Santa Clara County

Striking Santa Clara County Court Workers Reach Tentative Agreement With Management

There may be an end in sight in the Santa Clara County Superior Court workers strike that has plagued court services for more than a week.

On Friday afternoon, leaders of the Superior Court Professional Employees Association told its striking members that a tentative agreement has been reached with court management.

"If these clerks could come back to court starting this week, that would be wonderful for all of our members," said Max Zarzana, Government Attorneys Assoc. President.

The announcement at the picket line at the North First Street courthouse drew a cheer from clerks and other workers.

The proposal will be voted on at a special membership ratification meeting scheduled for Sunday.

Officials tell NBC Bay Area the key issue of a pay raise during the contract's second year has been addressed under the new proposal.

Court management had essentially offered a 9.5 percent raise in the first year, but no raise in the second year. A source told NBC Bay Area that the new offer will be for 18-months and move up the timetable of the first raise. 

The union had rejected the offer saying it didn't make up for going eight years without a pay bump.

"It was really a dogged determination from both sides to get these folks back to work and start serving the public again," explained Tom Saggau, a union spokesperson. 

The tentative agreement came unexpectedly after outside mediation started and then collapsed Thursday.

Sources say the new agreement resulted from so-called direct talks that started shortly after mediation failed.

NBC Bay Area broke the story last week when the union decided to walk out on Aug. 3

During the strike, many attorneys and citizens told NBC Bay Area about long delays in traffic court as well as stalled court cases.

View the tentative agreement here.

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