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RIF BASICS

A. RIF Chronology- (Education Code # 44949)

.1.No later than March 15 an employee must be given notice of the RIF for one of the reasons specified in Section 44955. The notice must be based on a resolution of the governing board.
.2.The employee may request a hearing. The request for a hearing must be in writing and must be delivered to the person who sent the notice by the date set out in the notice. Usually within 7 days. Use the CTA Hearing Request form.
.3. Failure to request a hearing is a waiver of the employee's right to a hearing, and the employee cannot contest the termination (layoff).
.A. Each teacher must sign a CTA Consent to Representation by a GLS attorney or a Staff Representative.
.4.After the employee requests a hearing the District will serve an accusation on the employee. The respondent (employee) must file a Notice of Defense usually within five days. Use the CTA Notice of Defense Form.
.5.A discovery request must be made by the employee's representative within 15 days after service of the accusation. Use the information supplied by the district and from the CTA RIF Data Form in preparing the defense.
.A. The Association may obtain a list with seniority, credentials, etc., in its bargaining agent capacity when it anticipates a RIF.
.6.A trial type hearing is held before an administrative law judge (ALJ) from the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). The ALJ prepares a proposed decision (a recommendation to the governing board), containing findings of fact and a determination whether the district has proven the grounds for the RIF and which employees will be terminated.
.7.The ALJ's the proposed decision must be submitted to the governing board and to the employee on or before May 7.
.8. The governing board makes the final determination to adopt, modify, or reject the ALJ decision. It must send out a final notice by May 15. The governing board's decision is subject to judicial review by way of a Petition for Writ of Administrative Mandate.
.9.Notices maybe delivered in person to the employee to whom it is directed, or sent by United States registered mail, postage prepaid and addressed to the last known address of the employee.

B. Budget Act Reductions in Force - (Education Code #44955-5)

If during the time period between five days after the enactment of the Budget Act and August 15 of the fiscal year to which that Budget Act applies, the total revenue limit per ADA has not increased by at least 2 percent, the Board may decide to decrease the number of permanent and probationary employees and use the process set out in Ed. Code #44955 under a schedule adopted by the governing board.

C. Reasons supporting a RIF (Education Code #44955)

.1.If the average daily attendance ("ADA") in all of the schools of a district for the first six months the current year has declined below the corresponding period of either of the previous two school years;
.2.If the governing board determines that attendance in a district will decline in the following year as a result of the termination of an interdistrict tuition agreement as defined in Section 46304;
.3.If a particular kind of service ("PKS") will be reduced or discontinued not later than the beginning of the next school year; or
.4.If a change of state law requires the modification of curriculum, to reduce the number of permanent and probationary certificated employees;
.5.When one or more of these reasons exist, the governing board may terminate the services of not more than a corresponding percentage of the certificated employees of the district, permanent as well as probationary, at the close of the school year. A district must consider attrition in determining the number of employees it will terminate.
.6.No permanent employee may be terminated while any probationary employee, or any other employee with less seniority, is retained to render a service which the permanent employee is certificated and competent to render.
.7.Employees who first rendered paid probationary service to the district on the same date are ranked for termination by tie breaking criteria determined by the governing board. Often the districts have a policy on this subject. The criteria must be published no later than five days prior to the commencement of the hearing. If a policy does not already exist a request for the criteria should be made immediately.
.8.n the event that permanent or probationary employees are not given the notices and a right to a hearing, they are deemed re employed.
.9.A District makes assignments and reassignments such that employees are retained to render any service which their seniority and qualifications entitle them to render. Prior to assigning or reassigning any certificated employee to teach a subject not previously taught, and for which the employee does not have a teaching credential or which is not within the employee's major area of post-secondary study or the equivalent thereof, the governing board can require the employee to pass a subject matter competency test in the appropriate subject.
.10.Exceptions to terminating a certificated employee in order of seniority:
.A. The district demonstrates a specific need for personnel to teach a specific course or course of study, or to provide services authorized by a services credential with a specialization in either pupil personnel services or health for a school nurse, and that the certificated employee has special training and experience necessary to teach that course or course of study or to provide those services, which others with more seniority do not have.
.B. For purposes of maintaining or achieving compliance with constitutional requirements related to equal protection of the laws. (Report this issue to the CTA Legal Department.)

D. Particular Kinds of Service

Any program, grade level, subject, or time allotment reduction is considered a PKS as long as state mandated minimums are maintained. For example, K-6 is a PKS, as is Music, Library, Psychology, Counseling, etc. However if other employees perform the duties after the RIF (e.g. school nurse) it may not be a PKS. In other words, a district may not use the elimination of a PKS in lieu of "for cause" termination. The work must be reduced or eliminated.
.A.The district must demonstrate how the need for the PKS reduction requires the number of employees it has designated for termination. If the reason supporting the PKS reduction requires the termination of 5 employees the district may not terminate 50 employees.
.B.A district may not non-reelect probationary certificated employees based on economic or financial reasons in lieu of a RIF.

E. Bumping

Depending on seniority and the credential[s] held, an employee may have a right to bump another employee with less seniority. Some districts notice the employees after constructing a bumping trail. Others give notice to every teacher within the scope of the PKS reduction and ask the Administrative Law Judge decide who is permitted to bump and who are the ultimate victims of the bumping scheme.
.A.At the hearing employees must be prepared to testify and present docurnentary evidence as to the reasons they should be retained.

F. Rights of the terminated permanent emplovees (Education Code #44956).

.1.Permanent employees have preferred eligibility for reappointment for a period of 39 months from the date of termination if the number of employees is increased or the discontinued service is reestablished, with no requirements that were not imposed upon other employees who continued in service. No probationary or other employee with less seniority may be employed to render a service which a permanent employee is certificated and competent to render. Reappointment is to the position they would have had if a RIF did not occur. For example, a part time employee does not have a right to be reappointed to a full time job.
.2. Prior to reappointment of an employee to teach a subject not previously taught, and for which she/he does not have a teaching credential or which is not within the employee's major area of post secondary study or the equivalent thereof, the governing board can require the employee to pass a subject matter competency test in the appropriate subject.
.3.The right to reappointment may be waived by the employee, without prejudice, for not more than one school year, unless the governing board extends this right. Such a waiver does not deprive the employee of his right to subsequent offers of reappointment.
.4.Exception: a school district may reappoint a certificated employee out of seniority order for either of the following reasons:
.A. The district demonstrates a specific need for personnel to teach a specific course or course of study, or to provide services authorized by a services credential with a specialization in either pupil personnel services or health for a school nurse, and the employee has special training and experience necessary to teach that course or course of study, or to provide those services, which others with more seniority do not have.
.B. For purposes of maintaining or achieving compliance with constitutional requirements related to equal protection of the laws. If a district uses this reason to override seniority bring this issue to the attention of the CTA legal department.
.5.A reappointed permanent employee does not suffer a break in service or loss of seniority due to the termination.
.6.Credit for prior service under any retirement system is not affected by such a termination, but the period of absence does not count as a part of the service required for retirement.
.7.During the 39-month period the district must offer substitute teaching service in order of seniority. If an employee serves as a substitute in any position requiring certification for any 21 days or more within a period of 60 school days in any school year, the compensation the employee receives for substitute service in that 60-day period, including the first 20 days of substitute service, shall be not less than the amount the employee would receive if he or she were being reappointed.
.8.During the 39-month period governing board of the district, if it is also the governing board of one or more other districts, may assign the employee to service, which she or he is certificated and competent to render.
.9.At any time prior to the completion of one year after return to service, the employee may continue or make up, with interest, contributions to any retirement system, for the period of his absence, but it shall not be obligatory on state or district to match such contributions.
.10.Should the employee become disabled or reach retirement age at any time before his return ts service, she or he shall receive, in any retirement system all benefits to which he would have been entitled had such event occurred at the time of his termination of service, plus any benefits he may have qualified for thereafter, as though still employed.

G. [No G in original CTA document]

H. Rights of terminated probationary employees. (Education Code #44957)

.1.Preferred eligibility for reappointment for the period of 24 months, subject to the prior rights to reappointment by all permanent en~ployee~ if the number of employees is increased or the discontinued service is reestablished, with no requirements that were not imposed upon other employees who continued in service.
.2.No probationary or temporary employee with less seniority shall be employed to render a service which the employee is certificated and competent to render. Reappointment is to the position they would have had if a RIF did not occur. For example a part time employee does not have a right to be reappointed to a full time job.
.3.Prior to reappointing any employee to teach a subject not previously taught, and for which the employee does not have a teaching credential or which is not within the employee's major area of postsecondary study or the equivalent thereof, the District can require the employee to pass a subject matter competency test in the appropriate subject.
.4.Exceptions: A school district may reappoint a probationary employee out of seniority order for either of the following reasons:
.A. The district demonstrates a specific need for personnel to teach a specific course or course of study, or to provide services authorized by a services credential with a specialization in either pupil personnel services or health for a school nurse, and that the employee has special training and experience necessary to teach that course or course of study, or to provide those services, which others with more seniority do not have.
.A. For purposes of maintaining or achieving compliance with constitutional requirements related to equal protection of the laws. If a district uses this reason to override seniority bring this issue to the attention of the CTA legal department.
.5.A rehired probationary employee does not suffer a break in service or seniority and the time period is treated as a leave of absence.
.6.Credit for prior service under any retirement system is not affected by the termination; provided, however, that the period of absence is not counted as a part of the service required for attaining permanent status.
.7.Subject to the rights of permanent employees, during the 24-month period the District must offer the employee an opportunity to serve as a substitute teacher.
.8.At any time prior to the completion of 1 year after return to service, a probationary employee may elect to continue or to reinstate membership and interest in any retirement system and to receive retirement benefits as if no absence from service had occurred. In the event of such election, the employee shall pay into the retirement system the amount of the employee's share of contribution and the district's share of contribution attributable to the period of absence and the amount of any contributions withdrawn, plus interest.
.9.If a probationary employee is reappointed within 39 months, the period of absence shall not count as a part of the service required as a condition precedent to the classification of such employee as a permanent employee of the district, but such absence shall not be construed as a break in the continuity of the service of such employee. (Education Code #44958).

I. Probationary certificated employees covered bv collectlve agreement containing provisions for layoff and reassignment. (Education Code #44959.5)

.1.Applicable only to districts in which the average daily attendance is 400,000 or more.
.2.The statutory RIF provisions are not applicable to probationary certificated employees who are covered by a collective agreement which contains provisions for the layoff and reassignment of such employees.
.3.The employees must be covered by the collective bargaining agreement before March 15. Subsequent coverage by a collective bargaining agreement is not retroactive.
.4.If layoff proceedings are commenced under a collective agreement such proceedings shall continue in accordance with the agreement, notwithstanding the subsequent termination of the agreement.

J. Seniority of Administrators moving to teaching positions.

.. .The seniority of certificated employees initially employed in administrative positions on.or after July 1, 1983, who transfer to a teaching position does not include the period of employment in the administrative position.
.. . Exception: School site administrators earn up to a maximum of 3 years seniority while serving as site administrators.

K. Individual Representation

.. .The rights in RIF proceedings belong to each individual teacher. From time to time representation of two or more teachers will present a conflict of interest as they have similar qualifications and claim the same position. In this case, advocating for one will be adverse to the other. When a conflict becomes apparent bring it to the attention of the attorney or representative presenting the case.