Minnesota Judiciary Interpreters are Back at Work

03/17/2024 09:21 | Brianna Salinas (Administrator)

As you may have heard, Minnesota judiciary interpreters recently went on strike for a pay increase, with the goal of restoring their 1997 purchasing power.

After seven weeks of strike, they succeeded in getting an increase. More detailed information from Minnesota is attached to this message (scroll down).

NOTIS wrote a letter in support of the interpreters to the Minnesota courts in January, and we congratulate our Minnesota colleagues on their victory! Many Washington judicial interpreters received calls from Minnesota courts asking them to work there while their interpreters were striking, and many of them chose not to take those jobs in solidarity with their colleagues.

Working together we can achieve so much!

NOTIS Advocacy Committee

From: MN Court Interpreters
To: MN Court Interpeters
Subject: Back to work on February 26!

Esteemed colleagues,

Today is Friday, February 23, 2024. This is a landmark date for us as the seventh week of our work stoppage comes to a close; a date that in years to come will be referred to as the Before/After of the recognition of the professionalism and excellence of court interpreters in Minnesota. The sacrifices we all have made have already resulted in many wins, and more are yet to come!

The past 7 weeks of the work stoppage have proven to be extremely effective in raising awareness of our profession and gaining incredible support.

As we return to work in the courts this Monday, February 26, our solidarity and engagement remain imperative as we move into the next phase of our work.

We must continue putting the pressure on the Minnesota Judicial Branch and the Judicial Council by regularly reaching out to our representatives and asking for their support.

We have had historic success in several fronts:

  1. We are united! We sustained seven weeks of hardship to ask for what we’ve been due for the last two decades. Not in our wildest dream did we.. or the MJB or the JC… ever think we could pull this off with a united front. We proved them wrong! Be proud!
  2. We garnered the support of our colleagues nationwide, national professional associations, members of the legislature and all levels of the judicial system, the press, and the public at large.
  3. We secured a face-to-face with Judge Michelle Lawson, Vice Chair of the Minnesota Judicial Council, and Jeff Shorba, State Court Administrator. Judge Lawson and Jeff Shorba expressed openness to more meetings.
  4. We succeeded in sitting and observing at a council meeting, and drawing attention to our cause.
  5. We testified before the Judiciary and Civil Law Committee of the House of Representatives, and in no uncertain terms told them that we are just getting started. Representative Sandra Feist spoke in our support, and the MJB moved us up to second place on the priority list. Jeff Shorba presented and requested money in a non-budget year. Committee Chair Jamie Becker-Finn has also expressed her support.
  6. In an amazing turn after years of disconnect, ASL-CDI and spoken language interpreters are now a united front, and we have come to realize that there is more in common than there are differences among us.
  7. We have an invitation from Senator Ron Latz, the Chair of the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, to testify before an informational session.

Our work is not done. We all contributed in some way, but in order to reach our goals, we all need to remain actively engaged. It is our responsibility to participate to be able to enjoy our wins, and learn from our mistakes. Let us not stop here! There is a lot left to do.

Yours truly,
The Steering Committee


Some of our many supporters include:

  • American Alliance of Professional Translators and Interpreters
  • American Translator’s Association
  • Assistant Public Defenders and Core Staff
  • Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Erica Davis - Private Criminal Defense Attorney
  • House Judiciary Finance Committee Chair Becker-Finn
  • House Judiciary Finance Committee Rep Feist
  • Indivisible Twin Cities advocacy organization
  • Interpreter Colleagues Nationwide
  • Katherian Roe, Federal Defender
  • Kelly Vargas - Leader of the NE Interpreter Advocacy Efforts
  • KIS Interpreting Services
  • Michael Lander, retired attorney
  • Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Minnesota Public Radio
  • National Association of Judicial Interpreters and Translators
  • Northwest Translators and Interpreters Society
  • Sandro Tomassi - court interpreter & author of legal dictionaries
  • Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Finance Committee Chair Ron Latz
  • Senate Majority Leader Erin Murphy
  • The MN Reformer
  • The Sahan Journal
  • The Star Tribune
  • The Teamsters Local 320
  • Think Self - Advocacy Organization for the deaf, deaf/blind and hard of hearing
  • Tony Rosado - Globally recognized expert on interpretation

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software