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December 1 2017 FEA President's Report

TO: FEA Members Worldwide
FROM: Chuck McCarter, FEA President
RE: FEA President's Report
DATE: December 1, 2017


PROBLEMS SWITCHING TRANSFER APPS TO GROUP A+

DoDDS HQ notified us that there is an issue in the transfer program database that affects changing an application from another group to Group A+. The DoDDS IT division is working on this problem. If you plan to change your transfer group to Group A+, please wait a day or two so the issue can be resolved.


TRANSFER QUESTIONS/DEADLINES

The deadline to submit a transfer application is December 15th. If you have submitted questions regarding your eligibility and have not yet received an answer, be sure to submit an application by the deadline. Your application can be withdrawn or modified until January 9th, 2018. New applications cannot be added after December 15th.

Our office has received many questions about the transfer program from our members and we are working to get answers for everyone. Because of the approaching deadline for applications, questions about transfer program eligibility are a priority. Applicants have until January 9 to amend their application (locations, categories, request for joint considerations and transfer group can all be amended). Questions concerning these issues will be answered as quickly as possible.


VACANCIES

A good transfer program is very dependent upon adequate vacancies for placements. On December 15th, DoDDS HQ will post the list of vacancies that will be used for the transfer program. We are requesting that our FEA FRS's start now to confirm what vacancies SHOULD be reported and, when the list is published, check it to verify that all the full-time vacancies at their school are included. If there are any discrepancies, they should be reported to Connie Shanaghan at this e-mail as quickly as possible.

The vacancy list posted on December 15th is not a complete list of the vacancies that will be used in the transfer round. Backfill vacancies will immediately be put into the transfer round as applicants are placed. Therefore, applicants should not modify their applications based solely upon the posted vacancy list.


TRANSFER PROGRAM INFORMATION

We encourage everyone who is applying for a transfer to read the "Transfer Announcement" and "Tips for Transfers" that can be found on the FEA Webpage at FEA's Transfer Information Page. Members should send their questions concerning the Transfer Program to Connie Shanaghan.


RETIRING OR RESIGNING MID-YEAR?

If you are in an overseas location represented by FEA and are planning to leave DoDEA during this year, do not forget to file AND ELEVATE a "Goodbye Grievance" before your last duty day. This important document was developed by Bill Freeman, our UniServ Attorney, to invoke and protect your rights while you are still a member of the bargaining unit. This is particularly important since DoDEA and DFAS continue to send former employees unsubstantiated debt letters. For more information, see our pay problems page on the FEA web site, available here.


BAS AND CONFERENCE DAYS

In this season of giving and holiday spirit, DoDEA continues to exhibit some very "Scrooge-like" behaviors. In spite of the concerns FEA has repeatedly voiced, DoDEA continues to insist that it will not provide subs to support the administration of the BAS. That means, in January, DoDEA kindergarten students will be assessed while the teacher also monitors 18 or more other students at the same time. The spring assessment of grades 1-3 will be under the same conditions. These are certainly not the best learning conditions for students or the best assessment conditions.

In addition, DoDEA has refused to honor its commitment to three conference days for this school year, meaning parents and teachers will have less face-to-face time to discuss how to best support students and student learning. Because of DoDEA refusal to listen to our concerns, FEA will be filing ULP's over both of these issues. "Bah Humbug!"


FEHB OPEN SEASON

Open Season this year for the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program will be from November 13 to December 11. This is the time for those enrolled in these plans to change plans or coverage options (between self-only, self plus one, or family, for example). Retirees who have been continuously enrolled can also make changes at this time. This Open Season also applies to the separate Federal Dental and Vision Insurance programs as well as the FSA Healthcare Savings plan. Employees do not enroll in FSAFEDS through DoDEA but directly at the FSAFEDS site.


NEA MEMBER BENEFITS

If you need ideas for holiday shopping, check out all the deals and holiday specials available to members at the NEA Member Benefits site.


DECEMBER HOLIDAYS

Celebrate the holiday season and learn how others celebrate with these lessons and resources for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ashura, Pongal, and New Years. Go to NEA's December Holidays Lessons Resources page.


GLOBAL LEARNING FELLOWSHIP

NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellows participate in a 12-month professional development program that includes in-person workshops, online coursework, webinars by leading experts, peer learning, and an international field study experience. Any Active Member of FEA/NEA who is a current K-12 teacher can apply for a fellowship. To do so, go to the NEA Foundation site.

The deadline to apply is February 5, 2018.