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March 15 2009 FEA President's Report

To: FEA Members and Local Leaders Worldwide
From: Michael Priser, FEA President
Re: FEA President's Report
Date: March 15, 2009


TRANSFER PROGRAM -- The DoDDS Transfer Program will begin this Monday (March 16). As always, FEA's Transfer Guru Connie Shanaghan will be at DoDEA to monitor the transfer process and ensure that our members' applications receive every possible consideration. Joining Connie in this effort will be Debra Degalis, FEA Pacific Area Director, and Chuck McCarter, FEA Europe Area Director. FEA would also like to thank the staff at DoDEA, especially Patti Ross and Nita Coates-Jones, for all of their hard work preparing for and carrying out the transfer program each year. The transfer program is not only a very valuable tool in maintaining employee morale, it also helps ease the process of staffing some of the more remote, less sought-after locations throughout DoDEA.
As is customary, information on individual transfers will not be released until DoDEA has sent out its transfer notifications. Thank you, in advance, to our members for their patience while the transfer round is conducted. We will post details on www.feaonline.org as soon as we can.

VACANCIES -- The updated transfer program vacancy list is available on the DoDEA Web site. As of March 11, the document listed a total of 211 vacancies. FEA members are encouraged to check the list to be sure all vacancies you are aware of are included on the list. If you spot a possible omission, your FRS/building representative should first check with your building principal to see if that vacancy was submitted. Send a message to the FEA/Admin address on Outlook mail to inform us of any discrepancies that cannot be explained.

MORE TRANSFER INFORMATION -- Here are the most recent numbers on the numbers of transfer applications, per group:
  • Group A+ - 108 (1 withdrawal)
  • Group A -- 169 (17 withdrawals)
  • Group B -- 129 (9 withdrawals)
  • Group C -- 63 (1 withdrawal)
  • Group D -- 152 (15 withdrawals)
  • Group F -- 451 (60 withdrawals)
  • Total -- 1072 applicants (103 withdrawals)

DoDEA EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION SURVEY -- I want to reiterate FEA's position on the employee satisfaction survey currently being conducted by DoDEA. The survey is poorly designed, with questions that require employees to speculate on information and no guarantee of anonymity for those who choose to respond. The survey is likely to result in invalid and unreliable data that could be misinterpreted or even misused. As a result, we cannot endorse the survey nor recommend to our members that they participate in it. Other organizations may see this as being overly cautious, but FEA does not.
Please remember, this survey is COMPLETELY VOLUNTARY. Just as FEA cannot stop our members from participating if they wish to, management cannot require anyone to take part in the survey if they do not want to. If any building administrator attempts to do so, please inform your FEA building representative immediately so he/she can inform us.
By the way, FEA is planning its own survey of our members, to be conducted later this spring. In addition to gathering data on many work-related issues, the survey will ask members for input on FEA's communications and other aspects of operations. More on that in future updates.

IMPORTANT CELEBRATION -- April is designated as the Month of the Military Child. As educators, we know just how special military dependents are and how much is asked of them as members of the military community. We have especially come to admire their strength and resiliency as these young people have endured the demands put on their families in the aftermath of 9/11. Later this month, FEA will be posting materials you can use to recognize the Month of the Military Child in your classroom. Look for more information on that in my April 1 update. Meanwhile, please let us know if you have any plans for celebrating this month by sending a message to fea@feaonline.org. To learn more about the Month of the Military Child, go to www.monthofthemilitarychild.com

KEEP SENDING YOUR PHOTOS -- We've begun posting photos of our members' Read Across America celebrations. Please send us 1 or 2 photos of your event at fea@feaonline.org so we can add them to the site or print them in the upcoming FEA Journal. The events we've seen so far look great and I thank our members for going above-and-beyond (again) this year to promote reading and the memory of Dr. Seuss. Great job!

PLEASE HELP ONE OF OUR OWN -- Mary Hardeman is a Pre-Kindergarten Aide and FEA Member at Mudge Elementary School at Fort Knox, Kentucky. She has been an exemplary employee with the Fort Knox Community School system for over 12 years. Approximately 3 weeks ago she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Mary underwent extensive neurosurgery at Norton's Hospital in Louisville Kentucky on 25 February 2006. The surgery was deemed a success despite her loss of vision in one eye and reduced vision (30-30) in the other. Most of the tumor has been removed, but not all. Some still remains in her pituitary gland and will require chemotherapy. Her recovery will require months of therapy. In addition to the incredible challenges her medical condition will present, Mary has a child with Autism living with her at home. Mary needs our help! The Fort Knox Classified Personnel Association has set-up an account in her name to accept monetary donations. Your help would be greatly appreciated. You can send your tax deductible donations to:
First Federal Savings Bank
Mary Hardeman Benefit Account
4055 Flaherty Road
Vine Grove, KY 40175


Times like this are when Mary needs her brothers and sisters in FEA more than ever. Thank you for anything you can do to help Mary.

Michael