California Federation of Interpreters

Region 1 Bargaining Update

June 26 & 27, 2018 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

Your Bargaining Committee met with Region 1 on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in the hopes of finalizing a contract after nearly a year of bargaining.  Our contract expired on June 30, 2017.  At the last session in May we were told that the next available date was not until August 2nd but after vigorous protest from our counsel, we were granted earlier dates.  Court Counsel, Ivette Peña, acted as Region 1 spokesperson, as the usual spokesman, Joe Wiley, was not available either day.

The key issues that were still in dispute surrounded wages and assignments.  As you know, the committee was focused on a wage proposal that additionally included longevity pay (step system).  To that end, until the union's most recent proposal, each proposal made by the bargaining committee included a monetary increase in our salary based on service years.  As a counter, the Court proposed a 2.75% base salary increase upon ratification; a one-time 2% signing bonus for A and C status employees, and $500.00 for F status. Then in the second year of the contract, a 2.5% base salary increase, and 2.25% base salary increase in the third year. The Court’s final wage proposal also included a one-time, non-pensionable, non-base payment on July 15th, 2019. The breakdown is: 1% for employees with 5 to 9 years of continuous service; 2% for those with 10 to 14 years of continuous service; and 3% to those employees with 15, or more years of continuous service.

Concerning Article 18, Assignments, the Court accepted the Union’s proposal which requires a meet and confer between Management and the Union prior to the implementation of the new assignment scheduling system and would incorporate any agreed upon changes into the MOU.  Over the course of two days of negotiations, the committee was able to formally Tentatively Agree to provisions in the MOU regarding Leaves of Absence, New Employees, and technical updates to the grievance procedure. 

The complete contract will now be sent to TNG for review and approval to present to the Region 1 bargaining unit members for a vote.  This document represents many months of hard work; however, it is not fully endorsed by this bargaining team with regards to Articles 21 (Salary) and 37 (Stewards). Specifically, the team is not satisfied with the singular one-time longevity bonus proposed by the Court; it does not add anything to the base salary (something that has be neglected by the Court for way too long) and does not truly reflect the value of long-time commitment by the interpreters to the Courts. In Article 37 the issue in contention is the LASC’s failure to follow past practice of paying for caucus time to prepare for contract negotiations … something that has been the precedent over the last 15 years.

Thank you Branda Rosas-Almada, Miguel Acevedo, Hernán Vargas, Diana Díaz, Sonia Peralta, James Varese, Marco Larriva, Ismael Carrillo, Chi Choi, Sandra Rodríguez, Ana Placencia, Karmele Landaribar, and Irene Luévano for showing your support by attending the session(s)!  The presence of so many members visibly impressed temporary spokesperson, Ivette Peña.

Be attentive for updates regarding the TNG approval process and bargaining unit contract ratification vote.

Yours in solidarity,

Caren Sencer
Pedro Ramírez-Navas
Robert Guerrero
Dan Kaufman
Michael Ferreira
Doris Vick
Kathleen Sinclair

 

 
 

Region 1 Bargaining Update

May 21 and May 22, 2018, Santa Fe Springs 

The Bargaining Committee met with Court Administration in Santa Fe Springs for a two-day marathon session.  Today's session was marked by discord as we continue to get stonewalled as our reasonable requests continue to be dismissed with very little engagement on their part.  
 
The following is a synopsis of the latest developments in our contract negotiations: 
 
Tentative Agreements
Court Administration and your Bargaining Team reached the following tentative agreements:
  • SLO  Side Letter relating to benefits
  • Article 19.3 side letter relating to cross assignments
  • Article 8 - Discipline and Discharge
  • Article 22 - Professional Conduct, Standards and Conditions 
 
Article 21 - Salary 
The wage proposal has not yet been resolved.  We continue to vigorously pursue longevity increases (steps).  On Monday Region 1 proposed an additional .75% over three years (an additional .25% each year) contingent upon our abandoning steps.  Previously  we proposed a 2% adjustment for those certified/registered in more than one language.   We then countered with 1% for each additional language pair for all hours paid and Region 1 accepted.  
 
Article 23 - Education and Training Opportunities
There was some movement on the payment of annual renewal fees and we continue to push for a more inclusive offer.  In addition, Region 1 offered increased in-house CIMCE credits up to 15 hours over two calendar years.
 
Article 18  - Interpreter Assignments
Several times we have attempted to address the docking  of pay for employees who receive same-day assignments and our efforts were rejected.   
  
Upcoming Bargaining dates
The Court has decided that other open contract negotiations are more important than meeting with us.  As a result, the earliest date we could agree to is August 2nd at an as-yet undetermined location at 10 am.  They refused to commit to more that one day.   “A” and “C” status interpreters should send in their RTOs  to observe the negotiations first-hand. 
     
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

May 11, 2018, Santa Fe Springs 

The Bargaining Committee met with Court Administration today in Santa Fe Springs, and the following is a synopsis of the latest developments in our contract negotiations: 

Caren Sencer, our spokesperson, has returned from bereavement leave and was present at today's session.
Tentative Agreements
Court Administration and your Bargaining Team reached the following tentative agreements:
  • Article 4 - Authorized Agents
  • Article 16 - Employment Status
  • Article 28.6 - Leaves of Absence
  • Santa Barbara Side Letter - Benefits
Article 23 - Education and Training Opportunities
The Court clarified that the up to 6 hours of continuing education offered by the Court in a calendar year qualify for CIMCE credit.
The Region is studying our proposal for reimbursement of continuing education costs.
 
Article 18 – Assignments 
The Region continues to study our proposal to remove this subject from current bargaining with an eye towards reopening this issue when the computerized assignment system is ready to look at.
Article 21 - Salary 
The wage proposal has not yet been resolved.  We continue to vigorously pursue longevity increases (steps).  At the last session we proposed a 2% adjustment for those certified/registered in more than one language.  Today the Court countered with 1% for each additional language pair.  We are studying their response.
 
Article 28 - Leaves of Absence
Traditionally the Court has paid for caucus time for up to five members of the Bargaining Committee to prepare for negotiations.  In 2017 Mr. Wiley (Region 1 Spokesperson) said that the Courts would not pay for this essential time.  The issue has continued to be raised throughout this round of negotiations.  Today Mr. Wiley stated that no additional organizational leave would be granted through the LA County Courts until the Local has paid the $11,217.29 at issue here.
  
Upcoming Bargaining dates
We hope to see you at our upcoming bargaining dates which have been confirmed for Monday, May 21 Tuesday, May 22 at the Santa Fe Springs Local office at 10 am.   “A” and “C” status interpreters should send in their RTOs today to observe the negotiations first-hand. 
     
Bargaining Meeting 
You will have an opportunity to meet this Saturday with members of the Bargaining Committee for a “State of Bargaining” report.  We will give an overview of where things presently stand in the negotiations process, and we will address questions you may have.  Remember to review the Bargaining Chart available in the Members Only section of the CFI member website. The chart will be updated to include today's results as soon as possible.

 

This Saturday meeting is open to all members in good standing of the union in Region 1.  Therefore, people from other regions, freelancers or associate members will not be permitted to attend.

The meeting is specifically to address the Region 1 contract bargaining and mobilization and will take place on Saturday, May 12 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm at the CFI Local 39000 offices located at 12215 N. Telegraph Rd., Suite 210, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670.   

  
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

April 30, 2018, Airport Courthouse

The Bargaining Committee met with Court Administration today, and the following is a synopsis of the latest developments in our contract negotiations:

 Article 21 - Salary
 
Region 1’s counterproposal regarding salary includes a Bonus Payment of 2% at ratification for “A” status employees and a prorated amount for “C” status employees.  Those in “F” status would receive a one-time payment of $500. 
 
They continue to offer a 2.5% adjustment effective the first pay period after ratification, a 2.25% adjustment 12 months later, and another 2% 12 months after that.  Region 1 rejected our proposal for longevity pay and we will continue to press for recognition that employees’ commitment and experience matters.
 
We proposed language to address the issue of employees being docked for arriving late when assignments were made the same day and their spokesperson stated that there was “sharp disagreement on that.”  He stated as clarification that interpreters are not being docked, but are being paid for hours worked, not for commute time to their assignment.  He suggested that we “take these matters to arbitration, and see what the arbitrator says.  Our answer is ‘NO’.”
 
We continue to request that employees certified or registered interpret in more than one language pair receive an enhancement and proposed a 1% increase for all hours worked or paid.
 
While LA County does not have an assigned interpreter coordinator we nevertheless proposed a 10% adjustment should that occur and 15% for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.  Santa Barbara currently has a coordinator (who is a member of our unit) who is paid an additional 10% for hours spent coordinating.
 
Article 4 – Authorized Agents
 
We agreed to an address change in which the Santa Fe Springs office address will be used for communication between Region 1 and CFI.
  
Article 18 – Assignments
 
As the automated assignment system is nowhere near ready, your Bargaining Committee recognized that continuing to discuss this matter was nonproductive.  Not wanting to delay contract negotiations further, we suggested a Side Letter Reopener on this issue.  Court Administration agreed to that and proposed 30 days’ advance notice on the implementation of an automated scheduling system. This would allow us to see the actual system, and bargain over the issue when the system can be observed and studied.
 
Article 26 ‒ Employees’ Benefits
 
The Court submitted a proposal to modify the existing language in the Santa Barbara side letter to the contract clarifying the fringe benefits the employees receive.  Interpreter employees in the Santa Barbara Superior Court receive fringe benefits at the same level as those Santa Barbara Court employees represented by SEIU Local 620.
 
Conclusion
 
The Region One Bargaining Committee would like to give a special shout out to our members Claudia Lancaster (A), Sonia Cruz, and Maya Fonseca (F) for their generous support today, and hope they found the experience enlightening as to the bargaining process.
 
Bargaining Meeting
 
You will have an opportunity to meet with your Bargaining Committee for a “State of Bargaining” report that will explore the attached chart in further detail. We will give an overview of where things presently stand in the negotiations process, and we will address questions and comments you may have.  Remember to review the Bargaining Chart available in the Members Only section of the CFI member website.
 
The meeting is specifically to address the Region 1 contract and mobilization and will take place on Saturday, May 12 from 1:00 to 4:00pm at the CFI Local 39000 offices located at 12215 N. Telegraph Rd., Suite 210, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670.
 
In the meantime, we hope to see you at our upcoming bargaining dates on Friday, May 11 at the Santa Fe Springs Local office, and May 21st and 22nd at yet to be determined locations.
 
“A” and “C” status interpreters should send in their RTOs today to observe the negotiations first-hand.
 
In solidarity…
 
Your Region 1 Bargaining Team
CFI Local 39000, CWA-TNG
 
Pedro Ramírez-Navas
Daniel Kaufman 
Doris Vick 
Michael Ferreira 
Robert Guerrero 
Alejandro Delgado, Spokesperson

 

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 
  
 
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