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Saturday, 03 September 2011 23:07

Speak Up, Speak Out: NUPIT Campaign

Message from the newly founded National Union of Professional Interpreters and Translators, UK

Dear Colleague
As you may know NUPIT/Unite is shortly to launch the Speak Up, Speak Out campaign in support of the Public Service Interpreting profession.Our campaign leaflets are printed and ready for distribution, the campaign page is already on the Union website. Please have a look at it. We would like you to get actively involved. Log on at

Our campaign echoes the theme of Unite’s hugely successful Justice for All campaign which attracted a lot of attention and received the backing of important organizations including the Law Society, Liberty, Citizens’ Advice Bureau, the Refugee Council, and the Women’s Institute.  Since our campaign echoes the theme of Justice for All, it will be the better understood by the media and the wider public.

You can visit the Justice for All campaign page on for an example of a really brilliant campaign with which our new National Officer was closely involved.

The main points of focus in our campaign are the following:

v We believe that the interpreters’ plight and the campaign itself need to be focused on the clients, like the Justice for All campaign.

v We all agree that it is unacceptable that a single commercial agency is going to provide interpreters and translators for the Criminal Justice System and also doing its own training and regulation.

v We are concerned that our qualifications are going to be disposed of by the MoJ contract with ALS: this very important issue can be highlighted in this campaign.

v Rates and T&Cs: Agencies will certainly seek to cut costs by reducing interpreters’ pay or imposing unfavourable terms and conditions. We need to show the public that this is wrong. If they manage to do it to us, it will make it easier for them to do it to others.

NUPIT/Unite is inviting all interpreters to join our campaign. The aims expressed above are those shared by all registered interpreters. This invitation was extended to other interpreting and translation organizations on 28th July 2011. We received support from some of our colleagues. Now we need to hear from individuals. We would welcome the views and suggestions of all interpreters whether they are members of NUPIT or not.

Unite have also strong negotiating powers in the matter of rates and Terms and Conditions, but interpreters/translators need to be united together under the same roof, and it would give the union a stronger position at any negotiation table.

As a union, Unite has resources which enable it to influence matters by putting pressure on the MoJ, MPs, the Lords and the Coalition Government. How? By using its wide range of skills such as campaigning and political lobbying in favour of the British work force, and these skills are now at NUPIT’s disposal at a national level.

Beside having a long history of successful campaigns, such as those in support of community and youth workers and the not-for-profit sector (these can also be found on the Unite campaigns page. Just click the relevant links), Unite has been instrumental in bringing in legislation giving rights to agency and temporary workers. It is a union that understands our plight and is ready to help us, so please look at our campaign page and let us know if you can help us in any way to make this into yet another successful campaign.

Unite believes that results can best be achieved through collective action and that our campaign will form an important part of efforts by all interpreter organisations to ensure the ongoing survival of interpretation services in the public sector.

With best regards,

Eileen Ford – BA DPSI RPSI Dip Trans (IoL)

Enc: Agency-Workers Regulations Guidance document

Speak Up, Speak Out leaflet 1 / Speak Up, Speak Out leaflet 2

To obtain leaflets for distribution write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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