In 2003 a small group of interpreters struck for better conditions – they included Vietnamese, Cambodian, Turkish, Greek and Macedonian interpreters. But little changed and they received only limited support from their interpreter colleagues.
So what’s different this time?
Why should interpreters who were involved in the action last time believe that the outcomes will be better this time?
There are a range of fundamental reasons why this campaign is different:
- this time we’re adopting an industry-based approach to bringing about the positive change needed – not language groups, not work sites, but an industry-based approach
- this time we’ll work collectively/together – if we work in isolation, in an ad hoc way or without sufficient support, we simply won’t have the powerful voice we’ll need to argue for the changes needed
- this time we’ll be co-ordinated and strategic in our approach
- this time we’re backed by a professional union which can work within the established framework and processes of industrial law to help achieve our goals
- this time were adopting a long-term approach – we’re not looking for a quick fix and we’re going to do it properly
- this time we’ll work collaboratively with key stakeholders
- the On-Call decision has highlighted the fact that Translators and Interpreters were not receiving superannuation – this time there’s a Federal Court judgement to support Translators and Interpreters receiving their entitlements
- this time the long-term implications of privatisation on the industry and for Translators and Interpreters themselves are clear
- this time the state of the industry is such that almost all stakeholders agree that there is a need for change
- this time we’ll make sure we get the commitment of sufficient numbers of Translators and Interpreters across language groups, across community and business interpreting and across specialisations to strongly and accurately represent the views of Translators and Interpreters
- with sufficient commitment from Translators and Interpreters, this time the campaign will effectively deliver the positive change so urgently needed.