Know Your Rights

As an employee who is represented by United Educators of San Francisco, you have rights that you would not otherwise have. Below we will feature many of the rights from which you benefit because you’re represented by UESF. We will add to this page as needed and requested. Please send your suggestions and questions to our webmaster.

Workers’ Comp: Protect rights to use your own doctor

You have the right to use your own doctor immediately if you are injured on the job AND if you have filed a request with Benefits and Deduction. People who do not have such a form on record, must use the Workers Compensation medical facilities at San Francisco General, etc. for at least the first thirty days of treatment.

Your letter to the SFUSD should state simply that you wish your doctor (name the person or health plan) to be your primary care provider in the event of a work-related injury. Deliver that letter to the Benefits and Deductions office of the SFUSD. Keep a date stamped copy for your records.

Contract Concern

Sick Leave: Can your administrator put restrictions on your use of sick days or personal business days? Simply, NOT!

We do not condone sick leave abuse, but no one can require a note from your doctor or your mother for a single day’s absence. If your administrator makes such a demand, contact your Building Rep or the union office immediately.

Five period workday: Full-time secondary teachers teach five periods and get one paid preparation period. Some teachers, particularly those at small high schools and those who teach special education day classes, have typically worked one of the five periods as counselors. If you teach in this situation, you should see your name as the “counselor” on the attendance sheets. If you are the counselor of record, your schedule should include a period for counselling.

Employees’ Rights to Representation in a Meeting: Weingarten

If you have reason to believe that a meeting with your administrator will result in discipline, you have the right to have a union representative at that meeting. You must request to have your representative present because your administrator doesn’t have to inform you of that right.

If your administrator insists you meet without a representative, you must attend that meeting, but do not have to answer any questions. You cannot legally be disciplined for refusing to answer questions when you requested a union representative but were not allowed one. In such an instance, it is best to have put your request in writing.

This right to have a union representative present in such meetings was established by the Supreme Court in the Weingarten case.

Public Employees’ Rights to Due Process: Skelly

Public employees have due process protections on the job, as determined by the California Supreme Court. The result of rulings in the Skelly case, these are referred to as your Skelly rights.

Public employees are entitled to a “pre-disciplinary hearing.” An employee must be given a written notice of proposed disciplinary action. The notice must include:

  • a statement of the nature of the proposed discipline
  • the effective date of the proposed discipline
  • the reasons for the discipline
  • the specific policy or rule violated
  • a statement about the right to respond orally or in writing.

The purpose of the Skelly rule is to allow employees an opportunity to respond to the charges and to request a reduction or elimination of the discipline. It also allows for an opportunity to check out the evidence that management has against the employee.

Seven Tests of Just Cause

Stewards’ notes from University of Missouri-Columbia Labor Education Program will help determine if management has met the seven tests of just cause for disciplining employees.

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