The Victorian Government recently announced whole of government language services remuneration reforms. This includes funding of $21.8 million over four years and $8.4 million per year ongoing to improve the sustainability, capacity and quality of language services in Victoria. To meet this objective, one of the key reform initiatives is to ensure interpreters are adequately paid.
Effective from 1 July 2018, the following remuneration reforms apply for interpreters who provide services to the Victorian Government and funded agencies and who have transitioned to the new NAATI credentialing system:
- a schedule of new minimum (tiered) pay rates, equating to an increase of approximately 30 per cent on average of current remuneration
- a new regional service charge to compensate interpreters for additional travel time to deliver services in regional areas.
Note that these reforms only apply to interpreters who:
- provide services to the Victorian Government and funded agencies
- work as independent contractors or casual employees for language service providers.
The remuneration reform does not apply to in-house interpreters covered by an existing industrial award.
The Victorian Government has informed language service providers of the new remuneration requirements and the expectation that state-funded services will pay at the increased rates.
There will be some funding available to compensate for the additional costs associated with these reforms. This includes additional funding for services that receive a direct allocation from the state government for language services, and funding for the department's Language Services Credit Line, which is used by some eligible services to access language services.