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April 20 2011 FEA President's Report

To: FEA Members Worldwide
From: FEA Washington Office
Re: FEA President's Report
Date: April 20, 2011


CONGRATULATIONS -- FEA members have elected the following Area Directors to the FEA Board of Directors:
  • Terry Arvidson -- FEA Director for DDESS

  • Debra Degalis -- Pacific Area Director

  • Lisa Ali -- European Area Director (Heidelberg and Isles/Cuba)

  • Alex Veto -- Europea Area Director (Bavaria, Kaiserslautern and the Mediterranean)

Each will serve a three-year term on the FEA Board, beginning August 2, 2011.
Detailed election results will be posted at www.feaonline.org in the days ahead.
Thank you to all those members who ran for office and all of you who voted!

TRANSFER NOTICES -- DoDEA has now sent out all transfer notifications. The notices were sent only to those individuals who received a transfer position. At this time, there are no additional transfer rounds planned for this year. If you have a question about your transfer application, please send it to feaadmin@nea.org and be sure to include your Service Comp Date, your transfer group (A+, A, B, etc.) and your full name.

DOMESTIC PARTNERS -- As was reported in the April 1 FEA President's report, President Obama last year issued a memorandum extending certain rights to domestic partners of federal employees. Those rights included transportation, housing and post allowance. At this point, the Department of State Standardized Regulations (DSSR), Joint Travel Regulations (JTR), and Federal Travel Regulations have all be updated to accommodate this change. Despite this, domestic partners of DoDEA employees still have not received the benefits legally due to them. FEA will file an Association Grievance on behalf of all domestic partners in our bargaining unit, seeking retroactive implementation of these rights. We ask bargaining unit members affected by this domestic partner policy to see the FEA Legal Update available at http://feaonline.org/passport/legal/updates/domesticpartners.htm and send us the information requested in that update.

SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT SURVEY -- In order to allow more employees time to give their input, the deadline for completion of the DoDEA School Improvement Survey has been extended until this Friday, April 22. The survey was designed to answer three overarching questions:
1. How is the school improvement process being implemented at the school level?
2. What is the perceived impact/benefit of the school improvement process on teaching and learning and student achievement?
3. What support, including professional development, is available to teachers in implementing school improvement, and what additional support is needed?
Please go to https://surveys.dodea.edu/mrIWeb/mrIWeb.dll?I.Project=SCI by April 22 and complete this survey.

DoDDS SALARY MEETING -- On April 20, FEA met with representatives of DoDDS and the DoD Wage Setting Authority to receive the data for the SY 2010-2011 DoDDS salary computation. Both FEA and DoDEA are currently reviewing the data to see if we have any additional questions at this time. The full SY 10-11 DoDDS salary schedules should be signed off on within a few days, with retroactive pay adjustments for DoDDS employees likely coming sometime in May.

As you know, DoDDS salaries are based on the average rates of pay for public school employees in U.S. urban school districts with a population of at least 100,000. There are about 230 districts in the current survey universe.

Public schools throughout the U.S. have been freezing or even cutting salaries for many employees the past few years, which means any increase in the overall salary average is not expected to be very large. However, because the salary figures derived from these calculations are actually paid retroactive to September, 2010 (thanks to an FEA legal victory several years back) our DoDDS teachers can at least expect to receive a small increase for the current school year, as opposed to the salary freeze affecting most federal employees. (that salary freeze may impact DoDDS employees during the 2011-2012 school year)

FEA will release more information on the salary schedule once it has been finalized.

EUROPE ASSOCIATION DAY -- I will be attending the Europe Area Council meeting later this month and the FEA Europe Association Day in Wiesbaden on April 30. FEA Executive Director/General Counsel H.T. Nguyen will also be there and we will each be presenting information to members. In addition, we are honored to have NEA Secretary/Treasurer Becky Pringle attending the meeting and serving as the keynote speaker. Becky is a great advocate for education and the education profession and I encourage our members to come hear what she has to say. During the afternoon, there will be three breakout sessions for attendees to choose from. One will feature FEA Europe UniServ Attorneys Jan and Bill Freeman discussing legal issues. Another will include me along with Europe Area Directors Alex Veto and Chuck McCarter discussing various FEA governance issues. The third will be a great presentation by Jerry Newberry of the NEA Health Information Network (www.neahin.org), offering tips and advice on how to deal with aggressive and confrontational people in various situations. I hope to see many members at this event.

TRAVELS - HT Nguyen and I will be visiting with members in Europe next week. We both will be speaking at the Kaiserslautern Education Association meeting on Tuesday afternoon and at the Association meeting in Wiesbaden on Saturday. (see above announcement).