Last week, the Guild met with the Office of Interpreter Services in its second negotiating session. Cook County is attempting to impose the cookie cutter approach on all unions – require county employees to expand the work week to 40 hours and require employees to take unpaid holidays. So far, the Guild and other unions are resisting Cook County’s attempt to balance its budget on the backs of it workers.
Management has proposed to reduce the number of minimum hours for session court interpreters from four to two. Representatives from the Guild bargaining committee made the point that management would be hard pressed to find any sessions who would be willing to work for the existing meager wages at a two hour minimum – essentially leaving management with unqualified court interpreters from contractor Ready Made.
The Guild is now focusing its attention on reaching out to the Cook County Commissioners and other legal institutions to support our proposals for certification.
If anyone is interested in working on this outreach program, please contact anyone on our bargaining committee.