We are now in year to year employment contract season. This is a time of anxiety for many non-union charter teachers throughout the state because it is when we learn whether or not we will be rehired for the next school year. Here at CAVA, the contracts are slowly arriving. We hope everyone who wants to return receives a contract. Unfortunately, each year, some members of our community are not asked back– often for no good reason. We have assembled steps to take in the event that you do not receive the employment contract you deserve:
1) Put together any evidence or documents you might need. It is especially important to save copies of your evaluation from this year and previous years and any discipline letters (not on your CAVA computer).
2) File for unemployment. Unless they gave a reason when they fired you, you’ve been laid off – put “contract ended” on the application. Be prepared to have a case, though, in the event CAVA tries to contest it. If you end up taking this to a hearing with a judge, they really like evidence and exhibits, so save anything that might be relevant. You can read the benefit determination guide here: http://www.edd.ca.gov/uibdg/ – this is the manual that the EDD uses to decide whether or not you qualify for benefits.
3) Sign up for the national employment law project’s newsletter to get updates on federal extensions of unemployment and other legislation affecting the unemployed. https://secure.nelp.org/page/s/getupdates
4) Research whether you fall into a protected category and consider filing a complaint if you think you were treated in a discriminatory fashion. The paperwork from this claim can also be submitted as evidence in an EDD hearing. http://www.dfeh.ca.gov/
5) Think about coworkers that might be willing to write a letter of reference for you. Make sure you have non-cava contact information for them.
7) If you were on the union organizing committee or believe you may have been discriminated against for union activity, please let the organizing committee know. Please save any evidence you have that you were involved with the union.
As professional educators, we believe our co-workers should not have to go through this period of anxiety each year. We look forward to bargaining a union contract that has employment protections, so our hard working colleagues cannot be let go without cause. Year to year contracts and arbitrary employment decisions harm our school, our students and our profession.