Court interpreters reach tentative agreements

The California Federation of Interpreters has reached tentative agreements in two of the three regions bargaining new contracts.

CFI, a unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild that represents more than 850 court interpreters in California, negotiated a tentative agreement on Monday for interpreters in the Central Valley (Region 3). Late last month, CFI reached a tentative agreement for interpreters in the Bay Area (Region 2). Region 1 (Los Angeles area) is still in negotiations.

Both agreements would give interpreters $500 to $1,000 bonuses over the next three years. The amounts depend on whether the interpreter is a full-time, part-time or intermittent employee.

Interpreters in both regions had faced a proposal that would have let the courts send them home early without pay or prior notice, eroding the 40-hour workweek. Court administrators withdrew the proposal after CFI agreed to  modify its contract so the courts could implement video remote interpreting.

Both the Region 2 and the Region 3 TAs call for the the courts to bargain with CFI over the effects of VRI before implementation. Those effects would include:

  • Circumstances that are appropriate for VRI;
  • Modes of interpretation;
  • Protocols and procedures for appropriate use of VRI;
  • Protection of attorney-client privilege and other confidentiality issues;
  • Technical minimums for equipment used for VRI, including cameras, video screens, lighting, microphones, audio quality, computers and bandwidth;
  • Document procedures related to the use of VRI; and
  • CFI will schedule a ratification meeting with members to discuss and vote on the tentative agreement.

Region 2 interpreters have until June 22 to vote on the TA. Region 3 will provide interpreters voting procedures this week.


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Pacific Media Workers Guild

We are the Pacific Media Workers Guild, Local 39521 of The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America. We represent more than 1,200 journalists and other media workers, interpreters, translators, union staffs and freelancers.