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FEA President's Report

TO: FEA Members Worldwide
FROM: Chuck McCarter, FEA President
RE: FEA President's Report
DATE:March 15, 2015

TRANSFER UPDATE

FEA Transfer Guru Connie Shanaghan sent out a comprehensive update on the transfer program a few days ago, providing updated numbers of applicants and information to consider as the deadline for amending transfer applications nears (it's March 20 at 5pm EDT -- don't forget that the U.S. has already moved its clocks forward one hour!). You can read that full transfer update and find other information, including Connie's complete Tips for Transfers, by going to FEA's Web site, www.feaonline.org.


TIMELINE

In addition to the deadline to amend your transfer application, mentioned above, here are a couple of other important dates to keep in mind:
March 17 -- the complete vacancy list is to be posted on the DoDEA website by 5pm EDT on this date.
March 23 -- this is the date the transfer placement round is scheduled to begin, barring any last-minute technical difficulties.


VACANCIES

Regarding the transfer program vacancy list: once it has been posted by DoDEA on the 17th, we are asking all FRSs to carefully check the vacancies at their schools and notify their FEA division representative/country president immediately if there are any discrepancies.


VERA/VSIP

In DoDDS, the VERA/VSIP program is not yet completely over. Limited offers may be made to place excessed educators who cannot be placed through the transfer program.

Regarding VERA/VSIP for DDESS, I quote from FEA Director for DDESS Jane Loggins' recent update:

"Offers of Vera VSIP have been made in all districts. Second round offers are now being made in some districts. The HR team from Peachtree City was able to travel to Fort Campbell, Fort Stewart and Fort Bragg to assist with processing VERA VSIP acceptances from members. Those three districts had a high number of offers due to the number of employees above the staffing limits. The HR team will continue to assist other impacted members with VERA VSIP in our other districts using VTC with members on an individual basis. After all VERA VSIP offers are processed, FEASR will be given notices of General RIF and those will be shared with local presidents and members."


PAY ISSUES

FEA continues to advocate for a more efficient, accurate, and responsive pay system. HT and I spoke at length with DoDEA Director Tom Brady recently about this. In addition, FEA UniServ Attorney Bill Freeman continues to arbitrate pay cases, including the backlog of cases resulting from his win in the "MA+ case." This will result in hundreds of members receiving back pay and interest. Bill also continues to battle the illegal and erroneous debt collections that plague our members and retirees. This is a priority for FEA.


RETIREMENT SCAM

Stars & Stripes recently ran an article (available here) on DOD warnings about a potential retirement scam involving a company called Government Employee Services. According to the article, the firm, which is not affiliated with the government, is using misinformation about Obamacare in an attempt to scare federal workers into purchasing their services. Federal employees should contact their human resource office to verify any claims about changes to federal benefits or if they are unsure whether correspondence they receive is from the agency, officials quoted in the article said.


IN THE NEWS

In case you missed it, US News and World Report recently ran an article with a lot of nice things to say about DoDEA educators:

"While its students routinely deal with upheaval in their home lives, there's one aspect of DoDEA that is remarkably stable: its workforce. DoDEA's 8,000 teachers are typically more highly educated and experienced than their public school counterparts. More than two-thirds of them hold master's degrees. It's not unusual to find a DoDEA teacher with a doctorate."

You can view the full article here.


CONGRATULATIONS

FEA member Karen Baker, from Edgren High School in Misawa, Japan, was recently recognized as the Overseas School Health Nurses Association (OSHNA) School Nurse of the Year. You can read about Karen and this terrific honor here.


TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK

Teacher Appreciation Week will be May 4-8 this year, including National Teacher Appreciation Day on Tuesday May 5 and National School Nurse Day on Wednesday May 6. Make plans now to celebrate the wonderful work that you and your colleagues do every day of the year. To make publicizing this celebration easier for FEA Locals, there is a generic news article on our website (right-click this link to download) which you can download and edit for your local schools and events.


TRAVEL

I am off to visit our members at Guantanamo beginning March 23, assuming the weather will cooperate! Cross your fingers!