September 2017 FEA Stateside Newsletter



Staffing Concerns -- This year the agency is again starting school with many certified and classified positions unfilled. Beginning a school year without a permanent teacher in place for each classroom is problematic for students. Children need to know their teacher, become familiar with classroom routines and expect stability in our schools. FEA SR has brought our concern about these unfilled positions to DoDEA Headquarters. We have not gotten a response on when schools will be fully staffed.

BAS -- DoDEA previously made the decision not to make substitute teachers available during the administration of the BAS in grades K-3. On August 25th DoDEA sent notice to the unions stating that the implementation plan taking away substitute coverage during BAS testing will be delayed until October 16. Substitute coverage has been available during this assessment since 2014. Taking away substitute coverage at any time of the year will limit instruction in the classroom during BAS assessment. The agency's decision to stop substitute coverage at any time during the BAS assessment is harmful to our students. The agency should rethink this poor decision and do what is right, provide our students, teachers and schools the support needed to facilitate the BAS assessment in every kindergarten through third grade classroom.

DCAS -- The DoDEA Comprehensive Assessment System will include a pilot of the Interim Assessments this school year in certain selected schools, grades 3 - 8 and Algebra 1 and 2. This is a pilot program and DoDEA will review the results of the pilot. The union will also seek feedback on this pilot program and share with DoDEA headquarters. The diagnostic portion of the DCAS will be available for teachers to explore as they deem appropriate this school year. These assessments are not mandatory this school year.

Pay Problems - If you experience pay problems that cannot be resolved locally, inform your local president and we can elevate the issue and seek resolution. This year we are seeing multiple issues involving pay.

Fall Area Council -- Fall Area Council will be in Nashville, TN on October 27 and 28.

MLA Certified - The FEA-SR bargaining team met with management for contract mediation on June 26 and on August 24-25. 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 October. Until there is a new agreement, the current MLA remains in full force and effect.

Employee Rights -- MLA Article 8 Section 10 -
a. Upon being hired, and thereafter at the beginning of each school year, each unit member will be provided an applicable salary schedule.
b. Upon a bargaining unit member submitting a written request to the Agency within the first sixty (60) days of each new school year, the Agency will provide the unit member with a worksheet (Appendix D) explaining their salary breakdown for the year. If necessary, the worksheet will be updated and redistributed once during the year if the employee so requests in writing. The worksheet will reflect what the employee has earned by pay period compared with what the employee has received and the cumulative result of salary earned compared to salary paid. This information will allow employees to identify the pay period(s) in which salaries earned and paid are at a "break- even point.