California Federation of Interpreters

Letter to LASC President Judge Taylor

January 19, 2021

Honorable Judge Eric C. Taylor
Presiding Judge's Office, Room 222

111 North Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dear Judge Taylor:

The California Federation of Interpreters (CFI) in representation of the interpreter employees of Los Angeles Superior Court would like to bring to your attention that on Tuesday, January 12th, one of our interpreter colleagues died after contracting COVID on the job in the courts. He was among a group of approximately seventeen interpreter employees who were exposed because management had denied paid release to quarantine to an interpreter who had self-identified as having been exposed to a COVID-positive individual at work.

What CWA Members Should Know About the First COVID-19 Vaccinations 

There has been a lot of news recently about COVID-19 vaccinations. Today, an independent panel of experts is holding a vote on whether or not to recommend that the FDA approve the first COVID-19 vaccine under the agency's Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) process. The vaccine is made by Pfizer. Limited distribution of vaccine doses will be sent to states next week, and there are other vaccines under development. Having many different vaccines that have been tested to make sure they are effective and safe and have been approved by the FDA will help speed production and distribution.

It will be a while before everyone is able to get a vaccine, and the availability of vaccines will not immediately end the pandemic. Record numbers of people are hospitalized with COVID-19 and deaths have been increasing in every age group. Epidemiologists expect cases to continue to surge over the next few months. Every one of us should take steps to stop the spread.

It's critical that employers provide workplace protections and that CWA members fight for improved protections and safeguards. Members should continue to observe basic public health measures, both inside and outside of work, to keep themselves and their families safe and stop the spread of the virus. Wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, stay at least 6 feet apart, and avoid gatherings with other people, particularly in indoor spaces. The more steps you take, the more you are protected against COVID-19.

The states will determine who will be prioritized to get the vaccines in their state and how the distribution will be carried out. For this first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine, states will likely be following the CDC's recommendations, which means that CWA-represented healthcare workers will be among the first to be vaccinated. Employers are setting up the process for vaccinations for healthcare workers, including where healthcare workers will be able to get vaccinations. CWA locals are working with employers to understand the distribution and prioritization plan and to ensure that employers will be providing adequate vaccine education to eligible members.

Your state's Department of Public Health website has the most up-to-date information about your state's COVID-19 vaccination plan.

For additional information about COVID-19 vaccines, visit the CDC website at

Michael Ferreira

CFI Local 39000 TNG-CWA

New California OSHA Guidelines concerning COVID-19



LASC members:

In light of the many issues that are coming up with administrators/supervisors putting pressure on interpreters to log the DALs into the CICDS/Judicial Council's portal, and the many issues with the portal itself, we decided to give you a email to which you can write all your complaints and observations on this topic.

Below is the email link you should use every time you want to report an issue with any supervisor concerning DALs, or any issues with the CICDS portal itself. Most important before sending the email is to place “CIDCS Interpreter Portal” in the subject line. Please send them to [email protected].
As a reminder, your Union is still in a formal meet and confer with LASC over the issue, and we ask that you please do not enter your DAL information on the portal until all the issues are straightened up, and all the terms and conditions are set in writing. 
However, please continue keeping track of all your DALs separately to later enter the information after the meet and confer has come to an acceptable conclusion. 
We will keep you posted on any new developments.
In Solidarity,

Monica P. Almada
Union Steward


A Call for Pro Bono Assistance

There are still over 500 children and adolescents in custody or at other holding facilities who are separated from their parents or guardians. The Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law is asking for interpreters to help them do a round of interviews to help alleviate this travesty, as well as aid in processing asylum petitions. Although they are happy to work with Spanish-language interpreters, there is an acute need to find people who could interpret indigenous languages: Mayan, Miskito, Kanjobal, Mam, Quiché, etc. 
One of the mainstays of unionism is to work toward social justice; here’s your opportunity to lend a hand in that endeavor. I know that many of our members do not work in these indigenous languages, but perhaps you know someone who can interpret from the indigenous language into Spanish … perhaps a relay interpreter arrangement could be possible. 
If you can, please contact the organization below; a couple of hours of your time and talents could mean the world to a refugee.
In solidarity,

Michael Ferreira

Center for Human Rights 

Dear attorneys and indigenous interpreters (or those who can pass this on to indigenous interpreters),

Given the Trump Administration's refusal to release detained immigrant children during the pandemic, Flores lead counsel are recruiting Spanish-speaking attorneys (or attorneys with an interpreter available to them) and in case needed interpreters (who can help with detained minors or parents who only speak indigenous dialects such as Quechua, Miskito, Mayan languages, etc.) to interview detained immigrant children and their parents.

Telephone interview may be conducted on these dates:

South Texas Family Residential Center, Dilley, TX 

November 3 and 4, 2020: 10 AM to 5 PM Central Time 11 AM to 6 PM Eastern Time, and 8 AM to 3 PM Pacific Time. 

Karnes County Family Residential Center, Karnes City, TX

November 5 and 6, 2020: 10 AM to 5 PM Central Time 11 AM to 6 PM Eastern Time, and 8 AM to 3 PM Pacific Time. 

Berks County Residential Center, Leesport, PA

November 9 and 10, 2020: 10 AM to 5 PM Central Time 11 AM to 6 PM Eastern Time, and 8 AM to 3 PM Pacific Time. 

These interviews will take about one to two hours each. We will email an interview form to attorneys who sign up to do one or more interviews. The purpose of these visits is to gather updated information regarding the federal government's compliance with the terms of the Flores settlement and previous court Orders that require the humane treatment and prompt release to family members of immigrant minors in federal custody. 

Please email [email protected] if you want to conduct one or more interviews or if you are an interpreter who may assist with minors or parents who only speak an indigenous language. When emailing me, please copy [email protected] and in your email please include:

. When emailing me, please include: 

• Your name, state where you practice, bar number, and telephone number of the phone you will use to conduct the interview. ICE will call that number to connect you with the class member or parent you will interview. 

• Please state the dates and times you are available for phone interviews. See schedule above. For times, please indicate the time zone you are in (e.g. November 5 and 6, 9 AM and 10 AM Pacific Time).

• Please email me a copy of your bar card and drivers license, or take a picture of them with your cell phone and text to Mary Jane Hunter, a paralegal at the Center for Human Rights, 631-655-9943.

If you know of any indigenous interpreters, please forward this email to them. If you are an indigenous interpreter, please email Mary Jane and me and let us know what dates and times you may be available should your help be needed, and the telephone number where you can be reached. All help by lawyers and interpreters is on a volunteer basis. 

Any questions, please email Mary Jane and me, or text me at 323-251-3223.

Thank you.

Peter Schey


Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law

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