An Open Letter From IGA and Its Members

April 7, 2015

Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye

Chair of the Judicial Council of California

455 Golden Gate Avenue

San Francisco, CA. 94102-3688

RE: Raise The State Courts Per Diem Rate for Interpreters

On behalf of all the Court Certified and Registered Independent Contractors that perform interpreting services for the California Courts on a per diem basis, we ask the Judicial Council to raise the California State Courts Per Diem Rate to match the current Federal Court Rate without delay.

Further, we ask that the same yearly cost of living/CPI increases that exist in the Federal Court System be applied here on an ongoing basis.

There is a staggering 46% difference in the per diem rates paid to the same California State Certified interpreters by the U. S. Federal Courts and the per diem rates paid by the California State Courts, despite the very similar work and skills required of interpreters in Federal and State Court.

The U.S. District court rates for California State Certified Interpreters are $412 for the full day and $223 for the half-day (www.cacd.uscourts.gov/interpreters#fees).

Whereas, the California State Court rates that have been in effect without any change since 2007 are $282.23 for the full day and $156.56 for the half day.

As independents, we pay self-employment taxes, we pay into our own retirement plans, pay for our own disability and medical insurance and incur many other overhead costs associated with being self employed. And our costs continue to rise year in and year out, while the rates we are paid by California’s largest employer of Certified Court Interpreters remains stagnant year in and year out.

The Interpreters Guild of America, IGA, is an organization created by and for independent interpreters. As a unit of the Communications Workers of America, CWA, which represent interpreters around the country, we are committed to addressing the particular challenges professional interpreters face.

We ask for an opportunity to meet and confer in person with you and members of the Judicial Council to address raising the Per Diem Rate as soon as possible.

ASL, CIVIL COURT, COMMUNITY, CONTINUING EDUCATION, COURT, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, ETHICS, IMMIGRATION, INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS, LANGUAGE ACCESS, LANGUAGES of LESSER DIFFUSION, MEDICAL, MEMBER PROFILES, OTHER, PRO BONO, PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS, UNION, VRI

One thought on “An Open Letter From IGA and Its Members

  1. Enrique S. Rasmussen on Reply

    Professional Interpreters are being underpaid, and have been underpaid for decades. It’s time to make things right and not treat Interpreters as second class citizens.
    Thank you.

Leave a Reply to Enrique S. Rasmussen Cancel reply