If what you earn is less than what you get from unemployment, then they send you the difference. So, if you can get $450 a week from unemployment, but you get a part time job and you earn, let's say, $200, then you'll get $250 for that week from unemployment.
SOOOOOO frustrated. Does anyone have any experience with this?
I received my credential in June of 2008 and began looking for teaching positions right away. Knowing how bad the market was, I held out hope that there would be late openings in the fall, but alas, twas not to be.
I needed to find work to generate income and to avoid having a gap in my work history, so I started applying for jobs outside of teaching too. I had worked for a local district for years prior to taking time away to get my credential, so I looked there. They weren't hiring substitutes, as I had hoped, but I did land a part-time Instructional Aide III position. I interviewed in December 2008, just before the holidays and began the job in the middle of January 2009. I let my administrators and colleagues know that I would be continuing my search for teaching positions.
Two months later--in March--I found an opening for a long-term substitute at the high school in my district. I interviewed for the position and was hired on the spot. I took a leave from my aide position and headed over to the high school where I worked from late March through the end of the school year in June.
On the advice of the human resources staff, I had taken a leave from my part-time aide position (which was already scheduled to be cut from the budget when I left but was subsequently restored...) so, as I had not found another teaching position over the summer, I returned to the part-time position in the fall of '09.
Once again, two months later--this time at the end of October--a new teaching opportunity turned up. This time they called me! I was offered a temporary contract for the rest of the year. I would be replacing a teacher who took a leave on very short notice in order to pursue a new work opportunity. There was a strong possibility that she would not be returning, so there was a possibility that the job could become permanent. Once again, I took a leave from my part time job. This time, however, I signed a teaching contract, got my membership in the union, had full benefits at a very reasonable rate (much less expensive than what I paid as a part-time aide!), and I began collecting my first REAL teacher salary checks. I was, for the first time, a full-fledged teacher! (This was a very different adventure than being a long term sub!) I began work in November of 2009.
In April of 2010, my principal hand-delivered a letter to me from the District letting me know that the position was not going to be available for the fall (the teacher would be returning from her leave) and that my contract was to end, as scheduled, on June 24th 2010. I was a bit disappointed.
The first week of July, I filed to collect unemployment to help see me through the next phase of hunting for a teaching position. I received an award letter granting me benefits, allowing me to breathe a HUGE sigh of relief...
...and then I got punched in the stomach. Before I received my first check, I got a letter from EDD telling me I would have to participate in a determination phone interview. I didn't know what the problem was, so I didn't know what to prepare for. I thought maybe they had received my claim form late...Wrong!
The classified administrator at the district had written a letter to the EDD telling them that I wasn't unemployed, that I had reasonable assurance of returning to work as a part time aide, and that I had just stepped away from the position in order to work as a long-term substitute for the district.
Here is where it gets really, really frustrating. I was a contracted teacher, not a long-term substitute. And though I took leave from the part time classified position, the teaching position was a totally different job. If I had taken leave from a part-time job with another company, this wouldn't have been an issue. And even so, part-time workers are supposed to be eligible for unemployment anyway! To boot, I had never gotten a reasonable assurance letter--just the letter about being laid off from the teaching position.
The EDD decided in the district's favor.
In doing research online, I found the California EDDs "Claims Management Handbook for School Employers". Right there in the pages of that book it says that ***temporary teachers are considered laid off if their contract ends and they are not given reasonable assurance of returning to the SAME or SIMILAR work...and if laid off, they are entitled to UI benefits. Further it says that a reduction in pay of 20% or more, even if returned to work, entitles that worker to UI benefits. Beyond THAT--it gives the example of an employee moving from the position of teacher to teacher's aide as one of the situations that would fit.***
I kept thinking...am I wrong here? I don't think I am. I am so confused as to how the district and the EDD could have come to this conclusion.
I am appealing, but I am at the back of a long-line. In the meantime, my world is falling apart. I am a single mom. My take home pay is $500 after deductions, and I can't pay any of my bills, can't take care of my animals--one has cancer in his eye, and I can't do anything for him, my daughter's horse is about to be taken away and sold because I haven't paid board, can't pay my car registration, my landline phone has already been shut off for non-payment, I have now had a garnishment attached to my wages for a credit card bill I have been unable to pay...and I don't even know if I will win in the appeal process or not. And I have not been able to find full-time employment anywhere.
Any insights from anyone? I wasn't trying to claim unemployment so I could have a leisurely summer. I wanted unemployment to see me through searching for another teaching position. I don't know too many people who would say that dropping from a full time salaried position down to a part time hourly wage position--a 600% cut in income--constitutes reasonable assurance of returning to "such work as had been done in the previous term". I honestly feel like a millstone has been placed on my body and I am just being crushed to death. Why are they doing this to me? I have served this district in a variety of capacities for going on 12 years and have never been so much as written up for anything.