TO: FEA Members Worldwide
FROM: Brian Chance, FEA President
RE: FEA President’s Report
DATE: January 15, 2020
January 15 is the date by which employees in Overseas schools are to be notified whether they have been declared excess for next school year.
Those who are declared excess will be able to access DoDEA’s database on January 21 and submit their preferences for placement. Placements will take place in four phases:
Eligible excess employees may use the DoDEA system to list their preferred teaching categories and geographic locations for consideration.
Ask your building representative for information on accessing the DoDEA application database if you are declared excess or have other questions about procedure. You can also view the excess procedure published by DoDEA and find FEA’s flow-chart explaining the Excess process.
Placements will begin at the district level between January 21 and 28, then move to DoDEA Headquarters for Area and Worldwide placement and placements using NTE positions.
Notifications of placement are scheduled to begin going out around February 10.
An arbitrator ruled January 2 that DDESS’s unilateral implementation of the unsigned, contested successor Master Labor Agreement was illegal and ordered the Agency to comply with the legally valid 2005 MLA while DDESS and FEA-SR resume bargaining. You can read the full update here. This week, FEA Director for DDESS Jane Loggins wrote a letter to DoDEA Director Tom Brady, urging him to comply with the arbitrator’s ruling in order to halt further damage to the working/learning environment in Stateside schools and to stop adding to the millions in taxpayer dollars DDESS already owes employees for unpaid hours they are being required to work. Read that letter here.
FEA’s Overseas contract bargaining team continue this week to meet with DoDEA representatives and a federal mediator, in hopes of coming to agreement on the many issues still unresolved in a new Overseas contract. The December FEA Journal has details about the biggest sticking points, including DoDEA’s wish to extend the duty day with no added pay, to diminish protections against adverse actions and to weaken grievance rights. Overseas bargaining unit members are urged to read that information in the Journal, either online or in the print edition mailed to you over the holiday break, so you are aware of the negative changes DoDEA is seeking to make.
Also as highlighted in the December Journal, there is a possibility that a ratification vote would be called, if FEA’s Overseas contract bargaining team and DoDEA negotiators reach a tentative agreement on a new contract. Should that become necessary, the vote would have to take place via e-mail because the ground rules imposed on the bargaining process allow only 15 days for a ratification vote to take place. If you are a member of FEA and you did not receive this President’s Report directly in the inbox of your personal e-mail account (as opposed to having it forwarded to you by someone else), please send a message immediately to FEA’s Washington DC office, letting us know you are not receiving messages from us. Be sure to include your name, school location and the private (non DoDEA) e-mail address to which information should be sent. Also, before doing so, be sure to check the Spam/Junk folder on your e-mail account to be sure messages from FEA are not being routed there.
This week, the Washington Post reported the White House is once again planning to siphon off funding from military construction and other projects in order to fund border wall construction (Read the story here). You may recall that several DoDEA schools lost hundreds of millions in school construction funds for this same reason last year. It is not yet known whether any of the military construction projects at risk of losing funding this year are DoDEA schools.
Current members of FEA have until April 1 to complete and submit an application to be considered for the 2021 NEA Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence. FEA, like all NEA state affiliates, is allowed to submit one name each year as our state nominee. Our 2020 nominee, Patricia Hannon, from Germany, is now one of five finalists for the Foundation’s grand prize, the Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence, which comes with a $25,000 prize. One nominee to represent FEA in 2021 and compete against the other state nominees will be designated later this spring. To be considered, you must submit your fully completed application packet by April 1, 2020. Down the NEA Foundation Award application packet by clicking here.
FEA recently was awarded a Read Across America grant from NEA, which allows us to help fund reading events at 11 locations in celebration of Read Across America day on March 2. Those who received funds submitted applications to FEA in the fall, outlining their event plans. We’re extremely grateful to NEA for approving our grant request and we look forward to seeing pictures of the great events our members will be holding this year in observance of NEA’s theme of “Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers.”
The Washington Post recently ran a great story about a partnership between DoDEA and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, focused on a virtual lesson presented to the digital photography students of Association member Debora Moore in Guam. You can read that story here.
The National Portrait Gallery’s Summer Teacher Institutes offer week-long sessions in which educators can discover how integrating portraiture into their classrooms illuminates history, biography, visual arts and more. Two sessions will be held in July. K-12 teachers may apply as individuals or as part of a team. Priority is given to those who teach social studies, English, language arts and visual arts. The application deadline is March 27, 2020. Learn more at this site.