CFI region 3 bargaining all about courts wanting to cut costs

SACRAMENTO – Region 3 said courts believe there’s a bargaining impasse — a claim that CFI rejected, insisting that there’s no impasse and that progress toward a settlement continues.

In fact, Region 3 and CFI moved closer to agreement on several issues during Tuesday’s negotiations, including team interpreting, coordinating interpreters, and steward release time for representation of members.

Region 3 requested, and CFI agreed, to begin using a mediator to assist in the negotiations. The next bargaining date will be set after the mediator’s availability is determined.

Region 3 emphasized three issues on Tuesday: wages, video remote interpreting, and early release without pay. Region 3 said it only will agree to a one-year deal with no raises. The region’s courts also say the agreement must include the freedom to implement video remote interpreting, and the ability to send interpreters home without pay at 3 p.m.

“We’ve got to have VRI and early release,” said the courts’ chief spokesperson.

In support of its argument for early release, Region 3 contended interpreters often have no work at the end of the day — even after rejecting CFI’s proposal to begin interpreting for all of the existing work in the courthouse that isn’t currently provided, including interviews, civil hearings, and court ordered programs.

Responding to the Region’s insistence on no wage increase, CFI noted again that interpreters have not had a raise in six years while other employee groups in Region 3 have seen their actual wages rise.

CFI’s contract expired September 30, 2012. Its terms and conditions remain in effect while negotiations continue.

Representing CFI were the bargaining committee members Regina Coronado, Lesley Edgar, Matt Marchetti, Norma Yañez; and Union staffers Brandon Scovill and Darren Carroll. Marina Sanchis of Sacramento was present to observe.

Representing Region 3 were Joe Wiley, Ginger Durham of Sacramento; Mary Calderon and Sheran Morton of Fresno; and Lisa Werblun and Scott Gardner of the AOC.

The next bargaining session is not scheduled, and will most likely be a mediation session, for which watch and support participation will not be necessary.

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Michael Applegate

Pacific Media Workers Executive Officer