California Federation of Interpreters

Region 1 Bargaining Update

March 28, 2018, Stanley Mosk Courthouse

We would like to give a special shout out to our members Cris Bain-Borrrego (F), Victoria Caro (F), Angélica Narváez (F), Marco Larriva (A), Eliza Chávez-Fraga (F), Julie Drucker (F), and Gabrielle Veit-Bermúdez (A) for their generous support today. Your bargaining team is grateful for the support and the opportunity to use attendees as a resource of information. 

Joe E. Wiley started the session today by offering us the following wage proposal:  
  • Year One of the Contract – 2.5%, up from 2%.
  • Year Two of the Contract – 2.25%, up from 2%.
  • Year Three of the Contract – 2%, as previously offered.
These increments represent a total wage increase of 6.75% over the life of a three-year contract (counting 36 months starting from the moment of ratification). 
  
Administration rejected our earlier economic proposal of January 22nd which included steps and a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) as a permanent component of the wage structure in our MOU. Mr. Wiley stated the following reasons for doing so: 

  1. No other bargaining unit in the Courts has a COLA, which is an increase tied to the CPI (Consumer Price Index).

  2. There is a low turnover among interpreter employees, which indicates to the Court that the workforce has no feeling of dissatisfaction; if the workforce was dissatisfied, they would look for work elsewhere. He discounts retirements, as not counting as separations .

  3. In the same vein, the Courts feel that the benefits and wages offered to interpreter employees are comparable to those offered by other employers, which indicates to them that their workforce is satisfied with the present wage and benefit structure.

  4. As far as the proposed step structure, Mr. Wiley gave a “brief” history as to why interpreters were not given steps in 2005 when the first contract was negotiated. He explained that as a new classification, it would have been “very expensive” to slot interpreters into a step system, and administration would have had to significantly decrease the starting salary to a number which would have made it difficult to recruit new employees. The Courts opted to use their resources to raise the salary for those interpreters already employed.


After caucusing among ourselves, the bargaining team countered with the following wage proposal: 
 
  • We incorporated into our counter offer the Courts’ percentage increase numbers of 2.5%, 2.25%, and 2% over the life of the three-year contract.
  • Additionally, the team requested three “longevity increases” which shall be added to the base rate on the anniversary of each interpreter’s Continuous Service Date (CSD): $0.25/hour after five years of service; $0.50/hour after ten years of service; and $0.75/hour after fifteen years of service. These increases would begin on the first pay period, twelve months after the ratification date.
  • We also requested that effective the first pay period after ratification, all employees receive a one-time 2% signing bonus.
  • The team continued to press for a wage differential for interpreters who are certified or registered in more than one language pair and proposed a 2% salary enhancement for each additional language.
Our next bargaining session will be held on April 30th, at 10:00 am, at a location yet to be determined. 

The team continues to encourage members to support negotiations with administration by attending a bargaining session. We hope to see you there. For those of you who find it difficult to attend a session, there are many other ways to help in our collective efforts to obtain a righteous contract. Contact the local at [email protected], or one of the bargaining team members to see how you can get involved. 
  
In solidarity… 
  
Your Region 1 Bargaining Team 
CFI Local 39000, CWA-TNG 
  
Pedro Ramírez-Navas 
Daniel Kaufman  
Doris Vick  
Michael Ferreira  
Robert Guerrero  
Caren Sencer, Spokesperson 
  
 

Region 1 Bargaining Update

March 21, 2018 

Today’s session started with a demonstration of the Automated Advanced Scheduler program designed by Novatime. The Administration anticipates using this system to compile and fill all available interpreter assignments for A floaters, C, and F employees.
 
Despite insisting this is one of the most important issues for the Court, management was not able to provide anything specific to interpreters, but instead provided a PowerPoint presentation titled: Judicial Assistant Assignment Demo, which deals with the assignment process for court clerks; this same program will soon be rolled out for court reporters.
 
It is difficult to extrapolate how this software will work for interpreters, since both judicial assistants and court reporters are assigned on a one-to-one basis. Furthermore, their issues are fundamentally different from ours as neither judicial assistants nor court reporters have intermittent employees in their unit.
 
The presentation only focused on the coordinator’s role in the management and utilization of this program; it included nothing about interpreter accessibility to select their assignments. All this leads your bargaining team to believe that management really has not contemplated the needs of and the impacts on interpreter employees, particularly the F status.
 
Your bargaining team presented a package proposal in which the Union accepted changes to Article 15 – New Employees and withdrew our proposals to language modifications to Article 8 – Discipline and Discharge and Article 31 – Office Space and Supplies in exchange for management accepting paying for three days of bargaining committee caucus time (Article 37 – Stewards). True to form, the Court rejected the package proposal and these remain as outstanding issues to be negotiated.
 
We would like to give a special shout out to our members María Ruíz (A) and Carolina Izquierdo (F) for their generous support today.
 
Our next bargaining session will be held next Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at10:00 am, Room 522, at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse. We encourage members to support bargaining by attending the next session; get your RTO’s in early! We’ll see you there.
 
In solidarity…
 
Your Region 1 Bargaining Team
CFI Local 39000, CWA-TNG
 
Pedro Ramírez-Navas
Daniel Kaufman 
Doris Vick 
Michael Ferreira 
Robert Guerrero 
Caren Sencer, Spokesperson

 

CFI Election – NOTICE URGENT                                           

March 9, 2018

Dear Members,
 
We have heard from some members who lost or never got their ballots.  The requests (after verifying the addresses) have been sent on to Ballotpoint to issue the new ballots.
 
Ballotpoint had a delay in the printed ballots due to the Mid-West storms.  In order to be sure that every member has the opportunity to vote – The Election Committee, after consultation with the CWA General Counsel, has decided to delay the counting of the ballots.
 
Members will have until 5pm on Thursday March 15 to request a replacement ballot.  You must email your request, with your address (and your name) where you want the ballot sent to:
 
[email protected]
 
Ballots will now be counted at the Santa Fe Springs Office on Thursday March 29th at 10am.
 
Ballots must be mailed to the Post Office Box and be there on Thursday March 29th when the Election Committee collects the mail for counting.
 
If you still have your ballot – get it in the mail, please.  Don’t wait for the last minute.
 
If you open your ballot envelope and discover that you are missing one of the envelopes or the ballot, let us know right away:  [email protected]
 
If you never got your ballot – let us know right away…..don’t wait for the last minute. 
 
Please.
 
Sincerely,
Carrie Biggs-Adams
Temporary Administrator
 

CFI Local Update 

March 2, 2018

Dear Members of CFI,
 
Most members have now received their ballots.  If you have not gotten yours in your Saturday mail, please email us with your address, and note if you have moved in the last year.  Send your email to: [email protected]
 
If you have a different address than the one in the database, the check of the US Postal Service that was done by Ballotpoint’s mailing house on the addresses that we provided should have picked up a new address and the ballot was mailed to your current address of record.
 
How to Cast Your Ballot
 
Please be sure to mark your ballot – do not write on it or mark other than the “bubble” in black ink as per these instructions.  These are machine scanned to be counted.
 
Put your marked ballot in the secret ballot envelope.  Seal that envelope – no marks on the outside.
 
Put the sealed secret ballot in the large return envelope.  Please put your return address on the outside envelope, this is so that if there is a problem with the US Mail it will come back to you and you can re-mail it to the Post Office Box.
 
The barcode on the outside of the return envelope will be used to confirm that it is from a registered voter in the database that was sent from the Local to Ballotpoint.  This is how a duplicate ballot will be identified so that no member gets two ballots in the case of a requested replacement/lost ballot.
 
New Members
 
The Local always accepts new members, with an application and dues checkoff forms for those employed by the courts, those must be sent to the Southern California office for processing.  Freelance members may join by applying on the website and payment of the $50 annual fee.
 
These classifications of members may vote in the election.  But after Monday March 5th we will not be able to get ballots mailed out in time for members to return them by mail to be in the Post Office box before the pickup for counting on March 15th.
 
If you have friends who want to join, please have them email us immediately and we will get applications out to them (via email) if they work at the courts. Freelance members may join on the website.
 
Obviously, we will be happy to have people join, but after the first part next week, joining in order to vote in this election won’t be possible.
Conclusion
 
We hope for a 100% return, please mail you ballot right away so that there is time for it to get back to the Post Office before the counting date.  Ballots not in the post office box on Wednesday March 15 at 10am when the Election Committee (with a representative of Ballotpoint) picks up the mail – will not be counted.  Counting is not based upon postmark.  Ballot must be returned by mail – it cannot be hand carried to the office – and be there by the morning of March 15th.
 
Sincerely,
 
Carrie Biggs-Adams
Temporary Administrator

 

Region 1 Bargaining Update

February 28, 2018

Your Bargaining Team met with Region 1 today at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.  Special thanks goes out to Lorena Pike (Full-time, Santa Maria), Hernan Vargas (A), Ana Plasencia (A), and Sandra Rodriguez (A) for showing your support by observing the negotiation process in action. 

This update is going to be brief, which unfortunately mirrors today’s bargaining session. Not only did the Court’s spokesman Joe Wiley and the rest of the Court’s team not arrive until 11:30 am, but Court Counsel Ivette Peña was not present during any part of the session. The minimal content of the two paltry proposals that the Administration offered us today would suggest that there was not a real intention to work through a full session, perhaps owing to the absence of Court Counsel.

Despite asserting that interpreter assignments are one of their top priorities, the Court notified us that the new computerized interpreter assignment system may not be implemented until July of this year, at the earliest.  We requested time to preview this system and the Court agreed to present “screenshots” of the new software system at our next session.
The only other two topics of note were:

  1. A discussion of cross-assignments during which the Court asked a series of questions and presented different possible scenarios as to whether or not an interpreter would be paid or given equivalent work in the event of a missed/cancelled cross-assignment.
  2. A lengthy exchange about the half-time coordinator position in Santa Barbara (CFI unit member Lorena Pike). Although this coordinator is paid for four hours a day as an interpreter, and the other four hours as a coordinator, her coordinating duties often extend well beyond the four hours allotted for this purpose. We are hoping to get her additional compensation for the double duty she performs.

CFI members demonstrated to the administration that we are united and willing to fight for a fair contract by holding a noontime rally in front of Stanley Mosk Civil Courthouse.  We thank all those members who participated and made your voices heard!

The next bargaining session will be held on March 21st, 2018, 10:00 am, at the CWA District 9 Office, 12215 Telegraph Road, Suite 210, Santa Fe Springs, California 90670. We are expecting the next session to be of particular interest, as the Court will be sharing more detailed information about the new computerized assignment system. To those of you for whom this is a crucial issue, your team encourages you to attend and support. Get your Requests for Time Off into the office today!

In solidarity,

Your Region 1 Bargaining Team
Pedro Ramirez-Navas
Doris Vick
Robert Guerrero
Daniel Kaufman
Michael Ferreira
Caren Sencer, Spokesperson

 
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