December 19 2008 FEA Stateside Update

Dear Colleagues,

DODEA Certification: Many teachers in the Kentucky district have recently received notices of certification deficiency from DODEA HQ. The Association is currently planning to request bargaining in an effort to minimize the impact for those educators who are moving to DODEA certification but have been found to be short on the number of hours required for [DODEA] endorsement for their current teaching assignment.

Support Master Labor Agreement: On Tuesday, December 16th, the original representatives of the Support Professionals' bargaining unit on the negotiating team for the Support MLA, as well as Dorothy Lee, the FEA/SR General Counsel and I met with Agency officials in an attempt to move forward on the Support Master Labor Agreement. We unfortunately left the table without making any progress. A separate notification about this situation has been sent to the Support locals' presidents for distribution to members.

IT Concerns -- We are very aware of concerns about the impact of new IT regulations on the educational process. Please work with your ET to process IT requests to correct problems you encounter. Please also keep your Admin and FRS/building rep informed of problems that impact your work with students so that they can forward those concerns "up the chain." I am trying to work to reinstate some of the ETs rights. Also, thumb drives are authorized, and I have asked clarification as to whether personal thumb drives are authorized for use.

SPED Issues -- Work continues on the Excent issues and there has been acknowledgement by Dr. Miles that the program is not functioning appropriately. The system was expected to be fully functioning at the end of the semester; however the reality is otherwise. Additionally, the Association will be requesting compensation for the many educators who have not received compensation or release time for the number of hours they have worked beyond the duty day. If you have not forwarded your documentation to your local leader, please do so as soon as possible. If you are spending time outside of the duty day to work on EXCENT, please continue to document the time. Work with your FRS and propose to your administrator either release time, compensatory time or earned hourly rate. If the administrator will not work with you or tells you that he/she cannot do anything, please elevate it to your local president.

REMEMBER TO CLICK AND SAVE -- If you are like me and finding yourself behind in the Christmas shopping, FEA members who like to do holiday shopping online are reminded to check out NEA Member Benefits' Click & Save program. By registering at you can take advantage of exclusive savings at leading retailers such as Target, Sony and Bloomingdale's. Enrolling is free and does not obligate you to purchase anything - it's just another great benefit of your membership in FEA/NEA!

You have worked so hard and done so much in these past months with your students. It's time to take a much-deserved break. May your holiday season be filled with joy and laughter. Safe travels to those of you on the road!