gaveldecision.jpgSan Francisco Superior Court’s executive committee on Tuesday unanimously approved contracts with its four employee unions, ending a labor dispute that included a one-day strike by court clerks in July.

All 11 judges serving on the executive committee voted in favor of the agreements with Service Employees International Union Local 1021, the Municipal Executives Association, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) Local 21 and the San Francisco Court Reporters Association.

The agreement repeals a 5 percent pay cut that took effect July 1 and prompted court clerks, represented by SEIU Local 1021, to take the one-day strike on July 16.

Court executive officer T. Michael Yuen said today that the decision to repeal the pay cut came after Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in June limiting the ability of state courts to maintain reserves.

“The 5 percent concession didn’t make sense anymore,” Yuen said.

Even before the union held its strike, “we knew we were going to restore the 5 percent,” he said.

SEIU Local 1021 members ratified their agreement with the court by a 215-1 vote back in late October, union officials said.

The agreement also provides a one-time payment of $3,500 for employees this year and a 3 percent wage increase starting in July 2013 in exchange for reductions of the court’s contribution toward employee health care and pension costs.

“That’s a big reason why these labor agreements make sense, reducing long-term pension costs,” Yuen said.

Court officials estimate that the three-year contracts will save the court about $4.1 million, helping to offset budget cuts from the state level that already caused the layoff of 67 court workers and closure of 11 courtrooms in San Francisco last year.

SEIU Local 1021 represents the majority of the court’s staff while the three other unions represent other workers, including managers, court reporters and staff attorneys.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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