FEA Pacific Update


October 1, 2020

Amy Sweeney
FEA Pacific Area Director

1. A Challenging Beginning
Welcome back, Pacific colleagues, hello to members on AD and to our newest members. The start of the school year brought many challenges and continues to do so. Korea and Okinawa started the year in remote learning while here on mainland Japan, Iwakuni, Misawa and Yokota had a face-to-face start while Sasebo, Atsugi and Yokosuka started remotely. The back-to-brick-and-mortar transition has begun for all. It is a credit to you, members, that our schools are up and running and our students are learning.

2. FEA Online
There have been changes over the summer to several policies in DoDEA, and FEA has been working hard to keep us updated. Visiting www.FEAonline.org will give you the latest updates.

3. Grievances
Since June, FEA has filed several grievances on behalf of our overseas teachers. More information to follow on these grievances in an upcoming FEA Legal Update.

4. Membership Materials for SY 20-21
FRSs, if you haven’t already, please scan your school’s initialed continuous roster, any new applications (page 1 only) and SF1187s to Linda Concepción, Dues Processor/Membership Coordinator, at pac_pro@outlook.com. Checks are to be mailed to Linda at PSC 3 Box 4796, APO AP 96266.

5. Check Your Pay and Keep a Record
FEA recommends that all members carefully review their LESs going back to at least August 1 of this year. Look for changes or omissions such as no deductions being withheld for the FEGLI, dental or health-insurance premiums or that the daily rate on your most-recent LES has changed, even though your pay remained the same.
• IF YOU NOTICE ANY PAY ISSUES, you should immediately file a pay inquiry.
• After carefully reviewing each LES, you should be sure to store them in an envelope or folder.
• Do so for every LES you receive this year, going back to August 1, even if you do not find any problems on your LES. Doing so will ensure you have easy access to the LESs if you need to review them again later in the year for any other pay issues that arise.
• In addition, FEA urges members to utilize the pay organizers available at: this page
• These will help you compare your pay across multiple dates, which can make it easier to spot errors.

6. OASDI Tax Deferral
Speaking of pay…the Federal Government has implemented an across-the-board payroll-tax deferral for all federal employees from this most recent pay period through December 31st. Employees who meet the income threshold will see more money in their paychecks. Please be advised, however, this deferral is only temporary. Those taxes will be paid back. How the pay-back deductions will be processed in the future is unclear. Keep copies of those LESs! FEA’s update on no quick fixes to pay problems

7. Non-Temporary Storage
If you have goods in storage, you should normally receive a “fund cite” notice in September. The fund citations for storage are done on a fiscal-year basis. DoDEA notifies the storage companies of the new fund citations and employees at about the same time. The notices go initially to the school secretary, who should distribute them to employees. If you have not received a notice, please check with your school secretary first.

8. FEA Pacific Leadership SY 20-21
It was a busy summer and start of this school year with all that is going on worldwide. Please know that your leadership has been working all issues that come our way.
• PAC South — Okinawa — AEAO President, Scott Milanovich
• PAC East — Japan — NEATA President, Mike Adair
• PAC West — Korea — TEAK President, Sharon Manuel
• PAC Area Director — Amy Sweeney
• General Counsel/UniServ — Robin Smith
• Assistant UniServ — Stephanie Trotter

9. September/October Trainings
• PAL (Pacific Area Leadership)
• September 12-14
• JLMT (Joint-Labor Management) and FRS Training
• TEAK September 17-18
• AEAO September 15 and 29
• NEATA September 24 and October 15

10. Hispanic Heritage Month — September 15 – October 15
Celebrate the contributions of Hispanic Americans and Hispanic culture.
Education World
NEA.org (This NEA link is safe to access on a government computer.)

The start of this school year was one for the books. Here’s hoping that as this school year progresses, we return to a more normal way of life, more of the old normal instead of the new. Thanks to all who have helped me and who continue to offer support as I navigate my way, learning much as I go. Thanks, too, to our leadership here in the Pacific, Europe, Stateside and at the HQ level for your availability and willingness to help regardless of time zones. And thanks to you, our members, whose support is appreciated and needed now more than ever.

“Fight for the things that you care about but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
-Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Amy Sweeney
FEA Pacific Area Director
Misawa, Japan