California Federation of Interpreters

June 8, 2022 


We have repeatedly stated that the Regions approach to bargaining and their tactics are a clear act of bad faith and illegal. Repeatedly we have dealt with the Regional Courts same illegal tactics at all negotiation tables. The most recent being Region 2. Since hiring an attorney to represent and protect our rights at the table, we have been filing unfair labor practices (ULP) and PERB has issued charges to all our claims.  

In PERB, a claim made by a charging party and the process for PERB to issue a charge is similar to a Judge holding a defendant to answer in a preliminary hearing. In the PERB arena, once the claim is made and filed, a PERB agent will conduct an investigation regarding the claim to determine if it has merit. If the PERB agent determines it has merit, PERB issues a charge and the process to resolve the charge begins. PERB charges can be resolve by settlement, judgement after trial, or withdraw of claim. 

On Monday June 6, 2022, PERB issued charges to our first unfair labor practice claim against the Region 2 courts for bad faith bargaining in our current bargaining. This particular PERB charge is one of the strongest issued in our favor. It mentions no wages increases  as a bad faith labor practice. We will be amending and adding new claims to reflect the most recent bad faith tactics the Region 2 courts have committed. I am attaching the PERB charge for your enjoyment. 


PERB against Region 2 Courts

Janet Hudec, VP
CFI Local 39000

CFI Local 39000 Elections Results

March 26, 2021

The ballots for the new Region 1 Representative Executive Board Position 2022 - 2023 were counted at the CFI offices in Santa Fe Springs.

The official results:

Region 1 Representative    Begonya De Salvo

Click here to view the Ballot Tally Certification from the Election Committee


CFI Interpreters Support Their Colleagues in Region 2

When we fight, we win! 

Below are groups of members throughout the state who are spontaneously sending us photos to voice their support for Region 2 work actions. 


In solidarity,

CFI Local 39000 TNG-CWA

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Press Release

Interpreters in Region 2 WALKOUT!

In light of the Region’s failure to provide any wage increase at all during our current contract negotiations, court interpreters will be taking work action. Region 2[1] Interpreters will be walking out starting March 11, 2022, as a sign of unity protesting the systematic discrimination they face by their employer while simultaneously fighting for livable wages and fair working conditions. The money is there however, courts refuse to make interpreting a viable profession.   

Interpreters are critical to ensuring that all members of our diverse community have meaningful access to justice and receive culturally competent support by providing linguistic services to our limited English proficient Californian in the state courts. They are vital in empowering and listening to victims and survivors of crime, litigants, and are equally necessary to the fulfillment of the rights and dignity of the criminally accused. Our system fails to fulfill on its promise of justice for all when we don’t adequately compensate and support our interpreters. It is our immigrant and disabled populations who suffer the most and experience disparate treatment such as longer courtroom waits, denial of interpretation services in civil proceedings, or not receiving regular, thorough communication from their appointed lawyer’s.  

Courts are working hard to eliminate court interpreting as a viable profession and eviscerate due process for limited English Californians. Currently, staff interpreters earnings in region 2 fall within the the low income level. Low wages for the specialized skill set  is discouraging employment and is the root of the interpreter retention problem.

The current economic troubles— rising inflation and high cost of gasoline— has exacerbated the situation. While other court employee units have continuously received wage increases and cost of living adjustments, court interpreters have not. Region 2 court interpreters have not received a raise or cost of living adjustments since 2017. Interpreter pay in the state’s courts is far lower than in other sector’s that compete for certified interpreters and lags behind salaries of other court professionals with comparable level of education and specialized skill set.

The Governor and Legislature understands the importance interpreters play in social justice and as a demonstration to their commitment to language access in the state courts, they continuously fund a separate budget for interpreter expenditures. State courts receive full interpreter expenditure reimbursement from that budget. Consequently, interpreters are not an added expense to courts. In the 2021-22 fiscal year (June-June), the Governor and Legislature earmarked $132 million for reimbursement for language access as well as, set aside an additional $30 million grant for recruitment of employee interpreters.

Recently, the California Federation of Interpreters (CFI) Local 39000, learned that region 2 courts have over $14 million combined unspent funds from their 2021-22 annual allocation. That amount is not factoring in the amounts courts have received from the $30 million interpreter recruitment grant. Additionally, in July, region 2 courts will receive another lump sum to cover interpreter expenses for the new fiscal year. This lump sum will be similar or higher than the previous year. 

Low wages have gravely affected recruitment and retention of staff interpreters. Courts refusal to make court interpreting a viable  profession demonstrates their lack of commitment and investment in ensuring meaningful access to our limited English proficient community. Fewer interpreters in the courts means reduced meaningful access for everyone: victims, defendants, litigants, witnesses, judges, lawyers, and other justice partners. Interpreters have been met with comments such as “you already make enough” or “we can get an app to do interpreting” from court administration and their counsel. 

Professional interpreters don’t just speak a foreign language — they have mastered it! Competent interpreting requires the highest level of proficiency in at least two languages, extensive professional training, knowledge of a broad spectrum of specialized subject matter, and cultural understanding. They interpret complex vocabulary, grammatical structure, and elements of specialized and cultural meaning, and transform them into equivalents in another language as they are spoken. They must pass one of the toughest professional certification exams and over half hold a masters degree or higher. 

Providing a competitive compensation structure and a professional work environment are indispensable for attracting and retaining enough interpreters to meet the California courts’ growing language access needs while maintaining acceptable standards of service. Honoring, valuing, and acknowledging the humanity and expertise of interpreters is the only solution for the courts to fulfill their constitutional and civil rights promises. By doing so, courts will truly fulfill the dignity, rights, and needs of ALL people, especially our immigrant populations. 


[1] Region 2 is compose of the following counties: Monterey, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Humboldt, Lake, Del Norte, and San Benito 


Study finds remote hearings take longer, but improve access

Thumbnail of Texas remote hearings reportRemote proceedings take about a third longer than in-person hearings largely due to technology-related issues and lack of preparation by participants, according to an NCSC exploratory study of Texas courts. But the study also found that remote proceedings take longer because they increase access to justice, as litigants can more easily attend and participate in hearings.

This first national review of data confirms what judges have anecdotally shared about remote hearings before and during the pandemic. The 12-month study analyzed both 1.25 million minutes of judicial data and focus group feedback from judges and court leaders in eight counties across Texas.

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