Fixing an Unfair System


Back in 2009, 38 percent of what we earned as Medicaid and social services interpreters was taken by language companies and brokers in what we called the “Broken Brokers System.”

Late cancellations and no-shows meant no pay. We had no protection against claw backs.

So we organized for a union and founded Interpreters United (WFSE).


  • Doubled Pay Over Last 10 Years
  • Hourly Minimum Per Appointment
  • Protection Against Claw Backs
  • Reimbursement for Late Cancellations/Noshows

We defeated an unfair system and brought respect to our profession. 

We’re fighting to do the same for L&I Interpreters. Will you join us?

"We had no payment protections before we formed our union. We could be waiting years for pay that was owed to us.

I was booked for a six-hour job at a site, and when I arrived no one was there. I called the agency and their broker’s reaction was ‘That job was cancelled two weeks ago.’

Before our union, I had no remedy in this situation. With our union, we have been able to fight for payment security and hold the agencies accountable.”

“Pay and payment security have never been better for interpreters.

During the past decade our union won major victories for interpreters: Doubled the rate of pay, won reimbursement guarantee, won bi-weekly pay period.

All these improvements have made interpreters’ lives easier and more dignified.

Not only have we doubled our pay in 10 years, but before we had our union, there were payment denials. Out of 100 jobs I took, 20 would be denied even though the service was rendered.”

“How did we double pay over the past 10 years? With arduous bargaining and fair representation through law-binding contracts with the state.

It all started with our success organizing to increase pay rates that were only benefitting the few under the ‘Broken Brokers System.’

It’s my firm belief that the devotion of my (volunteer) colleagues in Interpreters United (WFSE) advocating in our best interest as a UNION has made our profession as respected and recognized as the other public servants in our state.”

Interpreters deserve fairness and respect. 
Say YES to forming a union by signing a card.