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Legal Update - June 13, 2006

To: FEA Leaders and FRS's (For immediate distribution)
From: H.T. Nguyen, FEA Executive Director/ General Counsel
Date: June 13, 2006
Re: New MOU on Conversion of Not-To-Exceed (NTE) employees/ RAT Travel Reminder (For DoDDS Educators ONLY)

Legal Update (June 13, 2006)

This update is divided into two separate parts. Please note that this update concerns DoDDS Educators only. The first section concerns a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that the Association and DoDDS agreed to on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 concerning the conversion of not-to-exceed (NTE) employees. The second section is a quick reminder to employees on several issues concerning RAT travel.

I. New Memorandum of Understanding concerning NTE employees

The Association and DoDDS agreed to a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) concerning the conversion of not-to-exceed (NTE) employees. This MOU is VERY IMPORTANT for NTE employees who have not been converted. Please find the relevant provisions of the MOU below. The language is self-explanatory.

If you are an NTE who meets the conditions of eligibility in any of the three sections of the MOU below, and you have not yet been converted, you MUST contact us by email with the following information before the end of this school year. Please send the information requested below to fea.legal@hq.dodea.edu.

In the email, please include:

1) Your name
2) Your school
3) Your non-DoDEA email (if any)
4) Your home telephone number
5) Your home address
6) a copy of your SF-50 given to you at the start of your NTE appointment, as well as any subsequent SF-50's

Please scan these SF-50's and attach them to the email with the above-requested information, if you are able. If you are unable to scan these documents, please fax them to our office at (202) 822-7867.

I apologize for the extremely short turnaround time on this request and I do understand that the last week of school is a very difficult time to complete such requests. However, this settlement agreement was just reached on Tuesday, June 13, 2006. Once more, it is imperative that you send us the above-requested information by email by Friday, June 16 (the last day of school).

Below is the text of the relevant portions of the MOU:

___________________________________________________
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
BETWEEN
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE DEPENDENTS SCHOOLS
AND
THE FEDERAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION

Conversion of NTE Appointments


The Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) and the Federal Education Association (FEA) hereby agree, regarding the conversion of Not to Exceed (NTE) Appointments, that DoDEA Regulation 1400.13 remains in effect and agree to the following:


1. Employees currently in continuing positions on temporary appointments of one year or less or on term appointments who had completed seven months or more of service as professional educators in DoDDS at the end of the 2004-2005 school year will be converted to permanent appointments by the end of the 2005-2006 school year provided they have signed a DoDDS Mobility Agreement and are fully qualified and possess a valid DoDEA license without condition, including meeting testing requirements, or possess a valid state teaching license.

2. Employees currently in continuing positions on temporary appointments of one year or less or on term appointments who had completed less than seven months service as professional educators in DoDDS at the end of the 2004-2005 school year and served the entire 2005-2006 school year will be converted to permanent appointments upon placement in a continuing position in DoDDS at the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year in accordance with DoDEA Regulation 1400.13 provided they have signed a DoDDS Mobility Agreement and are fully qualified and possess a valid DoDEA license without condition, including meeting testing requirements, or possess a valid state teaching license.

3. Employees hired in 2005-2006 school year on temporary appointments of one year or less or on term appointments who completed eight months service as professional educators in DoDDS will be converted to permanent appointments upon placement in a continuing position in DoDDS at the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year in accordance with DoDEA Regulation 1400.13 provided they have signed a DoDDS Mobility Agreement and are fully qualified and possess a valid DoDEA license without condition, including meeting testing requirements, or possess a valid state teaching license.



II. RAT Travel

For those educators who have elected to exercise their contractual right as a member of the Association's bargaining unit to make their own RAT travel arrangements rather than go through the CTO, this is a reminder regarding the process of arranging for such RAT travel.

First, some members have expressed some concern that if they arrange RAT travel on their own, rather than using a CTO, they will be subject to an oral reprimand from management. The Association has an agreement with management that employees who exercise this contractual right will NOT receive an oral reprimand for arranging their own RAT travel.

Second, for those members of the bargaining unit who have elected to make their own RAT travel arrangements, instead of using the CTO's, when you return from RAT travel, please do NOT submit these vouchers to the local finance office. Please submit the RAT travel vouchers to DFAS Columbus instead. The mailing address for DFAS Columbus, according to DoDEA, is:

Travel Operations Columbus
Attn: DFAS-PTB/CO
P.O. Box 369015
Columbus, OH 43236-9015

Please remember as well that when you arrange your own RAT travel, you will be reimbursed at the constructive cost of what it would cost if the government had booked the travel on commercial airlines. In other words, you are not reimbursed the actual cost of what you paid for the travel, but the constructed cost at the government commercial rate.

Third, please remember that while the contract allows you to make your own RAT travel arrangements, you must still use flights that are clearly designated as an American Flag carrier. In other words, the prohibition on using foreign flag flights for government funded RAT travel still applies. This means that the flight must either be on an American Flag carrier, or on a flight that uses "code-sharing" indicating that it is also flying as an American Flag carrier.