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Court workers plan for strike

By Vienna Montague
Published On: Nov 13 2013 08:34:13 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 13 2013 11:23:30 PM CST
REDDING, Calif. -

Shasta County Superior Court workers are tired of low wages, and are striking to show their frustration.

Workers plan to strike Monday, Nov. 18th.

They say they haven't received a raise in seven years; now they're asking for an 8% pay hike.

United Public Employees of California labor negotiator Steve Allen says that more than 80% of court clerks, reporters, and other low paid workers, have authorized a one-day strike.

"They're struggling financially. They've done furloughs, they've gone years without cost of living increases, and if all the employees in the court were doing that, they'd all be struggling together, but what we see is that top management has been taking significant pay raises, while our members, the lowest paid workers, haven't been granted pay raises, and that's just not fair."

Court Executive Officer Melissa Fowler-Bradley had something different to say.

Fowler-Bradley says her pay raise came from a promotion, and that the county has given workers raises, some up to several thousand dollars a year, to offset higher medical insurance costs.

As for the strike, Fowler-Bradley says her staff can handle it.

"I'll do everything within my power to minimize any disruption we may have. We'll do our best to keep the courtrooms operating and provide a service to the public, which is why we're here."

It's worse than you might expect according to Fowler-Bradley.

She says the state has cut the amount of money it's giving to courts, so not only is there no money for raises, there could be layoffs next year.

When it comes to the present, Fowler-Bradley is confident.

"We will carry on with the court calendar. Our courtrooms will be open."