send pictures of your celebrations to fea@feaonline.org and HAVE FUN!


2020 AWARDS FOR TEACHING EXCELLENCE

As I travel around and visit schools and classrooms, I am always in awe of the great work our educators do. Here is one opportunity to recognize the excellent educators and advocates we have within our ranks. The 2020 NEA Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence, which will be presented in February of 2020, recognizes outstanding educators and advocates for the profession. As always, FEA will be able to submit one name for consideration as our state nominee. If you are interested in nominating yourself or a colleague, contact your Area Director for application information. Applications are due to FEA's DC office by April 1. The NEA Foundation will make its award selections based on nominations submitted by the NEA state affiliates.


STATESIDE COUNCIL MEETING

Next week, our Executive Director, H.T. Nguyen, and our Communications Director, Gary Hritz will travel to Nashville, TN, for the spring meeting of the FEA Stateside Area Council. I will join the group for the Saturday meeting. This is a great time to meet with stateside leaders, hear concerns, and share information.


WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH

The theme for 2019 is "Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence." Examine the changing cultural perceptions of women in society and honor their contributions in the following lessons and activities:NEA Women's History Month resources.


VOTING DEADLINE

Ballots for the election of At-Large officers to the FEA Board of Directors must be RECEIVED by March 26 to be included in the count that will get underway March 27. If you are an Active member of FEA and have not received your ballot please contact your FRS, Local President or FEA Area Director to request a copy of the ballot so that you can mail it back in time. This vote is for the four At-Large positions up for election this year to the FEA Board: President, Vice President/Secretary-Treasurer, NEA Director for Federal, and Human & Civil Rights Coordinator.