FINAL 2021 Annual Report
Pandemic Backlog In response to the continuing public safety challenges, SBSC temporarily adopted new rules and emergency orders to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As SBSC quickly transformed its operations to remain open and accessible, the pending workload courtwide rose to levels previously unseen. In 2021, the pandemic continued to challenge SBSC’s ability to ensure access to justice. Altered operations, delayed proceedings, and pandemic-related absences such as illness, quarantining, caring for loved ones, and school closures increased the pending workload levels. These unseen times, coupled with extreme budget reductions, resulted in a smaller workforce and a hiring freeze. Reducing the pending workload is essential, as is ensuring there is a sufficient workforce to incorporate process efficiencies with the restoration of funding seen in FY 2021-22 and new one-time backlog funding. The court coordinated and introduced comprehensive strategies to reduce and clear the pending workload. This plan includes hiring temporary staff and returning retirees, maximizing available resources and arranging overtime as funding allowed. The court operated with only an average of 79% of its workforce need throughout the year. A difficult feat made possible by the steadfast dedication of many staff and strategic judicial and executive leadership.
A six-month review of July and December of 2021 illustrates the impact of deployed strategies as pending workload levels decreased by an average of 49% compared to levels in the same time-period of 2020.
COVID BACKLOG OVERTIME HOURS Eighty-nine percent of the court’s overtime has been dedicated to the COVID backlog equating to 11,817 hours worked.
HOURS WORKED BY ADDITIONAL TEMPORARY HELP TO ADDRESS BACKLOG Nearly 8,100 hours worked by additional help, hired through temporary agencies and returning retirees, have been dedicated to address the COVID backlog.
12 ANNUAL REPORT 2021
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