By Cynthia Menzel
Everyone should be treated fairly, and a teacher’s job security should not be determined by how the employer says the position is funded. That thinking prompted the Stockton Teachers Association (STA), with CTA’s help, to go to court in 2009 to protest the continuing abuse of the “temporary” classification of employees.
Some teachers employed in categorical programs may be entitled to probationary status, following a decision by the California Court of Appeal that limits school districts' rights to classify teachers as “temporary.”
At issue is the fact that school districts statewide misclassify teachers, denying them due process rights and participation in RIF (reduction in force) proceedings. The Court of Appeal determined that, except in certain limited circumstances, teachers in a mandatory program with federal or state funding should be classified as probationary staff, not temporary, thus affording them more job security.
There are two appropriate uses of “temporary” employment status: to replace a person on leave who will return; and where a teacher performs non-mandatory, categorically-funded or contract-funded projects, where the funding or contract will expire, and where the teacher is explicitly hired for the term of the contract or project.