News

Region 1 Bargaining Session Update

November 28, 2017

Our bargaining team met with management on November 28 at the Mosk courthouse. We didn't have a smooth start.  We were supposed to have a room available at 9:00 am for our team to caucus before meeting with management at 10:00 am.  Three different team members were given three different room numbers.  We ended up in a room with no electrical plugs and poor internet access even though the conference room where we met before was available. 

Our bargaining team was missing Kathleen Sinclair and Robert Guerrero. We also had the following observers: Karen Klebingat, "A" status Spanish interpreter assigned to Norwalk; Ramona Rodriguez "F" status Spanish interpreter; Eliza Chavez Fraga "F" status Spanish interpreter; Maricarmen Belver "F" status Spanish interpreter; Susie Zollinger "A" status Spanish interpreter assigned to Long Beach; Alessandra Harbin "F" status Spanish interpreter; Patricia Sanchez, "A" status Spanish interpreter, Michelle Stevens "F" status Spanish interpreter and Gabrielle Veit "A"status Spanish interpreter. We appreciate interpreter observers and we encourage everyone to file their RTO early and attend one of our sessions.

Management presented us with a "comprehensive" list of the Region's counter to our outstanding proposals.  The court was dismissive of most of our proposals. They made an insulting counter proposal on wages. Their proposal fails to even keep pace with the cost of living and rejects the step scale we had presented. They proposed a 1.5% increase to current base hourly rate on the first full pay period after ratification. After July 1, 2018 a 1% increase and after July 1, 2019 another 1% increase. The Court's proposal provided neither retroactive pay nor a signing bonus.

We made some adjustments to some of our proposals, countered the rejected ones and continued to insist on some of our original proposed changes.

We were able to reach an agreement on future bargaining dates. There are no more dates this year.  Our dates for next year will be January 9, January 22, January 29, February 6 and February 21st. Will keep you posted as to the location. Hope to see many of you there.

Sincerely,

Your Bargaining team

Pedro Ramirez 
Daniel Kaufman 
Doris Vick 
Michael Ferreira 
Robert Guerrero 
Caren Sencer, Spokesperson

 

CFI Local 39000 Update

November 21, 2017

Election News
PERB Hearings
Oakland Office
Annual Conference
 
Election News
 
The election for new Local Officers and Executive Board Members will be starting within a couple of weeks.  We have identified a balloting company (Ballotpoint) which will conduct the election process, this company is run by former Department of Labor agents and will handle the mailing of the ballots.
 
What we do need is members of the Local (who are not running for office, or campaigning for any candidates) to be on the election committee for this election.   A few people who were trained or possible members have decided not to participate.  So, we are opening this to all members of the Local who want to volunteer.  There will not be a need to attend meetings in person until we have the actual ballot count. 
 
The election rules will be the first task (we have samples from other parts of the union to look at), then the timeline for nominations and the election.  The election committee will meet via electronic meetings with me as we set these details and coordinate the election.
 
If you are interested in serving on the election committee – send an email no later than close of business on Monday November 27th, to: info@local39000.org
 
PERB Hearings
 
Two cases over the changes in benefits (in Regions 4 and 2) have been wending their way through the PERB process and we now have 2 cases in the middle of Administrative Law Judge hearings.  Both hearings have had 2 days of hearings, and are being continued for another 2 days in the New Year.  There will be post hearing briefs, so we are many months away from resolutions.
 
The problem at the core of these cases is that the Law says wages are bargained at the regional level and benefits are provided at the county/court level.  This limits our bargaining power in the case where there are changes outside of the periods when we are bargaining a contract.  A resolution may well require a change in the interpreter law so that we have more power and a way to resolve these matters that is not delayed by years of PERB hearings.
 
Oakland Office
 
The Oakland office is no longer staffed with clerical support, as Eva Vargas resigned after her work on the annual Conference.  We appreciated Eva stepping up and making the event possible, and she was honored for her service at the end of the Conference.
 
The financial and membership files have been moved to the Santa Fe Springs office of the Local which will remain our main location.  The lease on the Oakland office is not being ended, but the incoming Executive Board will deal with the question of maintaining offices in both parts of the state.
 
Annual Conference
 
We had 135 participants in the Conference last month, and are wrapping up the very last accounting details so that we can show exactly what the event cost.  The Oakland Airport Hilton contract had obligated the local to pay $58,000 (plus taxes and occupancy fees) for the event when it was signed by former leaders.  Thanks to Eva, Monse, and all the volunteers who helped make the event happen.
 
Happy Thanksgiving, our office in Santa Fe Springs will be closed from Wednesday November 22nd through the weekend, reopening Monday November 27th.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Carrie Biggs-Adams
Temporary Administrator

 

Region 1 Bargaining Session Update

November 8, 2017

Bargaining team today at the Santa Barbara Courthouse with the Region 1 Administration committee.
 
In addition to the Bargaining Committee and Region 1 administration attendees, we were pleased to have several employees present to participate in the Watch & Support committee during the AM and PM sessions.  Local interpreters in attendance were: Lucila Ritterstein (F), Jose Navarrete (A), Lucinda Aragón (A).  Michele Stevens (F), Martha Paredes (A), Adela Herrera (A), and Maria Ruiz (A) drove in from San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles Counties!  We continue to invite Members to these sessions so that they can see firsthand what is happening and to show their support!
 
Bargaining committee presented a proposal regarding release time for employees traveling to Union negotiation sessions and is requesting a release of five days to prepare for negotiation meet and confer sessions.
 
We presented a wage proposal that includes steps.  They were unprepared to respond to our wage proposal as it "took their breath away.."  Our goal is to make the Court wage rates competitive with other providers of language access services.  We also proposed changes to improve the current mileage  reimbursement policy and wage adjustments specifically for those registered/certified in multiple languages.   In addition, they received a proposal on cross assignments.
 
Martha Paredes, Kathleen Sinclair, and Pedro Ramirez made a presentation regarding employee waiting areas and the effect that having too many people in very enclosed areas affects employee health, storage of personal belongings, noise levels, F employee access to employee waiting areas, and peer working relationships.
 
Region 1 Administration rejected CFI's proposal relating to:

  • reimbursement for CIMCE credits, a proposal to an increase in hours taken for leaves of absence to attend training, and for the cost of our yearly certification.  They want to "focus on wages". 
  • participation in the cross-assignment system when on an unpaid leave of absence and on leave.
  • to strengthen team interpreting and continuity in interpreters on trials/long cause matters.  They insist that the "Court will make reasonable efforts to provide a second interpreter" but would not accept our language saying that they "would" do so.  They indicated that the final decision is at the discretion of the judge.  They did agree the language we inserted relating to interpreting of text messaging language and communication via digital and social media.

The next bargaining session will take place on November 28th at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse (Room 428). Get your red-clad road trip crew together and we'll see you there on 11/28! Please be sure to fill out your RTOs requesting this day off (and email a copy of the response to info@local39000.org) and remember to wear red on Thursdays and on bargaining days!
 
Be sure to read your CFI emails for Bargaining updates and for opportunities to demonstrate your commitment to fight for the best possible contract.

Your Bargaining Team,

Pedro Ramirez 
Daniel Kaufman 
Doris Vick 
Michael Ferreira 
Robert Guerrero 
Caren Sencer, Spokesperson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Region 1 Bargaining Session Update

October 19, 2017

Region 1 Bargaining Committee met with Region 1 administration yesterday at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.

In addition to the Bargaining Committee and Region 1 administration attendees, we were pleased to have several employees present to participate in the Watch & Support committee during the AM and PM sessions: Ramona Rodriguez (F), Maria Delgado (F), Maria Ruiz (A), Martha Zeledon-Lopez (A), Silvia Barden (F), Diana Pasillas (A), Jenny Kim (A), Melissa Macracken (A), Yazmin Lopez-Mosqueda (A), and Victoria Rea (A). 

We continue to invite Members to these sessions so that they can see firsthand what is happening and to show their support!

Nearly 40 Interpreters attended a lunchtime rally at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.  F and A status employees came from Metro, Long Beach, Children's Court, Criminal Courts, Stanley Mosk, Santa Monica, Long Beach, Burbank, Airport, and El Monte. Many of those in attendance came during their lunch hour and traveled by car, bus, and train to show their support for a fair contract.  Thank you all for your lively participation and our most sincere thanks to the organizers!  

We discussed at length Region 1 administration's proposed changes to Article 18 (Interpreter Assignments).  We agreed on some points on efficiency in the job assignment process and restated our position on preserving seniority rights when offering assignments.  Both parties further agreed to continue dialogue on this issue.  

We presented a proposal for Article 19, Section 3 regarding the release of employees for cross-assignments within one business day. 

Your Bargaining committee is in the process of finalizing a wage proposal. Our goal is to make the Court wage rates competitive with other providers of language access services.

The next bargaining session will take place on November 8th at the Santa Barbara Courthouse (118 E. Figueroa Street). Get you red-clad road trip crew together and we'll see you there on 11/8! Please be sure to fill out your RTOs requesting this day off (and email a copy of the response to info@local39000.org) and remember to wear red on Thursdays and on bargaining days!

Be sure to read your CFI emails for Bargaining updates and for opportunities to demonstrate your commitment to fight for the best possible contract.

Your Bargaining Team,

Pedro Ramirez 
Daniel Kaufman 
Doris Vick 
Michael Ferreira 
Robert Guerrero 
Caren Sencer, Spokesperson

 
 

Region 1 Bargaining Session Update

October 11, 2017

Region 1 Bargaining team met with Region 1 Administration Wednesday October 11th at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.

In addition to the Bargaining Committee and Region 1 administration attendees we were pleased to have several employees present to participate in the Watch & Support committee during the AM and PM sessions: Elisa Chavez Fraga (F), Samantha Lubrani (A), Luis Mena (A), Sonia Peralta (A), Agnes Woo (A), James Varese (A), Marco Larriva (A), Ismael Carrillo (A), and Gabrielle Veit-Bermudez (A). Several of those in attendance came during their lunch hour.  We continue to invite Members to these sessions so that they can see firsthand what is happening and to show their support!

Region 1 administration used PowerPoint to introduce their proposed changes to Article 18 (Interpreter Assignments). To them, the current "Article 18 language impedes prompt, common-sense, logistical decisions to provide language access."  

Here are some figures they presented: without counting F category there are presently 275 A (255 Spanish) & 20 C interpreters in LA County.  Out of approximately 100 F employees an average of 35 make themselves available on any given day. With that, they need to cover on a daily basis 436 courtrooms in 38 different locations.  On any given day 30-40 courtrooms may be dark. While they reported a 32% drop in case filings from fiscal year 2013 to fiscal year 2017, the number of A&C status interpreters has increased from 267 to 275 during the same period.

Their proposal is to eliminate seniority-based assignments for F status interpreters and to allow for the use of Independent contractors whenever the Administration desires,  Under their proposal, there would be no obligation to contact F status interpreters before assigning work to independent contractors. This would be part of the their rollout of a new automated online assignment system.  The Bargaining Team is committed to protecting seniority rights and the full utilization of our employee workforce before hiring independent contractors.

We requested to have a bargaining session in either Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo to allow our Central Coast members to participate in the Watch and Support team and we can now confirm that the November 8th session will take place at the Santa Barbara Courthouse (118 E. Figueroa Street). Get you red-clad road trip crew together and we'll see you there on 11/8! 

The next Bargaining session is confirmed for October 18th  at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse (Room 522).  Please be sure to fill out your RTOs requesting this day off and remember to wear red on Thursdays and on bargaining days!

Be sure to read your CFI emails for Bargaining updates and for opportunities to demonstrate your commitment to fight for the best possible contract.

CFI Bargaining Team

Pedro Ramirez
Daniel Kaufman
Doris Vick
Michael Ferreira
Robert Guerrero
Caren Sencer, Spokesperson
 
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