gavel.jpgA number of San Francisco Superior Court workers walked off the job today in a one-day strike to protest a labor contract recently imposed on them.

Dozens of members of Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which represents the court clerks and other workers, gathered outside the Hall of Justice and two other courthouses in the city this morning for the protest.

Superior Court management imposed a contract on the workers on July 2 that includes a 5 percent pay cut, according to Jacquelyn Willis-McGhee, a member of the union’s bargaining team.

Willis-McGhee said many of the workers’ problems stem from wasteful spending by the state Administrative Office of the Courts, which disseminates the funding for each county superior court.

“They’ve taken money allocated for the courts and funneled it into their own causes,” including a plan for a computerized court records system that was scrapped in March after more than $500 million was spent on the project, she said.

SEIU members, who authorized the strike in a vote in May, also picketed this morning outside the Youth Guidance Center and the Civic Center Courthouse.

San Francisco Superior Court spokeswoman Ann Donlan said the courthouses remain open today and all essential functions will proceed.

However, district attorney’s office spokesman Alex Bastian said court proceedings are limited today, with only a few courtrooms handling cases.

Court officials have previously said that the 5 percent pay cut is necessary to address ongoing state budget reductions, and that SEIU was the only one of the court’s four unions to reject the proposal.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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