Sonoma County court interpreters join regional walkout for better pay, conditions

12 March 2022

Sonoma and Napa county courthouse employees (from left) Maria Galvez, Monica Aparicio, Elva Murillo-Nunez, and Christina Guerrero Harmon pose in front of the Sonoma County Civil and Family Law Courthouse on March 11, 2022.

Spanish language interpreters at the Sonoma County courthouse joined a regionwide walkout Friday over wages and working conditions, leaving courtrooms without trained professionals to translate for defendants, victims and witnesses who do not speak English.

While the local steward for the California Federation of Interpreters told The Press Democrat that the action was “not a full strike,” she did not share when interpreters would return to the courthouse to provide their services.

“Basically, we’re just really unhappy that the courts are unwilling to sit down and present a meaningful counteroffer” to the union’s contract proposals, steward Christina Guerrero Harmon said.

Interpreters are asking, she said, for wages that reflect “the cost of living, inflation rates and, also, all the work we did during the pandemic as front-line workers.“

In an email, a spokesman for the state court system’s Bay Area division said a meeting was set for next Wednesday after the union requested to return to the bargaining table.

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