A subcommittee of the Court Executives Advisory Committee (CEAC) has been formed as a result of the nonstop efforts of the California Court Interpreters Association (CCIA). In their numerous presentations to the Judicial Council's Court Interpreters Advisory Panel during the past 4 years, CCIA representatives addressed IC compensation and other interpreter issues, in spite of being told repeatedly it was "no longer the proper forum" in which to do so. Then CCIA president, Arturo Cásarez, continually challenged the Judicial Council to give IC's the necessary forum before it was too late for such negotiations.
On November 4, 2005, Mr. Cásarez made the same request directly to the Judicial Council of California in an unprecedented presentation by an interpreting association to that governing body. Subsequent meetings between CCIA and high ranking officials of the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) were also convened to discuss interpreter concerns.
In September of 2006, CCIA was notified the CEAC's Subcommittee would be established. Its purpose is to "provide an opportunity for contract court interpreters to present information and proposals on trial court payment policies for contract court interpreters that were adopted by the Judicial Council in February 2000." While compensation is definitely a priority of CCIA's, it is not the only concern. The purpose of this subcommittee is to field all matters uniquely affecting IC's.
The Subcommittee members are part of the Court Executives Advisory Committee to the Judicial Council. The panel includes Subcommittee Chair, Ms. Tamara Beard, Fresno County Superior Court CEO, Mr. Jack Clark, Los Angeles County Superior Court CEO, Ms. Tressa Kentner, San Bernardino County Superior Court CEO, Ms. Sharol Strickland, Butte County Superior Court CEO, and Mr. Mike Roddy, San Diego County Superior Court CEO.
On November 7, 2006, the first meeting of the Subcommittee was held in San Francisco, CA. In spite of the meeting location, date, and time, (a Tuesday at 2:00 PM, which coincidently was the statewide Election Day), more than 50 Independent Contract Court Interpreters attended, many traveling from the southern most regions of California. These interpreters addressed the panel directly, covering compensation, opt-out status, the widespread use of non qualified interpreters, and other issues affecting IC's. This first of its kind forum was hopefully very enlightening to the subcommittee.
On January 9, 2007, a second meeting was held in Los Angeles, CA in an effort to give Southern California interpreters the opportunity to address the subcommittee. Once again IC's rose to the occasion making excellent, albeit passionate, presentations to the panel, with IC compensation as the number one priority. According to the subcommittee chair, they will present their recommendations to the full Court Executives Advisory Committee at their next meeting in February ('07). This important decision making body will then make their recommendations directly to the Judicial Council of California for its consideration.
Interpreters are encouraged to listen to the audio recordings of these meetings in their entirety. They may be accessed at the following Judicial Council link:
In the past the CCIA board, with its limited time and resources, has been forced to choose between formulating strategies, attending meetings, addressing committees, holding press conferences, etc., in addition to organizing and hosting continuing education workshops and annual conferences, over communicating each of these processes directly to our members. As most of you are aware, the CCIA board is comprised of working professionals volunteering their time to this association. However, we wish to make the following very clear: CCIA is responsible for the formation of this subcommittee; thereby affording IC's a long overdue forum. We are fighting for a compensation increase for INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS, the only interpreters who have not received any increase in nearly 7 years.
We thank those of you who have sent in your 2007 membership renewals, and encourage the rest of you to do so today. The aforementioned efforts and accomplishments do not occur in a vacuum. It takes interpreters coming together as a strong and respected professional association to open the necessary doors and to reach the appropriate decision makers. CCIA has long been, and remains, the only association committed to ensuring the rights and fair working conditions of independent contractors, continuing education, and the overall betterment of our profession. Your support is vital to our success.
CCIA Board of Directors