Imperial Court contract ratification May 24

On May 16, your SEIU bargaining team tentatively agreed to the contract with the Court.

Now it’s your turn to vote on the final package this Thursday, May 24!

Your bargaining team is recommending a YES vote. Not a member? Sign up to support your bargaining team and vote YES. Wear Purple on Thursday to show your support!

Thursday, May 24, Ratification Vote

Winterhaven (outside courthouse) 8:45-9 am
Brawley (Jury Room in Brawley East) 10:30-11 am
Valley Plaza (second floor conference room) 11-noon
Main Courthouse (lower level conference room) 11:30-1:30 pm

You must be a member to vote. You can sign up for membership at the voting sites.


Major contract changes your SEIU bargaining team negotiated

The term of the contract is the date of ratification until December 31, 2019

Compensation and overtime

  • All employees will receive a 2% increase, retroactive to January 1, 2018. The parties will re-open negotiations in September 2018 on base wages and any increase negotiated will be made retroactive to July 1, 2018.
  • For the Clerical/Technical Unit, employees working out of class will receive a 5% increase for any working out of class for more than 20 consecutive calendar days.

Health insurance

  • Retroactive to January 2018, the Court will increase its contribution to employees in the Gold PPO and SIMNSA plans. The Court will now pay 77% of the cost (an increase from 75%).
  • An employee and the SEIU representative may attend the health insurance broker’s annual meeting to management on health insurance plans and may provide feedback to management.


  • Increase of 1 day of vacation for employees with more than 10 years of service. Employees with more than 10 years of service shall now receive 18 days, employees with 15 years of services will receive 21 days, and employees with more than 20 years of service shall receive 23 days.
  • Employees may use vacation in 15 minute increments instead of half an hour.
  • Incorporated the Vacation Buy Back into the contract. Employees may cash out up to 50 hours of vacation a year, to be paid in the final full pay period in November.

Special pay practices

  • Bilingual pay will be available to qualified employees at an additional $20 per paycheck. Employees will be certified by the Court through testing and the certification must take place within 30 days of requesting to take the test.
  • Tuition reimbursement amount increase of $200 to $1,200 per calendar year.

Sick leave

  • All employees will receive 1 additional sick day per year (increasing from 12 to 13 days).
  • Language change that states that employees absent more than 3 consecutive days may be required to provide a doctor’s note rather than any employee requesting sick leave.
  • Also added language saying that no employee shall be “harassed, admonished, reprimanded, or in any way disciplined” for using sick leave.
  • Employees may use sick leave in 15 minute increments instead of half an hour.
  • Created a catastrophic leave program that allows employees to donate vacation leave to other employees who have exhausted all paid leave in the event of a sickness or injury to the employee or an immediate family member.

Bereavement leave

  • Increased the number of days an employee has for bereavement leave from 6 to 9 days within a rolling 12-month period.

Grievance procedure

  • All suspensions of 5 days or more can be appealed through the non-binding arbitration process outlined in the Discipline Policy (previously available for suspensions of more than 5 days).
  • Added language allowing for group grievances and grievances made by SEIU on the employee’s behalf and added 2 additional alternate union stewards.

Union rights

  • An increase to the number of employees who may receive paid release time for negotiations with the Court, to 4 employees in the Clerical/Technical Unit and 2 for the Court Reporters.
  • The Union will be notified of the hiring and orientation of new bargaining unit members at least 10 days ahead of the employee’s first day of employment.
  • The Union will receive a list of employees with contact information up to 4 times a year.
  • The Court will allow for time off on their own time for 4 Union members for up to 2 work days per calendar year.

Personnel files

  • An employee can remove a written reprimand, written warning, or written counseling memo from the employee’s file if there has been no similar offense within 18 months, a decrease from 2 years.

Bulletin boards

  • Language changes indicating SEIU or Union instead of Association.

Employee entrance

  • Once Valley Plaza employees have moved to the Main Court, the Court will create and maintain a separate entrance for employees and attorneys from 7:45 to 8:15 am and 12:45 to 1:15 pm.

Labor Management Committee

  • A Labor Management Committee will be created for the Union and Management to meet and discuss work issues. It will be made up of by 4 representatives from Management and 4 from the Union. It will meet at least quarterly or more frequently upon mutual agreement. The Committee will make recommendations for Court management consideration. Any recommendations will be sent to the CEO and the CEO must reply within 45 days. The Court and SEIU will also discuss creating departmental work procedure manuals within this Committee.

Working hours and work week

  • Strengthened language about break times, stating that employees shall receive a rest period in the morning and in the afternoon though the bench officer will continue to control the exact timing of rest periods for employees in Court.
  • Removed language saying that the violation of the contract’s rest break rules may lead to discipline for the employee.
  • Clarified existing language regarding section 6.6 which stated, “Emergency work situations take precedence over rest periods,” to include the definition of an emergency work situation to mean a situation that substantially interferes with Court operations (for example, flooding or an earthquake).

Probationary period

  • Court Services Assistants who are promoted to a higher CSA level within the same department in which they are already working (the Departments are: Civil, Criminal, Traffic, and Accounting) shall serve a probationary period of 6 months (a decrease from 1 year).
  • Judicial Assistants who are promoted to a higher JA level shall serve a probationary period of 6 months (a decrease from 1 year).
  • Removed language that stated a transferred employee shall serve a probationary period.

Involuntary reassignment and rotations

  • When an employee is reallocated or rotated to a new assignment or work location, the Court may first ask for volunteers when it’s deemed operationally possible.
  • The Court will provide a minimum of 3 days’ notice regarding reassignment or rotation to the extent operationally possible.


  • Removed language stating that the amount of holiday pay is prorated based on the number of hours on paid status during the work week.

Comments are closed.