California Federation of Interpreters

Region Comes Up with Bupkis* 

Oakland (Nov. 22, 2019)__The Courts again showed the contempt in which they hold interpreters, responding to our proposal for a sorely needed raise with a formal proposal for zero this Wednesday.

Furthermore, instead of providing the detailed response our spokesperson Laurie Burgess demanded to the solid arguments backing our proposal for a 30 percent raise to the first step, they insulted our intelligence with a smoke and mirrors array of misleading and faulty analyses of alternative facts that in no way addressed the research we presented at the first session.

Your Region 2 Bargaining Committee had every reason to expect to spend Wednesday responding to a counterproposal, which the unprepared Region really should have produced at the first session in our wage re-opener on Nov. 13. We argued that the increase is the minimum needed to address the problem of attracting new employees and easing the critical interpreter shortage plaguing our courts. 

The Region, however, engaged in a series of shenanigans, first using the Dreamforce Conference in San Francisco as an excuse to unilaterally shift the meeting scheduled for Nov. 20 to a location that was unworkable for our committee. Continuing in the spirit of bad faith, they then chose to cancel the session, only to come back late Tuesday with a last-minute offer to meet in San Francisco for a few hours in the afternoon, after all, to discuss their non-proposal.   

Instead, we spent a productive day Wednesday caucusing in Oakland, working hard to prepare for our next session, which will likely be held in mid-December.

It is not too soon for you to show your support. If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to fill out our survey by November 27, 2019 please (email us for a survey: [email protected] ). We’re still tabulating and will use the results at our next session. Your input is vital to this process, because we are representing you. Be sure to send in pictures of yourselves sporting red on Wednesdays and keep in contact with the mobilizers deployed in all of the Courts about upcoming actions. We also welcome your ideas for slogans and mobilization activities.

Your Bargaining Committee, 

Margaret Layman
Juan Jose Negrete
Shannon Raintree
Kristina Ramsey
Margo Seely



NewsGuild News --- Nov. 20, 2019 – Vol. I, No. 1

Howard Gensler, Editor 

(Send news and info to [email protected])

Organizing News


The staff of the Southern Poverty Law Center has launched a campaign for union recognition seeking to represent SPLC workers at 11 offices in five states and Washington, D.C.


“We hope to rekindle the flame of labor organizing in the Deep South and form a strong union at the SPLC that lays the foundation for a legacy of equal rights, respect, and dignity for all workers, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical ability, ad national origin,” the organizing committee wrote on Twitter...

Even though a supermajority of members signed on to the effort, the venerable civil rights organization rejected the request for voluntary recognition and hired a union-busting law firm.


No matter the workplace, management be management. 


At the end of October, approximately 75 percent of employees of NBC News Digital signed on to a union organizing drive, according to the NewsGuild of New York.


The bargaining unit would include staffers from,, Stay Tuned, Left Field,, and NBC News Now.


The organizing committee has asked NBC for voluntary recognition of the new unit.



Congrats to the Arizona Republic, a Gannett property, which last month became the first Arizona newsroom this century to unionize. The vote was 64-30. Next up, forming a leadership committee, a bargaining committee and a newsroom structure with shop stewards. 


For more information on these stories and other organizing efforts and union votes, read the full stories



Congress hears from Lunzer


Yesterday, a statement from Guild President Bernie Lunzer was entered into the record before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services. Lunzer addressed Congress about the destructive practices of private equity funds on the news business, particularly that of Alden Capital.

Same Job? Same Experience? Same Pay 


Today is Latina Equal Pay Day. Studies show that Latinas make 54 cents for every dollar earned by white men. In newsrooms, women of color earn $30,000 less than white men — a gap of 35 percent when comparing median salaries. The disparity is even worse for workers under 40. 


Don’t Forget to Vote 


The deadline for returning ballots in the 2019 election for Guild President is Dec. 9. You can read about the candidates, incumbent Bernie Lunzer and challenger Jon Schleuss, and get a ballot here.



Bad News 


Gannett and Gatehouse have agreed to a merger, under the Gannett name. The move will take two large companies which have been terrible for journalism and make one giant anti-union, profit-sucking, staff-bleeding, layoff machine. The NewsGuild looks forward to working with Gannett employees around the country to fight for local journalism and fair wages for local journalists.


Our Tweets


You can see that health cost guide here.

Miami Herald

Miami Herald votes 64-22 in favor of organizing with The NewsGuild-CWA.



November 19, 2019 

Wednesday is Latina Equal Pay Day! 

Here’s how you can participate:

  • Post on social media (with selfies holding ‘Equal Pay Now’ signs, if possible). Sample tweets are below.
  • Encourage your co-workers to post on social media.
  • Wear union T-shirts and other union swag. 
  • Display ‘Equal Pay Now’ desk signs. 
  • Distribute ‘Equal Pay Now’ brochures. 
  • Participate in the Twitter Storm sponsored by the Paycheck Fairness Coalition and Labor Committee for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) set for 2 p.m. EST / 1 p.m. CT / 12 MT / 11 a.m. PT.
  • Find good graphics to accompany tweets below and here.

Sample Tweets for Latina Equal Pay Day
If you create your own tweets, please tag @news_guild, so we will be sure to see your tweets and will be able to easily share them.

  1. Five decades have passed since the Equal Pay Act was passed, but Latinas in America still only earn 54 cents for every dollar earned by white men. It’s time we earn what we’re worth #LatinaEqualPay #MoreLatinosInNews
    1. Han pasado 5 décadas desde que se aprobó la ley de igualdad salarial, pero las Latinas en EE. UU. aún ganan solo 54 centavos por cada dólar que gana un hombre blanco. Ya es hora que se nos pague lo que merecemos. #IgualdadSalarial.
  2. On #LatinaEqualPay Day, journalists are fighting for #EqualPay. Find out more about how you can @news_guild #MoreLatinosInNews
    1. On #LatinaEqualPay Day, workers are fighting for #EqualPay. Find out more about how you can too. @news_guild 
  3. Nov. 20 is #LatinaEqualPay Day, when we protest the fact that Latinas must work 11 months into 2019 to earn what white men earned in 2018. Join the fight for equal pay in your newsroom. Visit @news_guild
    1. Nov. 20 is #LatinaEqualPay Day, when we protest the fact that Latinas must work 11 months into 2019 to earn what white men earned in 2018. Join the fight for equal pay. DM us to learn more.  #DemandMore @news_guild
  4. Nov. 20 represents the fact that Latinas must work 11 months into 2019 to earn as much as white men earned in 2018. News organizations are among the offenders. Join the fight for #LatinaEqualPay. DM us to learn more. @news_guild #MoreLatinosInNews
    1. Nov. 20 represents the fact that Latinas must work 11 months into 2019 to earn as much, on average, as white men earned in 2018. Join the fight for #LatinaEqualPay. DM us to learn more. @news_guild
  5. Bilingual Latinas do double the work but typically earn half of what their monolingual white male peers make. This #LatinaEqualPay Day, it's time to #DemandMore. #MoreLatinosInNews.
    1. Las Latinas bilingües hacen doble el trabajo pero normalmente ganan sólo la mitad de lo que ganan sus compañeros monolingües blancos. ¡Exigimos #IgualdadSalarial!
    2. Las Latinas bilingües hacemos doble el trabajo pero comúnmente ganamos sólo la mitad del salario que ganan nuestros compañeros monolingües blancos. ¡Exigimos #IgualdadSalarial! 
  6. Today is Latinas’ Equal Pay Day. Journalists: What’s your equal pay story? Share it with @news_guild #LatinaEqualPay #DemandMore #MoreLatinosInNew
    1. Today is Latinas’ Equal Pay Day. What’s your equal pay story? Share it with @news_guild #LatinaEqualPay #DemandMore
  7. Think your employer is underpaying Latinas & other women & people of color? You're probably right. Journalistsacross the country are fighting back, requesting pay data during negotiations & demanding #LatinaEqualPay. Join us! Click for info: @news_guild
    1. Think your employer is underpaying Latinas & other women & people of color? You're probably right. Workers across the country are fighting back! #LatinaEqualPay. Join us! Click for info:
  8. Studies have shown that news organizations across the country pay women and people of color less, on average, than their coworkers. A union can address those inequities. Learn more. DM @news_guild or #LatinaEqualPay #DemandMore
    1. Studies have shown that women and people of color earn less, on average, than their counterparts. A union can address those inequities. Learn more: DM @news_guild or visit #DemandMore 
  9. 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 #LatinaEqualPay. We #DemandMore. Join us:
    1. Courts demand fairness and transparency. So why don't they act that way when it comes to pay for women and people of color in their own organizations? We demand #LatinaEqualPay. We #DemandMore. Join us:
    2. Social justice organizations demand fairness and transparency. So why don't they act that way when it comes to pay for women and people of color in their organizations? We demand #LatinaEqualPay. We #DemandMore. Join us:
  10. Sharing pay information with your co-workers helps break a taboo that perpetuates disparities in pay. #HaveTheConversation #LatinaEqualPay #DemandMore @news_guild. #MoreLatinosInNews
  11. It’s unacceptable for progressive nonprofits working towards social justice to not address pay inequity within their organizations. Equal work deserves equal pay. #LatinaEqualPay @news_guild
  12. 54 cents to the dollar isn’t equity. I won’t settle for anything less than equal pay for equal work. I #DemandMore @news_guild
  13. A Latina loses more than $1 MILLION over her career to the wage gap. I won’t settle for anything less than #EqualPayForEqualWork. The pay gap hurts everyone. Let’s work together to close it! @news_guild

Let's continue the fight for equal pay now!

In solidarity, 

Bernie Lunzer, President NewsGuild-CWA 


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




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