California Federation of Interpreters

Dear LA County Members,

Our fellow Locals are requesting support from any LA County members who might be able to join them on the picket lines.

On behalf of Local 29047, our Hawaiian Airlines LAX flight attendant members will be informational picketing at LAX airport, Terminal 5 departures level on July 25th from 8am to 9am.  

Our brothers & sisters, if you are in the area during the above time can we request your support?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

In Solidarity,

Melissa Hooper
Local 29047 President 

June 26, 2019

In a response to inquiries from Region 2 members, the following is a brief history of events that have occurred with respect to bargaining/meet & confer issues that are being addressed by your union.

In a formal letter dated December 21, 2018, CFI Local 39000 received a request to bargain over the impacts of VRI; the Region’s intention was to begin meetings in January of this year.

The Union responded to the Region on January 25, 2019, explaining that meet and confer would be premature since the report on the Judicial Council’s pilot project would not be released until March. 

The Judicial Council approved the use of VRI in judicial proceedings and related VRI guidelines for the courts on March 15, 2019. (Get link to the report; get letter from Janet Hudec that was sent by our Legislative Committee) Your local responded to the report with a letter outlining the flaws in the Pilot Project; the interpreters who participated (Sacramento and Merced) in the VRI Pilot Project had many misgivings and were witness to a mounting evidence of failures, all of which was conspicuously left out of consideration in the final study presented.

Over the last several months Union staff has asked for information on interpreter usage and VRI usage information. We are still waiting on a response from the Judicial Council, which maintains those records.

Throughout this period the members charged with anti-union activity were precluded from serving on the committee during the investigation and trial. In April and then June, the remaining three committee members for Region 2 declined to continue as part of the team. It should be noted that in the Bylaws for our local, we need a minimum of three members on the team; the MOU’s specify a maximum of 5. Had they offered to continue in their service to their colleagues, we would be further ahead of the curve on this. 

Our local’s temporary administrator, Ed Venegas, has announced nominations and elections to form a new bargaining committee for Regions 2 and 3 after some of the committee members declined to continue serving. However, in Region 3 both Janet Hudec and Rosa Trevizo have indicated that they are fully willing to continue at their post, and during this present period of nominations & election of additional bargaining committee members in Region 3, two other members have been nominated and have accepted to run and serve. The two additional candidates are Joseph Tobin and Carmen Ramos.

On May 30, 2019, Region 2 asked for dates to bargain and threatened to impose if the local did not provide dates by the end of June. President Michael Ferreira called Kim Turner, Regional Chair, and in the conversation reconfirmed that CFI Local 39000 is accepting the region’s request to bargain over the impacts of VRI, as well as asserting our right to the reopener on the financials of the present contract; a follow-up email was sent to Ms. Turner in confirmation.  We plan on providing dates and will update members as this develops. 

The newly-sworn board and staff have made efforts to form a new bargaining committee for Region 2. A call for nominations went out for both Region 3 and Region 2 on June 18th of this year, specifying a time frame until the 28th to nominate, and for nominees to accept. It is expected that committee members will be announced after the electronic ballots are counted (should there be more than five nominees per regional committee) on July 5th, or shortly thereafter. If there are no more than five, then those will be deemed elected by acclamation, sworn in immediately, and begin the preparations for bargaining.

Bargaining is one of the cornerstonesof union representation; this union has not shrugged it’s duty to bargain collectively for the interpreter units in Regions 2 and 3; both for affiliated members in good standing, as well as non-members. Now is the moment when we need to work together to safeguard our unit work, our right to a wage commensurate with our skillset, and the professional best practices and ethics. We are experiencing an onslaught from every region in the form of Video Remote Interpreting and court administration’s drive to decrease the number of employee interpreters, raising the workload for all who are left. 

In closing, it bears mentioning Region 2 has a proud history of activism and has been the touchstone of accomplishment to which all the other Regions strive in terms of mobilization and outreach to community and justice partners. Their unity of action (rallies, outreach, rolling strikes, etc.) is an example to emulate throughout the state. It is what helped them secure the best level of representation and bargaining for interpreters. 

We need that same energy as we face our future. It’s your contract, it’s your decision to unify, mobilize, and act to get the best you can out of it.  

In solidarity,

Michael C. Ferreira
CFI President 


Judicial Council formed the Interpreter Act Working Group




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 
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