New staffing for interpreter members

New CFI staffer Kahraman, second from right, with Working America of the AFL-CIO bargaining team, one of his previous projects.

Officers of the Pacific Media Workers Guild announced a new staff lineup Tuesday for the Guild’s California Federation of Interpreters (CFI) unit.

The San Francisco-based Media Workers Guild is the largest West Coast affiliate of The Newspaper Guild-CWA. The statewide CFI unit represents more than 850 language professionals working in the Superior Court system.

The new staffing plan includes a team of full-time and part-time field representatives in San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles. Josif Kahraman, a veteran union professional for the Guild and other unions, began working this week at our Los Angeles office, joining lead Southern California field representative Silvia Barden.

Kahraman comes to the Guild/CFI staff after working at the National Union of Healthcare Workers, which just affiliated with the California Nurses Association. Previously, he served as Executive Director/negotiator of the Engineers and Architects Association of Los Angeles, and as lead organizer running campaigns for AFSCME. He was a Lead Organizer/Local Representative for the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild from 2007 to 2010.

Barden and Kahraman will serve as field representatives for the CFI in Southern California (Region 1 and Region 4), with backup from veteran Guild/CFI representative Bruce Meachum. Barden is serving as chief spokesperson for the CFI Region 1 negotiating committee in LA.

Meachum has been assigned to assist members of the Local’s newly organized Purple Communications unit, which represents about 225 American Sign Language interpreters in California, Arizona and Colorado. Contract talks are expected to begin soon.

Staff representatives Brandon Scovill, who is based in Sacramento, and Anabelle Garay, based in San Francisco, will handle CFI’s two Northern California regions (Regions 2 and 3), with backing from Guild international staff representative Darren Carroll.

Scovill serves as lead spokesperson for the Region 3 negotiating team, and also is staff liaison for the CFI’s legislative and political affairs, working with our rank and file activists and professional Sacramento lobbyist. Carroll leads the CFI bargaining committee in the Bay Area (Region 2). Garay’s duties will include CFI member communications and assistance for the newly formed National Interpreter Action Network.

The CFI field staff and bargaining teams are supported by CFI office workers Eva Vargas in San Francisco and Montserrat Gomez in Los Angeles.

“Our interpreter members face a lot of challenges, including difficult negotiations in three of our four California regions, and worksites spread all over the state in practically every courthouse,” Media Workers Executive Officer Carl Hall said. “Fortunately, we have the kind of experienced, dedicated staff it will take to succeed in this kind of tough environment.”

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Michael Applegate

Pacific Media Workers Executive Officer