Mediation Could Settle Dispute over Sacramento Court Staffer Benefits and Pay
Thursday, November, 5, 2015
The negotiations between the Sacramento Superior Court and its technical staff will be turned over to a mediator after two months of labor talks that led only to an impasse.
Court officials reached an agreement on a three year contract with Teamster-represented supervisors in early October. The agreement included a three percent pay increase during the first two years of the contract and an additional three percent raise in year three that was conditioned upon funding.
The same offer has been extended to court reporters, court professionals, clerks, deputy clerks, and attendants, but the group has yet to accept and negotiations have been tense. These technical staffers are frustrated there have been budgets and job cuts throughout the year. The staff of nearly 850 members has shrunk to just over 600 and pay has remained stagnant. The staffers fear proposed reduction in employers’ premium contributions and overall changes to the healthcare plans could result in their paying more for health insurance.
The staffers, in an effort to get sympathy for their cause, have been wearing red in a show of solidarity. They believe the color symbolizes the way they are the “blood running through the veins of the court.” The state their fight is to preserve their benefits and that the deal they have been offered is not enough. They broke out of their workday for a mini-protest recently, changing “I don’t want to strike, but I will,” and carrying signs that stated “Raise Employees’ Pay: We Earn It.”
Both the court and the staffers hope mediation will bring an end to the dispute.