The Chicago News Guild Local 34071 is conducting a mail-in ballot election for the offices of Full-time Chair, Full-time Vice Chair, Session Chair and Session Vice Chair in the Cook County Court Interpreters Unit. Election notices and ballots were mailed Saturday, February 27, 2021.
Below are the candidates running for the March 27, 2021 election.
Office: Full-time Chair
Candidate: Jose Alvarez
Candidate: Antonio del Toro
Office: Full-time Vice Chair
Candidate: Sonia Garcia
I have been a Spanish Language Interpreter for the Circuit Courts of Cook County for the past twenty-five years.
Ten of those years I served as a per diem (session) employee and the other fifteen through present, in a full-time position. I understand the many challenges that exist in both per diem and full-time positions and feel that I am more than qualified to represent all interpreters within our union in all matters including contract negotiations. As an officer of the union, I plan to serve as a conduit between our members and management/HR to keep open and productive channels of communication that will benefit all parties.
Another advantage I bring to this role is my familiarity with the position as I served as the full-time Vice Chair in 2020. I plan to leverage the experience I gained last year and build upon that to continue to improve union and management relations. Much of this work has already begun and I would like to have the opportunity to see it through. If given the opportunity to stay in this role, it would continue to allow me to hear and voice all concerns between our members. I would focus my efforts evenly amongst part time, full time, and exotic interpreters to ensure that all concerns are addressed, specifically during contract negotiations. My goal would be to make clear that we stand together as one union pursuing improvements for all.
The past year was extremely challenging as the pandemic brought forth a lot of change to our work environment. I faced those challenges head on and was able to work with union officers, management, and HR to secure our jobs. In the process I was able to assist in negotiating incentive pay for full-time employees that worked onsite.
Furthermore, for per diems and exotic interpreters, we secured their average pay based on the last six months prior to the pandemic. We were also successful in having interpreters work remotely with the ability to go in person on a volunteer basis. This reduced the health risk of members and allowed us to continue to work in a safe environment.
As we move forward, my focus is on representing our union as a whole and will strive to bring forth professional improvements and benefits to all members. I will do all I can to negotiate for a just and fair contract while considering your concerns and safety. I hope that my past hard work is proof of my commitment to you and dedication to this union.
Vote for me.
Office: Session Chair
Candidate: Daisy de la Rosa
I, Daisy de la Rosa, have been a Session Spanish Interpreter for the Circuit Court of Cook County for almost 8 years. I have also been an AOIC registered interpreter since 2016.
I have been part of our union since I started at the County, with an active role as Vice Chair with 2-3 years of experience, and for short time as Chair for the session interpreters. During that time, I worked diligently with union officers, management, and HR in collective bargaining, grievances, mediation and/or arbitrations. My focus during this time was to provide support for fellow coworkers to ensure that their rights were respected and to oversee that there were no violations of the terms of our contract agreement.
I am fully invested in the interests of all interpreters, including session, registered, non-registered, certified, and non-certified. This also includes interpreters who are full-time, sessions, and exotic. We are all one unit.
As your representative, it would be my honor to work for everyone equally and when necessary, individually. Although every situation is unique, you’ll have my undivided attention in addressing your issues. I take pride in my work and understand that our job is our livelihood. I will advocate relentlessly to secure our jobs and will be respectful of your thoughts and opinions. We are living in challenging times and it’s never been more important that we come together as a team for the greater good of all interpreters. I vow to remain impartial yet fair when it comes to negotiating our contract, including wages, safety, and equal treatment.
I will be available to answer questions and will swiftly address any concerns about your rights under the union contract. Please know that if I don’t have the answer at that moment, I will investigate further and provide a prompt response. I am a very trustworthy, organized, hardworking individual and look forward to the opportunity of representing you in our union.
Vote for Daisy!
Candidate: Marco Rivas
Office: Session Vice Chair
Candidate: Yadira Esparza
“Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.” -Walt Disney
Yadira Esparza, is a session court interpreter and has been with the Interpreter’s office for almost 8 years. For the last two years, she has been part of the union officers’ committee. Her first year with the union was as the secretary and this past year as one of the sessions co-chair and secretary. She has attended to the union’s many trainings to better serve as an officer to represent all union members fairly, honestly and obtain what is better for all members. This past year as one of the co-chairs was able to achieve an agreement with the employer for all session interpreters during these hard times with the pandemic. She wants all members to be treated equal and fair. Yadira has worked in a couple different fields and has always achieved to be promoted because of her hard work, dedication and honesty. She is involved in her community’s church and volunteers with the administrative part of the Religious Education Program. Yadira works hard for what she believes and is fair and respectful to everyone.
Candidate: Kathleen Morris
As an experienced officer and contract negotiator, and a founder of our union, I bring to the table a deep knowledge base , as well as the experience, organizational skills, and motivation to fairly represent sessions’ and staff interpreters’ best professional interests. Along with my fellow officers, I dedicated many hours to steering contract negotiations through a challenging pandemic period, resulting in a guaranteed 6-month average salary for all sessions interpreters for several months in 2020. One of my main objectives will be to stay in close touch with all colleagues, and to hear and respond to your professional questions, opinions, and concerns in a timely manner.
If re-elected, I pledge to work tirelessly towards ensuring a safer work environment for in-person hearings, as well as fair and progressive pay and work conditions for my fellow interpreters of all working languages. I will actively work towards establishing higher professional standards of practice. I pledge to negotiate to ensure professional respect for certified and non-certified colleagues alike. My overriding goal, if elected as your representative, will be to help ensure a much improved work environment for interpreters in 2021, and beyond.