A UNION FOR L&I INTERPRETERS
Updated On: Jan 14, 2021

Interpreters United/AFSCME Council 28 (WFSE) would like to become the official union of freelance interpreters paid by L&I. In order to become the legal representative of L&I interpreters, we need to ask the State to hold an election. Please sign our card asking PERC (Public Employment Relations Commission) for a union election.

Two other organizations would also like to become the official union of freelance interpreters paid by L&I:

  • Interpreters Rising filed Articles of Incorporation with the Washington Secretary of State on September 11, 2018. This non-profit corporation was founded by language company owners who perceive L&I's new scheduling system as a threat to their business model.
  • WA Interpreters filed Articles of Incorporation with the Washington Secretary of State on February 5, 2020. This non-profit corporation was founded by two interpreters who lost the 2019 election for President and Vice-president of Interpreters United.

WINNING A UNION ELECTION

PERC is the state agency in charge of union elections.

  • The winner needs 50%+1 to become the legal representative of a group of workers.
  • To trigger a union election, PERC must receive 30% of authorization cards signed by eligible voters.
  • To intervene in an election triggered by another group, PERC must receive 10% of authorization cards signed by eligible voters.

PERC ELECTION PROCESS

In order for an organization to trigger an election to become the legal representative of freelance interpreters, the organization must produce for PERC authorization cards signed by 30% of eligible voters. Any other organization producing at least 10% of authorization cards may intervene the election (have its name placed on the ballot).

On November 23, 2020, WA Interpreters filed a petition with PERC to trigger a union election. 

On November 25, 2020, both Interpreters United (WFSE) and Interpreters Rising filed to intervene.

On December 31, 2020, PERC informed all three organizations that not enough interpreters supported WA Interpreters' petition to trigger a union election. In its Deficiency Notice, PERC announced that WA Interpreters had less than the required 30% of authorization cards signed by eligible voters and that it intended to dismiss WA Interpreters' petition by January 15, 2021.

On January 4, 2021, WA Interpreters asked PERC to give them until February 15, 2021, to gather the missing authorization cards.

On January 13, 2021, PERC granted WA Interpreters an extension until January 22, 2021, to produce the missing cards.

On January 14, 2021, Interpreters United (WFSE) disclosed that WA Interpreters had filed the petition with only 12.5% of authorization cards signed by eligible voters instead of the required 30%.


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