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April 2010 FEA Stateside Newsletter

Support Master Labor Agreement: As many people now realize, we finally signed the Settlement Agreement and Support MLA at DODEA HQ last month. As we move forward, terms of the Settlement Agreement will forthcoming as support professionals receive the benefits from that settlement. Dorothy and I will also plan to go to those locals who we represent and conduct training on the new Master Labor Agreement for the Support staff. Our first stops this spring are West Point (May 4th) and Ft. Stewart (May 6th). It is important to note that some support staff who currently do not have the option of spread pay will have that option under the new agreement. This means that while there will be less money in each paycheck because the salary will be ‘spread' over 26 pay periods, but there will be a paycheck every two weeks. Those wanting to switch will be required to complete a form prior to the end of the school year to indicate their desire to change. We are currently awaiting information about this from Peachtree City.

Summer Enrichment MOU: We have signed the MOU for the 2010 Summer Enrichment. Headquarters has put us on notice, however that this will be the last year that SCD will be used as the sole selection criteria for the Summer Enrichment program. Next year we will bargain the criteria to be used within DDESS for the program.

Pandemic Planning MOU/Macintosh New User MOU: At the time of this writing we are finalizing the two MOUs. We understand that there may be some teachers who are already familiar with the MAC OS and will not need a half day; however we want to make certain that all first time users of the MAC will have the opportunity if needed, to use a half day for becoming familiar with the new operating system.

New Requirements: we are still in the preparation phase to bargain other new requirements expected to go into effect for SY 2010. This includes mandatory FLES testing twice a year; the SLP 3:1 Model for Delivery of Services; requirements based on the updated SPED Monitoring Manual; recommendations from the PTS (Professional Technical Studies) and Math Task groups; and the possible expansion of ASPEN (a student information management system currently being piloted in four schools in DDESS and seven schools in DoDDS.) If you have questions or concerns about any of these please let your local representatives know.

Late Release/Early Returns: there will be days set aside for late releases/early returns for some educators. I have requested this information from Peachtree City to ensure those who require that extra time will receive it. If you normally get a day or two and have not heard anything, please let your local president know.

Conflict in the Workplace training: Ft. Bragg is the location for the next pilot program out of DODEA Headquarters to address resolution of conflict in the workplace. On May 11 -- 13 educators, staff members, administrators and Association leaders at Ft. Bragg will receive training in an effort to learn and/or hone skills useful in resolving conflict before it escalates. On May 12th, there will be a separate ‘awareness' presentation for some school staff during their early release day.

"Target and Terminate": I am sorry to say that there is evidence that this approach is being taken to heart in some of our DDESS schools. Fortunately most administrators understand their role as an educational leader is to guide and support the education professionals; however some administrators seem to feel their worth and success as an administrator are directly related to the disciplinary actions they are able to draft. The Association is working fiercely to fight these actions.

"Poem in Your Pocket Day": On a more positive note, celebrate National "Poem in Your Pocket Day" on Thursday, April 29th, 2010. The idea is simple; select a poem you love and carry it with you to share with friends, co-workers, and students. For more information about this celebration go to http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/406 and click in the top right on the menu "For Educators."

terry

Terry Arvidson
FEA Director for DDESS