Santa Clara County Court Employees Strike Over Wages

Santa Clara County Court Employees Strike Over Wages

By: Daniel Steingold | August 03, 2016

Hundreds of court employees in Santa Clara County, CA went on strike on Wednesday over stalled pay negotiations.

The strike forced the county’s courts to postpone nearly all hearings, while also closing seven clerk’s offices and sending hundreds of prospective jurors back home.

More than 280 employees, or about two-thirds of the court’s total workforce participated in the strike, which shocked officials— they only expected about one-third of workers to participate.

Despite the work stoppage, the Superior Court is telling individuals scheduled to attend court to come in on Thursday.

In addition to those who were on trial or otherwise had disputes to settle, 230 prospective jurors were dismissed.

The protesting court employees held up signs bearing phrases such as “Justice for court workers” and “More work, less pay, no way,” while chanting “Balance the scales or the court will fail.”

In 2015, the Superior Court Employees Professional Association, which represents the employees in question, was presented an offer of a 4.5 percent wage increase for the coming two years, which they turned down.

Earlier this year, they were presented with the offer of an additional five percent increase to the wages of employees who had over six years of working experience; they also declined this offer.

The workers claim that the rising cost of living have made their current wages difficult to live on.

Add in the fact that the court is facing a $5 million deficit this year, and it becomes evident why the two sides are fighting.

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