Archived Issues

What to Do If You Get a RIF/Nonrenewal Notice

Tips for your next 10-minute meeting

Uncertainty surrounding education budgets often leads to nonrenewal or reduction in force (RIF) notices in the spring. These must be provided in writing no later than May 1.

If teachers in your building are notified that they will not be returning to their jobs next school year, here's how you can help.

First, let them know that you understand that the prospect of losing a teaching position they have worked so hard for can be crushing. Remind them that you and their union are here for them during this difficult time.

Second, assure them that many educators who are initially nonrenewed actually return to their classrooms in the fall, once budget issues are resolved.

Last but not least, at your next 10-minute meeting, share five important steps that every teacher should take as soon as he or she receives a nonrenewal notice:

  1. Contact your union. Before signing any paperwork, talk to your UniServ Rep or local president about whether you should resign (in lieu of being non-renewed), your eligibility for unemployment, getting references, and maintaining your union member benefits.
  2. Reference letters: Don't delay! Ask at least two administrators if they will provide you with a reference letter. Keep your union representative in the loop.
  3. Medical coverage: Consider taking care of medical appointments and concerns before your deductible resets.
  4. Personnel file: Now is a good time to contact HR and request a copy of your personnel file. If you have any disciplinary letters on file, discuss with your union representative whether you should submit a rebuttal/response letter before your employment ends, to clarify gaps or inaccuracies. This is your legal right.
  5. Association membership. CEA legal services, member discounts, and other key benefits can be maintained during your layoff through your continued CEA membership. For questions about your membership options, contact Cheryl Hampson at (860) 525-5641 or