Courts propose wage cuts, added duties for interpreters

July 25, 2012

Region 2 court administrators proposed adding to the daily duties of interpreters while cutting wages by 10 percent and reducing guaranteed work hours.

The measures presented by the courts during Monday’s opening bargaining session closely mirror those previously proposed in Region 3.

The most significant proposals made by Region 2 to the California Federation of Interpreters on July 23 include:

  • Cutting all interpreter wages by 10 percent.
  • Curbing the paid work hours of full-time interpreters and decreasing half-day minimum hours for part time and intermittent interpreters by guaranteeing only two hours of work per assignment.
  • Requiring interpreters to handle translation of forms, letters and websites; coordinate interpreting assignments; interpret at public counters and self-help centers.
  • Eliminating all benefits intermittent part time interpreters.

The region’s negotiator said the proposals aim to generate savings that could be applied to other court operations.

While bargaining committee members understand that courts statewide face serious budget woes, state funding allocated specifically for interpreter services hasn’t been cut. In fact, there’s enough money available to cover current expenses and expand interpreter services.

CFI’s bargaining committee plans to offer its proposals after conferring with interpreters during the Aug. 11 membership meeting in Santa Rosa. The committee urges CFI members to stand together as a region and across the state to protect interpreter jobs and industry standards.

Bargaining committee members include Brandon Scovill, Mary Lou Arangueren, Fanny Suarez, Katy Van Sant, David Sweet-Cordero, Andy Ta and Anabelle Garay.


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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.