Court interpreters are taking legal action in support of more pay, and that means some court cases and police interrogations cannot go ahead, broadcaster NOS reported on Wednesday.
Some 535 people are members of the registered interpreters society Orde van Registertolken en -vertalers, which is campaigning for an increase in the basic pay rate of €43.89 per hour.
‘This is simply not enough,’ said the society’s chairman Fedde Dijkstra, who points out that if if a translator is needed for five minutes, this is all they are paid for. ‘I earn more from travel expenses than from interpreting,’ he said. ‘It is more worthwhile for me to travel from Friesland to Limburg to translate.’
In January, the justice ministry opened the official legal interpreters’ register to people with lower qualifications because of the shortage of qualified people.
But the shortage, says Dijkstra, is down to the poor pay.
In addition, using interpreters without proper qualifications is both devaluing the profession and leading to hold ups in the legal system, he said. ‘Everyone has the right to a fair trial and part of that involves having a good interpreter.’
MPs are due to vote on a motion on October 26 which calls for interpreters’ fees to be index linked, so they rise in line with inflation.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl
The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.