October 17 2008 FEA Stateside UpdateDear Colleagues,
EXCENT: After repeated requests, Peachtree City has not provided FEA/SR with the plans that each district will use to work towards resolution of the EXCENT Online implementation. Despite the response that this information should only be "shared locally, not globally", most local area presidents have reported that they also have not been invited to meet and discuss their respective district plan. Each Area SPED Coordinator did, however, provide a brief status update to DODEA HQ on October 9, 2008, and HQ graciously shared that update with each Association Area Director. It was not news that problems continue to face our educators who struggle to work with the program, but it was news for some that their problems would supposedly be cured in time for the end of the marking period. I encourage you to continue to keep your local Association leaders informed of what is going on in your school while we continue to try and get the information we need to make sure our members are getting the help they need to resolve this "monstrous" mess.
NSPS - The Defense Department has indicated that, at least for the time being, it will not attempt to impose its National Security Personnel System (NSPS) on DoDEA staff and other DoD employees represented by labor unions. This marks a significant change in the administration's position on NSPS. Just a few weeks ago it appeared that DoD would seek to impose so-called Pay for Performance on DDESS teachers (but not DDESS ESPs or DoDDS faculty). Now, following recent statements by DoD's NSPS program director, it appears that no FEA members are likely to be threatened by Pay for Performance or other aspects of NSPS in at least the near future. As a precaution, however, FEA will continue to prepare its lawsuit seeking to stop NSPS, in case an attempt is made at any time in the future to again threaten our members with this harmful personnel system.
FEA BOD -- During the week of October 20th the FEA Board of Directors will meet in Washington, DC to discuss issues that impact all of our teachers around the world. I have added items to the agenda that have been brought to my attention as problematic for the teachers of DDESS: the start of the school year Technology problems (EXCENT aside!); DRA administration; Certification requirements for SLP, OT, PT and Nurses.