Earlier this year, when the Administrative Offices of the Pennsylvania Courts announced plans to reduce pay for remote interpreting by 50%, ATA joined the Tri-State Language Access Coalition (TSLAC) to warn the courts that the policy change was short-sighted. The Association stated that the pay cut was an unacceptable reduction in compensation for a mandated court service requiring highly trained professionals and noted that remote interpreting, despite appearances, is neither cheaper nor easier to perform.
On November 22, TSLAC announced that the Pennsylvania courts have reversed course and adopted new compensation standards to improve the “quality and professionalism of language services in the justice system.” The new policy, which goes into effect on January 1, 2022, will also improve the way the court system handles in-person and remote interpreting, including travel, job cancellations, and a 2-hour minimum urged by the coalition.
Original post from April 27, 2021
When their negotiations with the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC) regarding the compensation schedule came to a halt, interpreters organized the Tri-State Language Access Coalition (TSLAC). The message? It is not okay to cut pay for remote interpreting by 50 percent.
TSLAC is a professional organization formed to represent interpreters, translators, and other professional language services providers in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.
ATA has sent a letter to AOPC supporting TSLAC, outlining the reasons remote interpreting is not cheaper, despite appearances, and not cost-effective for the courts in the long run. The letter warns the courts that setting the compensation for delivering remote interpreting services below fair market value is likely to result in non-professional, less qualified interpreters working in the system. The result will put reliable language access in danger and expose the state’s judiciary to lapses in quality control, violations of due process, and avoidable appeals.
TSLAC is now working to gain the support of other interpreters and translators working as legal interpreters and translators across the country. Check out the TSLAC’s Facebook page for details.
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