September 4, 2014 FEA President's Report
TO: FEA Members Worldwide
FROM: Chuck McCarter, FEA President
RE: FEA President's Report
DATE: September 4, 2014
TIME AND ATTENDANCE
We have heard numerous complaints from members so far this year about the new time and attendance requirements being put upon DODEA educators, particularly regarding the signing of timecards. When we first learned about this issue, FEA notified DODEA Headquarters about the difficulties this new policy would create. Headquarters informed us the Pentagon was mandating the new system. FEA and DODEA attempted to bargain implementation of this new requirement but were unable to reach an agreement. Management then implemented the new time and attendance policy over FEA's objections. One of our suggestions was the purchase of a software system that would allow employees to sign their attendance cards from their computers, rather than physically having to sign them. DODEA has pledged to purchase this software and implement it, but this is not likely to happen until late in the current school year, at best.
Meanwhile, FEA is urging all FRSs and building reps to work with their building administrators to minimize the impact this new requirement will have on employees. Please pass on any problems you encounter to our legal department at this email so we can address them with DODEA headquarters.
As I have said many times, FEA believes the experts are in our classrooms and we believe your voice should be heard. To that end, we worked with DoDEA to draft a survey about the BAS test, its related trainings, and the impact on instruction and time. The resulting survey has now been sent out by management. The Association encourages teachers involved with the BAS testing to take time to fill out the survey and to make your opinions on this important topic known.
New Memoranda of Understanding between FEA and management have been recently signed and posted to the FEA Web site, covering the following topics:
- Read 180 Next Generation (for both DDESS and DODDS schools)
- Epipens (epinephrine auto injectors) for DODDS
You can find the DODDS MOUs at this page
DDESS MOUs can be found here
I send my sincere apologies to our members at Guantanamo Bay for being unable to join you as scheduled in late August. My flight into GTMO was cancelled multiple times due to severe weather in Cuba. I'm sure our GTMO members understand and realize what a common occurrence this is. It certainly reminded me (not that I needed reminding) that, despite its proximity to the U.S. mainland, Guantanamo is unquestionably one of the more challenging and isolated locations our members serve.
NEA's GPS Network (Great Public Schools Network) is a fantastic resource to help educators learn and collaborate with each other. The free site, located at www.gpsnetwork.org, offers resources you can use to enhance lesson plans, educational blogs, and forums where education professionals can share ideas and ask questions of each other on a variety of topics. It's another great example of how NEA is leading the profession and I encourage all education employees, as well as parents and students, to check it out.
SEE YOU SOON
I am about to embark on nearly a solid month of visits with members and Association leaders around the world. I'll be heading to Europe in a few days to attend FRS trainings in all four districts, then on to Asia for similar trainings in Japan, Okinawa and Korea. I'll return to DC towards the end of September, then I'm off to the FEA Stateside Area Council meeting in Georgia the first weekend in October. I'm always inspired to meet with and hear from our Association reps. Their dedication to the members they serve is incredible!