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FEA President's Report

TO: FEA Members Worldwide
FROM: Brian Chance, FEA President
RE: FEA President's Report
DATE:May 7, 2021

RESTRICTION OF MOVEMENT REIMBURSEMENT


Association action has led to a renewed chance at reimbursement of expenses incurred as a result of some members being required to quarantine themselves in hotel rooms following RAT travel last year.

Employees who were in ROM (Restriction of Movement) during their return to PDS at a hotel during their summer 2020 RAT period and who either did not apply for reimbursement of lodging expenses and per diem, or were denied such reimbursement earlier this school year, should immediately submit a new claim or resubmit their previous claim to recoup those expenses.

A number of such claims were denied earlier this school year by DoDEA Resource Management. Many other employees who should have been eligible for reimbursement never filed claims because of guidance they received from their schools, telling them not to do so.

FEA worked with DoDEA Resource Management (RM) and convinced them that many employees denied such reimbursement for hotel expenses and per diem should have received it. DoDEA RM has agreed to reimburse more employees but does not have a comprehensive list of those who applied earlier and were denied. RM also has no way of knowing how many employees never submitted vouchers in the first place because the employees had been told reimbursements were not available.

As a result, anyone who thinks they qualify for reimbursement of ROM-related hotel expenses and per-diem should submit or resubmit your supplemental voucher immediately via the Global Service Desk.

The reimbursements do not apply to anyone who was in ROM status at home. Only those who were quarantined at a hotel may be eligible.

RM has reached out to some employees it is aware of who were originally denied but whose claims should now be honored. But RM did not keep a list of everyone who sought the reimbursement earlier this year and was denied, so not everyone can be reached directly by RM.

FEA thanks DODEA RM for working with us and for reopening eligibility for these reimbursements. Please submit/resubmit your claim immediately so that it can be processed over the summer. We expect a great deal of new voucher claims in the fall following this summer's very busy RAT travel season. Don't wait -- file now!


UPDATE ON OVERSEAS RETRO PAY ADJUSTMENT


We have been told the retroactive pay adjustment for Overseas educators is not expected to be paid until sometime around June 5.

The retro pay was won for Overseas employees by FEA through legal action. It ensures those employees receive the full amount due to them under the current year's salary schedule, once that schedule is finalized in the spring of a given school year.

By law, Overseas salaries are based on the average pay for similar employees in U.S. school districts serving urban areas of at least 100,000 people. Overseas salaries for a given school year are computed following a lengthy data gathering and computation process, which is usually not completed until that school year is nearly over. The retractive pay adjustment is a lump sum payment to employees to make up for the amount they would have received had the current year's salary schedule been in place back at the start of the school year.

The process of calculating and paying the retroactive adjustments has grown longer in recent years because of DFAS and CHRA becoming involved in the process. The June 5 date reported to us by management is the current estimate for when those payments will be made, but that date could be moved if issues arise with DFAS or CHRA.

We will update members whenever we get more information on the retro pay.


GOODBYE GRIEVANCE


A reminder to Overseas bargaining unit members who are retiring or separating this year from FEA's Overseas unit, including those who are relocating to the Med or to a DoDEA Americas location: you should be certain to file and elevate your Goodbye Grievance well before the end of the school year. The Goodbye Grievance, developed by FEA UniServ Attorney Bill Freeman, helps to protect you against false debt claims the government may try to collect from you after you retire or leave the bargaining unit. See your FRS if you need information on how to file and elevate your Goodbye Grievance prior to retirement/separation from the Overseas unit.


IN RECOGNITION


May is Asian and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month. NEA has many resources you can incorporate into your classroom learning to celebrate this special month. NEA's Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month page


100 PERCENT


Congratulations and thank you to the members at Yokota Middle School in Japan for achieving 100 percent membership in the Association this school year. We are so grateful and proud to have your support and we are honored to represent you. If your school has achieved 100 percent membership this year, we'd love to recognize you in a future update. Please send a message to ghritz@nea.org to let us know.


TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK


This week, May 2-8, is Teacher Appreciation Week. If there was ever a profession that deserved more appreciation, it is teaching, and if there was ever a year in which that profession deserved even higher praise and recognition, it is this year. Congratulations to all our members and thank you SO MUCH for all you do every single day of the year for students. You are heroes, every one of you!