February 15, 2017 FEA President's Report
All transfer reassignment notices have now been sent out, with the exception of notices that will eventually go out to the small number of excessed educators who remain unplaced at this time. We know there are a lot of members disappointed they did not receive a transfer and we will continue to push for more transfer funding and increased transfer opportunities in the future.
All new vacancies must continue to be sent to DoDEA Headquarters. These vacancies are needed for the unplaced excessed educators and those excessed educators requesting reconsideration. We hope those excessed educators will be placed soon.
If you have any questions about your transfer placement, please send them to Connie Shanaghan at this email. Be sure to include your transfer group and Service Comp Date (SCD) in your message to Connie.
NEA'S READ ACROSS AMERICA
Hopefully you have great plans to join in this celebration of reading and FUN! This is a great way to get your community involved in a worthwhile educational event. For our members overseas, be on the lookout for the Public Service Announcement for NEA's Read Across America featuring NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia and DoDEA Director Tom Brady. For last minute tips on how to "grab your hat and read with the cat," go to NEA's Read Across America site.
As this Update goes out, I am currently in Japan. I will be visiting schools in the Zama area before heading to Guam to visit with members there. I will have limited access to email for this time, so please excuse any delay in response if you write to me between now and February 24.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
I could put a lot of things under this heading these days! Here are just a few:
- In some of our schools, we have positions that have been vacant all year long, while in others we still have shortages of subs. In some schools we have both vacant positions AND a shortage of subs! These vacancies impact on the quality of education in our schools and yet no one in DoDEA seems to be able to do anything to resolve the issues.
- Principals no longer seem to be able to walk into a classroom and understand a lesson without a checklist in their hands. Furthermore, too many of them seem unable to have an actual conversation with the teacher afterwards about what they saw in the classroom.
- Some of our educators STILL have not been paid for RAT claims from last summer and we still have no indication how the upcoming summer travel claim process will be any different.
Once again, DoDEA has ranked in the "Lower Quartile" of the annual survey of the "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government." In this survey, based on the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, DoDEA ranked 256 out of 305 Federal Agency and Agency Subcomponents. DoDEA's Community Strategic Plan, with a base line ranking in 2012 of 218, calls for DoDEA to move into the top 50% on this list by SY 2017-18. Even setting the bar that low, DoDEA has managed to move further down on this list. Given the problems with HR, Pay, Professional Development, Retirement and other issues, this is not surprising. What is also notable is that in spite of the lack of support for employees indicated by this ranking, our schools still do a great job, ranking high on numerous national indicators. The question remains, what will DoDEA do to improve its ranking? For the complete breakdown of the survey, go to this page.
DoDEA's Communication Effectiveness Survey closes Feb.17. FEA urges all members to take the time to voice your opinion about these important issues. Take the survey here.
We are all keenly aware of the rapidly changing world we find ourselves in, both as government employees and as educators. Though we cannot be sure what the future will bring, FEA and NEA will remain true to our vision, values and our commitments to educational excellence and social justice. We will continue to advocate for what is best for our students and our members. Currently, we are working with NEA to ensure that DoDEA does not remain under the Federal Hiring Freeze. As issues arise, we will address them through every possible avenue. We will stand up for what's right.