Receive a Reduction in Force Notice? Call NSEA

Some of Nebraska teachers may receive Reduction in Force (RIF) notices on or before April 15 this year. These notices inform a teacher that his or her contract may not be renewed for the coming year.

However, thanks to specific state legislation proposed by NSEA years ago, there is a procedure that allows a teacher to ensure that the Reduction in Force process is followed correctly and fairly.

In some instances, the process can result either in saving the teacher’s job or in creating other options for the teacher.

NSEA Director of Advocacy Trish Guinan says that upon receiving a RIF notice, teachers should contact NSEA.

There’s also a second ‘must’ for teachers who want to preserve their rights when facing a RIF: always request a hearing. Doing so gives NSEA time to help the teacher sort out options. But the hearing must be requested within seven days of receiving the RIF notice (five days for community college faculty).

“The only way to preserve the rights of the teacher affected is to request a hearing. Doing so gives us time to sort out the issues and help the member make the best possible decision on how to proceed,” Guinan said.

As soon as a teacher receives an RIF notice, the teacher should scan and email a copy of the notice to their organizational specialist. Find your specialist at www.nsea.org/field-staff-units.

Once a copy of the RIF notice is received at NSEA headquarters, the NSEA staff will provide a written request for a hearing to the affected member.

Guinan also offered this advice: “Teachers receiving settlement or buyout offers in lieu of a hearing should contact the NSEA before agreeing to anything.”

If you have questions concerning the RIF process, contact your organizational specialist. NSEA headquarters can be reached toll-free at 1-800-742-0047.