Wednesday, July 30, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Court employees picket over pay cuts

DSC_5111e

EL DORADO COUNTY court employees pickets through the Courthouse parking lot Tuesday in downtown Placerville. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

By
From page A1 | May 17, 2013 |

About two dozen court employees stood outside the Main Street Courthouse late Tuesday afternoon, picketing to raise awareness of their impending pay cuts.

The employees face between 8 and 18.4 percent pay cuts, depending on location and seniority, said James Britton, a representative of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Stationary Engineers Local 39, or up to a $683 pay cut each month. This includes the courts no longer paying 7 percent into employee retirement funds.

Negotiations began last August, Britton said, but ended last month after four meetings. A single day was spent with a mediator, but no agreement was made. The employees offered to do some fact-finding, but the court administration “refused to participate,” Britton said. “We offered cuts to mitigate” the losses in budget, “but if it wasn’t their idea, they didn’t like it.”

Instead, the court informed the employees that the last, best and final offer would be imposed on May 18.

Britton said the employees are still interested in meeting with the court if “they are willing to be realistic.” But, being realistic, Britton said it’s likely nothing will change unless the budget changes.

“It’s unfortunate,” he said. “We’re the lowest paid group in the state” who is suffering a “drastic” cut while the state recovers from recent budgets, even though the budget is “bounds and leaps” improved from what they believed the budget would be.

Shelli Tuttle, a court reporter, called the offer “devastating” to the employees. One employee, she said, would qualify for food stamps after the cuts. A few were worrying about losing their houses.

“It’s a lean state of staffing,” she said. “They can’t lay off, they physically can’t lay people off” because “there would be nobody to meet the needs of the court.” As it is, she said, pro tem reporters have to be scheduled every day for other courtrooms, including Departments 7 and 9.

Meanwhile, she said, Court Executive Officer Tania Ugrin-Capobianco has been “bragging about her new car, her diamond ring” and looking into property in the area. “We hear that stuff.”

Tuttle noted that, in her 13 years working for the courts, she only received a single raise — a meager 1 percent. Which, she added, she gave up, along with the other employees receiving the raise, to pay for retiree benefits.

Larry Tomblin, who has worked IT for the courts for 16 years, said that after Ugrin-Capobianco took over, the employees got the impression “that the axe would fall fairly soon.” She took over two years ago, and in the past two-and-a-half years, 17 employees have been let go or voluntarily retired, he said. No replacements were found. He noted in the two years, there have been 12 furlough days with more suspected to come.

With a deficit of $275,000, he said, a cut of the assistant court executive officer would save the court between $160,000 and $180,000, more than half of what the court is trying to save. “Why do we have two CEOs, yet we pay? Why?” Tomblin asked. “It is unfair. It’s all unfair.”

Both Tomblin and Tuttle believed that answer is in the new proposed courthouse, planned to be built near the county jail. Although Ugrin-Cabobianco could go to the state and request more money, Tuttle said, it’s likely that she fears the fund to build the new courthouse will be affected. It is meant to be her “legacy,” Tuttle said, and she does not want it to be adversely affected.

In the meantime, the group marched around the courthouse, one employee yelling, “What do we want?” with a response from the rest of “Chop at the top.” The answer of “When?” was “Now,” which, if anything is to be done before the May 18 imposition of the offer, is when something will need to happen.

Comments

comments

.

News

Sand Fire nears containment: 66 structures destroyed

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
District 2 candidate statements tell of goals

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

 
Schedule for Highway 50 blasting closures

By News Release | From Page: A3

Tails wagging over dog park approval

By Julie Samrick | From Page: A3

 
Quarter-acre fire in Kelsey

By Rebecca Murphy | From Page: A3

.

Opinion

My Turn: Privatization of public services

By Mark Belden | From Page: A4

 
Policy book

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

GDPUD management report

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
District 2 supervisorial special election

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

Piano replaced

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Comments sign-in policy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Save the Guinea Worm

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Large bangs

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

Private property gets no respect

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

Ex-Bruin lends a helping hand

By Steven Shaff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Sierra Sharks finish middle of the pack

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

Roundup: July 29, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

 
Taz pull through for SSL trophy

By Patty Pope | From Page: A8

.

Prospecting

Nuns discover a pleasant place

By Lexi Boeger | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Bargains can be found everywhere

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

At a glance: Game time

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

 
Barbecue dinner to benefit Blue Star Moms

By Mount Aukum Winery | From Page: B2

Stroke and osteoporosis screenings planned

By Life Line Screening | From Page: B3

 
Stagecoach story takes riders on a trip

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B3

Help needed to make cool ties

By Sew 4 | From Page: B3

 
Gold Rush Days activities cancelled this year

By Sacramento Convention And Visitors Center | From Page: B4

Master Food Preservers: Tomato time

By Monique Wilber | From Page: B4

 
Build an author platform at the Library

By El Dorado | From Page: B5

 
Sacramento area museums offer summer fun

By Sacramento Association Of Museums | From Page: B5

.

Essentials

Weather stats 7-29-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Building permits 6/2-6/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

Crime Log: July 17

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Merlyn Wilbur Adams

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Lisa Oliver Rose

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Wallace Murrel Thomas

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

.

Comics

.

Women’s Health

Love the skin you’re in

By Noel Stack | From Page: WH4

Dump stress and improve your health, productivity

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: WH7Comments are off for this post

Women’s Health Expo

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH8

Find the confidence you need to fight back

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH12

Our choices directly affect our health

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH14

They’re NOT your mother’s hearing devices!

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH17