United Public Employees.
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UPE News Item

Sutter Superior Court Meet & Confer Update

Personnel Manual


UPE and Sutter Court concluded negotiations with the Court over changes to the personnel manual.  The agreed changes are summarized below:

  • Job posting must remain open for twelve calendar days and span two weekends. 
  • The Court must give workers 3 Days’ notice before changing their assignment within the  court e.g., moving from one division to another. 
  • Clarified that workers may makeup time within the same workday with approval from their supervisor.
  • Added union communication to the list of permitted uses of Court email.   
  • Added requirement that supervisors respond to all vacation requests within a reasonable period of time (this does not necessarily mean approve the time, but the supervisor must acknowledge receipt of the request and give some idea when it would be approved or denied.  
  • Court agreed to meet with UPE to develop a new evaluation process. 
  • Court agreed to meet with UPE to develop a ‘Lead Stretch Program’ to help prepare workers to take Lead and Supervisor positions.

These are positive changes that UPE hopes will make things better for Court employees.  However, throughout the negotiations the Court consistently refused to cede any ounce of control over the discipline process.  UPE proposed placing time limits on how long the various forms of written discipline can remain in a members file, but the Court flatly rejected them.  UPE proposed treating suspensions of five days or less the same as suspensions of more than five days, but the Court refused.  

UPE is left to wonder why the Court wants so much control over the discipline process.  Why are they afraid of reasonable timelines?  Why don’t they want workers who have been suspended without pay for five days or less to have access to a neutral third party to ensure that the discipline was justly imposed?  Are they afraid of what would happen if an outside party reviewed their actions?  Are they hoping to use the discipline process to control their employees?  

As a reminder: as union members, you are entitled to union representation at any meeting that is disciplinary in nature or may become disciplinary.  You must request representation.  UPE is here to help you fight against an overbearing court that does not wish to open its discipline process to outside oversight and reasonable limitations.  


United Public Employees
9333 Tech Center Drive, #300
Sacramento, CA  95826
Phone: 916-736-9503
Fax: 916-736-9506