Our union represents independent contractor spoken language interpreters who work at DSHS and Medicaid enrollee appointments.
When are you covered by our contract?
- When you work in a private medical facility interpreting for a Medicaid enrollee patient through Health Care Authority's Spoken Language Intepreter Services Program (formerly DSHS' broker system).
- When you work at a DSHS appointment, for example at a DSHS facility like a community service office (CSO) or in a private residence with a DSHS social worker.
We have a current case before the Court of Appeals Division I to decide whether interpreters who work at DSHS appointments in a legal setting and interpreters who work at public health facilities for Medicaid enrollee appointments through the state's Medicaid Administrative Match (MAM) program are included in our Union as well. The MAM program covers public hospitals who can not participate in the state's broker system.
All Medicaid medical appointments paid by Health Care Authority (HCA) and most DSHS appointments are scheduled through the State's new vendor CTS LanguageLink. Check out their website, http://hca.ctslanguagelink.com/, and contact them directly to start providing services at DSHS and Medicaid enrollee appointments: firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-519-3604.
How do I get Certified or Authorized?
If you need more information on how to become a WA state certified or authorized medical or social services interpreter, please contact the DSHS Language Testing and Certification (LTC) program by visiting their website: http://www.dshs.wa.gov/LTC/.
Look in the 'Support Out Profession' section of our website for more information on national certifications, educational materials, and courses to help you improve your skills.
Are you having trouble finding work? You're not alone.
Many interpreters around the state are having difficulty making a living as medical and social service interpreter. Partly due to the poor working conditions and low pay under the broker system, many qualified interpreters stopped taking brokered appointments after 2004.
The State then responded to the shortage (which they had created) by offering the certification exam frequently and in many locations. This has resulted in a flooded market with interpreters with widely varying experience and skill levels. Since our Union negotiated a higher pay and better working conditions in July 2011, many interpreters who left under the broker system are now coming back, further flooding the market.
We are actively working to redirect the State's testing efforts to languages and geographic regions where there is a shortage of interpreters instead.