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Sacramento Court: Probation Evaluation Policy

On January 23, 2024, the Sacramento Superior Court met and conferred with UPE over proposed changes to their probation evaluation policy.  This meeting is the result of UPE shining a light on the Court’s total failure to provide evaluations for probationary employees.  The current policy requires the Court to provide probationary workers with a total of three evaluations, approximately at 4 and 8 months, and the conclusion of probation.  UPE’s investigation found that most employees on probation never received an evaluation.


To address this issue, the Court’s proposal is to eliminate one of the required evaluations and only provide them to members at 6 and 12 months.  UPE strongly objected to this change.  The Court releases the vast majority of members from probation before they reach six months of service.  By waiting until 6 months to provide an evaluation, the Court deprives these employees of valuable feedback that could help them pass their probation. The Court is doing its probationary workers a disservice by proposing to delay evaluations until the 6th month. 


The Court is also proposing a change to the rules governing the extension of probation.  Under the current rules, if an employee misses more than 30 consecutive days of work for any reason, their probation may be extended for each day missed beyond the 30th day.  So, if a worker missed 40 consecutive days, the Court could extend their probation by 10 additional days. 


Under the new proposal, the Court wanted to have an automatic increase to probation once an employee reached a total of 15 missed days during their probation.  In addition, the Court’s original proposal would add 15 days to the probation as soon as 15 days were missed.  UPE objected to this, and the Court countered with extending probation for each day missed beyond 15 days.  However, the Court is maintaining its position that the extension applies after a total of 15 days are missed, not just if they are missed consecutively. 


UPE does not believe this is fair.  UPE agrees that missing work can have a negative impact on training and learning for new employees.  However, UPE’s position is that the negative impact is reduced when the absences are spaced out over the year versus happening consecutively.  UPE offered a counterproposal to extend probation for each day missed beyond 15 consecutive days.  The Court rejected this proposal.

UPE and Sacramento Court will meet again over the policy because the two sides have not reached an agreement.  UPE believes probationary evaluations are extremely important and a critical part of ensuring new employees are successful at the Court.  UPE will continue to update members on the status of this negotiation. 


UPE thanks governing board members,

Paul McGee, Andrea Howard, Lizette Sweezer Morris, Tammi Boxer, Nancy Wallace, Julie Valdivia, Liz Teklinsky, Alison Saltonstall and Chrstina Arcuri for their participation.


TOGETHER WE ARE STRONG!

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