California Federation of Interpreters

Region 2 Update

No Deal in Mediation: Interpreters’ Fight for Fairness Continues


SAN FRANCISCO _ (July 22, 2017) Region 2 representatives and CFI’s bargaining committee met for a mediation session July 20, 2017 that failed to produce an agreement for a successor MOU.

 The following joint statement was issued by the mediator.

 The negotiation teams for both the Superior Courts of California in Region 2 and the Federation of Interpreters, Local 39000, met on Thursday, July 20, 2017, with State mediators in an attempt to resolve the current impasse dispute for a successor contract.  Despite their best efforts, a mediated agreement to resolve the dispute was not reached.

 This leaves us at the same point as before going to mediation. Several proposals that leave interpreters vulnerable are still unresolved, including:

 1. Making step increases contingent on satisfactory performance evaluations, which CFI finds problematic on several grounds. First, the Region has insisted on putting all wage improvements in the steps (no COLA’s or other raises). That means interpreters' only wage improvements would be subject to the whim of supervisors, many of whom are not interpreters and don’t understand the complexities of our job. Also, since we've agreed the evaluation process will be subject to meet and confer with each court before implementation, too many things are yet to be defined for us to agree to this proposal. 

 2. The Region’s insistence on an unequal system for step advancement where part time and intermittent interpreters would be treated differently in come counties, and receive wage increases much more slowly. These members wouldn’t benefit from the wage growth we’ve bargained, while interpreters in other counties would get annual increases like full timers. This is fundamentally unfair. In addition to creating inequity within our unit, this proposal violates the uniform compensation requirement in the Interpreter Act, and is a bad idea because it won't help solve the courts' recruitment problems.

 Region 2 representatives didn’t budge during Thursday’s mediation, failing to make any meaningful movement toward reaching a deal with court interpreters. CFI offered ideas on how to resolve the few outstanding issues, but the Region was not interested.

 The root of the problem holding up an agreement is the Region’s inability to agree on uniform conditions for our bargaining unit, across counties. Rather than bargain in good faith with us to find what works for our unit, again and again the Region wants to default to whatever each court does with its other employee groups, leaving us with inequality amongst us. The contradiction is that they don't apply the same principle when it would benefit us, like granting us a wage offset, COLA’S, or bonuses given to other employees_ the Region says under the law courts can’t apply compensation improvement to us, and they don’t seem troubled that we're treated less favorably. The Region's positions are not just contradictory, many see them as discriminatory. 

 These issues can be resolved at any time when the courts are ready to agree on terms that treat our members fairly. As we said before mediation, no agreement means we'll resume work actions as strike plans and preparations are finalized. 

 San Francisco members met Friday. Additional meetings are being scheduled at courthouses and by phone. Be in touch with your local mobilizers about meetings at your location.


Stand UP • Stand STRONG • Stand TOGETHER


Trial Verdict

July 24, 2017

This morning we received the decision from the national Trial Panel.  The 3 members: Trial Panel Chair: Secretary Treasurer of Local 1101 Kevin Condy, and members President of Local 3406 Judy Bruno and President of Local 4310 Diane Bailey found the charged parties guilty of all charges.

The full document has been posted on the Members Only area of the Memberclicks website.  Click here to log on: Member Only - Verdict

Ariel Torrone, Lucy Flores, Jeff Wilson, Naoyuki Ikeuchi, Naomi Adelson, Sharmen Gragirena, Luis Aroz, and Joe Rupert are expelled from membership and are fined for all unauthorized expenditures.


Carrie Biggs-Adams

Temporary Administrator


Trial Update

July 18, 2017 

The trial in the internal charges concluded this evening.  The Trial Panel reconvened at 5pm, they waited fifteen minutes for representatives of the charged parties to appear.  When they did not, the trial began at 5:18pm.
Prosecutor Susie McAlister wrapped up with a couple of additional questions, the Trial Panel had questions about some of the 29 exhibits that had been entered in the record on the first day.   She then presented her closing argument.
The Trial Panel has five days to issue their ruling.  When the ruling is received it will be placed on the members only section of the website. 


Carrie Biggs-Adams
Temporary Administrator

Trial Update 

July 17, 2017

The trial in the internal charges against the former officers of the Local convened tonight at the CWA District 9 offices in Santa Fe Springs.  The case was scheduled to be from 5pm to 10pm.  And is calendared to continue each night until concluded.   The start of the trial was delayed until 5:30pm to accommodate late arrivals. The charged parties did not attend or present a defense. 
The parties were offered the opportunity to participate by video conference if they opted not to attend the trial in person.  One of the two charging parties did participate via "zoom" and was able to listen to the proceedings and to watch the testimony from Northern California. 

The charged parties decided not to participate and did not come to present their case or cross examine witnesses.  The one charged individual who had been afforded the opportunity to participate via zoom did not avail themself of the online system.  The Trial Body was insistent that any remote participant be on a video connection so that they knew that a phone connection was not being shared with non-members of the union.

The Prosecution rested their case in chief this evening at approximately 9:20pm.  Their closing argument is scheduled for 5pm on Tuesday evening. 

Members of the Local in Good Standing are entitled to attend the hearing in person, but the Trial Body decided not to offer watch only video access to the trial.  

The Trial Body will deliberate after the conclusion of the trial and will issue their report shortly thereafter.   That report will be posted on the members only section of the website. 


Carrie Biggs-Adams

Temporary Administrator


Local 39000 Update

July 10, 2017

CWA Convention Delegate
Ballots were counted last week in the election for TNG Conference and CWA Convention in August in Pittsburgh, PA.   Juan Ramirez was elected delegate and Daniel Kaufman was elected the alternate.  While the Local would have been entitled to up to 3 delegates to the CWA Convention and up to 6 delegates to the TNG Conference, we decided to only send one representative. 
This is an economic decision, as we pay off the back per capita obligation and outstanding legal bills.  The Local is obligated to pay the travel expenses of the trip to Pittsburgh, along with the wages for the delegate.  We are working hard to getting on a solid financial standing, but with three regions in bargaining, those expenses are a top priority in representing the members in wages, hours, and working conditions.
Our per capita payment plan was approved late last week.  As of this morning our delegate, and alternate who would attend in the event that Mr. Ramirez is unable to attend, are registered for the Conference and Convention.     
Bargaining Update Region 1
The Region 1 Bargaining Committee has completed their drafting work and their proposals have been submitted to TNG Contracts Committed for approval.  This is required by the TNG Constitution to be done at least 21 days before bargaining begins.  The first day of bargaining in Region 1 is scheduled for July 31st.
Internal Charges Trial
The trial in the case of the charges filed against the former officers of the Local is scheduled to begin on Monday, July 17 at 5pm in the CWA District 9 offices in Santa Fe Springs.  The case will be presented by prosecutor Suzie McAlister from Denver, the Trial Body are three officers of the national Trial Panel from around the country.  The case is scheduled to take place from 5pm to 10pm on successive evenings, all members in good standing of the Local are invited to attend. They expect the case to conclude in a couple of days.
Future of Local 39000 Meeting
On Saturday July 15, we will hold a meeting from 10am – 4pm at the Santa Fe Springs District 9 office.  As we move past the problems that led to the Temporary Administration, I hope that members who are interested in helping form the new Local structures will come together.  Discussion will include the structures in which we exist (Federal and State Laws; Constitutions and Bylaws of the national bodies and the Local) and how we fit in the CWA, TNG, and Local 39000.
Resources available from TNG (Legal Services), and the CWA (Strategic Industry Fund grants and others) programs. The CWA Legislative Political program, and resources that can support our lobbying will be explained as well.
Then we can discuss the policies and committees that the Local will need going forward. And Training offered by CWA District 9, as well as training for stewards in the CWA systems.
Lunch will be provided, as will be materials – so please RSVP by July 12 so that we can have enough of each.  RSVP to: [email protected]
Carrie Biggs-Adams
Temporary Administrator


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