Over 1,000 SEIU 721 and AFSCME LA Superior Court workers rallied outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse on Thursday to stand up for quality services for our communities. Court workers across LA County, including those in Airport, Alhambra, Antelope Valley, Central Civil West, Chatsworth, Children’s Court, Compton, Downey, East LA, El Monte, Inglewood, Long Beach, Metro, Norwalk, Pasadena, Pomona, Santa Clarita, Santa Monica, Torrance, Van Nuys and West Covina also rallied in solidarity.
With unprecedented attacks on working people and the public sector, it’s more important than ever for us to stick together and fight for our communities.
Members have been in bargaining for months, and are demanding that LA Superior Court invest in frontline workers and the communities we serve. When the courts were hit with layoffs and furloughs, that meant a reduction in services, and that hurt working families who were now forced to drive across the county to file paperwork, because key services were no longer available at their nearby courthouse.
While paying a traffic ticket in another courthouse would be an annoying inconvenience, it is a much more urgent matter for a mother who is trying to get a temporary restraining order against an abusive partner, or for a parent trying to finalize a messy child custody case that is turning their life and the life of their child upside down. When you factor in the cost of transportation and the difficulty in being able to take off a full day of work, it means that working families with less money are less likely to seek justice in any matter, and that is a travesty.
During the rally, dozens of members marched with a large “Take a Number” banner, reminding us of the direct connection between what happens at the bargaining table and the services our courts provide. Businesses can’t wait, children can’t wait, victims can’t wait, our communities can’t wait.
Right now, Court workers make a modest salary and many can no longer afford to live in LA and keep up with cost of living increases. Unless the LA Superior Court is able to increase salaries and benefits, more and more of these workers will leave to find work where the salaries are higher and there is less stress – or they will have to move. By not making the necessary investments, the end result is that our communities are yet again short-changed and have less access to justice.
We will continue fighting for adequate investment in vital court services. Text “SEIU” to 31996 to sign up for text alerts with the latest scoop.