California Federation of Interpreters

EXECUTIVE BOARD CAMPAIGN STATEMENTS

PRESIDENT POSITION – CAMPAIGN STATEMENT

BEGONYA DE SALVO
 
Dear Members,
 
I want to be your President, because our Union needs new leadership, new ideas, and a new direction where everyone feels welcomed and nobody is held back. 
 
  1. We want HERO PAY because we are essential workers and risk our lives in the line of duty.
  2. We want a SIX-FIGURE SALARY because that should be the base and not the ceiling. It is time to close the 40-year pay gap.
  3. We want PEACE OF MIND with a decent pension plan that gives us a comfortable retirement, not one that forces us to keep working well into our seventies. 
I clearly remember the day I decided to speak up and fight for court interpreters. It was three days after the passing of my dear friend and colleague, Sergio Cafaro. Sergio's death was 100% preventable. Court administrators were not following CDC guidelines and doing little to prevent the spread of the virus. I was overwhelmed with grief, anger, and outrage for what had happened to Sergio. 
 
MOVED TO ACTION
 
My grief moved me deeply and pushed me into action. 
 
That is why I wrote to Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor on behalf of my 17 colleagues impacted by the lethal outbreak at the Criminal Courts Building in downtown Los Angeles. 
 
When I wrote to Judge Taylor, another tragic and devastating event, unbeknownst to us, was unfolding at the Bellflower Courthouse. There, interpreters suffered another 100% preventable outbreak that took the life of Daniel Felix, an interpreter who was a few months shy of retirement.
 
BECOMING A UNION STEWARD
That is why I decided to become a Union Steward. I joined forces with Marina Sastre, a veteran interpreter who helped me organize a vigil for our fallen colleagues. 
 
When I learned that Marina and other interpreters in high-risk populations were still being required to work in person, I was furious. 
 
THE PUSH FOR TELEWORK
 
I didn’t want another interpreter to die.
 
That is why I pushed for safer working conditions and telework for all at-risk interpreters.
 
  • I filed and personally signed a grievance against the Court. 
  • I filed a Cal/OSHA complaint.
  • I filed a SECOND Cal/OSHA complaint on behalf of our Union colleagues, assisting the attorney and Cal/OSHA investigators with identifying witnesses and putting together a timeline of events. Cal/OSHA found the Superior Court at fault and fined the court $25,000.
  • I reached out to the media, and wrote and distributed press releases on behalf of the Union. I gave media interviews to advocate for telework for ALL at-risk interpreters, and for those with dependents. These communications were crucial to our cause. 
Having a robust media and social media presence, gaining support from political organizations, and building our community are critical to getting our demands met. I am a strong writer, with abundant public relations experience. I know how to run an attractive social media campaign that can make a difference.  Developing a strong voice will help ensure WE ARE HEARD.
 
TOGETHER, WE CAN DO IT
 
I am a person of action. I make things happen. I welcome challenges. Together, we can achieve whatever we set out to do. Let's aim for better pay that reflects our professionalism and allows us a better retirement.
 
I want to know more about you. Let’s connect! 
 
My social media handle across the board is Coco De Salvo (Coco is my nickname) on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. On Twitter, you can follow @BegonyaDeSalvo.
 
You can find a summary of my union activities at www.begonyadesalvo.com.
 
I can’t wait to hear from you. 
 
In solidarity,
 
Begonya De Salvo
 
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 VICE-PRESIDENT POSITION – CAMPAIGN STATEMENTS

GABRIELA MEJIA

Dear Members,
 
Let’s be family!
Part of the vision that I have for our union is that I would like to lead an outreach effort to have   as many members as possible to make this truly our union.
I envision a strong union that is not an abstract organization, but a real resource that will always be there because of you and for YOU, so that you can reach your fullest potential. 
An important part of our #makingthingshappen initiative is the return of our Annual Conference and other events in a new and invigorated way.
  1. An Annual Conference that will be better like ever before! We need a conference from which you will walk out feeling included, with a sense of community, being able to network with other colleagues (staff and independents), with 30 CIMCE credit units presented by top colleagues. It will address important aspects of our career that go beyond knowledge, personal growth, and enrichment. This conference will include workshops on mental health that will help us cope with our daily and sometimes work-related struggles with real applicable methods for achieving the best results in our professional as well as in our personal life.
 
I have a proven record of organizing conferences, events and workshops during many years. Attendees always leave with a sense of fulfillment and empowerment. They are a success, but also very affordable.

I want us to be able to attend a down-to-earth yet meaningful event where you are reuniting with a group of close friends that are like family. A family that you have chosen!

In order to do that I need your vote. If you trust me with your vote, I will continue making things happen for our profession and our union. 
 
  1. A Mentorship and an Outreach Program to increase membership. I believe in inclusiveness, and the only way to get more members is by creating engaging programs, and events where every voice is counted. Our independent colleagues need to be included as well as our new interpreters, and the best way to do this is by promoting a mentorship and an outreach program to spark their interest. We can also create a Newsletter for the membership so we can all be informed and participate.    
 
I was invited to the 1st Educational Forum, entitled Behind the Bench…Learn About Careers in the Courts, hosted by The Committee to Eliminate Bias and Promote Equal Justice, where students from underprivileged high schools will have the opportunity to hear from different court employees, including interpreters. These young people will learn about the level of education needed, the demands and the many rewards that a court interpreting career brings.
You want more, and together, we can make things happen. Vote for our slate, vote for the New Union: Begonya De Salvo as your President, Gloria Lindemann as your Secretary Treasurer, and yours truly, as your new Vice-President.
 
Respectfully,
Gabriela Mejia
www.gabrielamejia.org
 
 
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JANET HUDEC

Janet Hudec for Vice President 

 
“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey
 
As I reflect on the history of our Local— origins, the path taken by our grassroots organizers, struggles, achievements, victories, failures— I am convinced that together we can renew, reinvigorate, and continue building a stronger Union by electing visionary leaders who understand our past in order to lead us into the future. 
I am that leader. I have a vision for our local that goes beyond what has been the past practice. I have been taught by the grassroots leaders who have shaped our profession’s identity. I have the backbone and moral understanding to continue leading us forward. I picture my vice presidency as affording a focal point of leadership to foster greater participation from new members of the Executive Board, as well as, engaging the diverse and talented rank-and-file membership that make up this local. My intention is to continue to promote a healthy democratic processes, transparency, and work product that will move our membership from ennui to activism across the labor and social justice movement. 

Here are a few items in my agenda for the next two years:

>Continue with the process of hiring a Business Representative. Prior to the pandemic we had finished writing up the job description and had been actively speaking and spreading the word to other unions. As we were getting ready to post the job, our efforts were halted  by the pandemic. The uncertainty brought on by court closures, rumors of possible lay offs and furloughs, and our dedication and non-stop work of keeping members safe during the pandemic; placed the hiring of the business representative at a lower priority. Now as we approach a more realistic level of normalcy, we can pick-up where we left off. Notwithstanding a raging pandemic, our Secretary-Treasurer (Carmen Ramos) and I, never stopped looking for a possible candidate and we are happy to announce that we do have a very well reputed and experienced individual interested in the position. 

 
>Empower and continue growing our steward network. Stewards are our frontline representatives and the heart of our Union. I will continue to promote, support, assist, and schedule trainings for our Stewards; either directly and through our regional delegates. Building up our Steward network is key to a healthy and thriving Union.
 
>Continue supporting all bargaining committees. Bargaining is the most stressful undertaking of any Union. In my role as Vice President, I will continue to provide support with strategies, mobilization, budgetary data, Judicial Council reports,  media connections, and anything else a bargaining team needs to make negotiations a success. 
 
>Continue enforcing our MOUs and Interpreter Act- Not enforcing our MOUs and Laws undermines our Union.
 
>Continue fighting for and strengthening our statewide VRI position and approach.  Since 2014 CFI has had a statewide VRI position and approach. Over the years, that position and approach has been modified and strengthened. In-person interpreting is still preferred over VRI. VRI should be limited to last minute urgent case types in court, should be used to expand language access for court ordered events/programs, and now we have expanded to use of VRI for health and safety emergencies. 
 
>Continue learning and building rapport with TNG and CWA leaders- I have made huge progress in establishing a better relationship and my efforts are paying off. My first accomplishment is the ongoing full reimbursement for CIMCE’s. 

Feel free to contact me if you have questions. 
 
Vote Janet Hudec Vice President and Carmen Ramos Secretary-Treasurer 

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SILVIA SAN MARTIN

Not the Triangle

Transitions of power tend to be perceived in one of two ways: as a natural way to revitalize the union (for every humble leader knows to embrace the concept that all cycles must come to an end) or as an imminent threat to those holding power for too long, to avoid change. I passed the baton as R4 Representative satisfied that my contributions helped pave the road for meaningful transformation and for a better union. 
 
In my first statement I summarized the progress reached in all but one county in Region 4. Just about all stewards will tell you that our journey together since 2019 has been one based on continuous dialogue, inclusive meetings, and increased cooperation among ourselves with a dual objective: to foster employment and labor relations. We are a united front and that’s why working conditions have notably improved everywhere but in Orange County. In my eyes, the disparity stems from the fact that, from the beginning, and despite my constant efforts to assist with the many unresolved and mounting problems, there was resistance and insufficient collaboration at multiple levels. OC members have unknowingly suffered the consequences. Discreet conversations never helped, and then, a rumor spread hours after I accepted my nomination for vice president and before the official announcement came out, followed by a sudden zoom call –that excluded me– to address the “false” rumor just instigated. Simultaneously, postings in our R4 CFI Facebook page went viral and provoked such a response from members and stewards who came to my defense that the page was quickly shut down, or just about everyone was blocked. Next, I was instructed “to step back from representational work in Orange County” without the opportunity to first speak and without being offered any support. I asked that OC members be notified of this decision: I think you should know. Another zoom call also excluded me. The beginning of the elections has not been precisely easy. This, in essence, is a defense of my integrity and the ideals I believe in.
 
R4 model worked so well that our strategies were implemented in the other regions: the monthly steward calls; the beginning of newsletters; the urgency in forming a technological committee which a candidate already explained to you but failed to mention that I developed the idea months ago based on the expertise of my Ph D and specialization in linguistics, which I omit from CFI forums. In much of R4, grievances no one thought could be won were won, progress in the county ignored by all previous boards began, members tend to feel optimistic, and we opened the dialogue with other regions on cross-assignments and VRI. We foster employment. We don’t mute the mics. We listen, think, discuss, act.
 
Change has originated in R4 as we took the lead in many ways. Then came my decision to run for VP that made some uneasy. 
 
And thus, the triangle that speaks with one voice in a show of force (“I will silence you”) silenced me; the triangle that has caused so many resignations, that took over in R2 and now in one part of R4, that defends a VRI stipend few believe in with talk of a “remote but not VRI” response that won’t help employment, nor wages, safety, or protocols, but surely will impact ongoing and upcoming negotiations—that triangle is clinging to power, yet one of its sides is weak.
 
Triangles have sharp edges with potential for injury. Circles, by nature, are welcoming and tend to expand. 
 
Join the circle. Join me with your vote.
 
Silvia San Martín
 
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 SECRETARY-TREASURER POSITION – CAMPAIGN STATEMENTS 

GLORIA LINDEMANN

Dear colleagues:
 
My name is Gloria Lindemann, and I am running for the position of Secretary-Treasurer. 
 
My background, education, and professional experience will bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to the position, and, most importantly, a different approach towards fiscal analysis, transparency, and money allocation.  
 
I believe that information and transparency are key to running a financially healthy organization. Members should be involved and updated about all the important decisions relating to their money.
 
1. We will be sending a quarterly newsletter, and it will include a section dedicated to finances with a true and accurate ledger detailing income and expenses, along with up-to-date reports containing results on audits performed.  I will always be requesting input on where YOU want to see your money spent. I will ALWAYS search for ways to minimize costs by allocating funds where they truly belong and eliminating unnecessary expenses.
 
2. I will also be providing a budget for members' approval. I believe transparency, involvement, and accountability are critical. Your voice matters!
 
3. I will work hand in hand with Gabriela and Begonya to make sure our yearly conference happens. With good money management, we can have a very cost-effective conference that will let each of us obtain the 30 CIMCE credit requirement at a free or reduced cost while having fun at a nice venue. We should all have the chance to participate, get to know each other more, make new friends, learn from one another, while having a good time, too. There will be  free workshops about how to handle debt and have a brighter future without any financial worries. There are many ways to get our education without breaking the bank. Let me put my skills to work! 
 
Accountability and responsibility are my motto.  
 
I want to get to know you more. Let’s connect! 
 
My social media handle is Gloria Lindemann [Facebook]; @glolindy_ou [Instagram] @GloriaLindemann [Twitter]     
 
In solidarity,
 
Gloria Lindemann
 

Candidates' Statements for Executive Board Positions

Statements - Candidates for the President Position

Michael Ferreira

The pandemic has tested this local and our profession, bringing us to the brink of ruin more than any other event in our history. Our local is steadfast and we are looking towards moving forward.

I am asking you to cast your vote for me; I want to continue contributing to the local’s leadership roster. No one person alone makes for a successful, functional local. We need a combination of different individuals, with varied skillsets, knowledge, experience, and a commitment to unionism. Teamwork between board members and between the board and membership is key. 

I have been a steward almost 15 years; a board member (president and vice president) for three terms; and an elected member of my region’s bargaining team. I have represented CFI not only as a delegate at two CWA international conferences, but also on several Judicial Council working groups, also contributing on several legislative projects for the local, and our profession. I know and understand my duties and responsibilities as president, steward, and representative of our local. I embrace them and take them seriously.  

The following are important items to drive forward in the upcoming term and throughout the life of the local:

  • Counter the anti-union tactics employed by the Courts and the impact of Janus objectors by creating more opportunities for everyone to participate in attaining goals imperative for both present members and those who have left; increase outreach to new hires who have not made the commitment to “be union.”
  • Continue to grow and train the steward base; it is the backbone of any union, and critical given our wide geographic dispersal, with each employer having multiple sites.
  • Continue building teamwork and collaborative decision making on the board, and with the membership.
  • Improve and amplify partnerships/alliances with the other unionized units our workplace, as well as have a presence and participate in the local labor councils throughout California.
  • Put into place standing committees as required by our CWA Constitution and local bylaws, among them a committee to review and offer improvements to the local’s bylaws, and one to track and advise on new technologies coming into the profession, such as linguistic application of artificial intelligence. Basically, guide the local’s policies through a grassroots approach.
  • Focus our local’s legislative efforts toward developing and passing legislation to channel VRI into appropriate uses, promote the employee model of delivering language access in the Courts, and move toward a single, statewide general contract for court interpreters.
  • Connect with our wider CWA-TNG union international; plug into programs, funding, and movements within the greater union international. 

Begonya De Salvo

My name is Begonya De Salvo, and I am running to be President of the California Federation of Interpreters, Local 39000. 

I am a native of Spain who immigrated here 16 years ago. I began my career as an interpreter in 2009, in Washington, D.C. It was there, in our nation's capital, where my passion for social activism and politics bloomed. I later moved to Los Angeles, and I joined the Superior Court in 2016. I became a union member on my first day of employment. 

I am a solid unionist; it is in my DNA. My grandfather was President of the National Confederation of Workers in Spain and imprisoned by Franco’s government. His commitment has inspired me to fight for the solidarity of our union and seek much-needed improvements in our working conditions, pay, and benefits. 

I have a proven record of getting things done. As a union steward, I led successful efforts to obtain safer working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic: 

  • I am the whistleblower who reported to Cal/OSHA the Superior Court's workplace violations of COVID-19 protocols and the deaths of our three colleagues, Sergio Cafaro, Daniel Felix, and Policarpo Chaj. Cal/OSHA investigated and found the Superior Court at fault and fined the court $25,000. 
  • I advocated for telework accommodations for court interpreters in order to minimize exposure to COVID-19. We succeeded in obtaining the telework option for all at-risk interpreters and those with dependents. 
  • I reached out to news reporters and, our union was
    prominently featured in the media – in newspapers, television, and radio – regarding our fight for safer working conditions. This publicity pressured the Superior Court to take seriously our demands. 
  • I helped to successfully lobby against provisions in Senate Bill 241, which sought to increase availability of remote hearings. I persuaded leaders of indigenous peoples to join forces with us to oppose the bill, as remote interpretations may hamper communication with speakers of indigenous languages. We succeeded in having the remote hearing provisions removed from the bill. 

As President, I will seek to re-negotiate our salary so that it fairly reflects our status as interpretation professionals. I also will seek to further improve our working conditions, strengthen communication between union leadership and rank-and-file members, and protect our pension system. 

I also vow that I will uphold the highest ethical standards and transparently lead as your President. 

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Statements - Candidates for the Vice-President Position

Janet Hudec

I am Janet Hudec and I am running for re-election for Vice President

I've been working on organizing interpreters and improving our profession since I started working as an employee interpreter in 2011. I've played a lot of parts in this journey— CFI Chair of Nominations, Judicial Council Court Interpreter Advisory Panel (CIAP), member of the California’s Language Access Plan and Implementation Task Force of the Language Access Plan— and I am currently serving on the Advisory Committee on Providing Access and Fairness, Language Access Subcommittee, and Judicial Council Legislative Committee. I have had many accomplishments throughout my journey but my greatest accomplishment has been serving CFI members as Vice President.  

During my tenure as Vice President, and in collaboration with Michael Ferreira and Carmen Ramos, I have been responsible for member representation, legislative and policy issues, and been involved in bargaining in region 3 – achieved 12% wage increase— and currently bargaining in in region 2. My achievements during my Vice President tenure include: obtaining the highest interpreter budget increases ever; obtain $30 million additional money to promote employment; fought hard to defeat harmful legislation; during the pandemic we met and conferred with all courts in region 1, 2, & 3 to obtain PPE and paid leave; obtain telework in various courts; successfully fought furloughs in region 2 and 3; successfully won grievances regarding work conditions, VRI, cross assignments, use of non-certs over certified, and refusal to offer employment. Won unfair labor practices over courts refusal to provide contractor expenditures, courts refusal to confer regionally over pandemic impacts, and about to go to trial against the courts on 4 more ULPs. I fought for members to get free CIMCE’s through CFI and succeeded in getting CWA to reimburse the ongoing cost.  

I am very hard working and dedicated to our collective success of all interpreters. I am knowledgeable with the legislative process, state budget, interpreter budget, state interpreter expenditures, the interpreter act, all 4 MOU’s, and other labor laws. I understand state, regional, and local issue that affect our profession. I am a visionary with a focus in improving our working conditions, livable wage, strengthening representation, and promoting a healthy future. 

I pledge my solidarity and ask for your vote to continue to work rebuilding this union. Together, we can do better. Vote for me Janet Hudec Vice President, Michael Ferreira for President, and Carmen Ramos for Secretary-Treasurer.  

Gabriela Mejia 

I am Gabriela Mejia, and I am running for the Vice-Presidency of the California Federation of Interpreters, alongside Presidential Candidate Begonya De Salvo. 

Originally from Uruguay, I had always dreamed of living in the US. I studied hard to become fluent in English so that when the dream became a reality, I knew my ideal job – interpreter. I immediately enrolled in an Interpretation Program at Union County College in Cranford, New Jersey, and since then, it has been my life.

Fast forward to now, and I have been an interpreter for 24 years. As a passionate learner, I have never stopped developing my skills and accreditations. I am a Federally Certified Court Interpreter (FCCI) in Spanish, Certified in the State of California and New Jersey to Master level.

I know the profession intimately and passionately, having worked across a range of positions and various institutions. My long career has included:

- Working at the Superior Court of New Jersey and the Superior Court of California

- An interpreter in numerous fields and specialties, including medical, criminal, forensic, depositions and arbitrations

- A worldwide conference interpreter

- President of the ATISDA (Association of Translators Interpreters in the San Diego Area)

I feel strongly about my role and care about those in my field. Therefore, I constantly strive to improve our status as professionals and an essential part of the workforce. 

I share a similar vision and dreams with Presidential Candidate Begonya De Salvo – to strengthen the union and drive beneficial change for members.  

Being Vice President is the challenge my 24-year career path has been building towards. My integrity, knowledge, and experience are integral parts of my leadership capabilities. 

Begonya and I will strengthen our great Federation, improving working conditions and prospects through communication and strength of purpose.

Silva San Martin 

Region 4, mostly employees, has grown strong during the last three years I have been Representative: We were first to introduce monthly steward calls, which has allowed us to become highly independent and organized. This practice was later adopted by other regions due to its success. Our membership is up, anti-unionism down, and our progress shows almost everywhere. The mics are always on in R4.

Those who know me will tell you that I offer and expect genuine dialogue. This is the approach I bring in during conversations with colleagues and Admin. Much has been resolved or is being discussed at management level in my area, including working conditions, VRI, and assigned space in the courtrooms. I don’t hesitate to file grievances when necessary, and with the collaboration of San Diego stewards and Mike we have not lost one since 2019. Goal? Changing the way we are perceived.

My central motivation throughout my career as a contractor, employee and union player has always been the redefinition of the state court interpreter as the professionals we are, through gradual but firm change in the court’s culture. Reality is we have not advanced much during the past fifteen years. What good comes from running to the Governor’s office and requesting more millions, or having a surplus in the Interpreter’s Budget, if we don’t see it in our wages and working conditions? That’s not where the real fight is, and failure to recognize that inevitably results in lousy gains at each negotiating table: The courts always find a way to devalue us. We need a fresh approach: A movement that explores the possibilities of a professional classification system and specializations. Only then will our salaries reflect what we do and who we are. I am committed to fight for exactly that.

Steps needed:

·       Immediate hiring of a Business Representative, voted down repeatedly by current board, yet funds are available.  

·       Reestablishing/Creating committees—not one person in charge: legislative, educational, technological, and social justice are urgent.

·       One VRI approach for California.

·       Reexamination of the decision to expel members for life.

·       Higher dues paid by IGA members for increased benefits.

·       CFI conference in 2022.

The vital step where everything can begin? A board that believes in democratic dialogue, finds time to meet regularly, operates openly, innovates, and is committed to the advancement of our profession, as I do. 

First Endorsement: 

Jackie Ruiz—Next R4 Rep.

Statements - Candidates for the Secretary-Treasurer Position

Carmen Ramos

Dear members,

I decided to continue to serve as Secretary-Treasurer of the Local so I can make sure the changes I proposed, and the current E. Board accepted and implemented, stay in place. Some of my achievements are:

  1. A strike fund, which was never instituted as part of the budget in our Local. In my opinion, a strike fund is a core foundation to work actions that will empower the members to mobilize to obtain a fair wage and working conditions. 
  2. A Legal Defense fund and a Fluid Legal Fund for Bargaining. The institution of those two items in our budget, has enabled us to fund many charges against the courts for unfair labor practices, arbitrations on unresolved grievances, and a top notch attorney aiding us at the Bargaining Table. 
  3. Streamlining of our budget, and necessary cuts in our expenses to achieve a healthy, financially sound Union. When I took office as Secretary-Treasurer, our Local was in the red. I can proudly report our Local is now healthy and sound-thank you to my current E. Board colleagues for their support in achieving this great accomplishment. 
  4. Bargaining of Covid-19 safety protocols in Region 2 and Region 3, with Janet Hudec, VP, and the support of Mike Ferreira, our current President.
  5. Health and Safety Grievances in LA County with the assistance of Mike Ferreira, President, Janet Hudec, VP, Monica Almada, LA lead steward and future R1 Delegate, Roxana Cardenas, LA Steward.
  6. With the help of Maya Fonseca, the lead steward and Chairwoman of our F interpreters in LA Court, we were able to achieve getting health coverage for our F interpreters after LA Court Administration denied them coverage during the pandemic.
  7. With the help of VP Janet Hudec, we were able to achieve pay and benefits for IPT interpreters in R2 during the first month of the pandemic emergency order that shut down our courts.

I believe Mike, Janet and I need to stay on as a team, to lead CFI into achieving the goals we have set to reach. COVID-19 was a huge setback for all of us in many ways, but it also taught us that working in unity, we can prevail.  

I respectfully ask you to vote for me to stay on as Secretary-Treasurer, and to give your vote to Mike Ferreira as President, and Janet Hudec as VP.

In Unity,

Carmen Ramos

Gloria Lindemann

My name is Gloria Lindemann, and I am running to be Secretary-Treasurer, of the California Federation of Interpreters, Local 39000, as part of a slate with Presidential candidate Begonya De Salvo.

I am originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. I have been an interpreter for 13 years, and prior to becoming an interpreter I was in business administration and finance, where I worked for international corporations, such as Motorola, and Kodak.

At Kodak, I was assistant to the Director of finance and had the opportunity to travel to different Latin American Countries to assist in many corporate audits and fraud investigations for the Latin American Region. It was a great experience, and a blessing because I visited many different Latin American countries and was able to experience first-hand all the different cultures, and gastronomy that our rich continent has to offer.

I currently work for the Riverside Superior Court, where I’ve been working for almost seven years. Before becoming an employee, I worked as an independent contractor for six years. 

As an immigrant myself I sympathize with the immigrant community and while I was an independent contractor, I enjoyed donating my time and skills in several asylum cases. It fills my heart with joy when I have assisted attorneys who are also working pro-bono for many women escaping violence, and even children. I always strive for excellence no matter how small or how big the task at hand might be. I have experience in all court settings, I have done from a simple traffic ticket, up to murder trials. I LOVE my job and helping others.

I am honest, honorable, hardworking, dependable, and most importantly, I always look out for the best interest of the people that I love.

I share a similar vision and dreams with Presidential Candidate Begonya De Salvo- to strengthen our great Federation, improve working conditions, and seek better pay that is appropriately commensurate with our professional training and experience.

I believe I can be of service to you and our industry, and I would appreciate your vote.

Sincerely,

Gloria Lindemann

  

 

 

Nominations

CFI Local 39000 Officer Elections

The Elections Committee has received confirmation that the following members, in good standing, have accepted nominations:


President:   

Mike Ferreira
Begonya De Salvo

Vice President:   

Janet Hudec
Gabriela Mejia
Silvia San Martin

Secretary-Treasurer:

Carmen Ramos
Gloria Lindemann 

Regional Unit Representative 1:   

Monica Almada – Elected by acclamation (unopposed)

Regional Unit Representative 2:  

Rosario del Pilar Espinosa – Elected by acclamation (unopposed)

Regional Unit Representative 3:   

Tyler Nguyen – Elected by acclamation (unopposed)

Regional Unit Representative 4:  

Jacqueline Ruiz – Elected by acclamation (unopposed)

Freelance Unit (IGA)

Johanna Valle Sobalvarro – Elected by acclamation (unopposed)

Congratulations to the candidates. Additional information from the candidates will be forthcoming. 

Your Elections Committee,

Susana Valencia
Robert Guererro
Gary Curtis
 

Los Angeles UPDATES

September 19, 2021 

The pandemic has been difficult for all of us and continues to be a challenge. We have all experienced stress from rapid life changes to keep us safe, impacts to our health (physical and mental), loss of loved ones, and with new Covid-19 variants, we continue to experience those challenges. 

On the labor front, Covid-19 has been and continues to be a never ending roller coaster ride. The complexity of Covid-19 ever changing mandates, rapid health and safety procedures and guidelines from the CDC and state and local health departments, and our employer trying to implement changes that many times resulted not best for interpreter interest. 

In April 2020, in order to protect the health and employment of its members, CFI President Mike Ferreira and the Region 1 bargaining team initiated a painstaking Meet & Confer process with LA Superior Court requesting the implementation of Telework for interpreter employees. After a series of negotiations CFI ultimately succeeded in getting Telework for members that identified as high risk. Throughout the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, additional colleagues with dependent and elder care issues also requested Telework, and ultimately all interpreters who were faced with problems brought on by the pandemic were offered the option of working from home via Telework.

On November 30, 2021, CFI filed a Health and Safety Grievance on behalf of members who were denied Telework although they had health conditions that placed them at risk. The Grievance was filed by Secretary-Treasurer of CFI, Carmen Ramos, with the assistance of Union stewards Roxana Cardenas and Monica Almada.  During our initial meetings, your CFI team asserted that our members should be granted telework despite having requested it after the deadline.  

As we all have learned during this pandemic, things are in a constant state of flux. New information on masks, prevention and long-term side effects of Covid-19 have come to light. 

On January 12, 2021, tragedy struck. We had our first interpreter casualty due to COVID-19. Two more of our dear colleagues would come to lose their lives in the next few months. 

CFI filed a second Health and Safety Grievance. Secretary-Treasurer Carmen Ramos, with the assistance of Roxana Cardenas and Monica Almada presented the Grievance on January 14, 2021. Your CFI bonded officers assigned our counsel, Laurie Burgess, to file a complaint with CalOSHA. Laurie was the spokeperson for CFI during that process, which led to CalOSHA issuing a citation against LA Superior Court.  Roxana Cardenas, Monica Almada and Begonya de Salvo assisted Laurie in the investigation, as Laurie worked tirelessly to push CalOSHA internally to hold LA Superior Court accountable.  

We provided our steward, Begonya de Salvo, with Laurie’s assistance to guide her through the intimidating process of talking to the media. Begonya, Mike and I, reached out to some media outlets, and media outlets reached out to our President, Mike Ferreira, regarding the deaths of our dear colleagues. Both Begonya and Mike did a fantastic job shedding light on the circumstances surrounding the sad events that took place.  

We give a special thanks to our counsel, Laurie Burgess, for the phenomenal job she did in getting CalOSHA to hold LA Superior Court responsible for their negligence in handling Covid-19 protocols and procedures relating to interpreters working on site in court.   

As a result of the Health and Safety Grievances filed by CFI, telework was offered during the meetings to resolve the two grievances.  We also believe this came about because of the CalOSHA complaint filed by Laurie Burgess, and the media pressure regarding the death of our colleagues in LA Superior Court.

During 2020, Maya Fonseca, CFI steward, worked with Carmen Ramos to obtain health benefits for F-status interpreters throughout the pandemic. Initially, LA Court denied F interpreters health benefits. Maya Fonseca, reached out to the Board of Supervisors and discovered that F-status interpreters should be covered. We brought it to the attention of LA Superior Court, and the F’s were able to get health coverage. 

At present, your CFI team continues to work tirelessly to protect your health and employment. Mike Ferreira, Carmen Ramos, Kathleen Sinclair, Roxana Cardenas and Monica Almada, are currently engaged in the Meet and Confer process regarding the recent Vaccine Mandates in LA Superior Court. Our first major achievement: the extension of the 80 hours supplemental sick leave for COVID-19 and vaccine related issues. You will receive more news about that issue later. 

We extend a warm and affectionate Thank You to all mentioned and all who supported us, encouraged us, and collaborated in our efforts. Without teamwork nothing is possible, with teamwork everything is possible. 

In Unity,

Janet Hudec, VP CFI Local 39000
Carmen Ramos, Secretary-Treasurer, CFI Local 39000
 
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