Resolution in pay increase processing error

February 27, 2020

Dear Region 3 court interpreters, 
As you all already know we have ratified a new agreement assenting to an increase in pay as well as a signing bonus that was expected to take effect this past pay period which commenced on February 3, 2020.   Everyone in Region 3 was supposed to receive their increase in the paycheck that was issued on February 21, 2020 along with one-time taxable payment bonus.   The Union –CFI- recently learned that not all employees in Region 3 received this increase or the bonus as parties concurred.  Our court interpreter-employees in Kern County were among some of the employees that did not obtain the raise or their bonus.  Kern County employees were the most affected as none of the court-interpreter employees received their increase in pay nor their bonus as promised after the contract ratification.   
 The court interpreter employees in Kern County  notified their Steward of this inaccuracy;  she immediately notified the union therefore the team could start working on this matter and address it with the proper parties.   Kern County’s Human Resources was contacted by the Steward on-site and on Tuesday February 25th 2020,  this issue was resolved; assuring that the court-interpreter employees will not only notice their raise in pay in the next paycheck but also the retroactive pay plus their one-time bonus.   
On behalf of the bargaining committee and CFI we would like to express our gratitude for bringing this to our attention and for giving us the opportunity to work on this.   This resolution could not have been accomplished in such rapid time without the help of the Steward in Kern County and other members of the bargaining committee –Thank you.  
 Moving forward, should you notice any discrepancies in your pay or if you need to contact one of the board members or someone in the bargaining team in Region 3 please do not hesitate to reach out to any of us.   
In Solidarity, 
Carmen Ramos
Janet Hudec
Joey Tobin
Rosa Trevizo  


Calling all CFI Local 39000 members interested in protecting the MOU and supporting your colleagues in the workplace! …  

On Saturday, March 21st, 2020 CFI Local 39000 will be hosting a training session for all members wishing to become stewards and/or update and refine their skills. Although the training is geared to newcomers, any and all present stewards are invited as well! Even if you are unsure of 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. The presenters will be President Mike Ferreira, and CWA steward trainer Louis Rocha from District 9 Sacramento. Some of the topics to be covered are:
-      Union structure, guiding documents, and protocols. How our Local fits into the larger CWA union and the labor/union/social justice movement.
-      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) … starting with your Memorandum of Understanding.
-      Open discussion about any issue of interest or concern..
The training will take place at:

CWA Local 9511 
1525 Simpson Way
Escondido, CA 92029

The training hours are 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.  A modest lunch is included. We ask that interested members respond to this email no later than the close of business on Tuesday, March 17th, 2020. Please be on time, and we are encouraging folks to carpool; if you wish to carpool, or be a driver for a carpool, please specify such in your email to [email protected] . 

A vigorous and well-trained steward group is the most important element in enforcing the contract, vigilance for member abuse, and creating a communication and rallying point for interpreter employees throughout California. This Board has made a commitment to bring as much training, expansion, and mentoring to the steward pool as is possible. We have the full support in trainers and material from our parent union, CWA. 

We look forward to seeing as many as can make it to this Region 4 Southern California training session.

Best regards, in solidarity,

Michael Ferreira
CFI President


News from Region 4:

 - Facing Arbitration Over Unit Work Violation, San Diego Superior Court Offers Settlement. 

-  R4 initiated monthly zoom calls with all stewards. Contact yours for updates, questions and work related concerns.

-  Maria Benitez, long time interpreter and R4 steward retires in March. Thank you Maria for your dedication and your many contributions to the Union.




A message from your Secretary-Treasurer

Dear members,

Receivership ended in December 2019, and Ed Venegas' last day was on December 20th, 2019. I had started to work on getting control of the Finances of the Local, and to that end, I had our accountant review our budget. As many of you know, we have lost members to Janus, and we have hired a top notch Bargaining Attorney to assist us. For that reason, it was not possible to continue to pay for a Representative for Region 2 and 3. As I reviewed the finances, I also realized that in the entire history of this Local, there has never been a Strike Fund to assist members if we had to resort to work actions.There are numerous violations of the Interpreter Act and our MOU in Region 3, and many grievances and ULPs have had to be filed, which has increased the cost of our legal fees.  This is something that needs to be in place, and a strike fund will be in place starting this year. We will consider the possibility of hiring another Rep for these Regions in the future if our financial situation permits it. Please reach out to our Local's e mail with any concerns. You may also use the Representative's cel phone to reach out to us, as it's still the same number. Your E-Board has been working diligently in coordinating representation efforts with stewards in all Regions. Please contact  your local stewards with any issues, as they are there to represent you and assist you. There is an updated list on our website with contact information for our Stewards for all Regions. 

In solidarity, 

Carmen Ramos
Secretary-Treasure, CFI Local 39000



Region 2 Update

Courts Deny R2 Reality

San Francisco (January 14, 2020) _ A chill wind and rain didn’t deter San Francisco interpreters from a lunchtime show of solidarity on the Judicial Council steps, next to the courthouse where the CFI Region 2 bargaining team met for wage negotiations a week before Christmas.

Region 2 court interpreters are mobilizing. 

We're fighting for fair wages that are commensurate with our skills. We need to keep up with the high cost of living in the Bay Area, the most expensive place to live in the country. 

89% of R2 interpreters surveyed say they’re dissatisfied with their current salary, 64% say they struggle to make ends meet due to the high cost of living in the Bay Area, and 60% do other work to supplement their income. 

Region 2 interpreters strongly agree that the work we do requires the same skills and knowledge as federal court work. The salary range for federal staff positions in the Bay Area is $127,187 – $165,346. 

91% of R2 survey respondents also agreed that given that contractors are being paid the federal per diem, staff interpreters also deserve federal parity.  

At the Dec. 18 bargaining session the Region 2 courts, once again, refused to offer anything despite being presented with clear and strong evidence on why a wage increase is necessary. The court’s lead negotiator refused to articulate the reasons for an offer of zero, simply repeating the same specious arguments made previously, a series of badly researched half-truths, and apples-to-oranges justifications.  Although our spokesperson Laurie Burgess repeatedly pressed him about whether he and his team had ever been authorized to offer any amount, he continued to dodge the question, in an apparent manifestation of bad faith.  

Our committee pointed out that interpreters now must be prepared to work in criminal, juvenile, civil and family cases, and perform more work with fewer employee interpreters. The Courts' spokesperson claimed he did not see the correlation between staffing levels and increased workload, and expressed no interest in perusing our carefully researched package of data refuting the Courts’ previously presented faulty statistics.

The Region is intent on ignoring the approximately ten percent reduction in staff interpreters in Region 2 and the skyrocketing cost of contracting interpreters to minimally meet the need for interpreters.

Your bargaining team maintained that moving toward federal parity in staff salaries is essential to prevent further losses of employees and beef up staffing to match the increased workload. 

The next bargaining session is being scheduled and will likely be in late February or March.

In the meantime, as zero is clearly unacceptable, we will hold lunchtime meetings in late January and February in courthouses throughout the region to gear up for solidarity actions to build pressure on the Courts, and, most importantly, to hear from you. Stay tuned for dates and locations.

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