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Resolutions & Amendments

30th International Convention - Las Vegas, NV (1992)

Unemployment Compensation for Non-instructional School Employees

Resolution No. 11
30th International Convention
June 15-19, 1992
Las Vegas, NV


Included in the Social Security Act Amendments of 1983 was a provision requiring states to deny unemployment insurance benefits between academic years to non-instructional school employees if they have "reasonable assurance" of returning to work in the next academic year; and


Prior to this amendment, states had the option of providing unemployment compensation to such workers and 17 states chose to do so; and


In 1991 federal legislation was passed restoring the state option to provide unemployment benefits for non-instructional school employees between academic years; and


Non-instructional school employees are among the lowest paid workers in the nation. According to 1991 data on some of these occupations collected by the Educational Research Service Inc., the average hourly wage for custodians in this country is $9.05, for cafeteria workers it is $7.19, and for bus drivers it is $9.52. These wages are earned during the nine-month school period and are not intended to cover the non-work period; and


Denial of unemployment benefits creates a significant financial hardship for these employees who are temporarily out of work through no fault of their own; and


It is unconscionable to deny unemployment compensation to non-instructional school employees between academic years while other groups of employees performing similar work are eligible for these benefits simply because they are not employed directly by an educational institution. Furthermore, other individuals performing work of a seasonal nature are not denied unemployment benefits during extended periods of inactivity.


That AFSCME councils and locals actively seek state legislation authorizing unemployment compensation eligibility for non-instructional school employees between academic years.


Michael D. Murphy, President
Robert W Lyons, Executive Director
AFSCME Council 40