Court employees take furloughs



As the San Luis Obispo Superior Court is feeling the shock of a more than $1 million shortfall in its 2011-12 budget, the largest union representing court employees has voted to accept furloughs to stave off layoffs.

According to Mike Woods, representative for the Service Employee International Union (SEIU) Local 620, which represents more than 100 non-management court administrators locally, the union voted to accept 26 furlough days a year, equal to a 10 percent cut in salary across the board.

Woods told New Times, however, that Susan Matherly, the executive officer for SLO Superior Court, was able to secure a revenue source court officials previously thought would be lost. It will allow court employees to cut furloughs in half to 13 days per year.

“She spoke up for her staff,” Woods said of Matherly.

The furlough days equate to a 5 percent cut for employees. Court officials say the public should expect longer lines and processing of court documents.

Matherly said the court shuffled some of its grant funds to lessen the furloughs. The court is looking to cut approximately $800,000 in salary expenses. Salaries account for roughly 80 percent of the court’s expenses. If the union hadn’t agreed on the furloughs, at least six full-time positions would have likely been cut.

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