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FEA Pacific Summer Update

FEA Pacific Summer Update

Happy midway of a well-deserved Summer Break! Another school year in the books!

This year brought us many new experiences and challenges but we persevered, stayed the course, and we did what we always do as educators: maintained our integrity, professionalism and taught military students throughout the Pacific using only the highest of standards.

A quick look back at our year 17/18:

  • Introduction of more CCR -- fill in the blank -- standards
  • PARCC testing
  • No more substitutes for BAS testing
  • DTS
  • New Beginnings/DPMAP (the new appraisal system)
  • Potential government shut-downs
  • Potential statutory changes in how the Association will be able to operate
  • Opening of more 21st Century schools with doors always open

Despite all the changes we have faced as educators for DoDEA, we navigated the challenges successfully by guiding and teaching our students to thrive.

We are working hard to protect the rights FEA has won for teachers in DoDEA, and it is as much a challenge as teaching is. Day in and out, your local leaders (FRSs, FRs, and Presidents) all the way up to the DC level are always working with management in order to mitigate the changes that keep coming our way. Many of the discussions that occur are behind the scenes to try to make the working conditions of all members better.

I would like to take the time to give a HUGE shout out to our Building Reps -- FRSs and FRs as they are truly the front line interface and the first ones to help members. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication for our members. The next group is our executive boards in each district: as Area Director I can attest to the dedication of your District Presidents. We are in constant communication, early mornings, late nights and weekends to ensure that our members have the information and assistance they need through any situation. Lastly, our awesome Uniserv Team, Robin Smith Uniserv and Stephanie Trotter, Assistant Uniserv. They are both located in California but adjust their hours to be available for us in the Pacific on a regular basis. They have had many victories large and small this year for our members.

This summer the National Education Association Representative Assembly (NEA RA) was held in Minneapolis. NEA is our parent organization and each year they have an annual meeting in the summer and each local sends delegates who vote and make policy for NEA which is the guidance we follow through our constitutions. If you want to see democracy in action, attend an RA; it is amazing to watch close to ten thousand people debate according to Robert's Rules of Order and make policy. Because we are a worldwide system, Federal Education Association (FEA) also holds its annual meeting at the RA since all Areas are represented at the RA.

FEA also had our Board of Directors (BOD) meeting, prior to the FEA Annual meeting and NEA RA; your leaders at various levels all working on your behalf.

Any member can run to be a delegate for these annual meeting, and each of our locals offers a stipend to help defray the costs associated with attendance. The election is usually held at the same time local district elections are held.

Wear #Red for ED -- Thank you to all who participated in our show of unity. This is one of the few ways we can show management our disagreement with some of the decisions they are making.

We will continue to wear red one day a week next school year until we see some substantive change in the decisions that are being made in DoDEA HQ. So, put some red clothes on your shopping list to wear next school year. Some locals even had T-Shirts made with their logo on it.

I hope everyone is enjoying their well-deserved Summer break, see you in the Fall.

Melanie Horton
FEA Pacific Area Director