San Mateo Co. court to lay off 28

September 1, 2009 10:19:16 PM PDT
The San Mateo County Superior Court will lay off 28 people in October because of an estimated $3.89 million budget shortfall, according to county officials.

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The layoffs will be effective Oct. 2 and will include employees from all levels of the organization, according to officials.

The court had originally estimated that 60 people would be laid off, but Court Executive Officer John Fitton said that the court is using a significant portion of its remaining fund balance to minimize the impact of layoffs.

"We are doing layoffs incrementally in a way that allows the court to ensure that essential services to the public and reasonable workloads for staff are maintained," Fitton said in a statement.

Cutbacks in funding from the state have contributed to the budget shortfall, with $3.87 million being cut this year and $4.68 million expected to be cut next year. About 70 percent of the court's expenses are employee salaries, wages and benefits, according to Fitton.

"This is an extremely painful time for the court and its employees," Judge Stephen M. Hall said in a statement. "We value every single one of our colleagues, and we are deeply sorry to have to resort to layoffs."

To further reduce spending, many judicial officers are donating 4.62 percent of their salary, which equates to one unpaid workday per month, back to the court.

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