California Federation of Interpreters

Region 1 Bargaining Session Update

October 11, 2017

Region 1 Bargaining team met with Region 1 Administration Wednesday October 11th at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.

In addition to the Bargaining Committee and Region 1 administration attendees we were pleased to have several employees present to participate in the Watch & Support committee during the AM and PM sessions: Elisa Chavez Fraga (F), Samantha Lubrani (A), Luis Mena (A), Sonia Peralta (A), Agnes Woo (A), James Varese (A), Marco Larriva (A), Ismael Carrillo (A), and Gabrielle Veit-Bermudez (A). Several of those in attendance came during their lunch hour.  We continue to invite Members to these sessions so that they can see firsthand what is happening and to show their support!

Region 1 administration used PowerPoint to introduce their proposed changes to Article 18 (Interpreter Assignments). To them, the current "Article 18 language impedes prompt, common-sense, logistical decisions to provide language access."  

Here are some figures they presented: without counting F category there are presently 275 A (255 Spanish) & 20 C interpreters in LA County.  Out of approximately 100 F employees an average of 35 make themselves available on any given day. With that, they need to cover on a daily basis 436 courtrooms in 38 different locations.  On any given day 30-40 courtrooms may be dark. While they reported a 32% drop in case filings from fiscal year 2013 to fiscal year 2017, the number of A&C status interpreters has increased from 267 to 275 during the same period.

Their proposal is to eliminate seniority-based assignments for F status interpreters and to allow for the use of Independent contractors whenever the Administration desires,  Under their proposal, there would be no obligation to contact F status interpreters before assigning work to independent contractors. This would be part of the their rollout of a new automated online assignment system.  The Bargaining Team is committed to protecting seniority rights and the full utilization of our employee workforce before hiring independent contractors.

We requested to have a bargaining session in either Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo to allow our Central Coast members to participate in the Watch and Support team and we can now confirm that the November 8th session will take place at the Santa Barbara Courthouse (118 E. Figueroa Street). Get you red-clad road trip crew together and we'll see you there on 11/8! 

The next Bargaining session is confirmed for October 18th  at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse (Room 522).  Please be sure to fill out your RTOs requesting this day off and remember to wear red on Thursdays and on bargaining days!

Be sure to read your CFI emails for Bargaining updates and for opportunities to demonstrate your commitment to fight for the best possible contract.

CFI Bargaining Team

Pedro Ramirez
Daniel Kaufman
Doris Vick
Michael Ferreira
Robert Guerrero
Caren Sencer, Spokesperson

Continuing Education

Earn your continuing education credits while networking with court and medical interpreter colleagues in the scenic Bay Area during the Columbus Day weekend.

This year CFI Local 39000 and IGA have partnered to produce the annual conference and offer an array of presenters.

Among the highlights:

  • The Honorable Dana Leigh Marks, President of the National Association of Immigration Judges, will be the keynote speaker.
  • Members of the Judicial Council of California’s Language Access Plan Implementation Task Force and Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) Pilot Project will participate in a panel discussion about implementation followed by a Q&A session.
  • Alvaro Vergara-Mery, Senior Medical Interpreter at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, will present “Interpreting for Victims of Rape and Domestic Violence.”

To register, view the schedule and find out more go to: 
Also, check out the conference Facebook page:

Region 1 Bargaining Session Update

September 25, 2017

Region 1 met with the Bargaining team today at the Airport Courthouse.

In addition to the Bargaining Committee and Region 1 attendees we were pleased to have several employees present to participate in the Watch & Support committee during the AM and PM sessions:  Ramona Rodriguez (F), Roxana Lopez (F), Silvia Barden (F), Ileana Muñoz (A), Adela Herrera (A), and Gabrielle Veit-Bermudez (A).  We continue to invite Members to these sessions so that they can see firsthand what is happening and to show their support!
Region 1 rejected the Mixteco Pilot Program citing California Government Code section 71802(d) requiring all interpreter employees to be registered or certified.  They are not interested in bargaining on this issue but are willing to work with us outside of the bargaining process to address this language access need. 
We requested to have a bargaining session in either Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo to allow our Central Coast members to participate in the Watch and Support team. We also requested the list of the interpreter mentors and the new employees who were mentored in the last 3 years. 
We submitted several proposals:  One relating to CIMCE reimbursement and cost of yearly registration and another was our counter proposal that the bereavement leave expansion should apply to all three counties not only LA.  We also proposed that Judicial Council Advisory Committee members receive their normal pay while attending those meetings. Last was our proposal to strengthen team interpreting provisions, to acknowledge the greater challenges posed by new technologies (text messages, emojis, etc.), to provide interpreters for both sides in civil matters and to ensure continuity in long cause matters.
We continued with our on-going discussion with regards to the Union access to new employee orientation. 
Despite the Region's statement that assignments and employment status are its most important issues, we still have yet to receive a comprehensive proposal on those issues.
The next Bargaining session is confirmed for October 11th at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse (Room 522).  Please be sure to fill out your RTOs requesting this day off and remember to wear red on Thursdays and on bargaining days!
Please note that the November 9th bargaining date has been canceled and changed to November 8th. This session will take place in Santa Barbara. Get your red-clad road trip crew together and we'll see you there on 11/8! 
CFI Bargaining Committee

Local Update

September 25, 2017

CFI Annual Conference
Bargaining Update Region 2 & 1
Saturday September 23rd saw 12 stewards and interested people attending the training at the CWA District 9 office. We looked at the new California state law (AB119) which was added to the State budget and appeared in early July.  This allows public sector unions to have a 30-minute period in the new employee orientation.  We had been asked by the state labor federation and the lawyers who were working on this (including Weinberg, Roger, and Rosenfeld, our counsel) – to be careful not to trigger the law unless we were ready to meet its very tight timelines.
We worked with the CWA materials and the ones that the Local has been sending to new hires and developed the outline of what we will provide to stewards who will be going to the orientations.  We will be starting to attend sessions next week, with these materials in hand to invite new hires to join the union.
Then we talked about CWA Strong and how the program can roll out to people who are working within the jurisdiction of CFI Local 39000.  Since everyone pays the same dues – whether they join the union or not – we have not always been reaching out personally to the new hires to be sure that they join.  Based upon challenges to the “union shop” in the public sector (this is a national challenge – either through Supreme Court cases or through legislation which is expected to start moving through the House of Representatives shortly) we could be at risk for losing the dues from those people.  CWA is very aware of the challenges – having seen Michigan and West Virginia go “right-to-work” in the last few years.  We know that organizing is the solution, and CFI needs to take advantage of the funding from TNG-CWA which has a SIF (Strategic Industry Fund) grant to help pay for leave for stewards to reach out and talk to these folks and invite them to become members of the local.
Folks at the meeting asked for some details on Why We Wear Red on Thursdays – I have pasted it at the end of this message.  This is part of the culture of CWA, and helps build our solidarity, and how we remember Gerry Horgan, a steward killed on a picket line in 1989.*

This coming Saturday – September 30th will be the Northern California training – there is time in the agenda to answer questions about the Local and our progress toward elections of new officers and to come out of temporary administration.  Please RSVP so that we have enough lunch (which will be provided) and that we have enough materials.  We will gather for coffee at 9:30 and meet from 10-4. RSVP essential as we are confirming the location – [email protected]
CFI Annual Conference
We are almost at 100 registrations for the annual conference, and we still have space available.  If you have been debating, please join us and register today – we need to print and produce materials and your registration confirms that number for us.
We have added dinner on Saturday night, and a generous number of coffee breaks and other meals are included in your registration fee which is at 2014 rates!
Register here -
We look forward to seeing you at the Oakland Airport Hilton, there is a free hotel van from both the Oakland Airport and the Coliseum BART station.  Parking at the hotel is reduced to $8 per day.  Join your colleagues, hear great speakers, and maybe even have some fun!
Bargaining Update Region 2 & 1
On Friday morning (9-22) (at 12:01 am) we closed out the electronic voting on the Region 2 contract with the result that members had voted to ratify.  Mary Lou has advised the court of the ratification, and is working on when the wages will be effective.  The management team was being difficult and legal counsel were being consulted.
Region 1 bargaining team had a couple of Zoom (video conferencing) meetings last week in preparation for bargaining again today.  Attorney Caren Senser continues to be our spokesperson, and the Committee will put out a bulletin after the bargaining session.  It will be mailed to the members of Region 1 – but also placed on the local’s website so you can read it if you are not from that area of California. 
Carrie Biggs-Adams
Temporary Administrator



-The significance of Red on Thursday-
What every member should know:
In 1989, CWA Local 1400 along with our union brothers and sisters in New York were on strike. One of the New York members from CWA Local 1103 walking the picket line was Chief Union Steward, E. Gerald Horgan. Eleven (11) years ago this August 15th, Gerry Horgan was killed from injuries he sustained when he was run down by a “scab” as he walked a picket line while striking for health care benefits. The driver of the vehicle which killed him was a manager’s daughter acting as a “scab” during the strike. As she approached the picket line, she accidentally accelerated her vehicle, and struck Gerry Horgan.

He is the only CWA member in our 61-year history to be killed on a picket line. Typical of Gerry Horgan, the picket line he was on was not his own. The Members on another line needed some additional help and asked Gerry to provide that help.

At the time of his death Gerry Horgan was only 34 years old. He was a dedicated family man, and very active in his community. He was the Chief of the Valley Cottage Volunteer Fire Department and a member of the Central Nyack Volunteer Fire Department. He developed, and was Team Leader of the Mountain Rescue Squad of Rockland County, New York. The Squad’s primary responsibility is for rescuing people who fall, or get trapped on the sheer cliffs of the Palisades. Gerry Horgan was also a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

When Gerry was killed he left behind two children, Christine who was 2 & ½ and Danielle who was just 7 months. They are now coming of age where they can under- stand who their father was and what he stood for. We want them to know that their father’s sacrifice was not in vain and is still appreciated by the people he died fighting for.

A journal is being put together in Gerry’s memory to be given to the girls. This journal will be a lasting reminder for them that their father, E. Gerald Horgan, was a trade unionist who is, and always will be, remember by his union brothers and sisters.

So Why Red? Why Thursday? .....Thursday, because it is the day this tragedy occurred and red to symbolize the tragedy itself. Even though this tragedy occurred 12 years ago, the Queens New York Local still supports Gerry and his family!

So as you look for something to wear next Thursday, show your support to your union and remember your fallen union brother in New York, and wear RED!

WEARING RED ON THURSDAY isn't about showing disrespect for Managers or being anti-management.
WEARING RED ON THURSDAY is about supporting the Union in the contract negotiation process.
WEARING RED ON THURSDAY is having a voice in that process.
WEARING RED ON THURSDAY is protecting your job and your wages from being reclassified into a lesser status.
WEARING RED ON THURSDAY is saying the tuition reimbursement plan is important to you for your personal growth and development.
WEARING RED ON THURSDAY is providing location security so you are not forced to move to another part of the country so the company can save a few dollars.
WEARING RED ON THURSDAY is supporting families and working hours that are conducive to the family unit.
WEARING RED ON THURSDAY isn't anti-management it is pro-community. It is having a strong contract so we can live together as management, service representatives and clerks without having to live in fear that one day our job will be replaced and eliminated. And it's about supporting your local economy.
WEARING RED ON THURSDAY is being proactive during this process so we don't have to be reactive.

is showing our collective support for this,
our Union Contract, so we can prevent
showing it on the picket line!
For all these reasons and more, support your local Union and yourself!



Local Update

September 18, 2017

Last Chance for Hotel Discount – Conference
Register for the CFI Conference
Bargaining Update
CWA Strong Training
Lobbyist Update
Last Chance for Hotel Discount – Conference
The last day to get the discounted rate for the Oakland Airport Hilton is tomorrow – TUESDAY September 19th at 11:59pm.  The rate jumps up (as folks noticed last week when the discount expired) due to the football weekend, and this is the longest extension we were able to get.
Book the hotel here:
Register for the CFI Conference
You can still register for the CFI Conference (the price is rolled back to 2014 rates) and join co-workers and make new friends at the October 6-9 event in Oakland.  The former officers of the Local entered into a contract that binds the Local to pay $58,000 (plus $14,500 in taxes) even if we don’t fill the rooms and event.  Because we are bound to $37,500 in food and beverage expenses, we are upgrading the meals and adding a dinner (maybe 2!) and certainly a cocktail reception.
The contract was signed based upon attendance of 300 – so far we have 79 confirmations for Saturday.  The leaders of TNG committed to holding the event – and we are holding it, with great speakers and presentations.  Please register and join us.
Register for the Conference here:
Bargaining Updates:
Region 2 has reached a tentative agreement which is being voted on now by the members.  We are using a new electronic system which adds additional security to voting, and results will be available later this week.  Members of Region 2 will see their raises in their next payroll period if the contract is ratified.  The agreement is a 3-year contract.  More details are on the website. Note we took this opportunity to try out BallotPoint a group that we will be having run our officer elections when we hold them.  So far, they have been very responsive.
Region 3 – not a ratified contract but the Court has imposed a 1 year contract.  This puts a contract in place, but there are questions about conflicts between the language and the law.  Our legal counsel looking into what actions can be taken to protest the terms that are different.   Bargaining will need to start preparing 6 months from now for what we hope will be more successful next time.
Region 1 – next bargaining is scheduled for August 25th – we have heard that many (many!) people have asked for the day off to come and support the Bargaining Committee in the Watch and Support Committee!  Please remember to wear red on Thursdays and bargaining days!  We have a great lawyer bargaining with the elected committee, but it takes membership involvement and support to get the changes being sought!
CWA Strong Training
With the new law on orientation access in California that went into the July 1 State Budget, we have new access to interpreters as they are hired.  Additionally, CWA Convention Delegates passed CWA Strong at the August Convention.  Public Sector bargaining units are under challenge in the Federal Courts and we need to strengthen our membership numbers to prepare us for possible bad outcomes.  This effort is applicable to all public sector workers represented around the country (over 100,000 strong) by CWA.
Training is required for all Stewards, and recommended for anyone who is considering running for office in the elections which will begin soon.
Southern California – Saturday September 23rd (and October 21st) at D9 office
Northern California – Saturday September 30th (East Bay area)
RSVP to: [email protected]
Lobbyist Update
CWA District 9 has signed an agreement with Hernandez Strategies (the same lobbyist the Local had been paying).  We are working with TNG and CWA District 9 to set our relationship back up, and in writing this time. Once we have more to report, we will let you know.
Carrie Biggs-Adams
Temporary Administrator
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