Our lips are sealed: what we are fighting for in the UK and why
The ALS/Capita contract for justice sector interpreting in the UK has met with fierce and justified criticism – in the press, on the streets and most recently in Parliament. And it’s about more than rates.
When I had my first inkling of the changes the led to the current crisis over court interpreter services – back in 2009 when several local police forces indicated an intention to outsource language services to Applied Language Solutions (ALS) – I gathered 100 fellow professionals in a room in Manchester, together with my MP John Leech. I told them that our strength lay in the rarity of our skill and the quality of our qualification, the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting.
I argued that this, coupled with the protection, albeit a half-baked kind of protection, afforded by the national agreement (the next best thing to statutory professional status and which compelled the criminal justice system to use us) would make it difficult to force us to work under a monopolistic single supplier.
We knew we would not be easy to replace and we could stand our ground.
Read the full article here