MARTINEZ — Expect cases to move more slowly through Contra Costa County Superior Court as a result of layoff notices sent out to 16 court workers this week.
The layoff move — the first targeting the court’s clerical workers — is the latest action by the state-funded Contra Costa County court to try to manage a $7.4 million budget deficit. The cuts make it impossible for the court to sustain current service levels, according to court spokeswoman Mimi Lyster.
“We expect further delays in processing and adjudicating cases,” Lyster said.
The court’s budget for 2009-10 is $68 million after state fiscal problems forced $7.4 million in cuts. The court did all it could to avoid laying off staff members, including using $4 million of its $8.5 million reserve fund, Lyster said. Over the past 18 months, the court has laid off four executives in administration and 39 temporary employees, and eliminated nine management and 11 staff positions left vacant by attrition. Managers have forgone pay increases, members of two unions will be paying more for their benefits, and workers are invited to volunteer for furlough days.
The remaining deficit stood at $1.9 million when 16 workers received notice Monday that their last day will be Feb. 25.
Click here to continue reading.