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April 25, 2013 FEA President's Report

TO: FEA Members Worldwide
FROM: Michael Priser, FEA President
RE: FEA President's Report
DATE: April 25, 2013

AT-LARGE OFFICER ELECTIONS -- The ballots have been counted and here are the winners of the elections for at-large seats on the FEA Board of Directors:

President -- Chuck McCarter
Vice President -- Michael Priser
Secretary/Treasurer -- Anita Lang
NEA Director for FEA -- Brian Chance
Human & Civil Rights Coordinator -- Mimi Cuadrado

The three-year terms for each of these offices will begin in August, except for the NEA Director position, which starts in September.

In addition, the proposed amendment to the FEA Constitution to combine the offices of FEA Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer, beginning with the next at-large officer elections in 2016, was approved by the membership.

A tally of the vote has been posted on www.feaonline.org (member login is required).

I'm sure all those elected join me in expressing their gratitude to the FEA membership for their trust and support. I'd like to thank and congratulate all of the winners, as well as all the candidates who ran for office this year. Your involvement and willingness to take on the responsibilities of an office in the Association is what makes our work possible.

EXCESS PLACEMENTS - FEA is aware that a number of excessed employees have received placements that were not what they had listed. We do understand that the agreement does allow for district placement, even if you wished not to be placed in the district, if a slot was found (after those who wished district placement were placed). FEA argued strongly against this plan. It was FEA's position that management follow the rules of the Transfer Program to accommodate members, not only because it has been shown to be the most fair placement process, but that it is done with the most transparency and is less subject to errors. That proposal was rejected. DoDEA Headquarters original proposal was placing teachers with NO consideration to their expertise or circumstances. While we got some relief in that area, it has not been sufficient. FEA will continue to monitor the program we have. This program has been difficult to monitor and not always address the needs of teachers. DoDEA has even prolonged negotiations, did not meet their own timelines and rejected any FEA proposals which would have sped up the process. Frankly, our teachers deserve better from an Agency that prides itself on metrics, but has not shown accountability at the highest levels.

There are still district placements that have yet to be sent out. These are the placements of applicants that were matched to NTE slots. DoDDS is holding these placements until the NTEs can be notified that they are being displaced.

THINKING OF RETIRING? -- If you are thinking of retiring this school year but you put in an application for VERA or VSIP, you should not submit your retirement paperwork until after DoDEA announces that no more VERA/VSIP offers will be made. Submitting your retirement paperwork now would make your current position into a true vacancy and make you ineligible for VERA/VSIP.

ECP DEADLINE EXTENDED -- Because of problems with the DoDEA computer system, the application deadline for the Educator Career Program has been extended to 5pm EDT, Monday, April 29.

NATIONAL BOARD SURVEY -- FEA has learned that DoDEA is asking employees to complete a survey on National Board Certification, despite never consulting with the Association on the survey or giving us proper notice. FEA has serious concerns about the survey, including how the data collected will be used. We have asked DoDEA to suspend the survey until our questions have been answered. We have thus far received no reply to that request. We, therefore, highly recommend that members not respond to this survey on National Board Certification until such time as the Association is properly consulted and our concerns are answered.

RAT DISCLOSURE STATEMENT NOT NECESSARY -- FEA learned that some DoDDS educators had been told they must sign a "Reimbursement Disclosure Statement" before their RAT orders could be completed and issued. We immediately notified DoDEA such a requirement would be a violation of our negotiated agreement and they concurred. This means the disclosure statements are not a requirement and if you receive one by accident, you can ignore it. Should anyone continue to tell you the disclosure statement is a requirement of obtaining your RAT travel orders, you should notify your FRS or UniServ attorney immediately.

HONOREES -- Congratulations to the following FEA members for being selected as finalists for the Presidents Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching:
Dennis Decker, Kaiserslautern High School
Carol Fears, Landstuhl Elementary/Middle School
Regina Phillips, Rainbow Elementary School

The awards are given annually to recognize teachers who develop and implement a high-quality instructional program that is informed by content knowledge and enhances student learning. A committee will review finalists and winners notified in late May. Great work!

ON THE ROAD -- I'm currently in the middle of some school visits in Germany. Next month, I will be heading to the Pacific, where I will be attending association leadership trainings in Korea, Okinawa and Japan, as well as attending the TEAK and NEATA spring meetings. On May 13, I'll be visiting schools in Guam and holding a meeting with members after school. Thank you to everyone in Europe who has met with me or helped to arrange meetings this month, and thanks in advance to everyone in the Pacific.

ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH -- May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Visit this site for information and resources.

TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK -- Also coming up is Teacher Appreciation Week (click for info), May 5-12, as well as National Teacher Day (get info here) on May 7 and National School Nurses Day (get info here) on May 8. The work you all do is so important it could never be adequately recognized in a single, day, week or even a year: you deserve a lifetime of praise!