The 15 superior courts in Region 2 and the California Federation of Interpreters, Local 39000 (CFI), have agreed on a new 3-year labor contract after 15 months of negotiations. CFI and Region 2 members have ratified the new contract, which includes a new wage structure for court interpreters that establishes a 5-step salary range, similar to the salary ranges of most other court employees, and results in an overall wage increase of nearly 21 percent over the term of the agreement.

San Francisco Superior Court Executive Officer T. Michael Yuen, chair of the committee that oversaw labor relations for Region 2 courts, stated, “We are pleased that our interpreter employees will receive a well-deserved wage package. These professionals ensure that non-English speakers are able to access justice in our courts. They are an essential part of our commitment to access to justice for all Californians.”

The total wage package will bring interpreters from an annual wage of $76,419 to $92,888 over three years. Along with these wages, court interpreter employees receive generous paid time off, benefit packages and retirement benefits, enhancing total compensation.

Under California law, superior courts are divided into four regions for purposes of collective bargaining with the court interpreters’ union. The 15 courts in Region 2 include all Bay Area courts and courts along the California coastline from Oregon to Monterey.

The Judicial Council of California, through recommendations from its Language Access Plan Implementation Task Force, has provided clear direction to the California courts that they must strive to ensure that the nearly 7 million limited English proficient court users, speaking more than 200 languages, have access to language assistance, including court interpreters. The Strategic Plan for Language Access describes the many strategies currently under consideration to meet this growing demand in California courts.

The new labor contract will be in effect until October 2020, with a wage reopener in the second year of the agreement.

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