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Charatan v. Board of Review

Decided: March 27, 1985.

HARRIET CHARATAN, ET AL., APPELLANTS,
v.
BOARD OF REVIEW, ETC. AND WOODBRIDGE BOARD OF EDUCATION, RESPONDENTS



On appeal from a Final Decision of the Board of Review, Department of Labor.

Matthews, Furman and Havey. The opinion of the court was delivered by Matthews, P.J.A.D.

Matthews

Claimants, part-time supplemental instructors for the Woodbridge Board of Education during the 1982-83 academic year who had a one-year oral guarantee of employment, appeal from a final determination of the Board of Review which held them ineligible for unemployment benefits from June 20, 1983 through the end of the period between academic years. Claimants contend that the Board's finding that they had a reasonable assurance of employment in an instructional capacity during the 1983-84 academic year because the Woodbridge Board of Education had offered to place their names on a substitute teacher's roster was based on insufficient credible evidence in the record.

Claimants were employed by the Woodbridge Township Board of Education as supplemental teachers during the 1982-83 academic year. Each began in September 1982 and continued on an uninterrupted basis until June 1983. Although claimants did not have written contracts, they were appointed to their positions in August 1982 by means of a telephone call and they received a guarantee from the Board at that time that they would continue in the positions for the entire academic year.

As supplemental instructors, claimants taught children with learning disabilities in groups of three children or less for a maximum of 20 hours per week. Some of them taught five days per week for four hours a day whereas others taught four

days per week for five hours a day. Claimants earned $11.50 an hour and were eligible to acquire tenure as teaching staff members. In fact, the majority of claimants were tenured employees of the Woodbridge Board of Education.

To be appointed as a supplemental instructor, a claimant was required to have a bachelor's degree and be state certified. Claimants were reimbursed for traveling expenses if required to go from one school to another and also received paid sick days. In addition, claimants were covered by the collective bargaining agreement between the Board and the Woodbridge Federation of Teachers. Claimants were not replaced by substitute teachers when absent from work.

By letter dated April 27, 1983, claimants were notified by the secretary of the Woodbridge Township Board of Education that the Board had decided not to rehire them as supplementary teachers for the 1983-84 school year. Subsequently, by certified letter dated June 24, 1983, the Board's deputy director of special services offered claimants the opportunity of having their names placed on the district's 1983-84 roster of substitute teachers.

According to the Board's Deputy Director of Special Services, the Woodbridge Township School District always had a need for substitute teachers. The Board was forced to advertise for substitute teachers and telephoned colleges soliciting the names of recent graduates who might be interested in substitute teaching. In fact, there were times when not enough substitutes were available and the Board was required to use "regular" teachers to cover classes.

Substitute teachers are not required to be state certified nor is it necessary for them to be college graduates. Sixty college credits suffice. Substitute teachers are primarily hired on a per diem, on-call basis. There are times, however, when substitutes are hired for long-term assignments. Substitutes earn $36 per day. After working for a period of 15 consecutive days, the salary is increased to $40 per day retroactive to the

first day of the assignment. Substitutes are not entitled to sick leave benefits or ...


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