This is a brief summary of benefits coverage (effective September 1, 2106) available to members for employment-related legal services. Additionally, members may receive a free 30-minute consultation with an attorney for non-employment-related matters.
An individual member may be referred by an Area Representative to a Group Legal Services Program (GLSP) attorney for advice and consultation regarding covered employment-related matters. Members may receive the following 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
UTLA will provide representation by an attorney in administrative proceedings covered by the GLSP. Coverage amounts for attorney fees and costs are as set forth below:
Participation in the GLSP starts with a member contacting their UTLA Area Representative and requesting legal services for a matter covered by the program. This is a mandatory step for participation.
UTLA membership is a requirement for participation in the GLSP. To be eligible for legal services, an individual must be a UTLA 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. Additionally, membership must be maintained while legal assistance is provided. Agency fee payers, or non-members, are not eligible for legal services under the GLSP.
Additional program conditions include: a member must use the assigned GLSP attorney and may not be pursuing any legal claims against the union while receiving legal representation under the GLSP. Further, the GLSP does not cover disputes in which a member asserts a claim that is adverse to the union or its affiliates. Nor does the program provide funding for disputes between members.
UTLA does not direct or control the professional services provided by GLSP attorneys. The GLSP is administered by the California Teachers Association (CTA), and CTA determines the matters for which funding is provided and the amount of funding provided. CTA will pay attorneys’ fees for authorized matters, subject to the amounts outlined above and program guidelines.
The member is responsible for paying all attorneys’ fees and costs beyond the amount authorized for payment by CTA as the result of a UTLA referral. The GLSP attorney may require a professional services agreement with the member before providing services. In employment-related criminal cases, the fee to be charged by the GLSP attorney for representation beyond that authorized for CTA payment shall be agreed upon between the member and the attorney.
Contact: Law Offices of Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton, and Goldstein (213) 739-7000.
As a UTLA member you are entitled to the protection of insurance plans – Educators Employment Liability Program (EEL), or Occupational Liability Insurance – made available by UTLA’s national affiliates NEA and AFT. Coverage includes (subject to applicable exclusions and limitations) payment for losses/liabilities incurred while in the course of employment, reimbursement of attorney’s fees, and costs incurred in defense of a criminal proceeding (up to $35,000) in which the member is completely exonerated and reimbursement for certain school-related property damage. The CTA/NEA EEL program coverage details can be found at www.cta.org. The CFT/AFT Occupational Liability Plan coverage details can be found at www.aft.org. Additionally, there is insurance coverage of $1,000,000 for protection for damages and/or attorney fees arising out of the duties of employment through NEA and AFT.