NOTE: This is a summary of provisions for employment-related legal services for CTA members. Full explanation of coverage and participation procedures is available from staff representatives and the CTA Legal Department.
A. Advice and Consultation
An individual member may be referred by a staff representative to an attorney for advice and consultation regarding covered employment-related matters. CTA will pay for the specified number of hours of legal advice for designated matters:
– General Employment-Related Civil Disputes – One Hour
– Temporary Teacher Dismissal – Two Hours
– Probationary Non-reelection – Three Hours
– Child Abuse or Child Abuse Reporting – Three Hours
B. Legal Representation
CTA will provide representation by an attorney in covered administrative and court proceedings as set forth below. CTA will pay the specified amounts for attorney fees and costs:
(1) Permanent Teacher For-Cause Dismissal/Suspension
– Commission on Professional Competence Hearing: Maximum of $20,000. Appeal to superior court if CPC decides that the member shall not be dismissed: Maximum of $7,000.
(2) RIF Dismissals (Layoff)
– CTA will pay first $5,000 for members facing layoffs within a chapter.
– CTA and Chapter will each pay 50% of amount over $5,000.
(3) Credential Review
– Informal Review: Maximum of $4,000.
(4) Employment-Related Criminal Matters
– Maximum of $5,000 for eligible cases.
(5) STRS Disability Appeal
– Maximum of $5,000.
C. Discretionary Funding
In precedential or especially significant cases not covered above, the chief counsel may authorize discretionary funding and representation. The member is responsible for paying all fees and costs not specifically authorized.
D. Participation Requirements
CTA membership is a requirement for individual participation in the GLS program. To be eligible for legal services an individual must be a CTA member at the time the incident giving rise to the need for legal assistance occurred and at the time the request for legal services is made. In addition, membership must be maintained while assistance is provided. Agency fee payers, or non-members, are not eligible for legal services under the GLS program.
Legal services will be provided either by a CTA staff attorney or by a CTA retained attorney assigned by the chief counsel. CTA does not direct or control the professional services provided by GLS attorneys to individuals, but it does determine the matters for which funding will be provided and the amount of such funding.
The GLS attorney may require a written professional services agreement with the member before providing services. There are different types of written professional services agreements; one example would be a retainer agreement. If such agreement is required, entering into such an agreement is a condition of CTA’s obligation to pay for legal services pursuant to these guidelines.
CTA will pay attorney fees for authorized matters subject to limits on the amount to be paid. The member is responsible for paying all attorney fees and costs beyond the amount authorized for payment by CTA. In employment-related civil cases, the hourly rate to be charged by the GLS attorney shall not exceed the agreed GLS hourly rate. In employment-related criminal cases, the fee to be charged by the GLS attorney for representation beyond that authorized for CTA payment shall be agreed upon between the member and the attorney.
A member shall reimburse CTA for any amounts recovered by award, settlement or insurance in excess of actual financial loss, or in any event, which have been specifically designated as attorney fees and costs.