San Francisco Court Workers Go on Strike, Disrupt Courts

Categories: Local News
The government is melting down
Muni isn't the only government agency melting down today. A press release was just sent out, claiming more than 200 court clerks and other workers walked off the job at 8:30 a.m., effectively shutting down disrupting the entire Superior Court system.

The workers, represented by SEIU Local 1021, say they are striking to demand their legal right to information that would "allow them to negotiate a fair contract that keeps courtrooms open and legal services available to the public, while providing them with reasonable compensation."

Not surprisingly, we've been unable to reach anyone over at the courthouse to talk.

But here's what union workers had to say:
For the past eight years, the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), the bureaucracy that manages California's courts, has wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on a boondoggle computer program, the hiring of hundreds of redundant six-figure-salaried bureaucrats, administrators and lawyers and overpriced mega-construction projects. In the meantime hundreds of courtrooms across the state have been closed, legal services for the public have been slashed, and we, the workers who provide those services, have been laid off, furloughed and had our wages cut.
Union officials will hold a press conference later this morning to explain more.

Court workers has been threatening a strike since May when 95 percent of the union voted in favor of striking in the event that negotiations hit a dead end. Workers have been complaining that the AOC has hidden millions in secret accounts for its "pet projects and personal perks," and then lied about it.

Now, as the union works to try and get a new contract, AOC officials are forcing more paycuts along with heavier work loads, union reps claim.

"When the Local 1021 asked San Francisco Superior Court management to open the books and show the financial need for the continuing cuts, they refused," the press release states. "When, as part of the bargaining process, the union requested they provide the financial information that federal law requires of them so the union can make reasonable and responsible counterproposals, in the court's tradition of lack of transparency, they didn't. Instead they abandoned negotiations and unilaterally imposed their cuts."

SEIU says the San Francisco Superior Court's actions are a violation of federal labor law.

"We are sorry for the inconvenience our action today causes. But there comes a time when someone must take a stand against this assault on citizens' constitutional right of the access to justice, and for reasonable compensation for the court's skilled and dedicated employees. Someone must say, 'Enough is enough!'"

Hopefully, court workers weren't relying on Muni to make their dramatic exit.

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My Voice Nation Help

I am so proud of the court employees in SF.  You must demand your fair wages and working conditions, because if you don't, the Administration of the Court (AOC) and the managers at the court, will "poor mouth" their way through negotiations.  Stand tall and proud for what you know is right.  If you don't, they will treat you like endentured servants while they pay themselves like the elite. - Sacramento County Superior Court employees should gear up for the same senario.  This is not unique to just San Francisco County.  As a former Sacramento County court employee that was laid off, instead of taking a 33% pay cut, I pray that as court employees up and down the state begin contract negotiations (over the next 2 years), they realize these are important times and now is not the time to lay down and surrender your human rights to earn and be paid a fair wage for a fair day's work.  Keep on going!  I'm with you in spirit!






Just eliminate everyone who makes more than a $100,000.  Everyone who works for living already knows, the only kind of work they do is either redundant or payback.


While I can sympathize with the Clerk's plight in wanting to force a change and bring attention to their cause, I was one of the hundreds of prospective Jurors who made the effort to make it all the way down to the court house, park and be in court at 9am only to find out their strike made our trip unnecessary. Shame on you SEIU Local 1021 for screwing the hundreds of average Joes who had to miss work or find child care or go through the hassle of getting down to the courthouse only to be turned away and asked to make this trip all over again on Wednesday. You should have given adequate notice of your intentions so that you didn't inconvenience hundreds of average citizens who are performing their civic duty. You still could have gone on strike and "had your day in court" without kicking all us jurors in the nuts. Thanks for nothing, i hope you get the same. 


Dear CTH, although you may have felt like you wasted your time as you made arrangements to prepare for screening as a prospective juror, your time was actually not wasted at all.  You are an example of what happens to people, citizens persuing remedies from the courts and citizens seeking to be available for jury services, if needed.  When the inner workings of the court system fail, you, me and everyone else, is affected.  The worker's one day strike is only the tip of the ice berg.  If the court's continue on the path that they have started upon, you will lose more than just a day of work.  I hope the inconvienence you encountered will not become what every citizen in California experiences in the future, every day, when trying to obtain legal remedies (certainly not justice) from the Superior Courts of California.  An overhaul is long OVERDUE.

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