California Federation of Interpreters


June 10, 2019 - Orange County

In a nutshell: 
  1. VRI: The Region continues to refuse on following the JCC recommendations and plans to use VRI from home or non-courthouse locations 

  2.  WAGES: The Region proposed 6% increase, we countered with a 19.5% proposal and are no longer asking for a stipend for VRI 

  3. TEAM INTERPRETING: The Region proposed to change the language in this article from “at the discretion of the court” to “at the discretion of Judicial Officer” 

  4. ORANGE COUNTY RETIREMENT CONTRIBUTION WILL INCREASE: Your team will follow this development closely.

  5. RALLY: We had a great turnout


VRI: The Region continues to reject language of the recommendations given by the JCC. Our lead spokesperson argued, “What we’re seeking with VRI is simply to implement what the JCC has recommended. This will allow interpreters to abide by our professional and ethical obligations.” 

The Region proposed an increase on the stipend for VRI and raised it from 20% to 25%. Your bargaining committee rejected that proposed increase and decided to no longer accept a stipend for VRI.  

Progress was made by both sides. We’ll keep you updated. 

TEAM INTERPRETING: The Region made a proposal to change the language in this article from “at the discretion of the court” to “at the discretion of Judicial Officer.”  Team interpreting is currently in arbitration; therefore, we put this issue in abeyance for now. CFI encourages all members to follow The Team Interpreting Best Practices.  

WAGES: The Region proposed a 6% increase as a packaged deal that included their proposal for team interpreting and VRI. Your bargaining committee rejected their proposal and countered with a 19.5% wage increase.  Laurie, our lead spokesperson, argued, “We were not pleased with your response to our wage proposal. We understand that court reporters get paid more than court interpreters. I value court reporters, but interpreters are a higher skill. It’s a highly developed skill and we don’t feel that your side of the table is recognizing our skill set.”                                                                                                 


We had a great turnout and certainly made some noise. People at the other side of the table were observing our rally from the windows. Thank you to everyone who participated and came out to show Admin our strength. Also, thank you to everyone who helped coordinate it and helped spread the word. Every single one of you was key in making this rally a success.  

A big “thank you!” to Ben Sanchez, Pam Fontaine and Pam Santos from Orange County for taking time off to Watch and Support.  

We appreciate you standing by your bargaining team. Things are getting real and we need EVERYONE’S support to achieve the best contract possible for ALL. We are in this together. UNITED we BARGAIN… DIVIDED we BEG.  

Our unity is our strength. By presenting a united front before administration we show our power.   

We encourage you to attend the negotiations. If you will be participating in the Watch & Support please submit your time off request today, and email us at [email protected] to reserve your spot.  

Our next bargaining session is scheduled for June 28, 2019 in San Diego.  

Please support your bargaining team by wearing red on the days we are at the table and also every Wednesday.  

In union there is strength. It’s the “U” and “I” in union that makes us strong. 

In Solidarity,  

Your Region 4, Bargaining Team CFI Local 39000, CWA-TNG 
Maria Benítez
Jackie Ruíz
Silvia San Martín 
LouLou Tovar
Ana Fuller
Laurie Burgess - Lead Spokesperson 
Ed Venegas - Spokesperson 

Results of CFI Local 39000 Local Elections

June 5, 2019

The ballots for the new Local Officers and Region 4 Executive Board Representative were counted at the CFI offices in Santa Fe Springs.

The official results:

Vice President:                      Janet Hudec

Secretary-Treasurer:            Carmen Ramos 

Region 4 Representative:     Silvia San Martin


Members of the Local Election Committee:

Gary Curtis

Robert Guerrero

Francisca S. Valencia

CFI Local 39000 Official Election 2019 Results


Elected by Acclamation (unopposed)

President                                             Michael Ferreira 

Region 1 Representative                    Hernan Vargas

Region 2 Representative                    Maria J. Alvarez Caceros

Freelance                                            Angie Birchfield



Region 4 Membership Meeting

To all members in good standing in Region 4:

Your committee is calling a members’ meeting to be held:
Date: Saturday June 8, 2019 
Time: 10:30 am- 1:00 pm
Location: 11823 E. Slauson Ave., Unit 7 Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670* (NEW LOCATION)

  • Committee will summarize negotiations up to this point and all proposals presented to the region
  • Committee will take questions from members regarding negotiations
  • Next steps
Lunch including vegetarian option and drinks to be provided by CFI. 
Please RSVP us by 5/28 at [email protected] and include county where you work. 
 In Unity, 
 Your bargaining committee: 
Maria Benitez 
Ana Fuller 
Jackie Ruiz 
Silvia San Martín 
LouLou Tovar 
Ed Venegas - Spokeperson 
Laurie Burgess - Lead spokeperson 

Thoughts from a member:

Benefits of belonging to an International Union rather than a small professional association, or going to another union.

  1. If we go to another union now we will be merged into another local. Our numbers are too small. Any other large union won’t want to spend large amounts of monies on us when it comes to bargaining or resolving grievances.
  2. If you use the Janus decision to send letters of resignation from our union, you weaken your own power by ceding to others your voice and vote on any issues affecting you. You impoverish and weaken our union. Remember this movement is very much supported by Trump and his following in order to get rid of unions all together. Unions are the only protection we have against abusive employers.  
  3. We were a number of about 800 members. Thanks to the Janus decision and other negative influences we have lost about 300 members. Keep in mind that as a union we have to cover a territory the size of England and Scotland with some 58 employer courts. Now is not the time to break away from the support offered by belonging to an international of 750,000 members. Do the financial math. How much financial support can you expect from 300, 500, or even 800 members paying dues compared to the financial support we get from and International with 750,000 members paying dues.
  4. If a disaffiliation is successful you will still have members that will not pay dues under the Janus decision. You will have to shop for a union that even wants small numbers. You will have to wait one year without representation before another union can represent you. During the one year waiting period you will be at your weakest point and at the mercy of the courts. 
  5. There has been a lot said and published about the trials against several of our colleagues. The simple truth is they were disassociated from our union because they ran a disaffiliation campaign while being members and an employee of our union. The truth is that simple, read the union constitution. You can legally run a disaffiliation campaign but, not while you are under a contract and certainly not while you are a paid employee of any union.  Read the PERB rules, they are very velar about when you can legally disaffiliate.  
  6. The board was thrown out because they disobeyed our presidents order for a new election, they stopped paying per caps, and three days after learning of the trusteeship the board took $50,000.00 of our locals’ money (yes, out of the dues we paid). Now, do you still believe in the “CFI Recovery” group’s  

Executive Board Election 2019

Esteemed CFI Local 39000 members:

I would like to take this opportunity to remind all that we are in the middle of an election for the leaders of this Local. With that in mind I also want to remind all, that the deadline for voting is fast approaching. In order to be counted, any ballots must be received by May 29,2019. The ballots will then be counted on June 5, 2019 at the Local office.

In Unity, 

Ed Venegas

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