Superior Court of San Joaquin County



Oakland Airport Hilton, September 26-27


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The convention will be a transformative event, where members will gain greater clarity, energy, motivation and direction to step more fully into their power, with grace, vision, courage and knowledge. This is an opportunity for chapter building, engaging and developing potential leaders, hence making it a priority for staff and elected officers.

Q: What are the qualifications to be a delegate?

A: To be eligible, a member would have to had paid dues for any 4 months in 2014 as well as either January or February, 2015.

Q: Can fee payers participate in the nomination and/or delegate election process?

A: Yes, once they sign a membership form, then they can nominate and vote.


 Q: How many delegates can each Chapter elect?

A: Every Chapter gets 2 delegates automatically. After 300 members, each chapter will have 2 additional delegates. For every additional 150 members, a chapter will have 2 additional delegates.


Q: What is the period of time for completing elections?

A: April 20-July 20, 2015


Q: What is an “uncontested ballot”? (Previously referred to as “white ballot”)

A: When there are more or an equal number of delegate slots as candidates, that is referred to as a uncontested ballot and the chapter does not need to hold a full election.


Q: How are alternate delegates selected?

A: In case a delegate can’t participate due to scheduling, illness, etc. Chapters should select alternates even if the delegate election for that Chapter is uncontested or the Chapter does not elect the full number of delegates which it is entitled to.

Here are the rules for selecting alternates: All Chapters are encouraged to select at least two (2) alternates. Alternates need to be ranked by votes received (e.g. the highest vote total becomes Alternate #1, second highest voted becomes Alternate #2, etc.)

In Chapters with “uncontested ballots” (where there are more or an equal number of delegate slots as there are candidates, thus making an election unnecessary), Chapters are still encouraged to select up to two (2) alternates and designate these as Alternate #1 & #2.

Convention Delegates, who become ineligible or unable to attend, shall notify the 1021 Convention Election Committee in writing no later than 8/20/15. An Alternate or Alternates will then be credentialed and seated. Delegates who notify the 1021 Convention Election Committee after 8/20/15 will not be replaced by an alternate.

Q: Which chapters may select honorary delegates? How will honorary delegates be selected?

A:Workers who have recently organized with Local 1021, but who have not ratified their first collective bargaining agreement may select honorary delegates.  The process for selecting honorary delegates will be as follows:  two (2) honorary delegates will be elected at upcoming membership meetings.


If you are a Delegate:

Q: How will delegates register for the convention?

A:  Once the delegate certification form is turned in, the delegate will be sent a welcome letter by e-mail and mail which gives them directions on how to register.  (That is why it is critical that their contact information is on certification form).


Q: Do we pay lost time for delegates attending the Convention?

A: Yes, follow the local’s lost time policy. Anyone working from 12:01am on Saturday through 11:59pm on Sunday will receive lost time.

For example: If a delegate works anytime on Saturday or Sunday they may request lost time. So for instance if a member has a shift that starts 11pm on Friday September 25th but goes to 7am Saturday the 26th they may request the time off for their Friday shift and they would receive lost time per the guidelines specified in the policy.


Q: What are the rules around Friday night hotel stays for delegates?

A: Delegateswho travel 75 miles or more (one way) are qualified for Friday night lodging. All Delegates are entitled to Saturday night lodging (there is no required miles to qualify).


Q: What are the rules around the hotel stay on Saturday evening?

A: All delegates are encouraged to stay at the hotel regardless of how close they live to the venue. The local will pay the cost for double occupancy. Depending on room availability, they may request a single room but would need to pay the additional costs.


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SEIU Local 1021: Justice for all, not just the rich

Upload the Superior Court of San Joaquin County Office-Office Tech MOU 2014-2018In budget debates, California’s courts have all too often been treated like just another line item, not as the constitutionally established third branch of government charged with protecting American citizens’ rights. The defunding of our courts comes at a price – the core principle of a democratic society – access to justice.

We have to look no further than our own San Joaquin County court to see that, although you could find the same thing almost anywhere in the state.

Here, it started with reduced hours of service at the courthouses in Stockton, Tracy, Lodi and Manteca. Then there were monthly furlough days for all court workers, causing longer lines and waits for services. Then came the layoffs of clerks, adding further to the lines and wait times. Eventually the Tracy and Lodi courts were closed altogether and services from criminal cases to unlawful detainers, from domestic violence restraining orders to traffic trials, were transferred to Stockton and Manteca, further overloading those facilities and causing major delays in processing and hearing cases.

Then services were eliminated altogether. Small claims cases are no longer heard anywhere in San Joaquin County. You can no longer access court records online for family law, juvenile, guardianship, mental or criminal proceedings. Passport services are now only available at the Stockton courthouse and only during restricted hours. And there’s no end in sight.

Court reporters now only cover criminal and juvenile cases. Since October there have been no court reporters in civil law cases, or even contentious family law ones, unless the litigants can afford to pay for their own reporter to keep an accurate account of evidence and testimony.

As income inequality increases, so does justice inequality. More and more we have two justice systems – one for the rich and another, very inferior one, for the rest of us. If you can afford it, you can buy some justice. If not, you’re out of luck.

Costs are shifted to user fees, either in the form of increases for filing paperwork and getting transcripts, or just in the costs of the distance one has to travel to access legal services and the time it takes from work and life.

Big corporations are able to chase a little guy out of court just by dragging their feet, filing paper, and lengthening the timeline.

Average people legitimately trying to right a wrong are forced out of the system because they can’t afford it – at this point it’s too costly to even file a case. Justice for all is a thing of the past in California.

Recently state legislators asked for statistics on those who are suffering from court budget cuts. But you cannot get statistics on those for whom the system simply no longer exists. They are not waiting in line, or filing fee waivers, or doing things you can count. Justice is more than blind when those seeking it are invisible.

Democratic and Republican legislators give lip service to fully functioning courts. We must act to make sure the budgets they draft in the coming months actually provide for the necessary funding.

State Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, has spoken out in support of our courts. We must help her to build a public outcry for funding that maintains the integrity of our justice system.

Sonya Farnsworth is a clerk in the Stockton courthouse and president of the SEIU Local 1021 San Joaquin court workers chapter. Jennifer Whitlock is a court reporter for the San Joaquin court and a member of Local 1021’s bargaining team.


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