PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - May 14, 2021 


Backers of electric vehicles say southeastern gas shortage highlights need to diversify U.S. energy system; more than 40 attorneys general urge Facebook to stop plans to create kids' version of Instagram.


2021Talks - May 14, 2021 


People who've been vaccinated can ditch their masks; Biden says fuel shortages are only temporary; and Republicans press for ending federal pandemic unemployment payments.

WA Medical Interpreters Ratify First-Ever Contract

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to www.newsservice.org
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

 By Chris ThomasContact
June 29, 2011

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Medical interpreters in Washington - the people who help doctors and social workers communicate with non-English speakers - voted Tuesday to ratify their first union contract, in an agreement that is the first of its kind in the nation.

Interpreters, required by federal law for Medicaid patients, have been hired through brokers in Washington instead of working for the state directly. Some had not been happy with hiring practices and pay scales they saw as arbitrary, and decided that joining a union could do more to ensure their job security, according to Spanish interpreter Narseisa Hodges.

"We're establishing a new foundation, and things to be run in decency and in order, and in fairness and in respect to the work that we do. The same as a doctor, we help to save lives."

The new arrangement also lowers the state's administrative costs from 44 percent to 28 percent, the medical interpreters say.

Among their concerns, Hodges says, has been bureaucracy and what they describe as "poor treatment" from the brokers that assign them to jobs. She says many of the translators are first-generation Americans who were often hesitant to speak out.

"We never know how much our money is going to be until our check is in our hands. We never know if we're getting paid for the assignment now, or later, or never."

One of the first priorities for the new union members, Hodges adds, is to raise their professional standing in the medical community, something she says has been lacking.

"We are a crucial part of the care of the patient. Not that we're there to make decisions, but we are also a member of that team, and we don't always get the respect as a member of the team."

About 2,000 medical translators work statewide in more than 100 languages, and will be represented in contract negotiations by the Washington Federation of State Employees.

Best Practices