Volume 45 Number 4
CCA is there to help
If only Susie Williams had been represented by CCA years ago, she wouldn’t have gone through the stress she did.
A longtime part-time instructor in office technology at Porterville College, Williams ran into trouble some years ago when she “dared” to apply for unemployment benefits during a period when she had been laid off. At the time, a Single Parent Program she had directed had run out of state funding and the college didn’t have an opening for her in the fall semester. So Williams applied for unemployment benefits, received her money, and a semester later, was hired back.
Unfortunately, several months later she received a letter from the Employment Development Department accusing her of fraud and demanding she pay back the $1,000 she had received.
No place to turn
“It terrified me and there was no place to turn. We didn’t have union representation and the district didn’t offer any help,” she said.
Williams packed up her lesson plans and calendars and went before an administrative law judge who, although baffled by the case, could see that no fraud was involved and dismissed that charge. It was several months and a new hearing later, however, before Williams received a letter informing her she did not have to repay the money.
“I’m sure if I had a CCA representative there, it would have been much less stressful,” she said of the experience.
Fast forward several years later, and the college administration has changed – for the better. But more than that, Williams is a proud representative of part-time faculty within the Kern Community College Chapter of CCA.
“All I can say is it would have been an entirely different situation if we had had CCA then,” Williams said.
As a result of the 1989 Cervisi decision, most part-time community college faculty are eligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits during breaks in their employment. Applying for unemployment benefits is your legal right! When you, as a part-time instructor, request these benefits, you are simply asking your employer to acknowledge your lack of job security.