California Federation of Interpreters

News from Region 4:

 - Facing Arbitration Over Unit Work Violation, San Diego Superior Court Offers Settlement. 

-  R4 initiated monthly zoom calls with all stewards. Contact yours for updates, questions and work related concerns.

-  Maria Benitez, long time interpreter and R4 steward retires in March. Thank you Maria for your dedication and your many contributions to the Union.




A message from your Secretary-Treasurer

Dear members,

Receivership ended in December 2019, and Ed Venegas' last day was on December 20th, 2019. I had started to work on getting control of the Finances of the Local, and to that end, I had our accountant review our budget. As many of you know, we have lost members to Janus, and we have hired a top notch Bargaining Attorney to assist us. For that reason, it was not possible to continue to pay for a Representative for Region 2 and 3. As I reviewed the finances, I also realized that in the entire history of this Local, there has never been a Strike Fund to assist members if we had to resort to work actions.There are numerous violations of the Interpreter Act and our MOU in Region 3, and many grievances and ULPs have had to be filed, which has increased the cost of our legal fees.  This is something that needs to be in place, and a strike fund will be in place starting this year. We will consider the possibility of hiring another Rep for these Regions in the future if our financial situation permits it. Please reach out to our Local's e mail with any concerns. You may also use the Representative's cel phone to reach out to us, as it's still the same number. Your E-Board has been working diligently in coordinating representation efforts with stewards in all Regions. Please contact  your local stewards with any issues, as they are there to represent you and assist you. There is an updated list on our website with contact information for our Stewards for all Regions. 

In solidarity, 

Carmen Ramos
Secretary-Treasure, CFI Local 39000



Region 2 Update

Courts Deny R2 Reality

San Francisco (January 14, 2020) _ A chill wind and rain didn’t deter San Francisco interpreters from a lunchtime show of solidarity on the Judicial Council steps, next to the courthouse where the CFI Region 2 bargaining team met for wage negotiations a week before Christmas.

Region 2 court interpreters are mobilizing. 

We're fighting for fair wages that are commensurate with our skills. We need to keep up with the high cost of living in the Bay Area, the most expensive place to live in the country. 

89% of R2 interpreters surveyed say they’re dissatisfied with their current salary, 64% say they struggle to make ends meet due to the high cost of living in the Bay Area, and 60% do other work to supplement their income. 

Region 2 interpreters strongly agree that the work we do requires the same skills and knowledge as federal court work. The salary range for federal staff positions in the Bay Area is $127,187 – $165,346. 

91% of R2 survey respondents also agreed that given that contractors are being paid the federal per diem, staff interpreters also deserve federal parity.  

At the Dec. 18 bargaining session the Region 2 courts, once again, refused to offer anything despite being presented with clear and strong evidence on why a wage increase is necessary. The court’s lead negotiator refused to articulate the reasons for an offer of zero, simply repeating the same specious arguments made previously, a series of badly researched half-truths, and apples-to-oranges justifications.  Although our spokesperson Laurie Burgess repeatedly pressed him about whether he and his team had ever been authorized to offer any amount, he continued to dodge the question, in an apparent manifestation of bad faith.  

Our committee pointed out that interpreters now must be prepared to work in criminal, juvenile, civil and family cases, and perform more work with fewer employee interpreters. The Courts' spokesperson claimed he did not see the correlation between staffing levels and increased workload, and expressed no interest in perusing our carefully researched package of data refuting the Courts’ previously presented faulty statistics.

The Region is intent on ignoring the approximately ten percent reduction in staff interpreters in Region 2 and the skyrocketing cost of contracting interpreters to minimally meet the need for interpreters.

Your bargaining team maintained that moving toward federal parity in staff salaries is essential to prevent further losses of employees and beef up staffing to match the increased workload. 

The next bargaining session is being scheduled and will likely be in late February or March.

In the meantime, as zero is clearly unacceptable, we will hold lunchtime meetings in late January and February in courthouses throughout the region to gear up for solidarity actions to build pressure on the Courts, and, most importantly, to hear from you. Stay tuned for dates and locations.



First Board Meeting taking place, since taken out of trusteeship.

Date: January 13, 2020
Time: 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Place: Santa Fe Springs Office

If someone wishes to attend the board meeting remotely you need to be a member in good standing.  

Please email the local for additional information at i[email protected]




December 3, 2019 

After working very hard on our full package of proposals, we had a very productive day in Region 3 Bargaining.  

Your team and our Spokesperson, Laurie Burgess,  met at the Stockton Courthouse. There was very positive communication during both our AM and PM sessions. Both sides expressed a willingness to change the paradigm of our bargaining history. 
Our next Bargaining session will be at the Stockton Courthouse on January 7th, 2020, so send us your good vibes!  
Please continue to give us input through our R3 Bargaining email:  [email protected] 
Your Bargaining Team, 
Joey Tobin 
Rosa Trevizo 
Janet Hudec 
Carmen Ramos 

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