October 2017 FEA Stateside Newsletter


Staffing Concerns -- We continue to seek the status of filling all open positions in our schools in Americas and Guam. We asked the agency for this information on August 28, after gathering data from our local presidents. The agency has still not been able to provide us with the exact positions open in the Americas and Guam or the status of filling these positions. We believe over sixty positions are still vacant. We also have a lack of substitutes in our schools. Many substitutes are currently filling long-term positions because the agency has not hired a permanent teacher or educational aide. We appreciate the work of these long-term substitute teachers. However, DODEA should prioritize its focus and hire permanent educators before school begins. Every DoDEA student deserves a teacher in the classroom on the first day of school!

BAS -- In 2013, DoDEA announced, "that the goal is for teachers to incorporate the BAS assessment into their daily instruction without using substitutes." This year, four years later, DoDEA just decides to stop providing substitutes for this important assessment as of October 16. The Union has provided input to the agency on how this negatively affects students, test scores and classroom management. DoDEA ignored our input. In the four years since DoDEA started using BAS the agency has provided no training to teachers on how to incorporate this assessment into the daily classroom routine. Poor planning and lack of training is something employees see quite often from DoDEA. Any teacher with concerns over this change in BAS should seek advice and training from their local administrator. Please ask your administrator in writing what training DoDEA will provide to help facilitate this management directed change in practice. When will the training be held? Please copy your local Association president on your request. The agency must provide the local president notice on all local training plans for our educators.

Puerto Rico --Hurricane Maria devastated the island. The situation there is terrible. I was told it looked like a wild fire went over the entire island. The DoDEA schools will be closed for weeks. People on the island have no power, no water and limited fuel. Our thoughts and prayers are with our colleagues and families in Puerto Rico.

Travel -- We were able to travel to Fort Knox, KY and do training for both the Classified and Certified elected representatives. We were taken on a tour of the new Kingsolver Elementary School and had the opportunity to meet with educators at the school. Upcoming travel will include visits to Quantico and West Point.

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. Please provide as much detail as you can when elevating your pay concern. We still have bargaining unit members who have not had step increases completed. Many members are also waiting to be paid for EDA's or work done outside of the school year.

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 5 Investigations.
If a unit employee is to be served with a warrant or subpoena or is to be interviewed in connection with an investigation while at school, the Agency shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that such activity is done in private without the knowledge of other employees or students.