November 1 2010 FEA Stateside Report

November 1, 2010

Dear Colleagues,

October was a busy month for our organization. It started with the Area Council at Peachtree City that is one of the two times per year that the local district presidents come meet to meet discuss concerns and issues impacting our members. Dr. Jeter, Dr. Curtis, Mr. Weekley (HR) and Mr. Woods (LMER) were scheduled to be with us for the day Friday. Ms. Marilee Fitzgerald, the acting Director for DODEA, caught an early morning flight to be with us for Friday morning. During that time she listened and then encouraged dialogue with the council as to possible resolutions. Some of the issues brought forth at the Council meeting have already been resolved, and we take that as a good sign of a future with resolutions.

Materials: With the impending arrival of the new Social Studies (PK-6) and Math materials roll out, we are working to find the time to sign an MOU covering the implementation. We anticipate a similar framework as the ELA roll out in that teachers will not be required to use the materials until SY 2011, but may choose to do. As always, we will ask for the time, training and materials educators need to successfully implement the use of the new materials. With the less-than-stellar roll out of the Reading Street materials and training in some areas, we hope DODEA HQ and PTC will work together to prevent any repeats of the identified problems.

PDI: FEASR and DODEA headquarters had worked on an agreement for Pre-decisional Involvement (PDI) at the end of September; however it appears that HQ is shifting responsibility back to the Area office; therefore I anticipate that Dr. Jeter, Ms. Fitzgerald and I will have a signed agreement soon.

UDDI: We have yet to come to an agreement about the implementation of UDDI in DDESS. There are still unanswered questions about the future expectations for teachers as a result of the UDDI training.

The month of October ended with the negotiating team for the teachers joining the representatives from DDESS Labor Management Employee Relations (LMER) and Human Resources (HR) team from October 18th to the 29th for the start of contract negotiations. There was no administrator representative from the education side at the table.
Dorothy Lee, our General Counsel for FEASR, leads the team as the chief negotiator. Other team members are Gary Cantrell (Ft. Stewart), Sandy Akin (Maxwell AFB), and Cynthia Francis (Ft. Jackson), with Laurel Dawson (Ft. Knox) as an observerů and yours truly. While we were able to come to a few agreements, and get close to others, we are scheduled to go back to the table during the February time frame. As a reminder, the team members are not at liberty to discuss the negotiations. I can say 100% that they are doing a great job representing each an every one of you.