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April 07, 2020

Resources for Union Members, Washington State Labor Council

Rent and utility assistance, unemployment benefits, hardship fund, etc.

For other assitance and important updates, click here.


Did You Know?


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.

2014 Interpreter Bills
Updated On: Dec 05, 2015

The 2014 Washington State Legislature convened January 13, 2014 for a 60 day session and is considering many bills affecting almost all interpreters in Washington State.  Visit for more information on the current status of each bill below.

HB 1709 - Language Access in Public Schools: Only interpreter bill to survive the 2014 legislative session

Status: Signed into law by the Governor. On April 4, 2014, $35,000 was allocated to this bill in the supplemental budget. 

The Office of the Education Ombudsman must conduct a feasibility study for development of a state foreign language education interpreter training program designed to create a pool of trained interpreters for public schools, including volunteer interpreters. OEO must submit the study to the legislative education committees by February 1, 2015.

January 2015: The Office of the Education Ombudsman released the much awaited "Feasibility Study for Foreign Lanugage Educational Interpreter Training and Certification" (see attachment below).  

HB 1709 OEO One-pager.pdf 


OUR BILL: HB 2617 - Procurement of Spoken Language Interpreters

Status: Died in the 2014 Senate.

2014 HB 2617 One-pager.pdf 

This bill gives spoken language interpreters a voice in their certification and when providing services to any state agency or L&I provider, while saving the state money through streamlining procurement. 

Right now the State can continue flooding the market in certain languages by continually testing new interpreters.  This means there's not enough work for any of us so it continues to get harder and harder for professional interpreters to make a living.   Additionally, when we go to a doctor to see a Medicaid patient we get paid $32 an hour, but when we go to the same doctor to interpret for an L&I patient we only get paid $25 an hour because a for-profit language agency takes over 47% of our pay!  

What does HB 2617 do?

1.) Establishes an Interpreter Advisory Group for the DSHS medical and social service exams which will be composed of interpreters and other stakeholders. This is a real way we can stop the flooded market for our services, and have a say over our profession. This Advisory Group will have the ability to improve quality by having oversight of the certification process and the ability to establish professional standards such as continuing education requirements.  We'll make sure that union members have low cost ways of meeting any requirements. Having documented professional training means our services will have more value!

2.) Gives us union rights at all state-funded appointments.  We will have the right to negotiate for union scale pay and working conditions at all state-funded appointments, including L&I medical appointments.

3.) Gets the middlemen off our back by streamlining scheduling and making it easier to get appointments! The state is already considering alternatives to the current way they schedule and pay interpreters at L&I appointments and other state agencies.  We know that we have to insert ourselves in this process to partner with the state to find a solution that creates efficiencies, cost savings and works for interpreters!

HB 1815 - Language Access in Public Schools

Status: died in the 2014 House.

Requires the development of a model language access policy that includes the use of adult trained interpreters (not the student) and adoption by all school districts of this policy as a minimum. 

Though this bill died in its house of origin, part of this bill may end up in HB 1709.

HB 1542 - Language Access in WA State Courts

Status: died in the 2014 Senate.    

Requires courts to provide interpreter services at public expense in all types of legal proceedings, civil and criminal. Requires the state to pay 50% percent of the cost of interpreters appointed in legal proceedings. Counties and municipalities cover the other 50%.


Upcoming Events
E-board Meeting
Apr 14, 2020
Conference call
CANCELLED Spring Statewide Mtg & Workshop
Apr 25, 2020
"Breath of Life Church" 65 23rd St NE, East Wenatchee, WA 98802
E-board Meeting
May 12, 2020
Conference call
Summer Statewide Mtg & Workshop
Aug 01, 2020
Fall Statewide Mtg & Workshop
Oct 17, 2020
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