Judicial Council formed the Interpreter Act Working Group


n August of this year, in line with Recommendation 74 of the Language Access Plan, the Judicial Council formed the Interpreter Act Working Group; it was composed of court CEO’s, Judicial Council administrators and staff from the Court Interpreter Program, as well as both independent and union member employee interpreters. The Working Group was charged with reviewing and offering perspective on the present state of the Trial Court Interpreter Employment and Labor Relations Act, now incorporated into the California Government Code under Title 8, Chapter 7.5, Sections 71800 – 71829. The specific focus in the process was the four Region bargaining structure[1], the 100- & 45-Day Rule[2], and the Cross-assignment system[3]. The Working Group’s co-chairs, Judge Austin, formerly the chair of the Court Interpreter Advisory Group, and Kim Turner, Mendocino Superior Court CEO, explained that these specific topics had come to be on the group’s agenda because of commentary and inquiries from “shareholders” to language access in the courts. 

It should be noted that the Interpreter Act Working Group basically was a gathering for brainstorming ideas and perceptions about how these points in the interpreter law were functioning; the group was to determine whether these points in the law addressed the issue of language well, poorly, or so badly there must be a change, and whether that change requires a slight amendment to the law, or completely changing how the focus subject is handled within language access law. The group had the ability to make recommendations, but because of disparity in certain points of view and opinions, no recommendation was offered; instead the group compiled a summation of the variation, conflict, and agreement among the participant’s views as they relate to each one of the topics covered.

During the initial meeting of the Interpreter Act Working Group during the summer of 2017 there was commentary and questions raised concerning the lack of union member employee interpreters at the discussion. At the strong behest of a coalition of stakeholders, a total of five interpreters came to participate – four from CFI Local 39000, and one from Interpreter Guild of America, a unit in Local 39521.[4]There was value to the court interpreter union’s involvement, and value in our knowledge-base. This could be a step toward a more positive relationship between the Judicial Council and union member interpreters, the mainstays of providing language access in the courts. The feel during meetings[5]was welcoming, and non-interpreter participants were genuinely interested in the interpreter perspective; all interpreters who participated felt that we were accepted as equals at the roundtable of expertise. However, we had no illusions; we well knew that there would be disagreement, if not conflict on some of the issues, and the possibility that there would not be room for compromise on some of the discussion topics.

Both union member employee interpreter (CFI Local 39000) and independent contractor (Interpreter Guild of America) collaborated, not only during the meetings, but in preparation video chats before the scheduled phone calls. The result is aligning our combined perspective on the working group’s focus points. 

100- & 45-Day Rule

The attending court CEO’s and Language Access Services offices around the states presented the complaint that there are not enough certified/registered interpreters to service the needs of the courts; additionally, rural courts are found to have an even more dire need. The argument was that revoking the 100-day rule would remove the restraint against using independent contractors past the hundredth day, thereby creating a much larger pool to service the courts’ language needs. 

The interpreter response was that because of marginal requirements to offer employment after the 45thday, there could be something that would truly increase interpreter resources, such as offering a full-time position after a longer period of providing services as an independent contractor. 

Cross-assignment System

The consensus within the Working Group is that the cross-assignment system is working well in some jurisdictions/regions and is inadequately meeting the language access needs in others. The large urban courts with more interpreter resources become the provider courts to those with fewer interpreters on the rosters, or varied language groups to choose from. There is a reticence on the part of resource-flush courts to share their interpreter pool, as presently it is difficult to know what their needs are far enough in advance to confidently share. Also problematic in cross-assigning is that the administrative procedures are cumbersome; centralizing the coordination toward state-wide collaboration could improve efficiencies; there was agreement that fixing this could go a long way toward better interpreter resource sharing. 

In comparison with other jurisdictions, the Sacramento Court has utilized the cross-assignment system more effectively; while other jurisdictions are only willing to cross-assign intermittent/part-time interpreters, if a full-time Sacramento interpreter is not needed for that day, the court will authorize him/her for cross-assignment. The interpreters in the group presented the following suggestions:

  • In the cross-assignment system enable earlier authorization of release from the home court instead of the day before; anywhere from 2 to 5 days prior was held out as an example.
  • All courts be willing to cross-assign any category of interpreter, whether full-time, part-time, or intermittent.
  • In line with the Interpreter Act, courts (particularly provider courts) create full-time positions with the requisite that if not used at the home court, the interpreter would be cross-assigned. Provider courts should be given incentives to create these positions, as well as offer incentives to interpreters recruited into these positions.
  • Consider making interpreters State employees, thereby allowing for sharing resources statewide, with centralized coordination.

Regional Bargaining vs. Statewide General Contract

The impetus for initiating this series of meetings was to address the regional bargaining structure; this was the issue on which the group spent the lion’s share of time. Regional bargaining is complicated for the Union in that, although there was some uniformity throughout the different contracts, there was enough disparity to cause most interpreters to gravitate toward regions with more favorable conditions, resulting in shortages in other areas of the state. All agreed that this structure is costly for all participants, rehashing the same issues with varying results for both courts and interpreters.

Although most of the participants expressed that a general state-wide contract would be preferable to the present system, the court representatives from Los Angeles and San Diego stated that they would rather be separated from any statewide structure, and bargain directly with the interpreters locally, unencumbered by other jurisdictions. Most shocking was San Diego’s suggestion that the interpreters simply be placed into the existing unions (SEIU, AFSCME) to simplify negotiations; the Union reminded the San Diego representative that union affiliation is determined by the interpreters, not local court administration. The interpreters present made it clear that CFI Local 39000 TNG-CWA is the representative of all employee interpreters in California, whether that structure be regional, or statewide.[6]Searching for a compromise, the staff leading the discussion suggested a “hybrid,” allowing the larger courts to opt-out and negotiate separate from other “regions” composed of the smaller jurisdictions. The interpreters clearly rejected the concept, mostly because in practice there is no change from the regional structure, just different names, and possibly even more groups with whom to carry out bargaining. The hybrid version is not a solution for anyone, save Los Angeles and San Diego.

Although the idea of a statewide bargaining for a general contract is advantageous to interpreters (and court administration) in many ways, there is a pantheon of kinks to be worked out:

  • There is a high level of investment in local pensions plans; it is not clear if one could keep their present plan and benefits, or would one have to transfer into a State of California plan. The consensus is that a transition period would be needed to address this issue; there was a positive view for allowing present interpreters decide which benefit set is preferred. 
  • It is unclear how to handle issues of seniority and standardizing pay scales; some jurisdictions have steps, while others do not. 
  • As part of going to a statewide structure for bargaining, if interpreters are then made state employees, one issue is whether they will be required to relocate to address needs, similar to what is standard for other employees in the judicial system, such as judges.
  • There are any number of complexities in consolidating the present four contracts into one statewide general contract. One consideration is to have a general contract that addresses the basic labor issues – salary, seniority, etc. – and then handle issues unique and specific to each jurisdiction via side letters. When pressed on that detail, the jurisdictions present did not identify the “unique/specific issues.” The result of a hybrid system could be an even larger number of sessions of meet & confer/negotiating.

 Some of the positive results of a statewide contract could lead to:

  • A consistent base pay for interpreters, regardless of where located throughout the state. Interpreters who were reluctant to relocate because of impact to pay and/or benefits would not be constrained by these sorts of factors.
  • More flexibility to relocate throughout the state.
  • Consistency and uniformity in benefits and pensions, regardless of where located throughout the state.
  • The “middle man” would be eliminated in interpreter budget considerations during the bargaining process; the state sets the budget and would be the entity with whom we directly negotiate, without the need to have the different judicial court entities involved (and possibly being obstructionist).
  • All parties involved in the negotiating process would save money with a statewide approach.
  • One singular advantage for the Union is that the entire local would be involved in bargaining; there is strength in numbers, and our impact on bargaining would be enhanced by focusing statewide, martialing our membership statewide, and getting results that are statewide. In a nutshell, more leverage.

In conclusion, what are we, both as court interpreters and union members, to understand from all this? Firstly, this is only a beginning that is basically a brainstorming of ideas and opinions; this Interpreter Act Working Group has compiled information to be presented to the Judicial Council, without any specific recommendations, as the group could not come to consensus as to endorsements for any course of action. We should understand that there are some notable differences of perspectives between courts and court interpreters regarding the Working Group’s subject matter, likewise, there are similar gaps in the viewpoints between the varying jurisdictions.

Union member representatives are collaborating with other sectors of certified interpreters to represent our members’ labor and professional interests at the Judicial Council. Moreover, the definitive decision as to how courts function is decided by elected representatives in the legislature, not the Judicial Council. We will have to be vigilant as to where the Judicial Council goes with this information; having a good legislative agenda and coordinated, focused lobbying efforts in the coming years will be key toward guiding Judicial Council policies and musings in a direction that brings meaningful language access to the courts, as well as protect our labor rights and professional tenets.

 In solidarity,

Janet Hudec
Tyler Nguyen
Pedro Ramírez Navas
Angie Birchfield
Michael Ferreira 


IAWG summary of work memo.pdf


[1]California Government Code under Title 8, Chapter 7.5, 71807

[2]California Government Code under Title 8, Chapter 7.5, 71802(c)(2)

[3]California Government Code under Title 8, Chapter 7.5, 71810

[4]A complete list of all participants is attached.

[5]Except for a one-day in person meeting at the Judicial Council offices, all others were telephonic during the lunch hour.

[6]By law the counties of Solano and Ventura are excluded; this was a compromise, as employee interpreters there were already represented by other unions.



Region 4 Bargaining Update

December 18, 2018 San Diego County

This morning’s negotiations started off with our lead spokesperson, Ed Venegas, addressing a big challenge your Bargaining Committee has been facing throughout these negotiations, which is release time for your Bargaining Team to prepare for the bargaining sessions, this has been and continues to be a challenge throughout these negotiations.  The region is refusing to give the committee paid time off in order to prepare for negotiating a fair and equitable contract. 
Ed’s opening statement: 
“I can go negative with this but I’m just going to lay out the facts.  Under the MOU, CFI has the ability to request time to put together proposals, analyze them and then present them for consideration. 
This committee has been working very hard and we take this job seriously. We sometimes work late into the evening from early morning. When the requests for time off are rejected or not handled in a timely manner, we then have no time to figure out other alternatives. This then presents other problems. We need to be able to get some kind of workable format. 
Monna Rodalouch was the lead spokesperson during this bargaining session and this was her response:
“You have gotten 3 paid release days, and we have very little to show for it. We are not inclined to give you more paid days. You can prepare over the phone, or through emails, or on the weekends or evenings, other units have done that” 
So far, your Bargaining Committee has presented proposals on 11 articles of the MOU, we presented an economic proposal and are working on VRI, and they consider this very little to show. The courts clearly do not understand that our profession is not like the other units or professions in the court. We are representing members from 5 counties. Not just one. Some of us on the committee travel almost 7 hours in one day just to get to the bargaining sessions or to the caucuses to prepare for negotiations.  Other units are only bargaining on behalf of one county. We have some very important issues to research that include legislation that other units don’t have to deal with. We have civil expansion and VRI, these are very important issues that will have a great impact on our future profession. It is not in the best interest of our profession and our members if we rush through these issues without first making sure that we dot all the “I’s” and cross all the “t’s”. We take our job very seriously and will continue to do so but it’s important that our members are well informed of the challenges we are facing throughout our efforts. 
During this session CFI rejected the Region’s proposal on Article 17: Intermittent Interpreters. 
The Courts’ proposal was to add language that would terminate an intermittent from their employment if they rejected work from the Court 5 consecutive times. 
Your Bargaining Team presented strong arguments on behalf of intermittents. The courts have refused to give them benefits because they claim intermittents are not committed to the courts and yet here they proposal asking for commitment from them with no promise for any benefits in return. 
Your Bargaining Team also argued that a lot of intermittent employees are being used full-time with no hopes for a full-time position. We presented an argument that some intermittents are not intermittents because they chose not to be. But rather, because a full-time position is not being offered to them. Even they are being used on a full-time bassis.
CFI also presented our economic proposal. 
The following was our proposal:
All employees in the bargaining unit shall receive a total 26% increase to their base wage over the life of the contract. 12% upon ratification of the contract and 7% each consecutive year. 
Intermittent employees shall be paid at step 5 for the duration of the agreement. 
Mona, Region’s spokesperson, said, “Can’t say I’m thrilled with this” 
Your Bargaining Team presented our arguments to support why we believe this is a fair proposal. We also added that the burden of work caused by civil expansion and VRI as well as the fact that the Governor has authorized millions of dollars for civil expansion supports our wage proposal. 
We also indicated that employees from San Diego and Orange County have lost wages due to the retirement offset. While the reverse-pick up in Orange County continues to go up. It will go up to 6.743% in 2019. Add to this the cost of living which continues to go up and is projected to go up some more it is evident that interpreters will then be earning  a pay rate below what is required to survive in these counties.
We also informed the Region we are aware they have been willing to pay the independent contractors a higher wage rate while demanding that loyal employees continue doing all the extra work. This includes the added work load coming up with civil expansion and VRI. The courts’ loyalty should be with their employees and not a nonemployee independent contractor.
Aritlce 50: Volunteers and Interns
During a previous session your Bargaining Committee presented a proposal on Article 50, which was to remove this article from our contract. 
 We filed a request for information regarding how may volunteers and/or interns the Courts are using or have used. Their response was that at this time the courts are not using any volunteers or interns. It is your bargaining team’s position that if they aren’t using any interns or volunteers then there is no need to have this article in the contract. They replied that they would like to keep it in for recruitment purposes in order to introduce interns to this career by shadowing with interpreters and improving their skills. 
This article continues on the table for further discussion. 
Article 36: Workspace and Supplies
The Region mentioned this article during the afternoon session to remind us that our proposal on this article had been rejected and continues to be rejected. 
It is the Region’s position that there is no space in the courtroom for a chair or desk for interpreters. They indicated that they have offered alternatives such as: to wheel carts into the courtroom by the interpreter or to rope off a section in the courtroom. But, those alternatives have been declined by someone, they didn’t indicate who declined these alternatives. 
LouLou Tovar asked, “Isn’t there a requirement to provide ergonomic chairs to all employees including interpreters? Or are interpreters excluded from this requirement?”
Mona’s response was that they don’t have that requirement and that they would be willing to make accommodations if there’s a disability. 
Article 16: Assignments 
The court rejected our proposal to pay employees who are certified/registered in more than one language pair an annual 3% base wage adjustment per each additional certification/registration. 
Silvia San Martin argued: You are saving yourself 97% when you pay these interpreters an additional 3% because you don’t have to hire another interpreter and pay 100% of the rate and 3% is too much? Wow! 
Your bargaining team has been working hard and will continue to work hard at putting together more proposals to strive towards a righteous contract. 
We are putting up a strong fight, but we need ALL of your support to achieve the best contract possible for ALL! Our unity is our strength by presenting a united front before administration, we show our power.
Our next bargaining session will be on, January 17, 2019, Location TBD 
If you will be participating in the “Watch & Support” by taking time off to observe the negotiations, please request time off today. 
The team continues to encourage members to support negotiations by attending the bargaining sessions. We hope to see you there. 
A big “THANK YOU” to Shalom, Georgette and Gemma from San Diego for showing your support by sitting in to observe our session and participating in the “Watch & Support” 
We are in this together. UNITED we BARGAIN… DIVIDED we BEG
“In union there is strength. It’s the “U” and “I’ in union that makes us strong” 
In solidarity, 
Region 4, Bargaining Team 
CFI Local 39000, CWA-TNG
Maria Benitez
Jackie Ruiz
Silvia San Martin 
LouLou Tovar
Rebeca Vera
Ed Venegas- Spokesperson 

Comments from the "Watch & Support" observers - Georgette James and Shalom Solomon

Hi to our interpreter colleagues!

Shalom Solomon (North County San Diego Court Interpreter) and I (same courthouse and job) both had the opportunity, (much to our chagrin, for the VERY first time), to observe our Region 4 contract negotiations last Tuesday, Dec. 18. at the SD Hall of Justice. We are writing this because we want to give a shout-out to the team of negotiators working on our new contract which will ultimately affect our entire San Diego interpreter region and community.

Shalom and I were humbled and in awe of the immensity of the task and at the huge stacks of binders of previous contracts, current research, etc. that they all lugged in. Several of the negotiators representing  region 4 have done so previously and Ed Venegas, who functioned as spokesperson, has decades of experience in contract negotiations, and as a bilingual, bicultural person he seemed especially tuned into interpreter issues. Silvia San Martín, was equally formidable along with the rest of the negotiating team. 

In the afternoon, when the session truly took off, we especially took notice of how each member of our negotiating team, seamlessly segued from one to the other to elaborate and build upon different points as well as with the ease and command that Ed Venegas showed in handling inquiries and responses from the opposing side. 

Kudos, especially, to our local negotiating representative, Silvia San Martín, who took on this daunting task for our San Diego interpreter community and also for the other members of the Region 4 team who are all pushing hard to bring us home a strong contract!

As a side note, many of our North County Public Defenders, are now sporting red buttons that say “I Support Court Interpreters”. They asked for them! 

Best Wishes!

Georgette James and Shalom Solomon



Region 4 Bargaining Update

September 24-25, 2018 San Bernardino Courthouse

Ed Venegas (our lead spokesperson), started our first session with an opening statement in which he stated that the CFI Bargaining Team is ready to press forward on issues that have been proven to be of significant importance to our profession. 
His opening statement also including the following: 
  1. The Bargaining Team will expect that every issue we present will be addressed with respectful consideration 
  2. This day and age, past beliefs and practices which relegated CFI personal to that of third class laborers is not acceptable and will not under any circumstances be tolerated. 
  3. We expect wage improvements to reflect a true and realistic compensation for the professional work that all CFI employees proudly perform. 
During our two days of negotiating there was positive movement. We discussed ground rules, and management agreed to withdraw some ground rules that the bargaining team was opposed to. 
There was discussion and proposals on Art. 3, Authorized Agents,  Art. 13, New Employee Orientation,  Art. 15, Seniority,  Art. 21, Professional Development,  Art. 44, Dues Deduction/Agency Shop,  Art. 45, Stewards, and Art. 50, Volunteers/Interns
We reached a Tentative Agreement on Article13, New Employee Orientation and Art. 44, Dues Deduction/Agency Shop 
We want to give a big THANK YOU to Emily Hernandez for being part of the Watch and Support. 
Stand by your Bargaining Committee at the negotiations! We need your support to achieve the best contract possible for ALL! 
Our unity is our strength by presenting a united front before administration we show our power. 
Our next bargaining sessions will be October 10, 2018 (in San Diego), and October 22, 2018 in Orange County. 
Please support your hardworking bargaining team.  
If you will be participating in the Watch and Support by observing during these bargaining sessions, please submit your time-off request today, and email your team at [email protected]to let us know you will be attending and to reserve your spot. 
In solidarity, 
Your Region 4, Bargaining Team 
CFI Local 39000. CWA-TNG
Maria Benitez
Jackie Ruiz 
Silvia San Martin
LouLou Tovar
Rebeca Vera  
Ed Venegas- Spokesperson





Membership Meeting will be held for all members in good standing of CFI Local 39000:

Saturday July 21st– 10am to 12noon

12215 N. Telegraph Road Suite 210
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670

Voting on the contract will be by E-vote conducted by Ballotpoint Elections.  
Beginning the week of July 23rd.





A 7.5% salary increase over the three-year term of the contract distributed in the following manner: a 2.75% base salary adjustment effective the first pay period after ratification; a base pay increase of 2.50% effective the first pay period 12 months after the first increase; 12 months following the second pay increase mentioned there will be a final base pay adjustment of 2.25%.

A one-time, non-base bonus payment of 2% to all regular status employees in paid status as of June 30, 2018 effective the first pay period after ratification; this payment will be prorated for part-time employees, and all intermittent part-time and as-needed interpreters will receive a one-time payment of $500.00.

Example Full-time employee annual salary $77,005.20 x 2%= 1,540.10 bonus

Twelve months after ratification, full-time interpreters in service as of July 15, 2019 will receive the following one-time, non-pensionable, non-base payment based on length of service: 1% for 5-9 years of continuous service; 2% for 10-14 years; 3% for 15 or more years of continuous service.

Example Annual salary $79,227.20 x 1%= $792.27;  2%= $1,584.54;  3% $2,376.82

Interpreter employees who are certified or registered to interpret in two or more language pairs will receive a 1% salary enhancement for all hours paid for each additional language pair.

The Court will make reasonable efforts to make up to 15 hours of CIMCE-qualifying continuing education and training available to each regular status bargaining unit employee at no cost to the employee; this is an increase from 6 hours offered in the previous MOU.

The Court has agreed to reimburse all full-time and regular status part-time interpreters the cost of their annual certification/registration fees required by the Judicial Council of CA for each language pair in which the employee is certified or registered.

A side letter regarding a reopener on Article 18 (Interpreter Assignments) is included in the MOU which states that the Court will notify CFI prior to making any changes to the interpreter assignment process and will make Court representatives available to meet and confer regarding said changes.  Until the parties exhaust the meet and confer process, the Court will continue to abide by the provisions of Article 18, which respects interpreter seniority. 


Other than the one-time, non-pensionable, non-base payment mentioned in the third paragraph above, the Court was unwilling to offer any other kind of salary increase based on length of service (steps) and to negotiate any further on their offer.

We were unable to get binding arbitration language included in Article 9 (Grievance Procedure) or Article 11 (Expedited Arbitration).

The Region rejected CFI’s proposed changes to Sections 37.2 and 37.3 of Article 37 (Stewards) and proposed the status quo; their proposal was incorporated herein by reference in their final Comprehensive Package Proposal. They were unwilling to pay for caucus time for the bargaining team in preparation for negotiations (which has been the past practice), and they did not grant travel time for any bargaining member traveling from the Central Coast.

We were unable to get the creation of a new classification status for retired court interpreters allowing them to be rehired under California Government Code Section 7522.56.  This would have been included in Article 16 (Employment Status).

We were unable to get into the contract language which addresses the issue of the docking of “F” status interpreters if they arrive late to an assignment given to them on the same day.  Said language was hoped to be included in Article 18 (Interpreter Assignments).

The bargaining team feels that there are some important issues that need to be resolved, most significantly recognition of our years of service to the Courts by means of “steps” or a “longevity increase”.  We do not feel that a one-time non-pensionable, non-base payment as mentioned in the third paragraph of this letter reflects true appreciation of our services by the Court, besides which it does not help those interpreters who are near retirement in terms of their pension pay-out.  As a matter of fact, as our attorney Caren Sencer pointed out to the Region, it holds those employees hostage for a year if they want to take advantage of that one-time bonus. As a result, we are not recommending ratification of this contract. However, because the Region made it clear that their offer would expire that same day, June 27, 2018 at 4:30 p.m., the team felt that that the members deserved the opportunity to let their voices be heard.  We believe we have done as much as we can at the bargaining table.  In order to achieve more, the members have to be willing to mobilize and carry out concerted work actions. Before casting your vote, please carefully read the proposed contract and consider what you are willing to do to improve it.

If the members vote to reject the proposed contract, the Committee will notify the court and we will go back to the bargaining table in an effort to improve the offer. We are not at an impasse and we were not told this was the “last, best and final offer”.


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

Members of the Region 1 CFI Bargaining Committee

Region 1 MOU Draft Document



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


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