February 10, 2010

Senate Ways and Means passes out watered-down Interpreters bill


There are now two competing versions of the interpreter’s bills. Rather than getting bogged down in the ins and outs and what may or may not happen, we have a simple call to action below.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday night voted out an amended 2SSB 6726 to make it a study measure. Collective bargaining rights and ending the brokerage system would be on hold pending findings back to the Legislature from a work group.

Over in the House, the House Ways and Means Committee voted out an amended version of their interpreters’ bill, 2SHB 3062. This House version corrects the deadline for the first collective bargaining agreement to July 1, 2011. It keeps the brokerage system. But a work group looking at other reforms would move on a parallel track, so eventually ending the brokerage system would not be out of the question.
The key is collective bargaining. So here’s the simple call to action. Call the Legislature’s toll-free message hotline at 1-800-562-6000. Urge your legislators to preserve collective bargaining rights for DSHS interpreters in the final versions of 2SHB 3062 and 2SSB 6726.

Earlier today:

The Senate Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday night voted against hope for this state’s underpaid and poorly treated DSHS interpreters when they amended SSB 6726 to make it a study measure. 

Gone are the provisions to end the brokerage system of middlemen and gatekeepers who siphon off millions of dollars while the interpreters get less and less on their end. Also gone are the provisions to make the interpreters part of the solution in reforming the system by granting them collective bargaining rights.

We are getting details on the amended SSB 6726 and whether it will yield to the House version, which came up for a vote Tuesday night in the House Ways and Means Committee.

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