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Georgia Department of Labor: Reinstate unemployment benefits for school workers in Georgia
  • Petitioned Mark Butler, Georgia Labor Commissioner

This petition was delivered to:

Georgia Department of Labor
Mark Butler, Georgia Labor Commissioner

Georgia Department of Labor: Reinstate unemployment benefits for school workers in Georgia

    1. Petition by

      Atlanta Jobs with Justice

Every year school bus drivers, cafeteria workers and other contracted employees who are laid off during school breaks rely on unemployment benefits to provide for their families. However, this year Mark Butler, our Labor Commissioner in Georgia, has arbitrarily barred these workers from receiving unemployment benefits while they are laid off.  **Update (6/26/12): private school teachers (K-12) that had previously received unemployment benefits over the summer are also being denied unemployment. **Update (10/1/12): the US Department of Labor (DoL) sent a letter to Mark Butler stating that his denial of unemployment benefits was out of compliance with state and federal guidelines and that he needed to "cease administering this regulatory and policy change immediately."  Failure to do so could result in the witholding of $72 million dollars in federal administrative grants to the GA DoL.  **Update (2/28/13): House Bill 361, a bill that would make Mark Butler's unlawful changes into Georgia state law was defeated today! (http://www.ajc.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/house-blocks-ban-on-unemployment-for-seasonal-empl/nW6hn/)

Mark Butler's decision reverses years of providing unemployment benefits for those who are periodically laid off from their jobs. This change will pressure experienced school bus drivers, teachers and other workers who take care of our children to find other jobs, forcing employers to hire less experienced or less reliable replacements.

This drastic change occurred not due to any change in law but because of Mark Butler's political agenda to cut benefits for workers.

This coincides with the conservative agenda to slash unemployment compensation and limit the number of weeks workers are able to receive benefits in Georgia. With unemployment hovering around 9%, higher than the national average, our political leaders should be focused on creating good jobs not cutting benefits for workers that are hurting the most.

In order to win unemployment benefits back for these workers we need YOUR support. Please sign this petition and call Mark Butler's office to demand that these workers get the benefits they need: (404) 232-7300


Recent signatures


    1. To Stop SB 227 by Tomorrow: We need to Call Sen. Josh McKoon Today!

      Senator McKoon - Columbus, GA is a sponsor of SB 227, the bill that will make unemployment benefit cuts permanent. If we put pressure on Sen. McKoon we could stop this bill because he has the ability to decide whether the bill comes up for a vote before crossover day.

      Please call Sen. McKoon today at (404) 463-3931 and tell him that you oppose SB 227.

      Call Script:
      Hello my name is ______,
      I am calling because I am opposed to SB 227, a bill that would eliminate unemployment benefits for over 60,000 educational workers in GA. This bill is not fair because these workers are laid off multiples times a year during school breaks and most have no income during these periods. They do not have the same job security and benefits as public educational workers. They require unemployment benefits every time they are laid off in order to survive.

      Also feel free send him a email opposing SB 227 at jrm2016@yahoo.com.

      Please spread this to everyone you know especially those living in Columbus, GA.

    2. Reached 500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Antoinette Braxton MCDONOUGH, GA
      • 12 months ago

      Concern about the increasing issue of long-term unemployment.

    • Brad Beall BOGART, GA
      • over 1 year ago

      every person deserves the same rights

    • Latonya Byrd ATLANTA, GA
      • over 1 year ago

      I'm a Georgia Pre-K teacher and I have 3 kids of my own and after the Pre-K program is over I don't have a job, but I still have bills. What I dont understand is this Mark Butler answer this question. Why does my employer have to pay an unemployment tax for her workers, but you deny her workers the right to claim unemployment?

    • Darlene Murphy MACON, GA
      • over 1 year ago

      It's unfair to deny benefits to hard-working people who are laid off through no fault of their own. Neither the state nor employers should be able to deny benefits to workers, nor should they have any desire to do so. This is greed, pure and simple, and a lack of consideration for Georgia workers.

    • anne kelley GARDENCITY, GA
      • over 1 year ago

      I am 73 years old no one will hire


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