There are few things more alarming and stressful than losing your job. The prospect seems overwhelming.
Current economic conditions are leading school districts and higher education institutions to RIF more school personnel this year than in any in recent memory. The Illinois State Board of Education estimates there will be at least 13,000 layoffs in Illinois schools this year and that number could continue to grow.
If you’ve been RIF’d, or you expect to be, you are not alone.
The Illinois Education Association has developed a series of brochures to try to help guide you through this most difficult time. Included are explanations of the RIF notice, what you’re entitled to through seniority, bumping rights, recall rights, payment of earned compensation, unemployment, health insurance, etc.
- PreK-12 RIF information
- ESP RIF information
- Higher education RIF information
- IEA regional office – Map and contact information for all IEA regional offices where you can get additional information and services.
- Illinois Department of Employment Security – You have the right to receive unemployment compensation if you meet the state’s criteria. You can apply for unemployment through IDES, a process that can be completed online.
- COBRA is a program you may be able to qualify for that allows you to continue health insurance coverage after you lose your job.
Resources and advice
- What to do before a layoff occurs
- Workplace Survivor Syndrome
- Time magazine – article with helpful information on how to react and what to do next.
- Tip sheet – filled with practical advice about getting what you’re owed by your employer, getting your resume in order, etc.
- Financial advice – including COBRA insurance, a strong caution against dipping into retirement savings or relying on credit cards to get you through.
Job search sites
- Job Links – In an effort to assist laid-off colleagues in their job search, the IEA has created links to education jobs throughout Illinois.
- Illinois Education Job Bank – Here you can see a listing of vacant teaching, school service personnel and administrative positions throughout Illinois.
- K12 Jobspot – Job seekers can search a broad database of employment opportunities thoroughly and efficiently, based on geography, school district, and type of position.
- Teachers-Teachers.com, schoolspring.com and greatteacher.net – Are all spots where you can find education-related jobs nationwide.
- TIE Online – Is the place to go if you’re interested in broadening your search to international teaching positions.
Sample letters from members of Southwestern School District
NEA Member Benefits assistance
In recognition that RIFs similar to those that have happened in Illinois have happened across the country, NEA Member Benefits also has put together several resources on it’s special Member Assistance page on NEAMB.com. The page also includes a downloadable brochure with summary information about assistance options. You will find job search services, financial counseling, mortgage assistance programs, credit card and insurance payment options, retirement savings waivers and other information. In addition, NEA MB will continue to update the page as it finds more useful information.