Schools unlikely to reopen this academic year; public schools funded through closures
The district is scheduled to give an update on Monday about school closures, but we need to start working under the assumption that school is not going to resume this academic year. That’s difficult to contemplate, and it could change, but that's what we're looking at as of now. Newsom has pledged to continue to fund schools at normal levels throughout the closure. Educators will continue to be paid and your work will be credited toward your CalSTRS retirement. As we said yesterday, this crisis is showing the absolute importance of having a union and a strong public sector. What we’ve been able to maintain as UTLA and LAUSD should make us all commit, post-virus, to fighting even harder for mass unionization and mass expansion of the public sector and public sector jobs.
Breakthrough in Substitute Pay
What is the new agreement with LAUSD on pay for substitute teachers?
Day to day substitutes will be compensated during the district closure based on the current year's work pattern. All subs will be compensated for daily hours ranging from 3 to 6 hours per day, depending on how much you have worked. This provision has a floor — meaning that even if you did not work much this school year for whatever reason (for example, health issues), you will be eligible for the 3 hours of daily pay for each day of closure. Click here for LAUSD memo.
Under this new agreement, will I still get paid for jobs scheduled in SmartFind?
You will get paid the higher amount—either the days you were scheduled to work or for the 3 to 6 hours per day outlined above—whichever is greater.
LAUSD has agreed to enact new pay provisions for a guaranteed basic income. The key elements:
- Day to day substitutes will be compensated during the district closure based on the current year's work pattern. All subs will be compensated for daily hours ranging from 3 to 6 hours per day, depending on how much you have worked. This provision has a floor—meaning that even if you did not work much this school year for whatever reason (health issues, etc.), you will be eligible for the 3 hours of daily pay for each day of closure.
- Substitutes who were scheduled to work or had assignments in SmartFind will be compensated for the days you were scheduled to work or for the 3 to 6 hours per day outlined above—whichever is greater.
- LAUSD also put into writing an agreement we already reached: substitutes on long-term assignments who are currently earning the extended rate will continue to receive the extended rate.
Will substitutes also be paid as if they are working regularly, like fellow UTLA members during the school closures?
We are having productive and urgent conversations about this topic so that all substitutes can be supported financially. We are pressing for a guaranteed basic income for all substitute teachers — an unprecedented idea but one we think we have a shot at. Watch tonight's Facebook Live for more details.
What if I am not receiving correct pay?
We have heard from some substitutes that LAUSD is not paying the correct rate for long-term assignments and is not honoring assignments that were in SmartFind before the school closures. LAUSD payroll has acknowledged the errors and will adjust pay accordingly. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.
Will Closure pay count toward health benefits
LAUSD has agreed to count substitutes' closure pay toward qualifying for heath benefits —another breakthrough in supporting our substitute colleagues. A new district Q&A also spells out its commitment to honor long-term assignments and jobs booked on SmartFind Express and covers how substitutes can determine how much you will be paid. Substitutes will receive paychecks on April 3 as scheduled, which will include pay for hours worked between March 1 and March 13 plus the projected hours based on the closure agreement. Click here for the district Q&A.
The agreement we reached with LAUSD to provide substitute educators with a guaranteed basic income is an unprecedented agreement — and one we hope breaks ground for other LAUSD employees, such as cafeteria workers and teaching assistants, and workers in both the public and private sector.
How does the closure impact eligibility for healthcare?
UTLA is advocating that the district reduce the 100-day threshold to qualify for healthcare by the same number of days in which our schools are closed.
Unemployment Insurance Benefits
Am I eligible for unemployment insurance benefits?
Our legal team is working on the best strategy to push for unemployment benefits for substitutes, and we are calling on the district to immediately write a letter to the EDD in support of substitutes receiving immediate unemployment benefits.
Extended, Day-to-Day Assignments
If I am working in an extended, day-to-day assignment, will the school closures constitute a break in that assignment?
No, the closures do not constitute a break in the extended assignment, and the district has committed to honoring the continuation of extended day-to-day assignments for the purpose of pay.
Continuity Rate Increase
Will the school closures impact qualifying for the continuity rate increase?
UTLA is asking LAUSD to lower the threshold of 130 days by the number of days in which our schools are closed.
LAUSD Food Centers
Will LAUSD food centers will stay open under “shelter at home” protocols
Volunteers handed out more than 90,000 meals on Day 2 of the LAUSD food centers, a huge jump over the previous day and a sign of how deep the need is. LAUSD’s student food centers will stay open under the new “shelter at home” protocols because they provide an essential service to support families in need and to keep people healthy to stave off the virus. The large number of people accessing this service means that it is critically important that all safety measures be followed rigorously at all 60 locations. We've been informed that all staff now have access to masks. The American Red Cross Los Angeles Region in partnership with the LA County Office of Emergency Management will support these student food centers. UTLA will continue to monitor the implementation of safety protocols to protect both the volunteers and the families accessing the services.