TO: FEA Overseas Bargaining Unit Employees
FROM: H.T. Nguyen, FEA Executive Director/General Counsel
RE: RAT Travel Orders
DATE: April 20, 2017
DoDEA recently announced that educators/employees who purchase their airlines tickets before they received their RAT orders would not be reimbursed when they subsequently submit their vouchers for payments. DoDEA claimed that, until the Federal budget process is finalized or the Continuing Resolution (CR) adopted, it had no authority to issue RAT orders for travel subsequent to April 28, 2017. FEA disagrees with DoDEA’s position/interpretation of applicable laws/regulations and has asked DoDEA to reconsider its position. FEA has yet to receive a response to its request for reconsideration.
In light of DoDEA’s position and to prevent unnecessary complications/problems with reimbursements, if you have not purchased your airlines tickets for RAT use this summer, FEA urges you to WAIT until you actually receive your RAT orders before buying your tickets. FEA realizes that the further the delay, the harder it would be for educators to obtain seats on preferred flights at discounted rates. We hope that Congress will pass the CR soon so that RAT orders can be issued without further delays.
For those of you who have already purchased your airlines tickets (before RAT orders are issued) to obtain reasonable fares and save costs to the Government, FEA is filing an Association Grievance on behalf of ALL FEA Bargaining unit employees to seek RAT reimbursements for all educators if and when reimbursements are denied. FEA will provide additional information/guidance regarding this Association Grievance in the near future.