In dueling views of a protest, a large union insists it shut down the courts in San Francisco on Monday, while the court system insists the union did not.
What was apparent was that it was not a typical day at the San Francisco Superior Courthouse. And the one-day strike by the SEIU was a surprise to many.
In a statement sent by court spokeswoman Ann Donlan, the Service Employees International Union "claimed erroneously" that its strike shut down the "entire court system in San Francisco." The SEIU, for its part, said it was on strike to demand that the administrative office of the courts turn over financial records that could help the union negotiate a new contract, according to SFgate.com.
The strike follows a July 2 pay cut, where members of the union were hit with a 5 percent pay cut.
Donlan insisted despite the 200 or so people on strike that "essential court functions" were indeed proceeding with the help of other union employees, managers and non-union employees. Those functions include: criminal, unlawful detainer, civil harassment and juvenile delinquency cases. Clerk's offices and the self-help center were closed Monday because of the strike.
Donlan made sure to point out that everyone but the SEIU had accepted a 5 percent pay cut to "address the ongoing judicial branch state budget reductions."
Court management and the Local 1021 SEIU have been at an impasse since March 7.