Your Right to be Recalled for Vacancies

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Right to recall

Your local union can tell you what the law, regulations and your contract may provide in terms of seniority rights - which may affect the order in which layoffs are made - and recall rights - the order in which workers may be recalled to future openings.

If you have a permanent or probationary appointment, you may be entitled to be recalled to a position similar to the one from which you've been laid off. For answers to specific questions about your status and your right to be recalled to a vacancy, contact your local union.

Sometimes layoff notices go out, and then districts or employers recall some or all of the laid-off workers. That's why it's important for you to know what your contract says about your seniority on the job and your rights if there is a recall.

Teachers and teaching assistants

New York State United Teachers has specific advice for members who are teachers and licensed teaching assistants. Teachers and teaching assistants who have been laid off and whose names are on a preferred eligibility list (PEL) should work with your local representative on the following steps:

  • When you receive notice that you have been laid off or that your position has been abolished, you should formally request, via certified mail, that the school district notify you of any vacancies you would be entitled to pursuant to Sec. 2510(3) or 3013(3) of Education Law.
  • If you change your address, you should immediately notify your local union and the school district, via certified mail, of your new address.
  • Annually, you should request the district, via certified mail, to notify you of any vacancies to which you would be entitled pursuant to Sec. 2510(3) or 3013(3) of Education Law.
  • If you are on a preferred eligible list and you learn of a vacancy to which you may be entitled, you should immediately contact your school district. If you believe your rights have been violated, you should immediately contact your local union.

School-related professionals

School-Related Professional job titles - with the exception of licensed and appointed teaching assistants - are covered under Civil Service Law under the category of "Classified Service." (Examples of SRP jobs include teacher aides, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and clerical staff.)

Classified Service includes four types of appointments: competitive, noncompetitive, exempt and labor class.

Only individuals holding competitive service positions are guaranteed rights in a layoff situation as defined under Civil Service Law.

If you are an SRP unit member in a position classified as noncompetitive, exempt or labor class, talk to your local union representative about contract provisions that may apply to you regarding seniority or rights to be recalled if you are laid off.

In some cases, noncompetitive and labor class positions held by an honorably discharged veteran or exempt volunteer firefighter may have some additional rights under law.

Higher education professionals

If you work at SUNY, CUNY, the community colleges or in the private sector, talk with your union representative about what your contract provides.