SOSi Contract Renewal Tips Summer 2017

How do I edit the SOSi contract?

Here are three options:

1. Download a program that allows you to edit PDF documents. Here is one such program:

2. Copy and paste the SOSi document into a Word document and edit with the word document.

3. Print out the the SOSi contract and write on it neatly. Then scan the document in to submit it to Egnyte.


What rate has been suggested by the majority of colleagues to submit in August?

Based on previous meetings and phone conferences, most have suggested a flat half day rate of $200 and flat full day rate of $400 (locally) for Spanish language colleagues. All other languages (except Spanish) have agreed to continue with $225 first session and $200 second session  for a total daily rate of $425 for local cases.

No interpreter should accept any rate below $60 an hour and a 3 hour minimum.


What should I do if my altered contract is returned?

Hold fast to your altered contract. Reply to Jessica saying that as an independent contractor you have a right to alter the contract. Let her know you are happy to continue your work at EOIR. It may require a couple weeks for SOSi to come to their senses and accept your rates. Remember that your current contract goes through August and they are accepting new contracts, on a rolling basis, from interpreters around the country. By the end of the month, they will have no choice but to accept altered contracts because it will be the majority.


Why should newer colleagues get paid as much as senior or more seasoned colleagues?

Given SOSi's history, the only way to protect ourselves is to try to form a united front. Establishing a "base pay" under a "gentlemen's agreement"  founded on trust and respect for each other (and our future in this profession) helps prevent underbidding, prevents an unequal distribution of cases, prevents favoritism and demonstrates to SOSi that Los Angeles colleagues will not be bullied around. One positive side effect, yes, for a few colleagues this will mean a significant "bump" in pay, but it behooves all of us to reach out and collectively come to a consensus to protect our individual self-interests which are often shared self-interests. When there are huge gaps in pay, who do you think SOSi will prefer to assign more work to?


If I feel like part of the problem for having accepted lower rates which then replaced higher earning colleagues, will I still be welcomed in this unionizing effort?

Everyone is welcomed and everyone can be a part of the solution. You are not alone. Many recently hired colleagues were not aware of previously negotiated rates and/or current professional standards.


Tips for negotiating:

Turn in your contract on the last day at the last minute to avoid them having time to go back in forth with you before the deadline.

If they call and offer below your rate, refuse the assignment. they need you as much or more than you need them.


What should I do about travel rates/assignments?

  • List a travel rate that is comprehensive and includes costs for your interpreting, full day time block, meals, taxis, and car rental.

  • Have one flat travel rate or list travel rates by region (south, west coast, midwest, east coast)

  • Add language: The interpreter will only fly on nonstop flights where they are available. If non-stop flights are unavailable an additional half day rate will be charged to SOSi.

  • Add language: The interpreter will work at the following travel rate per day, including all travel days and days in court: ______.

Cancellation notice and late fines:

  • Paid cancellation should be moved from 24 hours to 48 hours.

  • Remove late fee fine of $750 for detention cases and $250 for hearings by crossing out our deleting this section.