Legislation has been introduced that could require Occupational Therapists (OT) and Physical Therapists (PT) to obtain a service credential in order to do these jobs in school settings.
AB 2386 (Rubio) could result in all current OTs and PTs losing their jobs, or being required to spend time and money getting a service credential. The bill's sponsors and author have refused to make the credential optional or to grandfather (exempt) current OTs and PTs. Many classified employees who work in this field are very concerned about this bill and its impact on them.
Other harmful effects of this legislation on classified employees who work in OT or PT include:
CSEA is committed to protecting the jobs, rights, pay and benefits of classified employees. Please help us stop this harmful legislation!
Some might like the idea of a credential. Others do not. CSEA has adopted the position that the credential should be optional, and that no OT or PT should lose their job if they don’t get a credential.
Tell them you oppose AB 2386 unless it is amended to make the OT/PT credential optional and to grandfather in existing school-based OTs and PTs. Please let them know if you are an OT or a PT, and where you work.
My name is ________________________ and I am a/n (Occupational Therapist or Physical Therapist) in the (school district).
I am writing this letter in opposition to AB 2386 (Rubio) that requires the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) to convene a workgroup to develop a mandatory service credential for Occupational Therapists (OTs) and Physical Therapists (PTs) employed by school districts.
Not all OTs and PTs want a service credential and we should not be forced to obtain one to be employed in our public schools. Providing an optional credential is the only fair way to fully address the concerns of OTs and PTs working in our schools, so nobody is hurt.
OTs and PTs are already qualified to work in schools and we have been successfully working, advocating and collaborating with students, peers, staff, educators, family members, principals and superintendents for decades. If a mandatory credential is required, OTs and PTs cannot be employed in schools, to do the same job we are doing now, without a credential. We will suddenly be unqualified to do the jobs we have done for decades. This is unfair.
A mandatory credential would not apply to private companies that contract with schools for OT and PT services. OTs and PTs do not want a double standard where OTs and PTs employed by schools are required to meet stricter standards than those hired by contractors to serve schools. If OTs and PTs are not qualified to work in schools without a credential, contract employees shouldn’t be either. Allowing them to do so undermines the need for the bill.
Some OTs still have Bachelor’s Degrees and Master’s Degrees and fear they will receive a pay cut if they are required to become credentialed staff. They would be reclassified, put on different steps on the salary scale, have to change unions and new OTs and PTs would be in the STRS retirement system and not CalPERS. Requiring OTs and PTs to obtain a credential will also require additional education costs and classes.
I urge you to oppose AB 2386 unless it is amended to allow an option for OTs and PTs to obtain a credential and grandfathers in all existing OTs and PTs working in schools, so we don’t have to get a credential to keep our jobs.
(Please send a copy to Dolores Duran-Flores in CSEA Gov't. Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org)