Additional Details Regarding SF Court Clerks' Strike
According to reports published by SF Weekly and KGO-TV, more than 200 court clerks in the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco, walked off their jobs at 8:30 a.m. today.
While the focus was first thought to be budget cuts and layoffs affecting the court, the union representing the clerks, SEIU Local 1021, says that they are demanding information that would "allow them to negotiate a fair contract that keeps courtrooms open and legal services available to the public, while providing (union members) with reasonable compensation."
Photo Credit: KGO-TV
The union is not pointing the finger at the governor nor the state legislature for its woes. It is instead putting the spotlight on the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) which it characterizes as having "hundreds of redundant six-figure-salaried bureaucrats, administrators and lawyers and overpriced mega-construction projects."
"They've taken money allocated for courts and funneled it into their own causes," said union negotiator Jacquelyn Willis-McGhee to KGO-TV.
"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," says a statement given by the union to media outlets. "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."
The union is characterizing this as a "one-day strike" and clerks are expected to return to their posts Tuesday.