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FEA President's Report

TO: FEA Members Worldwide
FROM: Chuck McCarter, FEA President
RE: FEA President's Report
DATE: October 15, 2014

CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS
As we have reported, DoDEA has exercised their right to reopen our Negotiated Agreement (contract) for DoDDS bargaining unit members. Please be aware that this process will take time. Until a new contract is finally signed, our current contract is in full force, as are all the MOU's that have been signed without an expiration date, or sunset clause. You can read the full FEA/DODDS contract and view many Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) attached to the contract by going to this link. (member login required).

Meanwhile, the Master Labor Agreement (MLA) between FEA and DDESS, covering certified employees, remains tied up in the legal process. As with the FEA/DODDS contract, the existing FEA/DDESS MLA remains in force until a new contract is finalized.

TRANSFER UPDATE
FEA Executive Director/General Counsel HT Nguyen and I will be meeting with DoDEA Headquarters personnel during the last week of the month to begin discussions of the proposed transfer program. This is just a preliminary meeting and there will be more meetings before we finalize any transfer program. FEA will keep you informed of any decisions.

100 PERCENT
Congratulations and a very big "thank you!" to our members and local leadership at the following schools for achieving 100 percent Association membership this school year:
Edgren High School
Cummings Elementary School
Andersen Middle School

FEA is grateful for and honored by these amazing demonstrations of unity. If your school has achieved 100 percent membership, please let us know so we can recognize your members in a future update.

CONGRATULATIONS
FEA member Lisa Marie Roberts, a third grade teacher at Seoul American Elementary School, has been named a state-level finalist in the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The awards, administered by the National Science Foundation, are given each year to outstanding teachers from the 50 states and four U.S. jurisdictions, including DoDEA. You can learn more about the awards or nominate someone for the 2015 awards by going to www.paemst.org. Congratulations Lisa Marie!

GREAT JOB!
Congratulations also go out to Diane Hodges, and educator and FRS at Darby Elementary School in Sasebo, Japan, for doing such a great job representing DoDEA teachers in a recent Armed Forces Network story called "A Day in the Life of a DoDEA Teacher." You can view the story by going to this link.

PLEDGE TO BE HEALTHY
NEA's Health Information Network has recently launched a pledge-based social media campaign around member self-care -- the Healthy Me, Better Year Pledge. This simple engagement tool is a way to remind our members that taking care of themselves benefits their students and the entire school community.

You can take the pledge by going here and follow HIN's efforts via Twitter and other social media by using hashtag #NewSelfie1415

SURVEY
I encourage our members to complete the Defense Equal Opportunity Climate Survey now being distributed by DoDEA to all employees. The survey focuses on four areas: Military Equal Opportunity, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity, Organizational Effectiveness, and Perceptions of Discrimination/Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response. DoDEA incorporated a lot of the Association's feedback into the final survey, which takes about 25 minutes to complete. The survey is voluntary and respondents will remain anonymous.

AMERICAN EDUCATION WEEK
Remember, American Education Week will be celebrated November 17-21. To publicize this event in your local community newspapers, FEA provided a sample news release (available at this page) you can adapt to fit your schools and community. Be aware, many local papers have early deadlines for submissions so don't wait till the last minute. Take this opportunity to let your community know about the great things happening in our schools.

GOT NEWS?
FEA is always on the lookout for interesting stories about what our members are doing, both in and away from the classroom. If you've got an interesting project, teaching technique, or hobby, please let out Communications Director, Gary Hritz, know by emailing him at ghritz@nea.org. We'd love to highlight you in a future FEA Journal or on our Web site. FEA is also beginning to collect photos, anecdotes, memorabilia or other remembrances of the Association as we prepare to celebrate our 60th anniversary in 2016. If you've got a great story you can share about the Association from years (or decades) gone by, please contact Gary.

WHY I'M A MEMBER
I hope you agree with me that the Association is an incredibly valuable tool and source of assistance in our everyday lives. We'd like to compile some thoughts from our members about why they belong to FEA and what their Association membership means to them. If you'd like to answer the question, "Why I'm a Member?" for possible inclusion in future Association publications/materials, please send your response to Gary Hritz at ghritz@nea.org. We'd love to hear from you and share your thoughts with your fellow educators.