BOSTON (WWLP) – As many as 30 court interpreters are not working this week, saying they haven’t received a raise in 17 years and the state needs to pay them more.

These interpreters can play a key role in day-to-day court proceedings. They are able to translate what the judge and attorneys are saying for the defendant. However, one interpreter told NBC Boston there has been a shortage and pay is a major reason why.

“They need an interpreter for another language and there’s no one. And the cases get postponed, people have to come back to court three, four times,” said Spanish translator Ester Serra Luque at the Roxbury Municipal Court.

22News asked the Trial Court if this walk out is impacting local courthouses. A spokesperson said in response:

“The Trial Court is aware that some per diem interpreters who support the work of the court have expressed their intention not to accept court assignments this week. The Trial Court Office of Language Access has made arrangements for substitute coverage and expects to accommodate all requests for interpretation.”

The Trial Court added they plan to announce a new rate structure in the next 30 days for per diem interpreters and will be retroactively paid through January 1st.