California Federation of Interpreters


CFI Local 39000 will hold elections to form the Region 2 bargaining committee; the ballots will be sent to each member in good standing’s email on file with the local before the end of this week. 
As voting will be by electronic ballot, it will be important to make sure the local has your correct email.
The CFI executive board sought guidance in the local’s bylaws following concerns raised regarding the response time provided to potential candidates for accepting nomination to the bargaining committee.
In consultation with the by-laws, the board ruled that all nominees who accepted within five days from the nominations period’s closing date will be on the ballot.
Only union members in good standing are eligible to vote. If there is any doubt as to your qualification to vote, or if you wish to update your email address with the local, please contact us in writing at [email protected].
The time frame to return your vote will be seven business days from the date on which the ballots are sent.
If you do not receive a ballot by the end of business on Friday of this week, please contact the local at (562) 944-2341 or [email protected].
In solidarity,
CFI Local 39000 Executive Board

July 23, 2019


 Interpreter unit members who work full-time in the Los Angeles courts have received two letters from  the Coalition of County Unions (CCU)[1]indicating that there was a change negotiated with Los Angeles County that impacts interpreter unit member eligibility to qualify for the CAPE/Blueshield option in our Choicesbenefits plan.

To qualify for CAPE/Blueshield there are two conditions:

  1. Your unit’s union (in this case CFI Local 39000, TNG-CWA) must be a member in good standing with the Coalition of County Unions (CFI has joined and is a member of CCU);
  2. The unit member (that means you) must be a member in good standing with the interpreter unit’s representative union. In other words, one must be a member in good standing with CFI Local 39000, TNG-CWA.

Interpreter unit members who have been and continue to be members in good standing will be automatically qualified by virtue of CFI Local 39000 being a member of the CCU. However, if you are not a member of the local, you will not be qualified to elect the CAPE/Blueshield medical plan for 2020.

You may ask why this happened. According to the Region 1 MOU, our benefits and those held by other represented units in LASC are tied to what is negotiated between the CCU and Los Angeles County. 

If an interpreter unit member wishes to continue eligibility in this program, and you are not a member of CFI Local 39000, we encourage you to fill out and sign the membership and dues deduction cards, scan them, and email them to [email protected], with the originals to follow by US mail to:

California Federation of Interpreters
Local 39000, TNG-CWA
11823 East Slauson Ave, Unit 7
Santa Fe Springs, California 90670

It is imperative that the local receive these two documents before the close of business on Friday, July 26th, 2019, since the list of members in good standing must be sent to CCU no later than noon on Friday.

In solidarity,

Michael Ferreira, President
CFI Local 39000



Region 3 Bargaining


July 22, 2019

Dear Region 3 Members,

The Local and your Executive Board announce that Region 3 has a new Bargaining Committee elected by acclamation; the bargaining process will soon be prepared to begin. The Bargaining Committee Members are:

Rosa Trevizo, San Joaquin 

Carmen Ramos, San Joaquin 

Joseph Tobin, Sacramento 

Janet Hudec, Madera 

Spokesperson and legal counsel assisting in the process will be Laurie Burgess of Messing Adam & Jasmine LLP Law Firm.

Although there is going to be a trained labor attorney in the mix, it bears reminding ourselves that the real strength in bargaining comes from unity among the membership and a sound, if not vigorous mobilization plan. 

To that end, I am sending out a call to members to contact your bargaining committee and indicate your willingness to serve on the bargaining mobilization committee, insofar as planning, organizing, and carrying out the activities necessary to build unity and create actions on behalf of bargaining. Additionally, I invite the Region 3 members to email the Bargaining Committee with ideas that will help further their efforts, as well as include issues you feel should be addressed at bargaining[email protected]

In solidarity, 

Michael Ferreira



Dear members, 

On Saturday, August 17th, CFI Local 39000 will be hosting a training session for all members wishing to become stewards and/or update and refine their skills. Even if you are unsure as to making a commitment to become a steward, you are invited to find out what the “front line” of the labor movement looks like. 

The training is mandatory for anyone who wishes to be added to the steward lists for their Region/County. Some of the topics to be covered are:

-      Union structure, guiding documents, and protocols.

-      Role, Rights, and Responsibilities of a union steward.

-      How to memorialize, share communications, and collaborate on representation issues.

-      Grievances and their processing; arbitrations and their preparations; unfair labor practice filings (Public Employee Relations Board).

-      Open discussion about any issue of interest or concern..

The training will take place at the Local office between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.  Please be on time. We ask that interested members respond to this email no later than the close of business on Thursday, August15, 2019.

For those who are based in Northern California and unable to come to the Santa Fe Springs office, the Local is planning for a steward training in Northern California.


Michael Ferreira
CFI President
June 28, 2019
San Diego

Where’s   The   Fairness       


In a nutshell:
  • Once again, time-back purchase option requested to be discussed among management.
  • VRI proposal made some progress. Region added some JCC recommendations to their counter. 
  • There was movement on wages. 
  • We pressed for future bargaining dates and the courts declared a possible impasse.
Keep reading:  There was discussion on the following: 
Time Buy-back Purchase: 
Once again, we ask to open discussion on time buy-back purchase for San Bernardino. The courts refused to open it up for discussion. Wiley’s response was, “The buy back benefit is considered leave, not all courts do buy back; therefore, file a grievance.”
The courts counter on VRI showed some progress. The courts agreed to add some JCC guidelines for using VRI in court proceedings. This is a great victory. Your bargaining committee has been working hard on this issue. We have been talking to and have united members from different organizations, such as Public Defenders and their supervisors, bar associations, and other stakeholders who care about this issue. 
The courts are still refusing to add technology guidelines and “court location” in the agreement. Why are they refusing to add the word “court location”? Because they are planning to have interpreters work from remote locations, e.g. someone’s home, hotel, a conference… It seems these will not be us, employee interpreters: We work in court.
Also, the courts put back in their counter proposal the 25% stipend for VRI. Wiley stated, “We understand you don’t want the 25% stipend, but we want to reward people for doing VRI.” Again, it seems ¨people¨ may not quite be us, the employees…
Laurie, our spokesperson, asked, “Why can’t you add that to our wages? We’d like the 25% monetized in our wages.” Wiley replied, “We can’t do that because we don’t know what the cost of the 25% is actually going to be. VRI will avoid costs of Independent contractors. A full-time contractor costs the courts $400-$1000 a day, it’ll also avoid cost of intermittent, part-timers and travel.” So, once again: We, employees, don’t work from home. Others do. Who will get the 25%?
Higher Wages:
During our bargaining session of June 10th, The Courts indicated that they would email us their wage proposal prior to our next session of June 28 to allow us time to work on their proposal and in an effort to move things along. They did not send us their wage proposal until June 27, one day prior to our next session, in Word very late at night. The wage proposal they emailed us was an 8% increase: 3% upon ratification, 2.5% second year and 2.5% third year. Wiley will complain that we had to caucus in the morning. Just watch.
Your bargaining team rejected their proposal and countered with a 15% increase: 5% upon ratification, 5% & 5% throughout the 3 year contract, including a side letter similar to what San Bernardino and Riverside have, to help offset the increase cost in OC and SD retirement contributions. We also reiterated that we don’t want the 25% stipend for VRI, and that instead they should add that money to our wage increase. 
The courts rejected our proposal, stating that the side letter is a pension proposal and not a wage proposal. Laurie argued, “Even though it’s called pension, it’s still wages, it’s money.” 
The courts countered with a wage proposal of 9%: 3% upon ratification, 3% & 3% throughout a 3-year contract, and indicated that this is their last and final offer. 
Our spokesperson continues to press for higher wages and define us as “highly skilled workers not being compensated accordingly.” She argued that “we are trying to get our members something that is truly an increase and not just a status quo, where the increase is actually money in our pocket. The state of California has decided that our services are critical for due process and every lawyer that I have spoken to has said that interpreters have an unbelievable skill set. She also added, “From our perspective, there is agreement that San Bernardino and Riverside did the right thing, and we feel that we need something similar for the rest of the counties. Let’s keep an open mind and come back to talk about it.”  
Potential impasse? 
Your committee asked for another date to bargaining and Wiley stated, “I think we’re at the end. I’m usually not someone who declares impasse, but I think we need to contact a state mediator to assist us in our next session.”  
Our jobs and livelihood are at stake. We can’t just cross our arms and watch them try to destroy our profession. It’s time to take our profession back!  The issues at the table do not only affect Region 4 interpreters. They will affect all employee interpreters.  We need to show the courts our statewide strength. 
It’s time for us to join forces. Continue mobilizing, continue talking to our stakeholders and especially to undecided non-members. It’s making a difference. This is the time to join in, everyone.
We appreciate you standing by your bargaining team, but things are getting real, and we need EVERYONE’S support to achieve the best contract possible for ALL. We are in this together. UNITED we BARGAIN… DIVIDED we BEG. 
Our unity is our strength. By presenting a united front before administration we show our power.  
A big “thank you!” to Karla Hoelscher from Riverside, Es Neblina from Imperial, Vanessa Bonilla and Gemma Yosick from Vista and San Diego, and Ben Sanchez and Kiet Tuan from Orange County for taking time off to Watch and Support. 
We encourage you to attend the negotiations. If you will be participating in the Watch & Support, please submit your time off request and email us at [email protected] to reserve your spot. 
We might be at impasse so we don’t know when our next bargaining session will be. We will update you once we have more information. 
Please support your bargaining team by wearing red on the days we are at the table and also every Wednesday. 
In union there is strength. It’s the “U” and “I” in union that makes us strong.



In Solidarity, 

Your Region 4, Bargaining Team 
CFI Local 39000, CWA-TNG


Maria Benitez
Jackie Ruiz
Silvia San Martín
LouLou Tovar
Ana Fuller
Laurie Burgess- Lead Spokesperson 
Ed Venegas- Spokesperson
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