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Panel to Hear CTA-cosponsored Measure to Provide Equal Treatment to Small District Rural Employees

Shouldn’t all school employees be treated equally and fairly, no matter where they work?  CTA-cosponsored AB 1619, by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), answers that question with a resounding “yes.”

The measure shores up existing law to prevent some districts and county offices – including small and rural ones – from refusing to award permanent status to employees, in some cases after decades of service to pupils.

The measure is scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Education Committee on Wednesday afternoon, and a continent of teachers who are members of CTA’s State Council of Education’s Public Rights and Responsibilities Committee will be in Sacramento urging lawmakers to approve the measure.

One witness – who works with other educators in a migrant student program – will testify before the panel that despite having worked for a county office for six years, he has been kept in “at-will” status.  That fact – that he is not considered a “permanent” employee – has even made it impossible for him to qualify for a home loan.

A second witness – who works in special education and is the President of his local Association – will testify before the panel that lack of permanent status often means administration “strong-arms” educators to deliver services cheaply at the expense of student needs. Not only does this lack of job security inhibit teachers’ ability to advocate for their kids, but it also has resulted in age discrimination and the release of employees who are higher on the salary schedule in order to save a buck.

Some districts reportedly have tried keeping certificated employees in non-permanent status to circumvent rules governing layoffs when reductions in force are needed.

CTA maintains that the rules provide a fair and orderly process to deal with what can be a devastating job loss and treats educators like professionals.

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