It may mean that those calls at 8pm on a Friday night from a Police station in Leeds or 9am on Sunday morning asking me to drop everything and dash up to Oldham or across to Cheadle Heath to assist in the taking of a witness statement. They want you there now now now, fast fast fast, but I don't get a flashing light on my car or a siren, or the right to drive 95mph in the fast lane, or to jump traffic lights.
You want a locksmith or a plumber or a gas engineer that urgently, that fast, YOU PAY THEM. And you don't pay them £30 minus expenses for their services.
Held to ransom? I've done a five-part Krypton Factor Assault Course of a qualification and worked a minimum of 150 interpreting jobs a year for eight year, yet they expected me to take a reassessment consisting of talking to a recording for an hour to be able to prove my fitness to practice. Only one side in this dispute has held anyone to ransom.
As for pay cuts, interpreters' rates were set over a decade ago and were put up once in 2007, in GMP's case by £1.00 per hour, amounting to £3.00 per three-hour job for jobs done daytime+midweek, incrementally rising if called at night or on Saturday/Sunday. Any pay cut we have taken has been in the stagnation of our payment while costs shoot up.
My car cost £30.00 to fill when I started interpreting in 2004 and it now costs £70+ and so any pay cut is retrospective. A freeze would have been bad enough, continuing our stagnation in pay into a new decade but slashing it by 50%+ has brought exactly the results the government should have expected.
By the way: 'standardised'? What the hell are you on about? Explain yourself. Standard? A Diploma in Public Service Interpreting is the qualification for entry onto the National Register of Public Service Interpreting. ALS brought in three tiers with differing levels of requirement for entry into each. Just like the application of each 'tier' of interpreter to the types of jobs available has not been clarified, ALS has muddied the waters, and has not cleared up anything.
Why do you think public service interpreting has become this news issue since February, when ALS took over?Do you think provision of quality interpreters was an issue before then? The only news stories that used to appear were insidious stories about the cost of language services, always focusing on the cost of everything but never concentrating on the value - there's an adage in there somewhere that the MOJ should mull over on a long walk on Saddleworth Moor.
But now we have a massively different angle to the news stories: the people being provided by this company on a £300m contract are either not turning up or are not fit to do the job. The only way the word 'standard' can be (again, pardon the pun) applied is that ALS's appearance on the scene has coincided with dramatically plummeting standards.
By the way, I'll presume that your position as cheerleader for ALS and your location, given as Oldham, are a mere coincidence.