Call in right away

Last school year, our members were beset by a drastic shortage of substitutes. This year already, absent teachers’ classrooms are going uncovered even though HR continues to hire more substitutes.

If you were absent and your class was not covered, it could be that no substitute picked up the job. Available substitutes receive an automated phone call from SEMS between 5:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. to pick up vacancies for the next workday. If you report your absence after 10 p.m. the night before your absence, substitutes will not be called to cover your class until 5:30 a.m. on the morning of your absence.

Even though the contract requires you to call SEMS or your principal at least one hour and 30 minutes prior to your reporting time, notifying SEMS or the administration of your absence as soon as practicable will help ensure a sub picks up the request. Keep in mind: the earlier the better.

If you or one of your colleagues fails to obtain a sub, send an email to with your school and the grade level or subject area of the vacancy. Fore more information, consult Article 701.03 of the Master Agreement.