PASSED: Equal Access to Unemployment Benefits for School Employees (Senate Bill [SB] 489)

For too long, classified school employees have been denied access to unemployment benefits when we are laid off, unless we can prove we have no “reasonable assurance” of returning to work after a school break. This creates an unequal, two-tiered system which blocks some of the lowest-paid public workers in the state from an essential financial safety net — available to every other type of public worker. But no longer.

Hundreds of OSEA members have spoken up about this issue for decades. Lawmakers were finally pushed to do the right thing and reform the unemployment system to provide equal access to classified. When SB 489 goes into effect in January 2024, all K-12 classified will be able to access benefits based on the same criteria as any other type of worker, giving thousands of members and our families peace of mind each summer.