September 2017 – Delegates to The NewsGuild-CWA sector conference this summer endorsed a resolution declaring that only certified interpreters and translators should be utilized in our nation’s courts, hospitals and government institutions.
“Language access is a fundamental civil right that enables minority populations to enjoy the benefit of government and health care services” and makes it possible to “meaningfully participate in civil life,” the resolution said.
The use of unqualified and uncertified interpreters lowers the wages of interpreters and translators and impedes the “exercise of fundamental rights for millions of people” in our courts, the immigration system and health care institutions, it asserted.
Where certification standards do not yet exist, the union should advocate for them, the resolution said.
The NewsGuild-CWA currently represents more than 1,000 interpreters at courts in California and Illinois, and at a hospital in Minnesota.
The resolution enjoyed wide support. It was submitted by Juan Ramirez of the California Federation of Interpreters, and was supported by other locals that represent interpreters as well as the Interpreters Guild of America (IGA), a NewsGuild unit that advocates for independent interpreters.