Negotiations of the 2017-19 Tentative Agreement (TA) for the WFSE/AFSCME Interpreters United (Language Access Providers) bargaining unit concluded on July 30, 2016.
TENTATIVE AGREEMENT (TA) SUMMARY
If a majority of Interpreters United members votes to ratify (accept) this Tentative Agreement (T.A.), and the Legislature also ratifies and funds it during the 2017 session, the new contract will begin on July 1, 2017.
- Our surveys indicate that the number one priority shared by a majority of members is to increase payment for our requested time. We’re excited to announce that under this T.A. we won a raise in pay for no-shows and late cancellations! For jobs cancelled less than 6 hours before the start time, payment is increasing to 75% of the requested time (or 30 min, whichever is greater). Previously it was only 50%. This means in 2018 for a 1 hr job you’ll be paid $29.82 whereas now you’d make only $19.
- Increases our onsite hourly pay by 4.6% to $38.50 in 2017 and to $39.76 in 2018 (except CSO block time and new “Facility” appointments).
- Increases pay by 37% to $2.85/min for remote interpreting for the first ten minutes. The minimum payment for these job increases from 3 to 10 minutes.
- Clarifies and protects our pay in instances when a job is a late cancellation and we accept another state job that overlaps with the cancelled job.
- We won reimbursement for tolls, ferry, and parking costs.
- At the start of our negotiations with the State we also shared our priority to increase language access for hard to serve areas and for languages of low demand! For example, in Grays Harbor County of the 49 requests received in March 2016, 34 jobs went unfilled, all but 2 for Spanish. While the Health Care Authority refused to consider higher pay, longer appointment times, mileage, or travel time for medical jobs, DSHS agreed to a pilot project to pay for travel time for jobs more than 30 miles one way.
RIGHTS WHEN PROVIDING SERVICES
- After six years of advocacy, and three prior contracts that included no specific language addressing professional training or development, we finally made improvements in this area. The our Interpreter Advisory Group will now consider creating endorsements based on an interpreter achieving significant additional training in a given field. This is a huge step forward for our profession. We also increased interpreter representation on the DSHS/LTC Advisory Group that gives interpreters a voice in our certification program.
- Adds a link to our contract to the state’s vendor’s portal so all interpreters can easily access it.
- Protects our rights to file a grievance when we choose to utilize the coordinating entity’s ‘dispute process’ by extending the grievance timeline.
- Adds a field-based contact phone number for the state employee you’re meeting for a home visit. Changes our pay date to the Friday before if the 5th or 20th falls on a Saturday (instead of the State’s vendor waiting to pay us until the following Monday).
FULL TEXT OF THE TENTATIVE AGREEMENT
UPDATES TO TA PDF ABOVE: