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SACRAMENTO — Around 350 Sacramento Superior Court staff, including court reporters, clerks and security, began a strike on Tuesday.

A spokesperson with The United Public Employees Union says they have been bargaining with Sacramento Superior Courts since May and working on an expired contract since October. The union says its members are looking for higher wages.

“We have families too,” said court clerk Angela Ramos. “We want to work and support our families just like they want to work and support their families.”

Ramos says better working conditions are also a priority.

“The work morale has gone down a huge amount just because we have not enough employees and we’re getting the brunt of the work and still not getting paid for the work that we do,” she said.

Workers picketing Tuesday said they feel a technology project has been prioritized over them.

“It’s sad that I’m out here picketing because my employer doesn’t feel that I’m a priority over his IT projects around here,” deputy clerk Nancy Wallace said.

Despite many key employees picketing outside, Sacramento Superior Courts opened as usual on Tuesday though unassigned jurors were dismissed early in the day.

The Sacramento County Superior Court system responded to the strike saying in part:

The contract offer to UPE Office Technical Unit is fair and consistent with other trial courts and the County of Sacramento.
Approximately, 80-85% of the trial court budget is spent on employee’s salaries and benefits.

The Court is willing to work with the Judicial Council and new Administration to find a solution.