Login  | 
Orange Field Office

When Can Volunteers Help Perform the Duties of Classified Employees Who Have Been Laid Off?


The following is an upcoming article from School Services to their clients on the use of volunteers.  Given the pressure from all the budget cuts, this may become more prevalent locally. Schools Services provide a general rule that: “[districts] can continue to have parent volunteers helping at your schools so long as they are supplemental and not performing the duties of classified employees whose positions have been eliminated. As a general rule, volunteers can continue to do the kinds of things they were doing before the layoff.”
                 
Ask SSC . . . When Can Volunteers Help Perform the Duties of Classified Employees Who Have Been Laid Off?

Q: Our district has reduced classified service significantly over the past three years, including part-time office clerks at school sites. Parent volunteers have stepped up by helping to answer phones and assist with other clerical duties. Our classified union says we cannot have volunteers doing this work, since we eliminated the clerk positions. How long do we have to wait after eliminating positions before we can have volunteers help with these types of jobs?

   
A: Education Code Section (E.C.) 35021 prohibits the use of "volunteer aides" in lieu of reemployment of laid-off classified employees. Specifically, E.C. 35021 provides that "(b) No district may abolish any of its classified positions and utilize volunteer aides, as authorized herein, in lieu of classified employees who are laid off as a result of the abolition of a position. A district shall not refuse to employ a person in a vacant classified position and use volunteer aides in lieu of filling the classified position. (c) It is the intent of the Legislature to permit school districts to use volunteer aides to enhance its educational program but not to permit displacement of classified employees nor to allow districts to utilize volunteers in lieu of normal employee requirements."

The statute does not provide for any "statute of limitations," if you will, on the elimination of a classified position and the authority to disregard this section. While this provision of the Education Code significantly limits the ability of schools to conduct normal business during a time when adequate clerical support at our schools is a luxury practically no one can afford, we believe the intent of the Legislature is very clear. In the short term, public schools will continue to be hard hit by the state's economic woes and while the Governor's Budget proposes to keep funding for schools flat, flat funding will likely still require cuts. The cost of health and welfare increases, step and column costs, and the loss of one-time federal dollars will still take a toll on the local agency budget in 2011-12. Layoffs are a continuing reality and the bleeding you are hoping to stop with the volunteer "Band-Aid" just isn't an option under California law.

Still, volunteers should be welcomed and encouraged to support their local schools and you should not shy away from the use of volunteers. You can continue to have parent volunteers helping at your schools so long as they are supplemental and not performing the duties of classified employees whose positions have been eliminated. As a general rule, volunteers can continue to do the kinds of things they were doing before the layoff.

If you suspect the District is using volunteers it is imperative you contact your Labor Relations Representative right away so it can be investigated. The job you save may very well be your own.

Contact Information

ORANGE Field Office
326 W KATELLA AVE #E, ORANGE 92867
Main#: (714) 532-3766
Toll-free: (800) 564-9979
Fax:(714) 771-8412
Use Extensions below with Main or Toll-free #


FIELD DIRECTOR
TIARA COX
Ext: 7120
Direct: (714) 532-7120
tcox@csea.com

SR LABOR REL REP
DANIEL TORRES
Ext: 7137
Direct: (714) 532-7137
dtorres@csea.com

ADMINISTRATIVE SPECIALIST
YVONNE OLMOS
Ext: 7122
Direct: (714) 532-7122
yvonneolmos81@gmail.com

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
KIMBERLY SLANE
Ext: 7132
Direct: (714) 532-7132
kslane@csea.com


Labor Representatives

ROBERT DEWITZ
Ext: 7128
Direct: (714) 532-7128    
rdewitz@csea.com

ISABELLE FRANZ
Ext: 7138
Direct: (714) 532-7138    
ifranz@csea.com

JASON GEANAKOPOULOS
Ext: 7121
Direct: (714) 532-7121    
jgeanakopoulos@csea.com

AMY GONZALES
Ext: 7133
Direct: (714) 532-7133    
agonzales@csea.com

MICHAEL LEON
Ext: 7124
Direct: (714) 532-7124    
mleon@csea.com

CECILIA LOPEZ
Ext: 7134
Direct: (714) 532-7134    
clopez@csea.com

TIFFANY LOPEZ
Ext: 7135
Direct: (714) 532-7135    
tlopez@csea.com

KARLI NEVAREZ
Ext: 7125
Direct: (714) 532-7125    
knevarez@csea.com

MATTHEW PHUTISATAYAKUL
Ext: 7129
Direct: (714) 532-7129    
mphutisatayakul@csea.com

ANTHONY SOLIS
Ext: 7126
Direct: (714) 532-7126    
asolis@csea.com

ERICA WILLIAMS
Ext: 7123
Direct: (714) 532-7123    
ewilliams@csea.com