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September 1, 2013 FEA President's Report

TO: FEA Members Worldwide
FROM: Chuck McCarter, FEA President
RE: FEA President's Report
DATE: September 1, 2013

1. BAS

FEA's Stateside Region has reached an agreement with DDESS over the BAS. You can read that MOU by going to this page. (login is required) FEA and DODDS continue to bargain the BAS issue for the overseas schools. We will continue to update members on this issue as things progress.

2. NET SUPPORT

FEA and DODDS have agreed to again extend the existing MOU on NetSupport School. The existing MOU can be found here.

3. SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LEAVE

Multiple members have contacted our office, asking whether applicable DoDEA employees will be receiving the same 10 days of leave that is being granted to active military personnel who wish to return to the States in order to have a same-sex marriage ceremony performed. FEA has contacted OPM and DOD about this. We have been told those agencies are working on this issue and guidance/regulations for civilian DOD employees are being developed and will be issued in the near future, though no exact date is yet available.

4. WORKING FOR YOU

Congratulations to FEA UniServ Attorney Michael Bauernfeind for his recent victory in the case of an FEA member who was wrongfully removed from the classroom. Protecting members' rights and preserving the integrity of DoDEA classrooms is among the most important functions FEA performs. Great job, Michael!

5. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

Once again, we have teachers who are not being paid this week. We have been battling the same pay problems for too many years now. While some in management call for "accountability" for teachers, no one seems to be willing to make anyone accountable for paying teachers correctly. There are always excuses; "there was a glitch in the system" or simply " a mistake was made," but that does not help teachers with bills to pay and groceries to buy.

Management pays lip service to fixing these problems, but I have seen no additional staff dedicated to preventing or fixing pay problems. Management also continues to fight us every step of the way on pay grievances, even appealing decisions directing them to pay teachers correctly. Our new CSP talks about "Organizational Excellence." Let's start with paying teachers correctly!

As always, FEA is prepared to help members deal with pay issues. Please monitor your LES closely and immediately consult with your FRS over ANY discrepancy. Your FEA Legal staff stands ready to fight on your behalf if necessary.

6. HEADING YOUR WAY

Last month, I kicked off my presidency by attending trainings at Fort Knox and Fort Campbell. This month, I will be heading to Europe on September 10, where I will be conducting school visits and attending trainings in Wiesbaden, Bavaria, Kaiserslautern, Baumholder and the Isles District. Later this month, I will be attending the FEA Stateside Area Council Meeting in Georgia. Also on the road will be FEA Executive Director/General Counsel H.T. Nguyen, who will be attending trainings in Yokota, Japan, September 19 and 20; Okinawa, September 23 and 24; and Seoul, Korea, September 26 and 27. More school visits are in the work for later this school year.

7. GOOD NEWS

Unfortunately, problems seem to always take our immediate attention. We seldom get to focus on what is going well. I would like to highlight some good news in our Updates as well. If you have something that is going well for your school or local, please share it with us. Whether it is a good example of Association/Management teamwork, or a great local event or project, or the success of one of our members, please share it with us. We may not always have time or space to use the information, but we will make every effort. There are great things happening every day in our schools and locals...here's your chance to share!

8. HISTORIC DAY

Working in FEA's Washington DC office gives me a chance to witness first-hand many historic events. An important and touching one took place this past week as thousands gathered on the National Mall to mark the 50th anniversary of the civil rights March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream" speech. You can read about this event by going to NEA's Web site.

9. STAY INFORMED

The easiest way to stay informed about news and information affecting you as a DoDEA employee is to subscribe to this electronic newsletter. To do so, just go to this page on FEA's Web site. You will need your FEA membership number to sign up (the number is printed on your Association membership card and is also printed on the address panel of the FEA Journal that was recently mailed to each member). We typically send this e-newsletter out twice a month (on approximately the 1st and 15th of each month), with special updates and bulletins as necessary throughout the school year. The FEA Web site (www.feaonline.org) is another great informational resource available to you for news and information, including archived copies of this and other updates.

10. DROP ME A LINE

The best way to reach me directly is by email. Association members are encouraged to send your thoughts and comments to me at this email address. Remember, however, that it is always best to bring any work-related issues first to your building rep/FRS in hopes of a quicker resolution through local channels. You can find contact information for other local leaders and your FEA UniServ attorney in the FEA Pocket Calendar.

BEST WISHES FOR A RESTFUL LABOR DAY WEEKEND!