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Equity / justice ⚖️ How Equitable is a Voluntary Bilingual Participant Strategy

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Member
Messages
13
Points
1
I was wondering what your thoughts are as how equitable is it to implement a policy where volunteers with bilingual backgrounds can participate in being in a database as representative for all things that need interpretation whether that is conversation or creating a flyer, etc? I would like to hear what you organization have done and how you feel, as both a director or low-level staffer, whether you are the majority or minority demographic. What was the policy/initiative, were there compensation, the outcome, who benefitted or not, etc. Also, I would like to hear and contrast the differences between public and private sector.

There's a an initiative at my workplace, I work for government, but I have seen job postings where a specific language get additional bonuses. The department I work are positions with bilingual designations and there are others through the organization. My department includes additional benefits such as higher pay for the designation. I'm torn at accepting to volunteer as a person who fits a very specific and large ethnic demographic, but at the expense of the benefits if I was granted the designation, since it exist. As a person of color who has struggled with fitting in, and sacrifices to get to where I am just to get in, it just seems like I'm being told "you can do more for your community, by doing more as a staff" rather than taking a proactive approach in acknowledging and awarding their employees with unique cultural and language skill sets, not just a pat on the back. My experience is that policies are always ahead of practice with equity, and this just feels like a huge PR stunt with all the social injustice highlighted throughout the nation. This feels like the policy will be equitable as a broad community initiative but at the expense of those actually taking on the specialized activities. Plus the directors should have a good grasp of who works for them without the need for a list.

Thanks.
 

arcplans

As Featured in "High Times"
Messages
6,742
Points
35
I was wondering what your thoughts are as how equitable is it to implement a policy where volunteers with bilingual backgrounds can participate in being in a database as representative for all things that need interpretation whether that is conversation or creating a flyer, etc? I would like to hear what you organization have done and how you feel, as both a director or low-level staffer, whether you are the majority or minority demographic. What was the policy/initiative, were there compensation, the outcome, who benefitted or not, etc. Also, I would like to hear and contrast the differences between public and private sector.

There's a an initiative at my workplace, I work for government, but I have seen job postings where a specific language get additional bonuses. The department I work are positions with bilingual designations and there are others through the organization. My department includes additional benefits such as higher pay for the designation. I'm torn at accepting to volunteer as a person who fits a very specific and large ethnic demographic, but at the expense of the benefits if I was granted the designation, since it exist. As a person of color who has struggled with fitting in, and sacrifices to get to where I am just to get in, it just seems like I'm being told "you can do more for your community, by doing more as a staff" rather than taking a proactive approach in acknowledging and awarding their employees with unique cultural and language skill sets, not just a pat on the back. My experience is that policies are always ahead of practice with equity, and this just feels like a huge PR stunt with all the social injustice highlighted throughout the nation. This feels like the policy will be equitable as a broad community initiative but at the expense of those actually taking on the specialized activities. Plus the directors should have a good grasp of who works for them without the need for a list.

Thanks.
We are required by State Law, all agencies are to have persons on staff or provide interpretation if more than 10% of a population has a primary language other than English. My employer has an additional "language pay" for folks that speak Spanish (a few of our employees currently have it). I have not taken advantage of this (I should because I am the only person in my department that can speak Spanish, but I feel that I am compensated appropriately so haven't bothered). My previous employee did not have any Spanish speaker boost in pay, but I was the designated "Spanish speaker" for a city of 30K, and the only person at City Hall that could speak Spanish. I was pissed I never got a pay boost off of it.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
15,501
Points
53
Our city is kind of odd. No one in my department gets a pay boost because we're salary, but hourly employees do get a pay boost. We try to keep someone around that speaks Spanish, but with the COVID thing it's kind of hard right now so we tend to borrow from other departments if we have to.
 
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