California Federation of Interpreters

CFI members have ratified the agreement reached for Region 4 with a strong YES vote!


YES (91%), NO (9%)


Thank you to everyone who participated in the voting process. CFI has notified the Region that ratification is complete. 

The first pay increase of 4%, along with the signing bonus*, takes effect the first full pay period following today’s date of ratification. 

The agreement includes additional increases of 3% on September 1, 2020, and 2% on September 1, 2021. The contract expires on June 30, 2022.

A separate side letter addressing Orange County member’s retirement contributions, also known as “reverse pickup”, will follow shortly. Reverse pickup terms will take effect the first pay period after ratification. Please review CFI email sent to Orange County members on November 9, 2019 for details.

Many thanks to all the Region 4 members, to those who participated in the Watch & Support group and to everyone who helped mobilize and who participated in the lunch-time rallies (on the two hottest days of the Summer). A special Thank you to Ben Sanchez and Frances Marino for all of the work and help you provided the committee. 

Thank you to those in San Diego who chose to join the union and support our efforts, and to Imperial Valley for participating in negotiations for the first time. 

Thank you to all the members who stayed united to achieve this contract and who posted “Red Wednesday” pictures in our FB group to show your support. All of this made a difference in our efforts to achieving a fair contract for all. We couldn’t have done it without your support. So once again, a big Thank you! 

Also, a special thank you to our attorney Laurie Burgess, and Ed Venegas for their guidance and representation.

Your continual support is appreciated as we face statewide changes, VRI, and contract bargaining in other regions. 

The great news is we have new people who came on board and became stewards, Thank you to those members who decided to join the stewardship to help us enforce the contract. 

In unity,

Region 4 Bargaining Committee

Silvia San Martin
Loulou Tovar
Ana Fuller
Maria Benitez
Jackie Ruiz
Zero Preparedness, Zero Proposal

San Francisco (Nov. 15, 2019) _ Region 2 courts came to our first wage reopener session unprepared to bargain. 
Prior to Wednesday's session, our committee spent three full days and hundreds of hours preparing for bargaining. We were armed with a detailed wage proposal and handouts with incontrovertible facts supporting the need for a substantial wage increase.

View, print and share our federal pay parity fact sheet.
The courts' bargaining team arrived at the table with no wage proposal of their own and no response to our wage proposal. 
Our lead spokesperson Laurie Burgess reminded the Courts of their obligation to follow the law and provide the information we had requested well in advance. When she suggested that they were showing bad faith by coming to the table without an offer, the courts' lead negotiator accused her of taking a "nasty" tone. After a short exchange, he said they were done for the day, snapped shut his laptop, and the Region walked away from the table at 1:20pm, a mere 16 minutes after reconvening for the afternoon session.
Region 2 has said they will have a response to our proposal at the next bargaining session on Wednesday, Nov. 20. 
Your team will continue to fight the good fight. We count on your ongoing support, and were inspired by seeing all your photos from today. Don't forget to wear red to work every Wednesday during these important wage negotiations.
Your Bargaining Committee,

Margaret Layman
Juan Jose Negrete
Shannon Raintree
Kristina Ramsey 
Margo Seely





Important Update to R4 Members:

Dear Region 4,

We know you’ve been waiting to hear from us, and we’re here to tell you that we’ve also been waiting to hear from the Region just as long, and that we are still painfully waiting.

Where’s   The   Fairness

As you know, we went into mediation in good faith to reach closure twice, on September 4 in Orange County and on September 30 in San Diego, but unfortunately found that the mediation process was not successful. We regret that we cannot share details regarding the mediation process since we are precluded from doing so due to a confidentiality agreement that we were required to sign.  At the same time that we advised the Courts that we wanted to cease mediation, we also asked to return to the table to complete bargaining.  That was on October 3rd.  We asked to meet within 10 days from that date.  Since then we have repeatedly requested to return to the table and have offered creative approaches to reaching closure – such as submitting our position and the Court’s position on remaining issues to binding mediation.  The Region has failed and refused to respond to our request for bargaining or to our suggested alternative avenues for resolving the narrow remaining issues. We believe that the Region is acting in bad faith in violation of the law, and that the Region’s misconduct appears to be part of a state-wide practice since Region 3 management has similarly refused to provide bargaining dates since August, 2019, resulting in the filing of a ULP yesterday.

Where’s the fairness?  Ask your manager or supervisor if you have a chance. Shoot them an email. Send them a postcard. Ask your steward to place this announcement on the CFI board in your building. We will not give up.

In Unity,

Your bargaining committee,

LouLou Tovar
Maria Benitez
Jackie Ruiz 
Ana Fuller
Silvia San Martín
Ed Venegas – Spokesperson
Laurie Burgess – Lead Spokesperson


There are still opportunities for interpreters to give back to their communities in offering pro bono interpreting to help those in need of access to asylum. This round of efforts is focused mainly on verifying compliance with the Flores decision; it’s about children and adolescent minors being cared for properly while in custody … it’s for basic human rights, and that’s what unions are about. I encourage members to see if they can spare a day and help.

In solidarity … with humanity …

Michael Ferreira, President
California Federation of Interpreters

Dear volunteer lawyers, doctors, paralegals, and interpreters,

We would like a small number of volunteer monitors to join court-approved interviews of Flores class member minors detained at CBP facilities in the Tucson, El Centro, San Diego Sectors on October 03- 04, 2019 and the RGV and El Paso CBP Sectors October 10-11, 2019. We are writing to invite lawyers, doctors, paralegals, and interpreters to participate in one or more days of class member interviews. The purpose of these monitoring visits is solely to gather updated information regarding CBP's compliance with the terms of the Flores settlement and previous court Orders that require the humane treatment and prompt processing of minors in Border Patrol custody. To volunteer, please register or sign in to, where you can select the dates and locations at which you wish to participate. We encourage volunteers to conduct interviews for at least one full day. two days at various locations close to one another.

Below please find the specific sites within each sector:

Tucson Sector
October 3: Nogales Station October 4: Ajo Station

El Centro Sector
October 3: El Centro Station October 4: Calexico Station

San Diego Sector
October 3: Chula Vista Station

RGV Sector
October 10: Ursula BP Station (morning) McAllen Station (afternoon)
October 11: Donna (morning)
Weslaco Station (afternoon)
Brownsville Station (morning)
Ft. Brown Station (afternoon)

El Paso Sector
October 10: Clint Station (morning)
Santa Teresa Station (afternoon)
October 11: El Paso Station (El Paso Sector) (morning) Ysleta Station (El Paso Sector) (afternoon)

Please log in or sign up at to register to volunteer for an upcoming detention site inspection. Those wishing to participate in site visits must upload, unless they have already done so for previous visits, the following documentation:

  1. A PDF or JPEG scanned copy of a government issued photo ID - you must upload this at the “Upload ID and Consent” tab.
  2. A PDF or JPEG scanned copy of a signed ICE Code of Conduct form - you must upload this on the “Upload ID and Consent” tab.(New form required for all participants regardless of previous participation)
  3. A PDF or JPEG scanned copy of your State Bar Membership Card (required only for attorneys).
  4. A PDF or JPEG scanned copy of a medical license or other certificate (required only for doctors and child welfare experts)
In addition to registering at the web site, please also email me the days and locations you wish to interview class members and attach copies of the documents mentioned above that you uploaded to the website.

We will promptly email those who respond to let you know if you have been selected to join a visit this time around, provide an interview form, and schedule an orientation conference call probably Tuesday next week.

If you cannot volunteer, please go to the website and make a donation to support the work of defending detained children from relentless attacks by this Administration.

Please feel free to forward this email to others who may want to support the ongoing efforts aimed at protecting the rights of detained children and securing their release from federal custody as promptly as possible.

Thank you.

Peter Schey
Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law


Dear Members,

Please consider participating in the Native Women's Equal Pay Day.


Native Women’s Equal Pay Day is Sept. 23

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Monday, Sept. 23, is Native Women’s Equal Pay Day and The NewsGuild-CWA invites you to join us and others across the country fighting for equal pay. Nine months into 2019, Sept. 23 symbolizes how long it will take Native women to catch up to men’s earnings for 2018.

Equal Pay Days have special meaning for us because Guild studies at various news organizations found disturbing results: Women and people of color are paid less on average than their counterparts, including among those who perform similar work and have similar levels of experience – even at some of the nation’s most prestigious publications.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Share some of the social media posts below on September 23 -- or create your own.
  • If you haven't seen our Equal Pay brochure, be sure to check it out at our updated Equal Pay website. (You can order hard copies of the brochure by replying to this email.)

Sample tweets:

Sept. 23 is #NativeWomensEqualPay Day. Native women earn just 58 cents on the dollar and must work well into 2019 to earn as much as men earned in 2018. News organizations are among those that fail to pay women and people of color equitably. #DemandMore @news_guild 

Today is #NativeWomensEqualPay Day. Journalists: What’s your equal pay story? Share it with @news_guild.

Think your employer is underpaying women and people of color? You're probably right. Journalists are fighting back, requesting pay data during negotiations & demanding #EqualPay. Join us! For info: #NativeWomensEqualPay #DemandMore

News organizations demand transparency from government and business. So why don't publishers act transparently when it comes to pay for women and people of color in their own organizations? We demand transparency and #NativeWomensEqualPay. Join us:

The Paycheck Fairness Coalition has developed very attractive graphic posts for FB, Twitter and Instagram, and is planning a Twitter storm at 11 a.m. Pacific Time / 2 p.m. EDT. They also have shared pertinent facts and background info

The NewsGuild has a history of exposing and fighting pay disparities and on Native Women’s Equal Pay Day we will continue to advance those efforts. Please join us!

In solidarity, 

Bernie Lunzer, President 

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