Local court reporters, clerks continue their strike

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For a fourth day, Fresno County court reporters and clerks picketed in front of the courthouse.

But today they met twice with court executives in hopes of a resolution.

The court system was crippled this week because of the lack of court reporters and other staff.

Less than a handful were working on Friday- and the rest were shouting for economic justice outside the courthouse doors.

The bargaining team marched into the courthouse Friday hoping to reach some type of deal with the CEO of the courthouse- to end what's been a long and exhausting week on strike.

Court reporter Denise Dedmon reported slight progress is being made.

"It's still discouraging to have to go through this to get something fair. We just want something fair. We just want to be respected. We want our employees to be made whole," Dedmon said.

On Friday afternoon, the workers were joined by other labor union representatives, several Fresno City councilmembers and newly elected Congressman TJ Cox. All supporting the staff who have loudly protested outside their place of business for four days.

"These people deserve- they deserve what they are asking for. And they have worked hard for it. And they need to be restored to at least the 2012 standards that they gave up in support of the City and the County when there was hard economic times," said Fresno City Councilmember Paul Caprioglio

"We want our justice workers to have a 40-hour work week. We want our justice workers to have access to affordable health care. We want our justice workers to have adequate levels of support staff," said Central Labor Council Executive Director Dillon Savory.

Inside the courthouse Friday, countless cases were continued. The shortage of staff and court reporters only allowed a few courtrooms to be operational. Several judges rotated through a single courtroom to share a court reporter.

The protesters say they want to go back to work- to the jobs they love. But they said they are willing to go without their wages for now- for the principle of the matter.

Court executives did not return calls for comment Friday.

Court clerks and reporters say after two negotiating sessions Friday, no agreement was reached. They plan to continue to strike.
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