GLASNOST
Updated On: Feb 10, 2015

Glasnost

Transparency in government-run programs

and labor union representation

Glasnost, literally "publicity" in Russian, was a policy introduced by Gorbachev in the 1980s that called for increased openness and transparency in government institutions and activities in the Soviet Union. Transparency generally implies more openness, communication, and accountability in such a way that it is easy for taxpayers to see what actions are performed and whether they are getting real value for money. To increase transparency, managers of state funded programs actively infuse greater disclosure, clarity, and accuracy into their communications with stakeholders and taxpayers.

Transparency in state-run interpreter services

Local 1671 maintains open channels of communication with the two Washington State agencies covered in the union contract, the Health Care Authority (HCA) and the Department of Social and Health Services. The procurement reform ushered by Interpreters United has resulted in HCA creating a webpage devoted to interpreter services where the public can find:

  • the contract between the state and its statewide vendor (currently CTS LanguageLink)
  • monthly reports of interpreter services requested and paid
  • quarterly newsletters to healthcare providers created in collaboration with Local 1671
  • rules, policies and best practices concerning interpreter services

Transparency towards the general public

Our constitution as well as all of our collectively bargained agreements are publicly posted on our website. Once negotiations are finalized, the Tentative Agreement reached with the state is posted on our website as soon as it is available

Bargaining team elections take place every other year and all members in good standing are eligible to run. The electoral rules and process are publicly posted on our website. Elected bargaining team members’ names and email address is posted on our website and make themselves available to answer interpreters’ concerns.

The names and contact information for all executive board members, stewards, and leaders are publicly posted on our website so that interpreters can easily reach out to them.

Transparency towards our members

Dues paying members are entitled to a full accounting on how their membership dues are being spent. Accordingly, at every quarterly Local 1671 membership meeting, the Executive Board presents treasury reports. These reports are then posted on our website under the ‘Members Only’ tab.

Once approved, minutes of Local 1671 Executive Board meetings as well as quarterly membership meetings are always posted on our website under the ‘Members Only’ tab.

Before negotiating with the state, Local 1671’s surveys its membership to find out what are interpreters concerns to be addressed at the negotiating table. During bargaining negotiations, Local 1671 updates its membership about its progress during the bargaining season via email. Once a Tentative Agreement is reached, Local 1671 members must vote to ratify it or not.

Local 1671 Executive Board periodically sends surveys to its members to find out what difficulties interpreters are facing or what concerns they may have. Local 1671 maintains an email account that is answered on an almost daily basis.  


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