CCIA Asks Judicial Council For Independent Contractor Pay Raise

In an unprecedented move, CCIA president Arturo Cásarez made a presentation directly to the Judicial Council of California in San Francisco on November 4, 2005. After a warm welcome and introduction by Chief Justice Ronald George, Mr. Cásarez stressed the importance of increasing the compensation levels of the state's independent contractor court interpreters to $350/full day, $193/half day. He pointed out the immediate necessity of the raise to halt the current exodus of interpreters from the state courts, in addition to demonstrating the Judicial Council's commitment to court interpreter recruitment and retention efforts.

CCIA's leader emphasized the findings and recommendations of the Access to Justice Commission's report Language Barriers to Justice in California. This important document recommends raising compensation levels in California's courts in an effort to increase the available pool of certified court interpreters. Also of special interest to the Council was news of the change in the Federal rate to $355/full day and $192/half day, effective January 1, 2006.

Following his address, Mr. Casarez fielded questions from Chief Justice Ronald George. The Council Chair expressed great interest in CCIA's ongoing involvement in the field of interpreter education and training, particularly its involvement with the CSULB bachelor's program in Interpretation and Translation and the high school student scholarship program.

The presentation concluded with a renewed agreement of collaboration for expanding California's pool of qualified court interpreters. CCIA vows to continue its efforts to secure equitable compensation for independent contractor interpreters, those presently without a voice.