Shasta County Superior Court Workers Strike

     REDDING, Calif. (CN) - Shasta County Superior Court workers, including clerical staff, court reporters, court clerks, child recommendation counselors and court investigators went on strike Monday, local press reported and a court officer confirmed.
     Court Executive Officer Melissa Fowler-Bradley estimated that about 75 of the court's 122 union-represented employees are participating in the strike. "It has definitely had an impact, but we have all our courtrooms open," she said.
     United Public Employees of California (UPEC), Local 792 called the one-day strike, according to local press.
     "There is some disagreement between the court and the union about whether it's a legal strike," Fowler-Bradley said. She told Courthouse News UPEC had requested mediation, which would have been a prerequisite to a legal strike, but then went ahead and called the strike without mediating. In exchange for the court's agreement not to discipline any staff for what the court considers an illegal strike, UPEC allowed four court reporters to work, which enabled the felony department to stay open, Fowler-Bradley said.
     "Hopefully the next step is mediation," she said. "We had a tentative date. I don't know where they're at with participating in mediation at this point." However, she said she expects UPEC to honor its agreement to limit the strike to one day.
     The striking workers want an 8 percent pay raise retroactive to Oct. 1, and an increased court contribution to their health care plan, Fowler-Bradley told Courthouse News.
     Representatives from UPEC were not available for comment by press time.
     San Francisco County Superior Court employees went on a one-day strike in 2012, Courthouse News reported at the time, when the court and Service Employees International Union, Local 1021, were unable to negotiate a new contract and the court implemented across-the-board wage cuts.