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Saturday, February 24, 2024
Courthouse News Service
Saturday, February 24, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

SF Clerk Strike Coincides|With Court Crush

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Clerks at San Francisco Superior Court went on strike Tuesday morning at the city's three state courthouses.

Picket lines formed early today as workers press their claim that court administrators have been negotiating in bad faith since the beginning of summer.

"Court management's bad faith was on display not just in their actions at the bargaining table, but in their attitude," a bargaining team member from clerks' union said in a statement issued today.

Though union leaders said pickets had formed by 9 a.m. in front of the civil, criminal and juvenile courthouses, court spokeswoman Ann Donlan said some workers had crossed the picket lines and were ready to work.

"We are assessing our resources," Donlan said, but "given the obstacles this is not a typical day."

The court would have normally been busy today, on the heels of the three-day Columbus Day weekend, and court officials are gauging the impact of the new strike, Donlan added.

"We will do our best to marshal our resources for the people of San Francisco," she said, "and we'll dispatch those workers who did show up to those cases with statutory deadlines."

Priority will be given to criminal cases with time restrictions, as well as civil cases involving restraining orders and evictions, Donlan said.

Michael Yuen, the court's head clerk, is expected to make a statement later today.

Diane Williams, court chapter president of the Service Employees International Local 1021, said Yuen and his negotiators have not given court workers the time of day. "Their disrespect for their workers was matched only by their disdain for the legal collective bargaining process they are supposed to serve," Williams said in a statement today.

At a recent rally , Williams called it bad faith for the court to deny a wage increase while running a $16 million surplus.

The last time San Francisco's clerks walked out , in 2012, a one-day strike successfully reversed a 5 percent pay cut.

The court and SEIU 1021, which represents most of the court's clerks, provided each court worker with a $3,500 bonus plus a 3 percent pay increase. The deal also arranged for further wage talks, which started this summer and led to today's strike.

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