Legal Services

This is a brief summary of benefits coverage available to UESF members for certain employment-related matters. Members may be eligible for a free 1-hour consultation with an attorney for non-employment related matters. The full explanation of coverage, limitations, and participation procedures are contained in the group legal services program guidelines. This summary does not supersede the program guidelines.

A.    Advice and Consultation

An individual member may be referred by Staff Representatives to an attorney for one-hour advice and consultation for covered employment-related matters. However, a Group Legal Services (GLS) attorney for advice and consultation regarding covered employment-related matters.  Members may receive the following number of hours of legal advice for designated matters:

The member is responsible for payment of additional attorney’s fees and costs unless:

1. additional discretionary funding is authorized

2. any ensuing litigation is covered under the representation provisions of the GLS program

3. the matter is eligible for reimbursement under the educator’s employment liability insurance policy

B.    Legal Advice

Probationary or temporary teachers facing end-of-year dismissal, termination, or non-renewal will be referred to an attorney for legal advice of the termination. For such review, CTA will pay as follows:

Probationary teacher: three (3) hours of legal advice

Temporary teacher:     two (2) hours of legal advice

C. Representation

Representation by an attorney is provided in administrative and court proceedings as set forth below. Coverage amounts are maximums and include both fees and costs.

1.    Permanent Teacher For-Cause Dismissal/Suspension
– Commission on Professional Competence:                                                                                                                                               – Maximum of $20,000

2.   RIF Dismissals                                                                                                                                                                                                     – Maximum of $5,000                                                                                                                                                                   – CTA and Chapter will each pay 50% of amount over $5,000

3.   Credential Review
– Informal Review: Maximum of $4,000
– Administrative Hearing: Maximum of $6,000

4.   Employment-Related Criminal Matters
– Maximum of $5,000 for eligible cases

5.    STRS Disability Appeal
– Maximum of $6,000

D.    Precedential and Significant Cases 

In precedential or especially significant cases not covered above, the CTA chief counsel may authorize discretionary funding and representation. In such cases, the member is responsible for all fees and costs which exceed the amount authorized for CTA payment.

E.    Participation Requirements

  1. Contact your Staff Representative and tell them the reasons you are requesting a legal referral.
  2. You must be a UESF member to access GLS legal services and must maintain membership while legal assistance is provided. Agency fee payers, or non-members, are not eligible for legal services under the GLS.

The GLS is administered by the California Teachers Association (CTA), and CTA determines the matters for which funding is provided and the amount of funding provided. CTA will pay attorneys’ fees for authorized matters, subject to the amounts outlined above and program guidelines. While the member is responsible for paying all attorneys’ fees and costs beyond the amount authorized for payment by CTA as the result of a UESF referral, the attorney may require a professional services agreement with the member before providing services. In employment-related criminal cases, the fee to be charged by the GLS attorney for representation beyond that authorized for CTA payment shall be agreed upon between the member and the attorney.

Other Member Legal Services

AFFILIATE INSURANCE COVERAGE

California Teachers Association/National Education Association offer the Educators Employment Liability Program (EELP), a professional liability insurance program which is a membership benefit. The program is totally dues-funded; members pay no separate fee. It is designed to protect association members — whether classroom teachers or support professionals — from personal financial liability for most incidents arising out of their educational employment activities or duties.