Carole Prescott, the president of the clerks' AFSCME Local 575, said the Pomona and Lancaster picketing took place in the morning before work.
Tryon and Prescott
said the picketing was intended to be informational, and a court spokesman said no court business was interrupted.
said the court declared Aug. 6 that negotiations with the clerks had reached an impasse.
A mediation session is scheduled for Sept. 8, she
said the clerks' local has about 430 members and represents about 800 clerks, who work in courtrooms assisting judges and subordinate judicial officers.She
said the court employs over 5,000 unionized workers.
The clerks' contract expired March 31, but until the impasse was declared the union had extended it "on a week-to-week basis while in negotiations," Prescott
"We didn't really feel that we were at impasse," the local president declared, adding she
hoped the picketing would "embarrass the court back to the table."
Negotiations are stalled over "three issues that are real stickers," Prescott
said: salary, vacation scheduling and bonuses.
The clerks are willing to settle for the raises given to other union locals, Prescott
explained, consisting of no salary boost for the current fiscal year and 2.5 percent for each of the next two years.But they want a "me too" clause which would guarantee they receive treatment no less favorable than other unionized workers, she
noted that the AFSCME local representing the court's law clerks and research attorneys also has yet to reach a contract agreement.
The vacation issue involves whether scheduling is done on a building-by-building basis or by "operational division," Prescott
said.The clerks want to retain the building-based method described in the most recent contract, but the court wants to change it, she
"That would just make a big mess and make it much more difficult to get vacation time," Prescott
The expired contract called for a system of bonuses under which an annually increasing percentage of clerks would qualify, Prescott
said.A committee was to formulate criteria for earning the bonuses, with half of the clerks qualifying during the contract's final year.
But the court "never allowed" the percentage to climb to the maximum level, Prescott
explained that the bonus of 5.5 percent is earned for doing training and specialized extra work.
The union has asked that the bonuses be implemented this year at the 50 percent level under the new contract and that they climb to 70 percent next year, Prescott