Superior Court of Mendocino County
Courts Workers Storm Sacramento
On Tuesday, May 14, court workers from throughout the state met
with fellow SEIU members to talk to elected officials about the
need to continue to devote funds to courts most in
need. Court workers encouraged elected officials to make sure
those who interact with the courts obtain fair,
equitable, and timely access to services. To do this, elected
officials must invest in court hours, staff adequately, and
provide reasonable pay to retain dedicated, experienced
Sandy Walden, a court reporter at Contra Costa Courts explained why she and her coworkers decided to come to Sacramento to speak directly to legislators, “Elected officials need to hear directly from us and the issues that confront us everyday. They need to see and hear the people whose lives they impact with the policies they pass or deny.”
Workers also spoke to elected officials and their staff about closing the pay gap in the trial court industry. Court reporters provide a necessary service to our judicial system, maintaining not only the record, but the sanctity of court proceedings. Court Reporters, which consists of a predominantly female workforce, have not received an increase in their statutorily set transcript rate in 30 years. It is time to close the gender pay gap.
“There’s Nowhere to Live Here”
SEIU 1021 Mendocino County chapters release report addressing Mendocino County’s housing crisis causes, offering recommendations
Dec. 20, 2021: “I can think of a half a dozen employees that the County has offered jobs to here on the coast, but they had to turn down the offer, because they couldn’t find anywhere to live,” reported one Mendocino County employee in a survey. “The average apartment rents for about $1200 to $1300 per month. The rental agency requires your income to be three times the rent. I make around $35 per hour, and I can’t even afford that. How is someone who makes minimum wage or is a single parent supposed to find a place to live?” laments another survey respondent.
Advocating for Justice in Our Courts
This spring court workers flooded the halls of our state capital to advocate for those seeking justice.
As court workers and advocates for our communities, we know access to justice is directly tied to income. In the trial court system, when court reporters are not provided, only the wealthy can afford to hire a reporter. Low-income workers, juggling multiple jobs, are unable access justice due to restricted public hours and closed facilities. People who cannot afford money bail often sit awaiting a court date resulting in a loss of income to their household.
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