ATA follows up its March 31 letter with this public comment to the recently published changes to the Compensation Schedule for language services in state courts by the State of Pennsylvania. We appreciate that changes to state policy are considered only after consultation with language professionals and the impacts on the people we serve.
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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