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Four months after Santa Clara County’s 650 court workers agreed to end a three-day walkout, court administrators and the labor union still haven’t signed a deal, apparently because the two sides had trouble agreeing on just what they agreed to during a late-night mediation session. Union officials and a court spokeswoman said final details of the two-year contract are now mostly ironed out. “Sometimes what happens is when you are bargaining at 3 a.m. and there is a mediator there, you have to look at everything later,” said union secretary and negotiator Kristy Sermersheim. “Each of us wrote up what we had and there were some issues. But we have worked it out and we are living with it.” One disagreement was whether part-time employees and workers on leave were entitled to the $1,000 across-the-board bonuses offered by management. Sermersheim said the union won that point. The union lost, though, on its contention that research attorneys had been promised that their positions would no longer expire after three years. “This union is going to continue to work to try to figure out how to make the working conditions for the lawyers more stable and to make sure the court recognizes their value to the court. That is going to be a constant struggle,” Sermersheim said. Court spokeswoman Debra Hodges wouldn’t elaborate on the dispute, except to say that “what occurred is there was misinformation given to one of the represented groups.” James Rumble, the court’s general counsel, declined to comment. Presiding Judge Thomas Hansen didn’t return a call seeking comment, either. But the bench gave court Chief Executive Officer Kiri Torre high marks for her handling of the labor negotiations that led to the court’s first strike in 17 years. In Torre’s performance evaluation for last year, which was obtained by The Recorder, then-Presiding Judge Richard Turrone praised her for “having played a leadership role in this speedy resolution of this labor dispute.” Turrone also wrote that Torre “created an atmosphere where people want to come to work, where they find enjoyment, recognition and a sense of achievement.”

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