March 1, 2017 FEA Stateside Newsletter



Mediation of Grievances -- FEA SR and the agency met in Atlanta for three days in February for mediation of grievances. The agency and FEA SR were able to come to some beneficial agreements. We are currently waiting on a response from the agency on some issues mediated.

Reduction in Force -- In January the agency provided FEA SR notice that the DOD was changing its policy and procedure on Reduction in Force. This change includes performance as a rating factor during a RIF; FEA SR has notified the agency that RIF is covered in Article 23 of the MLA and that any RIF of FEA SR bargaining unit members should follow the procedure in the MLA. At this time FEA SR has not been notified of a school level RIF.

HCR Update - In 2016, your FEA HCR program worked with DoDEA to remove the book "Jack and the Beanstalk" from the LLI curriculum due to anti-Semitic illustrations. When presented with the information that contained comparisons of the book's illustrations to Nazi era and contemporary propaganda, DoDEA HQ concurred that the illustrations were inappropriate and sent direction to the field to remove the book from the curriculum while also providing replacement lessons for LLI programs. Just like the member who brought this issue to the attention of our HCR program, you can make a difference in the fight to eliminate bias from our curriculum. If you see a problem with racial, ethnic, gender or any other bias in your texts/resources, please let your school, district, area, and/or FEA SR HCR coordinator know so we can do something about it!

NEA Representative Assembly -- Congratulations to the FEA SR delegates elected to the NEA Representative Assembly 2017. Representatives include Charlotte Autman, Claudette Harris, Luis Rios, David Presley and Jane Loggins. Thank you to all who were nominated and participated in this election.

Federal Hiring Freeze -- DoDEA provided the Association notice on January 25 of a hiring freeze that affects federal employees. The Association was provided some general information on the impact of the freeze. We are requesting that our schools are exempted from the freeze.

Travel -- FEA President-Chuck McCarter, FEA SR General Counsel-Ben Hunter and I visited Guam in late February. FEA SR provided training for the local Association faculty representatives and met with the local board. We had the opportunity to visit all of the schools on Guam. We saw wonderful teaching practices and highly engaged students in all schools. One of many highlights was a presentation done by the Robotics Team at Anderson Elementary School. Thank you to our hosts, the Guam Education Association for all of the hospitality and support.

Spring Area Council -- The Area Council will be held in Wilmington, North Carolina. We will meet as a Council March 9 -11. All members are invited to attend. Please speak with your local president if you are interested in attending.

Understanding Your Association Rights -- MLA Article 8 Section 3 Official Personnel Files

Only documents or data authorized by Office of Personnel Management (OPM) regulations shall be retained in the employee's Official Personnel File (OPF). Only one OPF shall be kept for each unit member, and it shall be maintained at the servicing personnel office. Upon written request, a copy of the OPF will be furnished to the employee.

MLA Certified - The Association met with the Agency in a mediation session over the Certified MLA at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in Atlanta, GA. The current Certified MLA remains in full effect. The Association will keep you informed as this process moves forward.