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March 17, 2011 FEA President's Report

To: FEA Members and Local Leaders Worldwide
From: Michael Priser, FEA President
Re: FEA President's Report
Date: March 17, 2011


JAPAN -- Our thoughts and prayers remain constantly with the DoDEA employees in mainland Japan, as well as with their families, students and the military communities that they serve. Moreover, our deepest condolences go to the citizens of Japan, who have been more than neighbors to the DoDEA community in that country for so long. The scenes of devastation we see daily on television are heartbreaking, but we know the impact upon those of you in Japan is beyond anything we can imagine. Though they were fortunate enough to have not lost any lives last week, our members and the military communities they are part of are sharing the hardships and anxieties that many Japanese are enduring right now. Please know that FEA is constantly monitoring the situation to advocate for the safety and security of our members and of all DoDEA stakeholders. We know that all of DoDEA and all of the U.S. military share our concern for the well being of everyone affected by this tragedy and we will work with them wherever we can to help all of you endure this hardship.

TRANSFER PROGRAM -- Earlier this week, FEA proposed two changes to the DoDDS Transfer Program: to allow educators in Japan and Bahrain to submit applications to the transfer program this week, and to give employees in Group C (Excessed) the option of amending their applications to remove Japan and Bahrain as location preferences. Neither of these proposals was adopted.
This means the transfer round will go ahead essentially as originally planned. The one significant change, which was announced earlier this week in light of the situations in Japan and Bahrain, was to allow anyone who wished to do so to withdraw their application to the Transfer Program. Amending your application is not an option; you must either withdraw it or leave it as you finalized it last week. The deadline to withdraw your application remains 11 a.m. EDT this Thursday, March 17. Any application not withdrawn by that time will be part of the transfer round.
We will work with management to address the concerns of those in Category C after the completion of the current transfer round.

MUSIC MOU -- FEA and DoDEA recently completed a Memorandum of Understanding on the issue of new computer platforms for DoDDS-Pacific K-12 music teachers. The agreement stipulates that music teachers will receive one-half day of release time to review the new Macintosh Orientation Package, in order to facilitate the transition from PC to Mac platform. The full MOU can be found at http://www.feaonline.org/passport/legal/mous.htm (login required)

BUSY MONTH -- In my last update, I mentioned that March is "Women's History Month". In addition, March is also recognized as "Music in Our Schools Month", "National Nutrition Month", and "Youth Art Month." Resources for all of these are available on the NEA website at www.nea.org

WEST POINT BOUND -- I will be heading up to West Point, NY, to visit our members there on Thursday, March 31. Thank you in advance to our local leaders and members who are planning my visit and I look forward to hearing from our certified and classified members at West Point about the issues on their minds.

BOARD MEETING -- The FEA Board of Directors has been meeting here in Washington this entire week. Although we've had at least one eye on the situation in Japan throughout the week, we've also met with many officials from NEA and DoDEA. Please look for information on this meeting from your Area Directors in the weeks ahead.

I wish you all a safe and healthy week.