Letter from a Capita linguist to Helen Grant
Letter received by RPSI Linguist Lounge from a Capita linguist:
Dear Helen Grant,
I would like to congratulate you on increasing 'the take-home pay of interpreters'. But this isn't going to really change anything at all for interpreters in providing a better service as this increase is VERY minimal, as this still doesn't fully cover the travel expenses of getting to a job location. There are very few of us who can afford to work full-time as a public service interpreter with the possibility of only earning £13.32 in a day (before tax). The calculations show that Capita does not even guarantee a rate equal to the minimum wage and at best the gross hourly rate for half a day at court has been reduced by 57.85% (even at the previous enhanced mileage rate of 40 per mile).
So what NEEDS to happen is: Tier 1 Police interpreting jobs need to be paid a premium of about £30 per hour with FULL travel expenses covered, door to door travel mileage at a rate of £0.40 per mile and full travel time of £10 an hour, to ensure interpreters/translators accept the assignment and arrive at the immediate police job as soon as possible, as most Police jobs are emergencies and are needed very quickly, otherwise the 'criminal' will have to either stay in custody till a interpreter arrives (which could take days, with the low pay for interpreters) OR they can just be freed on bail back on to the streets, so they can re-offend and make the streets even less safe.
Also the mileage rate needs to become £0.40 per mile across the board; so Tier 1, 2 and 3 because as I said the current £0.20 rate is just horrendous, making it not even viable to even head out to go to a job assignment because the interpreters will still be making a loss at the end of the day!
If you listen to what I am trying to say, you will find out that this will, in essence, bring the full qualified interpreters back to the court room and make justice possible!
How can you do this to interpreters which have trained for many years to get to where they're to then be paid a minimum wage?! No wonder they've boycotted Capita! They deserve to be paid a way more than what is currently being paid. So when the rates eventually rise, then we shall see very positive work from Interpreters and Translators. But hopefully you will fix this issue because at the end of the day, this just isn't fair on the interpreters, translators, solicitors, barristers and judges.
I hope to see a reply from you.