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SAVING MEDICAID INTERPRETER SERVICES. HCA appointments are paid through a federal matching funds OPTIONAL Medicaid state run program. Becasue it is not mandatory, the Medicaid Interpreter Services program has been on the chopping block every year since 1996. The precarious status of this program is what eventually ushered in the ill conceived broker system back in 2003. Starting in the fall of 2009, Interpreters United / WFSE has successfully lobbied in Olympia to save state funding for the federal matching funds Medicaid interpreting services program year after year thus preserving access to healthcare for over 70,000 Limited English Proficient patients each year.
PROCUREMENT REFORM FOR INTERPRETER SERVICES. During the 2011 legislative session, we worked with legislators who mandated the State to replace its unfair and wasteful ‘broker procurement model’. Before CTS came on board, interpreter services were procured through the infamous broker system serviced by 6 regional brokers and 20+ language agencies. It proved to be a wasteful, unwieldy and "an impossible to account for" procurement model. In other words, the state was paying for interpreter services but had a very hard time knowing exactly what it was paying for. Interpreters had complained about this lack of accountability for years but it was not until our union came on board that interpreters' voices were finally heard. The union was able to demonstrate that the state was paying somewhere between 40-50% in administrative costs. Currently, under the statewide coordinating entity CTS LanguageLink, the average administrative cost for the entire program hovers around 10%. This is what responsible contracting can accomplish. Also in 2011, our statewide democratically elected interpreters' bargaining team negotiated a strong FIRST in the nation union contract for independent contractor interpreters. Our pay has risen from $21.50 in 2011 to $37.10 in 2015. We also won many new guaranteed rights on the job.
A RISING TIDE RAISES ALL BOATS. Join our union by becoming a dues paying member. The greater our numbers are the less the state can ignore our demands. This is the only way we have a strong, well-funded organization ready to keep fighting - including 100% reimbursement for No Shows and Late Cancellations as well as for a fairer appointment scheduling!
Membership in Local 1671 has its perks.
*Free tamper proof ID badge*
*Free continuing education credits*
*Reimbursement for travel expenses to attend meetings*
FREE WORKSHOPS: Like most professional certifications, our DSHS interpreter credential requires 16 continuing education credits every 4 years to maintain the credential. At least 4 credits (1 credit per year) MUST be in DSHS approved ethics training. We always apply for DSHS approval and so far have always received it.
Our 3-hour long free workshops are held in conjunction with our quaterly local's statewide meeting. At these meetings, members-at-large become the governing body of our union by presenting motions from the floor which can be enacted by a simple mayority vote of those present. You can submit your travel expenses for reimbursement pursuant to our Policy #3 which is posted under the Members Only tab. So, when you attend one of Local 1671's workshop you get 3 CECs for free, payment to cover some of your travel expenses, learn about the latest issues facing interpreters, and network with your colleagues who frequently have some valuable tips to offer. Did we mention our ethnically diverse potlucks?
||A Business Plan for Interpreters
||Small Business Tax Workshop
||Infection Control and Industrial Safety of Medical Interpreters
||Ethics for Medical Interpreters: Presentation and Case Studies
||Professional Medical Interpreters Need to Know their Professional Code of Conduct
||The Neuroscience of the Triadic Encounter: Paralinguistic Elements Meet Synapses
||Fundamentals of Healthcare Interpreting
||Interpreter Ethics: DSHS Code of Conduct & Incident Reports
||Culture and Healthcare Interpreting
||American English Idioms
||Errors in Healthcare Interpreting
Where does my money go?
Union dues are 1.5% of your gross pay earned as an interpreter at DSHS and Medicaid enrollee appointments, up to a maximum of $76.50 / month. Travel reimbursements are not part of your gross pay. Union dues are deducted from your paycheck by the statewide coordinating entity which replaced the 6 brokers and 20+ language agencies in 2012.
There is no initiation fee to join our union. Our monthly union dues are allocated approximately as follows:
- 68% AFSCME Council 28 (WFSE)
- 23% AFSCME International
- 8% Interpreters United Local 1671
- 1% AFL-CIO Federation of unions
AFSCME International and AFSCME Council 28 (WFSE) financial reports are available to the public and posted online on the US Department of Labor website.
Are my union dues used for political contributions?
Do you have long breaks from DSHS or Medicaid enrollee jobs?
If you don't regularly work through the coordinating entity or you go on vacation, you can still continue being a union member in good standing enjoying all of your benefits as a union member. When you do not work for a foreign language company that deducts union dues automatically from your paycheck (CTS LanguageLink), union dues are a flat $16.00 each month and can be deducted automatically from your bank or credit union (ACH withdrawal). The union's accounting department waits till end of month to confirm that no deductions came that month from CTS before deducting the $16 flat dues. For those months when you do work through the coordinating entity, you only pay 1.5% not the flat $16. So you EITHER pay the 1.5% or the $16 but never both.
Print out our alternative membership card and then mail to us at: WFSE/AFSCME Council 28, 1212 Jefferson Street SE #300, Olympia WA 98501
In addition to building power to win great contracts at the bargaining table and better policies in the State, union members are also eligible for benefits such as scholarships and a 15% monthly discount from AT&T. Check out www.wfse.org under "member info" for a full list of member-only benefits.
Stay in touch! Get text message alerts from WFSE!
Sign up to get text message alerts letting you know how to take action on issues important to medical and social service Interpreters. Message and data rates may apply. From your cell phone, send a text message to 69866. In the message area, type “L1671” - then send the message.
NOTE: 69866 is a short-number. Some services don't allow use of short-numbers. If you get an error message about short numbers, instead send the keyword WFSE to 678-792-8986.
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