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Wednesday, 12 October 2011 12:19

Speak Up, Speak Out campaign



PO Box 65110 – London SW1P  9PS



Dear Colleague

Further to our letter in August 2011, NUPIT/Unite would like to inform you that our campaign “Speak Up, Speak Out” will be launched on Thursday, 20th October 2011 and we are relying on you to make it a success. We are asking all interpreters and translators to lend their voices in support of this campaign. We are also asking for the support of all those who are involved in work which involves using interpreting service.



We invite you to attend the launch of the campaign in the House of Commons on Thursday, 20th October 2011 – Room 8 - between 12pm and  2pm.

The Ministry of Justice’s proposed plan to outsource interpreting services has now become a reality. A Framework Agreement has been signed with the agency Applied Language Solutions (ALS), who will soon be supplying interpreters for courts and tribunals. Other justice-related services such as police forces and probation services will also be given the opportunity to sign contracts with the same agency.

Please help us to make sure they do not decide to do so.

We are worried that when the agency takes over, some people will be given a second-class service because this agency will not be able to provide enough interpreters of the required level of competence.

We are worried that the agency’s overseas call-centre could cause sensitive personal data relating to interpreters and their clients to be exported to countries outside the EEA.

We are worried that the National Agreement and the National Register, which at present guarantee and adequate quality of interpretation in the Justice System, will become obsolete under the new arrangements.

We feel it is wrong to introduce the profit motive into our justice system. Economies made by cutting interpreters’ pay will be used to finance the running of a commercial company and will not therefore bring the savings that the MoJ hopes they will bring. Once professional pride disappears, professional integrity will also disappear and corruption will set in. Is this what we want to happen to our justice system?

New campaign leaflets have been printed out and are ready for distribution; the campaign page has been updated on the Union website.

Unite is committed to campaigning to maintain high professional standards and accompanying terms and conditions, to ensure the profession attracts professionals who will deliver the best interpreting services to clients by telling the MPs what this Framework Agreement in the public sector will bring.

Please make sure to attend the House of Commons on Thursday, 20th October 2011.  

We encourage you to write to your MPs to arrange a meeting with them on the day of the launch.  

If you can't book a meeting we encourage you to 'Green Card' your MPs on the day. (A Green Card is a card that you fill in if you want to see your MP at the Palace of Westminster.)  

With best regards, 


Eileen Ford – BA DPSI RPSI Dip Trans (IoL)

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