SEIU 521 Kings County Superior Court workers win furlough grievances

Management sides with members, honors voluntary furlough requests

More than a dozen SEIU Local 521 members filed grievances against Kings County Superior Court for withdrawing previously approved voluntary furlough days after mandatory furloughs were imposed on July 13.

Because workers stuck together and shared our stories with management, they agreed that any voluntary furloughs that were approved through October 13, 2012 will be granted and will be applied toward mandatory furloughs instead of purchased administrative time or vacation.

The background
On June 21, CEO Todd Barton released a memo to court employees advising that they could sign up for voluntary furloughs and select which day they could furlough. Then after meeting with the bargaining team, management decided to impose a mandatory furlough of 27 days effective July 13.

The mandatory furloughs must be taken on Fridays as the court plans to be closed to the public after 12 p.m. on Fridays. Management had to amend this policy once already when members pointed out the inefficiency of imposing furloughs on courtroom clerks on days when court was still in session.

Court workers from all divisions met with management on July 26. CEO Barton sided with us because he realized that there were parts of the voluntary memo that were unclear about how those days would be converted once mandatory days took effect.

“These furloughs are already really hard on our income. When they approve time off and then put restrictions on when we can take it, that’s just wrong. Winning these grievances shows what we can accomplish when we stand together!” – Vickie Jaurigui, Jury Services Clerk

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