House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
Labor & Workplace Standards Committee
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
Brief Description: Concerning the scope of collective bargaining for language access providers.
Sponsors: Representatives Valdez, Ryu, Frame, Doglio, Dolan, Slatter, Lovick, Ortiz-Self, Fitzgibbon, Davis, Pollet and Macri.
Hearing Date: 1/20/20
Staff: Trudes Tango (786-7384).
In general, employees of cities, counties, and other political subdivisions of the state bargain their wages and working conditions under the Public Employees' Collective Bargaining Act (PECBA). Language access providers have collective bargaining rights under the PECBA as well. Language access providers are defined as independent contractors who provide spoken language interpreter services for:
the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and the Department of Children, Youth, and Families appointments and Medicaid enrollee appointments;
the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) authorized medical and vocational providers; and
state agencies who provide these services.
Managers and employees of brokers or language access agencies are not language access providers for the purposes of collective bargaining.
The scope of bargaining for language access providers is limited to:
economic compensation, such as the manner and rate of payments;
professional development and training;
labor-management committees; and
Retirement benefits are not subject to collective bargaining.
Language access providers may form three different statewide bargaining units, which include:
providers for DSHS appointments or Medicaid enrollee appointments;
providers for injured workers or crime victims receiving benefits from L&I; and
other providers for any state agency through the Department of Enterprise Services.
Language access providers are provided interest arbitration if the parties reach an impasse in negotiations for a contract and mediation is unsuccessful.
Summary of Bill:
The scope of bargaining for language access providers is expanded to include "health and welfare benefits" and "other economic matters." Tiered payments are included in what is considered economic compensation for the purposes of scope of bargaining.
The dates when interpretive services must be provided to the L&I and other state agencies to be considered a language access provider are clarified.
Fiscal Note: Requested on January 16, 2020.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.