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