Despite the state’s teacher shortage, school budget battles mean that some educators have nevertheless received reduction in force (RIF) notices letting them know that their positions have not been renewed for the next school year.
What should you do (and not do) if you’ve been RIF’d?
While many educators who are initially nonrenewed actually return to their classrooms in the fall, uncertainty about school budgets often results in teachers receiving the dreaded RIF notice in the spring. These notices must be provided in writing no later than May 1.
The prospect of losing a teaching position you have worked so hard for—and not knowing whether that job will be yours in the fall—can be extremely difficult. CEA is here to guide you through the process, protect your rights, and ensure the best possible outcome.
If you receive a RIF/nonrenewal notice, here are four steps to take right now:
- Contact your union. Don’t resign; don’t sign. Before signing any paperwork, talk to your UniServ Rep or local president about whether you should resign (in lieu of being non-renewed), your eligibility for unemployment, getting references, and maintaining your union member benefits.
- Reference letters: Don’t delay! Ask at least two administrators if they will provide you with a reference letter. Keep your union representative in the loop.
- Medical coverage: Consider taking care of medical appointments and concerns before your deductible resets.
- Personnel file: Now is a good time to contact HR and request a copy of your personnel file. If you have any disciplinary letters on file, discuss with your union representative whether you should submit a rebuttal/response letter before your employment ends, to clarify gaps or inaccuracies. This is your legal right.
Not sure who your UniServ Representative is? Visit cea.org/cea-staff/#affiliate-services and scroll down to Field Staff and UniServ Reps. We are here for you.