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January 26, 2020

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are scheduled through Washington State's coordinating entity, currently ULS and formerly CTS LanguageLink. The contract performance reports and fill rate by language and by county are posted on HCA’s website


July 2019                  $41.00

July 2018                  $39.76

July 2017                  $38.50

July 2016                  $38.00

July 2015                  $37.10

July 2014                  $32.50
July 2013                  $32.00
July 2012                  $31.50
July 2011                  $30.00

        2010                  $21.00


SFY2018                    406,007

SFY2017                    383,583

SFY2016                    359,750

SFY2015                     327,737

SFY2014                     282,636

SFY2013                     228,561

SFY2012                     201,576
SFY2011                     196,000


SFY2016                 15,836

SFY2015                 16,782

SFY2014                  15,943

SFY2013                  15,556

SFY2012                  10,234

SFY2011                  17,700

 HCA (Medicaid) BUDGET

Jul 2013/Jun 2015             $25.1M

Jul 2011/Jun 2013             $18.1M

Jul 2009/Jun 2011             $23.0M

A modified procurement model began on July 1, 2011

The coordinating entity procurement model began on September 24, 2012.

The new coordinating entity, ULS took over the contract on July 1, 2018.

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What is Interpreters United, Local 1671, WFSE/AFSCME Council 28?
Updated On: Apr 01, 2019

Interpreters at the August 2010 Forum

Local 1671 of the WFSE/AFSCME Council 28 is the labor union for interpreters providing services for the State of Washington.

Our union movement began in the fall of 2009 in response to medical and social service spoken language interpreters' frustration with the 'broker system' delivery model, unfair treatment and substandard pay.  At first this was just a few people and has now grown to more than 1500 active Interpreters representing many languages around the State! 

A survey of our membership conducted in 2016, revealed that interpreters are a highly educated majority female and majority immigrant workforce.   2016 Spring Survey Report.pdf

Interpreters United is a part of the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE).  WFSE is the largest  labor union for public service workers in Washington State with 40,000 members.  WFSE is part of a nationwide Union called AFSCME (American Federation of State County Municipal Employees) which has 1.6 million members nationwide.  WFSE is also known as AFSCME Council 28.



American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations

≈12.5M members in 56 Unions

Umbrella Federation for U.S. Labor Unions

IRS 501(c)(5) Non-Profit Organization


American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees

≈1.6M members in 58 Councils

National Non-Profit Organization

AFSCME Council 28

Washington Federation of State Employees

≈40,000 members in 52 Locals

State Non-Profit Organization

Local 1671

Interpreters United

Statewide Non-Profit Organization

What were conditions like for most interpreters in 2009?  

  • Interpreters paid only $21 per hr - or less!
  • Middlemen (Agencies & Brokers) took an average $24.90 (42%) PER APPOINTMENT!
  • Required 15 minute back up logs if you went over the scheduled time;
  • No pay for cancellations;
  • No pay for parking or tolls;
  • No mileage (some interpreters did get full mileage, but it depended on your agency).

Watch this powerful video of AFSCME members about why to organize, featuring our one of our own interpreters! 

Over the past years we have had amazing victories, including:
  • Saving $16 million in state and federal funding for the medicaid interpreter program when it faced elimination in the Governor's 2010 budget, and again when it faced elimination twice in budgets in 2011.  United we saved the optional state program for about 200,000 interpreted appointments per year serviced by approximately 2000 interpreters in dozens of different languages rendered at hundreds of healthcare providers offices. United we protected language access services for Limited English Proficient individuals!

  • Passing an historic bill 2010 ESSB 6726 granting union rights to independent contractor interpreters for the first time in our nation;

  • Holding a forum with state officials from DSHS and the Governor's Office of Financial Management (OFM) where over 200 interpreters from around the state gave testimony about the current problems and offered solutions for future improvements to the language access program;

  • Winning a Union election with interpreters voting 95% UNION YES!

  • Winning the only state contract for independent contract interpreters in the nation!

  • Stopping language agencies from violating our first union contract by suddenly imposing 'shipping and handling fees' on our paychecks!

By working together, we can improve the interpreting profession - for ourselves, providers, and the people we serve!  

Join us to restore professional pay, benefits and respect to interpreters. 

Learn more about Interpreters United by reading our news and checking out campaigns under the "take action" section of this website.  You can also join the conversation at  Contact us at local1671 [at]

Photo of interpreters at the capitol


Upcoming Events
Union-Management Committee Mtg
Feb 06, 2020
Spring Statewide Mtg & Workshop
Apr 25, 2020
Summer Statewide Mtg & Workshop
Aug 01, 2020
Fall Statewide Mtg & Workshop
Oct 17, 2020
ATA Annual Conference
Oct 21, 2020
Need an interpreter?

How to hire an interpreter or translator

Get resources for working with interpreters here.

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