As we build our Union there are opportunities for interpreters to participate in vaious ways such as talking to other interpreters about our exciting movement, attending regional and statewide meetings, and by serving on various committees.
Here are our standing committees:
Ad Hoc Committees:
- Incident Resolution Process
- Low Fill/Cancellations/No Shows/Mileage
- Block Time Appointments
Internal Organizing Committee
Purpose: All region and district chairs are de facto members of this committee.
- Educate our union members about current issues
- Reach out to newly certified interpreters and persuade them to join our union
- Inform interpreters about the many benefits of belonging to our union
Purpose: To enforce our Collective Bargaining Agreement by filing grievances with the state. All stewards appointed by Council 28 are de facto members of this committee.
Our stewards are freelance interpreters who have completed the WFSE/AFSCME Stewards in Action training and are appointed by the Council 28 President. Stewards play a crucial role in the day-to-day experience of union representation. Shop stewards are co-workers who care deeply for worker rightsthe and as such they are the eyes and ears of a labor union. They take time out of their busy schedules to attend union meetings, to study our contract and to meet with union staff.
Legislative and Political Action (LPA) Committee
Purpose: To engage our Local in the political process which has a serious impact on our jobs. Send our local delegates to the endorsement conference. Track legislators who have been favorable to interpreters and language access in general.
Chair: Quan Tran tranquan19426[at]yahoo.com
WFSE/AFSCME Council 28 Legislative District Candidate Interview Process (even years 2014, 2016, 2018, etc.)
WFSE is truly committed to a member-driven endorsement process and we hope you will take advantage of the opportunity to make your voice heard. There are many legislative races where we do not have enough information about the candidates running to make an informed decision whether to make an endorsement. Under these circumstances, WFSE will hold candidate interview sessions before making, or not making, an endorsement.
For the candidate interviews, WFSE schedules the interview session and sends notices to all locals who have 10 or more members that live in that particular legislative district. The local is entitled to send two voting delegates to the interview. IF YOU RESIDE IN A LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT WHERE A CANDIDATE INTERVIEW IS SCHEDULED, AND YOU WOULD LIKE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROCESS, PLEASE CONTACT THE COMMITTEE CHAIR OR THE SECRETARY ASAP.
WFSE develops the candidate questions and provides them to the members present at a dinner (usually one hour prior to the first interview session). WFSE also provides members with candidate biographies and campaign material. Members are encouraged to share their knowledge of the candidates with those present.
Each interview is 30 minutes. Members take turns asking the provided questions to the candidate. After the question/answer period, the candidate is given the opportunity to tell the body any information they may deem helpful.
At the end of the interview session, members will make a recommendation. A 2/3 consensus of all locals is necessary to make an endorsement. Following the interview, WFSE staff will conduct a poll of presidents so a final decision is made.
WFSE/AFSCME Council 28 Endorsement Conference (Spring of even years)
Many candidate endorsements are decided at this biennial conference. The purpose of the conference is to discuss and make possible endorsements for legislative, congressional, and statewide candidates, and to support or oppose statewide ballot measures.
Each local is entitled to send two voting delegates to the conference. In addition to local delegates, Council 28 Executive Board members also can attend as voting members. Travel for local delegates is at the expense of Local 1671.
LOCAL 1671 Professional Development Committee
Purpose: Identify, create and organize potential continuing education activities beneficial to Local 1671 union members. Continuing Education FREE workshops are offered in conjunction with Local 1671 statewide quarterly meetings. Union members can request reimbursement for travel expenses pursuant to Policy #3. Read more about this committee under the "support our profession" of this website. Click here.
Chair: Jessica Coffler-Suarez
Events Coordinator: Karen Castle karecastle[at]gmail.com
DSHS/LTC ADVISORY COMMITEE
This committee was orginally created by the 2015-17 CBA Article 4.5. It has been renewed in the 2017-19 CBA Article 4.4.
4.4 Interpreter Advisory Group
A. The parties to this Agreement agree to maintain a volunteer Interpreter Advisory Group to provide input to the State on its duties per Chapter 388-03 WAC, Rules and Regulations for the Certification of DSHS Spoken Language Interpreters.
B. Composition of the Interpreter Advisory Group The DSHS Secretary or designee will make all appointments to the parties’ seventeen (17) member Advisory Group to include:
1. One (1) designated representative each from DSHS, Health Care Authority (HCA), the Department of Enterprise Services, and another agency;
2. One (1) spoken language interpreter at large;
3. One (1) physician licensed by the State under RCW Chapter 18.57, 18.29, or 18.71;
4. One (1) hospital language access administrator;
5. Two (2) representatives from immigrant or refugee advocacy organizations;
6. One (1) member from the public;
7. One (1) trainer from a higher education institution;
8. Four (4) representatives from the Union, of which at least two (2) will be spoken language interpreters working under this Agreement; and
9. Two (2) representatives from the DSHS Language Testing and Certification program (LTC).
C. The Advisory Group shall meet a minimum of four (4) times per year, or more often as needed or as requested by DSHS.
D. At least one member of every subcommittee of the Interpreter Advisory Group shall be a Union representative.
Members and minutes of this committee can be found on the DSHS Language Testing and Certification website.
Purpose: Educate requestors and users of interpreter services by disseminating industry information.
Chair: America Bradley americabradley[at]gmail.com
Our Union-Management Committee (UMC), also known as Labor-Management Committee, meets at least quarterly. The 8 committee members are appointed by the President of Local 1671.
This is a joint committee between union members and management. The committee meets periodically to discuss and resolve issues in real time and to resolve issues that may not be covered in a collective bargaining agreement. Many AFSCME union have used the UMC to address workplace safety, staffing, web portal issues, and other concerns. Our UMC is an invaluable tool to help improve interpreters’ working conditions. At these meetings, interpreters and state management come together to solve problems and/or develop innovative strategies to be more efficient, save money, or improve the service.
The Union-Management Committee charter can be found in Article 9 of the union contract.
For the purpose of maintaining communications between the Union and the State in order to cooperatively discuss matters of mutual concern, including but not limited to: implementation of this Agreement and proposed initiatives, rules or policies.
9.2 Meetings Up to eight (8) Union representatives and up to eight (8) State representatives will participate in union-management committees established under this Article. If agreed to by the parties, additional representatives may be added. The parties are encouraged to select participants for these discussions who are representative of the issues to be discussed, who possess programmatic knowledge, and who bring to the discussion the authority to make decisions on behalf of the parties. The parties shall meet at least quarterly per fiscal year, unless otherwise mutually agreed. The schedule for the quarterly meetings for the fiscal year will be agreed upon by the parties by June 30 of the previous fiscal year. Meetings should be held at mutually convenient times and locations. The parties shall exchange agendas one (1) week prior to the scheduled meeting. There shall be at least a two (2) week notice for rescheduled meetings.
9.3 Upon mutual agreement, ad hoc union management committees may be established.
9.4 All of the committee meetings established under this Article will be used for discussions only, and the committees will have no authority to conduct any negotiations, bargain collectively or modify any provision of this Agreement. The parties are authorized, but not required to document mutual understandings. If topics discussed result in follow-up by either party, communication will be provided by the responsible party. The committees’ discussions will not be subject to the grievance procedure in Article 8, Grievance Procedure.
Participants should possess programmatic knowledge and bring to the discussion the authority to make decisions on behalf of the parties. The parties meet regularly at mutually convenient times and locations and agendas are exchanged prior to each scheduled meeting. These meetings are used for discussions only, and the committee will have no authority to conduct any negotiations, bargain collectively, or modify any provision of the CBA. The parties are authorized to document mutual understandings.
Read updates from our UMC meetings under the Members Only tab.
PUBLIC SERVICE POLICY COMMITTEE
This is interpreters' chance to interact with the leaders of other local unions! WFSE/AFSCME Council 28's ten Policy Committees ensure that you have a voice for the work-related issues unique to the kind of work you do. Council Policy Committees are made up of delegates elected by union locals and they usually meet three times a year on a Saturday to discuss, debate, and set policy on issues unique to the workers within their jurisdiction. Learn more about the Council's structure, including Policy Committees, on our WFSE/AFSCME website here.
Every two years, following the biennial convention, each Policy Committee elects representatives to WFSE/Council 28's Executive Board. Every Council Policy Committee is allotted one Council Executive Board seat for every 500 members (or portion thereof), and each is guaranteed at least two seats. Learn more here.
Local 1671 members are part of WFSE's Public Service Policy Committee, along with other WFSE/AFSCME members from non state agencies and higher education institutions.
Chair: Gabriel Oseguera interlanguage.us[at]gmail.com