The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai A Professional Corporation

More than 20 percent pay raise following major contract dispute

A highly acrimonious situation that lasted a full year has finally been resolved in California. The major contract dispute solution included endorsement from court officials in 12 different counties. Those involved in the dispute are employed as language interpreters in courtrooms throughout the state.

The road to peace during the contract dispute was apparently long and arduous. At one point, there was a series of walkouts on the job. Although these state workers are now scheduled to receive an increase in pay of 21 percent over the next few years, they will still earn less income than their peers who work in federal or private settings.

Before the contract problems were solved, there had been a complete freeze on wages, since the prior contract expired in October, last year. Language interpreters play key roles in many court hearings and trials as they translate all proceedings for any witnesses or other participants with English language barriers. Union workers say not all of their problems have been adequately addressed in their new agreement, however.

For instance, they say they took a take-home pay loss due to pension contributions that other court employees were able to avoid through pay increases. Their raise in pay, however, did not address that particular issue. One union representative said they are on the right track but more work needs to be done to ensure fair treatment according to market demands and contract packages provided for other courtroom workers. An experienced California business and commercial law attorney would no doubt be a tremendous asset to advocate on behalf of any worker facing similar contract-related problems in this state.

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