San Diego - Pension Offset Update

CFI meets with court about elimination of EPMC

SAN DIEGO _ CFI representatives met with San Diego court representatives recently about the elimination of the “employer paid member contribution” (EPMC) to your pension. The unilateral change was imposed by the court without notice to employees or the union, and without the opportunity to meet and confer.

At the end of the meeting yesterday, Court representatives agreed to roll back the elimination of the EPMC pending further negotiations with CFI. The EPMC will be restored and interpreters will be paid the EPMC that was missing from any pay periods before the change is reversed. The court still proposes to eliminate the EPMC, however, due to expectations related to the pension reform act.

CFI’s asserted that each full-time interpreter would lose more than $5300 annually in overall compensation as a result of the change, effectively wiping out wage increases in the recently ratified regional MOU. A change in cost sharing terms was not on the table during regional negotiations when we bargained our wage increases. CFI contends that if the EPMC elimination bargained with another unit applies to our unit, interpreters are also entitled to an offset comparable to that provided other employees.

 CFI made a proposal to provide interpreters paid leave and deferred compensation benefits to offset the impact of the 7% increase in your pension contributions. The additional leave could be used as leave or cashed out under the union’s proposal. This package is similar to what interpreters received in Riverside and San Bernardino to address the same situation.

The union and court representatives discussed the problem that regional wages cannot be bargained at the local court level. This creates a significant disadvantage for interpreters because other options to address the impact (such as leave or deferred compensation) do not build the base wage and are not pensionable.

There are several potential legal disputes related to how the court would apply to interpreters the change in cost-sharing negotiated with the clerk’s unit. CFI will pursue available legal remedies should efforts to negotiate a satisfactory agreement fail.

Another meeting is scheduled on August 17.

For CFI,

Mary Lou Aranguren, Chief Spokesperson
Ariel Torrone, President
Ana Fuller, R4 & Local Committee
Rebeca Vera, R4 & Local Committee
Gemma Yosick, Local Committee
Gina Arteaga, Local Committee


Tags: *reg-4