Are per diem substitute teachers eligible for unemployment for the period between two academic years (summer vacation)?

No. Patricia Murphy, a per diem substitute working in Manhattan, worked 154 days during the 2008-2009 school year. On June 12, 2009 she received a letter from the DOE that she would be employed the following September. She applied for unemployment insurance benefits at the end of June and was denied. The Third Department affirmed.

The Court held, “A professional employed by an educational institution is precluded from receiving unemployment insurance benefits for the period between two successive academic years when he or she has received a reasonable assurance of continued employment.”

Observation: Under the sketchy terms of the recent agreement between the UFT and the DOE it appears that ATRs will replace many per diem substitute. If that is the case per diems should be able to receive unemployment insurance as no “reasonable assurance of continued employment” can be given by the DOE.

In the Matter of the Claim of  [*1]  PATRICIA J. MURPHY, Appellant. and COMMISSIONER OF LABOR, Respondent.511370, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, THIRD DEPARTMENT, 2011 NY Slip Op 5396; 2011 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5268, June 23, 2011, Decided, June 23, 2011, Entered


7 thoughts on “Are per diem substitute teachers eligible for unemployment for the period between two academic years (summer vacation)?

  1. Most substitute teachers are heroes. They are responsible for being on call when teachers are absent and have to endure some of the most horrific conditions in some of the schools they work in. Now the UFT has agreed to displace them with other “roming teachers” who also have no job.
    The DOL, the ALJ’s, and the Supreme Court judges should understand that per diems are not full-time employees and have no contract nor reasonable assurance for any positions whatsoever. Case in point, a substitute informed me that she was informed another sub who was “scheduled” to fill a long term vacancy in September, After the UFT voted and agreed to prioritize ATRs in all long term assignments she was informed on June 28th that she would not be permitted to fulfill the assignment because as the administrator explined to her, “It’s out of my hands”.
    Well, apparently the whole education system is “in the hands” of people who have no idea what they are doing and how their decisions affect the lives of the “working class”.
    Now 22 more schools will be closing creating more “roaming teachers” and displacing more substitutes who need to work. We need people in charge who really care about us.

  2. Just got my license renewed, and it looks like there will be no work at all for per diem subs with the nycdoe in the fall of 2011. The license says we should look for other work to supplement our income. Also they’re implying we shouldn’t even try to get employment benefits while school is in session if we’re not working. What are we supposed to do? Where are the jobs we could get? On top of that it takes so long to get a hearing. I’m still waiting to get one for the 2010-11 school year. I don’t know how, but somehow we need to organize and have someone represent us.

    • You’re absolutely right Pam. Last year i went to a hearing and pointed out the statement on the license about looking for other employment. It just contradicts what they send in june about working at least 90 percent in the current year compared to last year. The judge ruled against me, it was like she didnt even consider my point. It depends on the judge cause my friend won the case with a much more liberal judge. And I am all for organizing someone to represent us..

      • Judge ruled in my favor recently and I was able to receive unemployment. However the DOE has appealed the decision. I will attend and defend myself thoroughly. Something I learned recently is that your unemployment file remains open for one year. Recently I spoke to an unemployment official and they explained that I should continue to file weekly so that during the breaks…I can get some money.

  3. I’m a per diem sub in a district which I might get 2 calls a year and If I look online I can get maybe 5-10 days for some of the months of the year if I’m lucky. Heading into this new school year I’m wondering If we can apply for unemployment since we make so little. Or do you have to be fired/let go of a job in which it was not your fault? I worked for 3 semesters at a community college each semester with a contract on a needs basis, anyway I’m out of work this semester and doubt I’ll get back in Anyway, can per diem subs file or unemployment?

  4. Its almost that time of the year again. Substitute teacher received a Reasonable Assurance letter which states that the anticipate that we will have work during the following school year. Anticipate does not mean guarantee. I will apply regardless…

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