December 2017 FEA Stateside Newsletter


Staffing Update -- The agency is providing FEA SR weekly updates on vacancies and staffing. These are sent to every local president. Recently we have seen more vacancies finally being filled. Still many educator and ESP positions remain unfilled. The security process has been slow, delaying many job offers. We have been told that extra support is being authorized to expedite the security process for hiring. FEA SR will continue to discuss ongoing hiring concerns at all levels.

BAS -- Kindergarten teachers will be assessing students with the BAS for the first time this school year in January. DoDEA has decided that substitutes will no longer be used to cover classrooms while teachers work individually with one student implementing the BAS. 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. In the November December EduNews from HQ an article addressed BAS Support being within reach. This article stated, "Each district and school has a BAS facilitation team. The team members at the district level are the Superintendent (or their designee), the Assessment and Accountability Instructional Systems Specialist (ISS), the PK-5 Literacy ISS, and the Educational Technologist ISS. At the school level, the team consists of the Principal (or their designee), the Educational Technologist, and a teacher member." The information form EduNews is not accurate. School level BAS facilitation teams are not in place in all schools. These teams are often left with unfilled positions or team members are provided little or no direct training. Again, educators are supporting each other, helping anyone new to a BAS facilitation team or even new to administering the BAS. Videos online and tutorials are not quality professional development tools for all situations. The EduNews article states "many layers and types of support offered" related to BAS. However, if these layers are disjointed, fractured or non-existent, DoDEA is providing no real support to educators and students using BAS.

SPED Para Educator Training -- DoDEA recently notified FEA SR of professional development modules for special education Para-professionals. The union has been advocating for quality professional development for all Para-professionals. The agency provided little notice to FEA SR over the new training program. We will be requesting more information on this program from the agency.

Know Your Rights -- MLA Association Rights Article 6 Section 2--Weingarten Rights

a The Association shall be given the opportunity to be present at any examination of a unit employee by a representative of the Agency concerning an investigation if:
(1) The employee reasonably believes that the examination may result in disciplinary action against the employee; and
(2) The employee requests representation.
b The Agency shall inform unit employees of their Weingarten rights by posting a written notice, on bulletin boards at each school and by distributing said notice in either written or electronic form, to each individual unit employee during September of each school year. All new employees will receive like notice at the time of hiring.

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.

All of our hard working educators deserve a wonderful winter break. Thank you for everything you do to support DoDEA students and each other. Relax and enjoy family and friends. Take time for yourselves and enjoy the holidays!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!