January 2018 FEA Stateside Newsletter


Welcome to Guam ESP -- Welcome to Guam ESP - Welcome to FEA SR! Guam ESP/Classified have chosen to become part of FEA SR's classified bargaining unit! Before the holiday break, eligible ESP employees in Guam voted on whether they wished to be represented by FEA SR. The Federal Labor Relations Authority certified that vote last week. Congratulations to Guam ESP! FEA SR will be in contact with potential members soon to discuss active membership and the election of a local Guam ESP board. Thank you to FEA SR General Counsel, Ben Hunter and to FEA Communications Director, Gary Hritz. They worked hard to keep potential members informed during this process.

BAS -- DoDEA has directed kindergarten teachers to assess their five and six year old students with the BAS starting in January without providing any type of substitute coverage. Kindergarten teachers will be assessing students with the BAS for the first time this school year in January. The decision leaves young students with limited supervision and access to a teacher during the testing period. This testing climate will not provide accurate assessment results and is not supportive of all students' learning needs. The agency continues to claim that BAS facilitation teams are in place in every school and prepared to support the BAS assessment process, this is just not true. DoDEA has also said that the BAS can be given to one student per day in each kindergarten classroom during the guided reading block while other students work alone in literacy centers. Using this process to assess students means that for over a period of a month students will get only one day of guided reading. One student will read with their teacher per day for as long as it takes to complete the BAS. Limiting students reading instruction will impact student performance and may delay the reading development for each student. FEA SR plans to file an Association grievance over this change.

Weather Delays -- FEA SR recently was made aware that the agency has implemented a new policy on weather delays. We were not notified of this change and will be discussing with the agency. Safety is the most important factor in any weather emergency. DoDEA students and employees should not be expected to travel during unsafe weather conditions.

Know Your Rights -- MLA Leave - Article 21 Section 9--Emergency Leave Bank

a An Emergency Leave Bank (ELB) will be established at each DDESS school district for use by all bargaining unit employees for medical emergencies, catastrophic illness, or injury experienced by the member. All bargaining unit employees may join the bank by contributing at least one (1) sick or personal leave day and completing the form contained at Appendix I. The ELB may carry over all unused hours to the following school year.
b Participation in the ELB by bargaining unit employees will require donation of one (1) day of sick or personal leave during the first thirty (30) days of employment or upon open season as determined by the ELB Committee. At the need to replenish the ELB, employees may volunteer to contribute another day of leave to continue eligibility.
c An employee requesting days from the ELB must use the form contained in Appendix J. and has exhausted all leave which can be used for the nature of the emergency such that the employee is in a non-pay status.
d The ELB Committee will consist of one Agency official appointed by the Superintendent and two employees selected by the Local Association President. The ELB Committee will make decisions on all requests for leave from the ELB. The requestor will furnish a completed employee request form and a written physician's statement, as contained in Appendix J, demonstrating the need for additional leave to cover a medical emergency.
e A majority vote by the ELB Committee members approving the leave is required to grant leave from the ELB. Decisions by the ELB Committee are not subject to the grievance process.
f Any bargaining unit employee participating in the ELB will be limited to a withdrawal from the bank of up to a total of forty (40) work- days in succession. When an illness extends beyond forty (40) work- days, the bargaining unit member may re-apply to the ELB Committee for further consideration of additional leave.
g The ELB Committee will monitor the amount of leave remaining in the bank and shall afford the opportunity to all bargaining unit employees to voluntarily contribute to replenish the bank during an open season.
h Departing employees may donate up to forty-eight (48) hours of unused leave to the ELB.
i All donations of leave to the ELB are final when donated and cannot be restored to the employee.
j Unused leave donated prior to the effective date of this Agreement will be transferred to the ELBs established pursuant to section 9.a. above.
k The ELB Committee may elect to open one (1) window of two-weeks duration during each school year when employees who have previously not elected to participate in the ELB may choose to do so by donating one (1) day of sick or personal leave to the bank. This two-week window is purely for the purpose of allowing employees who previously did not elect to participate in the ELB an opportunity to do so. Employees who previously elected to participate in the bank by donating one (1) day of sick or personal leave will not be required to donate another day of leave to continue eligibility to participate in the ELB, unless there is a need to replenish the ELB.

MLA Certified - The FEA-SR bargaining team met with management for contract mediation on June 26, August 24-25 and on October 17-19. At the conclusion of the last mediation session, there remained a number of open issues. FEA-SR and the agency have agreed to meet again for further mediation for 3 days in January. Until there is a new agreement, the current MLA remains in full force and effect.

Happy New Year!