California Federation of Interpreters

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS, REGION 3 BARGAINING COMMITTEE 

The Region 3 MOU will expire at midnight on January 31, 2023. To get a head start on preparations, we are officially opening a call for nominations for five members in good standing to be the Region 3 Bargaining Team. The Bargaining Team’s main term of office will be until the end of the new contract that is negotiated. Thereafter, the elected team members, together with the Executive Board, may be called upon to negotiate meet and confers that may arise during the interim period until the next bargaining team is elected.

We are encouraging people to first contact anyone they wish to nominate and ascertain if they are willing to run and serve on a bargaining team. Nominations close at 5:00 PM on September 30, 2022.

Candidates must accept or decline their nomination no later than 5:00 PM on October 5, 2022. This ballot will be conducted via electronic vote, so make sure that the local has your correct email on file. If there is any question as to the local having your correct email, please call or send an email to [email protected], and be sure to put “Email Update” in the subject line. 

The deadline for casting the electronic ballot is set for 5:00 PM, October 12, 2022.

If there are only five nominees, and they accept the nomination, they will be declared to be the bargaining team by acclamation, and there will be no ballots sent out for voting.

We look forward to meeting the new team soon. 

In solidarity,  

 

Michael Ferreira

President

 

Region 4 Bargaining Update #3

Dear R4 member:

We met with the Region again on 09/07/22 and there was good open exchange and dialogue.

We discussed Article 36 at length, assigned space in the courtroom when requested, which we have fought for during the past two negotiations. We are asking not only for what others have (clerks, court reporters, bailiffs, commissioners and judges), but for long overdue professional recognition in the courtroom. The Region heard our concerns and requests. More to come soon.

We also began a lengthy discussion on Article 17, Intermittent interpreters, and we’ll be finalizing a proposal in the next few days. Please contact your stewards or us, the committee, if you would like your voice heard. Intermittents do not have any benefits other than three days of sick leave by law, yet they are employees. The courts need them and the union needs them too. We are attempting to find solutions that will benefit both sides.

Other articles discussed were 42 (Personnel files), 39 (Lay-off procedures), and briefly, 19 (Hours of work). It is our hope that we will reach agreement and be able to give you an update very soon. 

Today’s session was the first time we were able to have watch and support. We very much appreciate those who were able to join us in the afternoon. As a reminder, if you plan to attend any of the zoom sessions, please make sure of the following, as failure to follow instructions would unfortunately result in removal from the session: 

-       Mute is always on 

-       No recording is permitted

-       Your full name and courthouse/home court for which you work is displayed

-       The camera is always turned on and you are visible

-       If called away to perform your duties, you are to fully log off

Our next meeting will be in person in San Bernardino. We will not be having observers as there are still Covid concerns, but you will have an opportunity to join in a watch and support when we meet again virtually on 9/29; we extend a special invitation to our Riverside members. 

Lastly, time allowing, please remember to write to our R4 representative Claudia Morales at [email protected] if you intend to attend. And as always, remember to wear red on our negotiation days and on Wednesdays. 

Your R4 bargaining committee.

 

June 8, 2022 

Members, 

We have repeatedly stated that the Regions approach to bargaining and their tactics are a clear act of bad faith and illegal. Repeatedly we have dealt with the Regional Courts same illegal tactics at all negotiation tables. The most recent being Region 2. Since hiring an attorney to represent and protect our rights at the table, we have been filing unfair labor practices (ULP) and PERB has issued charges to all our claims.  

In PERB, a claim made by a charging party and the process for PERB to issue a charge is similar to a Judge holding a defendant to answer in a preliminary hearing. In the PERB arena, once the claim is made and filed, a PERB agent will conduct an investigation regarding the claim to determine if it has merit. If the PERB agent determines it has merit, PERB issues a charge and the process to resolve the charge begins. PERB charges can be resolve by settlement, judgement after trial, or withdraw of claim. 

On Monday June 6, 2022, PERB issued charges to our first unfair labor practice claim against the Region 2 courts for bad faith bargaining in our current bargaining. This particular PERB charge is one of the strongest issued in our favor. It mentions no wages increases  as a bad faith labor practice. We will be amending and adding new claims to reflect the most recent bad faith tactics the Region 2 courts have committed. I am attaching the PERB charge for your enjoyment. 

WHEN WE FIGHT, WE WIN

PERB against Region 2 Courts

Janet Hudec, VP
CFI Local 39000
 

Region 2 Bargaining Update #17

In our April 14th meeting the Union made it clear that having handed over our wage proposal, we were to begin this round at the table with their response and answer to this counter proposal.
This is how it went down today.
·       In the early morning it was clear to the team that the Region did not want to discuss any of the pending articles at all, particularly the wage issue.
 
·       The Region made it clear that the only issue on the table was to be our VRI counter proposal; we offered to exchange their wage response with our VRI proposal simultaneously to consider in caucus, and they refused.
 
·       Throughout the day the Region continued its refusal to meet and confer over not only our pending wage proposal, but all open articles unless they first received our VRI counter.
 
·       When we pressed for a response for our wage proposal handed over on April 14th, the response was terse if not insultingly angry bark that there would be No upward wage adjustment. They gave no explanation nor facts to back up why!
 
·       Despite a projected $68 billion state budget surplus, a projected $135 million for interpreters in the next fiscal year (an increase of $4 million), and based on the Region’s outdated allocation information, there are over $14 million of unspent funds, the Region contends that the financial situation was “too uncertain.”
 
·       No explanation of why other units in the courts were recently given livable wage adjustments (reporters, clerks), notwithstanding the supposed “uncertainty,” and language access workers are offered nothing.
 
·       The Region’s team refused to acknowledge and discuss the changes in the law regarding remote hearings and how VRI fits into the new landscape; nor did they understand or wanted to discuss the new phenomenon of “hybrid remote interpreting” in the courts.
 
·       The Region has informed us that they are going to impose their last offer on VRI impacts (we enclose it for your perusal); this effectively has separated the VRI (an obligatory subject of bargaining in the MOU … they proposed it first in Article 19 of the previous contract!) from the MOU table discussions.
 
·       We have been told by our counsel, Laurie Burgess, that this is illegal, that refusing to discuss mandatory subjects of bargaining, and/or separating out from the MOU negotiations is unlawful as well.
 
·       The Union is considering its legal options, and forums in which we may continue to fight this bad faith on the part of the Region.
 
·       We have provided at least 9 days in June to continue the discussion, as there are several articles open and still needing to be resolved.
 
·       At this point we want to thank the membership for their show of support in attending meetings regarding bargaining, for their participation in work actions and walkouts, like today, and for their consistency and resolve to get a livable wage and respect for our profession in and amongst the other units in the courts.
 
·       Your mobilizers and the bargaining team will be reaching out with more information and plans for our next steps soon. 

In unity… Your Region 2 Bargaining Team

Region VRI Counter Proposal

 

Region 2 Bargaining Update #16

Update for April 14, 2022 Bargaining Session with Region 2 Courts

Today’s bargaining session was all about the wages … it was the main topic of discussion, if not a downright bone of contention.

A very detailed presentation was given by our team:

o   Pilar: financial hardships for interpreters in the region, including housing and inflation.
 
o   John: explained interpreter specialized skillset and professional formation/credentialing, how that coincides with commensurate wages (court reporters and certified federal interpreters)
 
o   Janet: covered the budget and allocation of interpreter funds; there is sufficient money in the interpreter budget and unused allocations from each court in the region for getting to a livable wage.

During vigorous, and at times heated discussions the courts responded with some of the following replies and comments to our wage presentation.

When asked if the Region’s team agreed that we have a specialized skillset that requires compensation equal to, or greater than certified federal court interpreters and state level employee court reporters, Monna Radulovich’s replies were obviously misinformed, if not disappointing. “Federal interpreters are very different; they are paid more because they are required to do clerical work when not interpreting.”

The reply regarding lack of wage parity with court reporters, a group with similar requisites (active licensing, continuing education, certification exams, professional preparation expenses) the courts’ replied that “we’ve already discussed this.” Additionally, the courts’ explained that reporters are represented by other unions or are folded into other larger units. Although they recognized there are similarities, we were dismissed with “the marketplace is significantly different for court reporters,” and “the reporter field is disappearing.” Our presentation clearly shows that employee interpreters are disappearing as well.

In the end we were told that Region 2 interpreters are the highest paid in the state, if not the nation. It seemed they completely ignored the part of the presentation highlighting that the present wage does not translate into the ability to live in Region 2, particularly the San Francisco Bay Area. In fact, when it was pointed out to the Region’s team that there was a 37% rise in the cost-of-living compared to the median income range, they completely ignored that the present wage scale for interpreters is BELOW the median income range, thereby making our hardship more than a 37% increase.

When the Region was asked why they believe that the reporter skillset deserves to be remunerated more than the interpreter skillset, the reply was redirected, stating that others in the courts contribute to the functioning of justice, and even though all court employees are equally valued, some of these others are paid at a lower rate.  Question avoided …

The Region continued to assert that when comparing interpreters to others in the courthouse the marketplace is different (whatever that meant?), there is more disparity in workforce availability, and particularly with court reporters, their responsibilities are different. Both interpreters and court reporters have a responsibility to the integrity of the record.

In the end, the Region is somewhat dishonest regarding comparisons between court workers. Our team gave a presentation with verifiable and well-sourced data contained in copious pages (herein attached). During the wage reopener we asked them to do a wage parity study; some two years later they still have not undertaken a study, nor have they presented any data or studies whatsoever supporting their failure to give us a wage increase in line with court employees with comparable skillsets.  

In conclusion, the Region did express that they would review all the information, as well as the wage proposal, and take it to their “principals” (generally the court CEO’s and a group of presiding judges). We set a tentative bargaining date for May 3rd; after vigorous discussion, the Region agreed to give the team a paid caucus day, to be determined later.

This team remains fully committed to be the voice of the members and represent what the membership needs to come out of these bargaining sessions. There will be meetings; there will be continued work actions. Your continued participation will get all of us what we need to live and work in Region 2.

When we fight, we win.

Your Region 2 Team

Article 22 - Wages and Other Compensation

Complete budget & Index

Inflation Index with supporting docs

Inflation and Housing - Interpreters' Syndicate Presentation

Credentials Final 

 

 
<< first < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > last >>

Page 1 of 48