IMPORTANT!!! NCRA Action -- A NATIONAL Threat to STENO Court Reporting Profession -- Think Deposition Reporters Can't Be Replaced by ER/DAR? Think Again!

Please read the message below and go to this site for more information/details: http://motiontorescind.wordpress.com/


Dear Reporters:

In November of 2008, the NCRA Board of Directors voted to explore/develop a plan for the testing and certification of non-steno methods. These methods include electronic recording/digital audio recording and voicewriting.

As members of NCRA, we believe it is in contradiction to the Constitution & Bylaws of this Association and outside the scope of purpose of the Association to spend Association money and resources on certifying non-stenographic methods, especially when members of this Association, steno reporters, are losing jobs all over the country to these competing methods.

Although we understand that no actual plan for testing non-steno methods has been developed yet and is only in a discussion stage, we object to any time and/or money spent on an endeavor that we believe will be harmful to the core membership and the profession.

We understand there is a perfectly valid opposing opinion that if these alternate record-makers are working alongside stenographers, they should be held to the same standards. However, our belief is that it would be very hard, if not impossible, for NCRA to remain an advocate for the stenographic method if it were to test/certify other methods’ competency; that it would fundamentally change the Association from a trade association for verbatim stenographers to a testing agency for all makers of the record.

An analogy from the NCRA Forum was that GM wants Hondas tested equally by the NHTSA. We agree, but GM isn’t in charge of testing Hondas, and shouldn’t be (conflict of interest.) So the question is whether members want NCRA to become the independent testing authority (NHTSA).

We believe this is such a significant policy shift that it should be presented to membership to decide on, not just the board of directors.

In response to this action by the board, a group of reporters have created this Members’ Motion to Rescind Board Action, pursuant to NCRA Constitution & Bylaws, in order to have the issue debated and voted upon by the membership at the annual business meeting this year. Below you will find the actual motion, supporting documents, as well as how you and others can become a signatory if you agree.

Please understand, this motion is in no way meant to insult, harass, or annoy. We are not pointing fingers or making character assaults of any kind. What we have here is a difference of opinion. However, we truly believe that allowing the board to continue down this path would be detrimental to the careers of our membership.

Our passion is great; our motives are sincere.

You will need to attend the annual business meeting on August 6 in Washington, D.C. in order to actually vote. Online voting is not available for this purpose. However, your support as a signatory is also needed to demonstrate to those present the will of the members.

Thank you for your consideration.

*** For further reading on this issue, please visit:

NCRA Forum "Reality" Thread
depoman.com
concernedreporters.com
"Concerned Student" Blog

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Replies to This Discussion

I second the idea of changing the name back to NSRA -- after we've replaced the entire BoDs.
I send my support.
I personally think that if any of the BoD have any financial interest in any other form of making the record other than stenographic machine that they should recuse themself/ves from voting. That's called a conflict of interest. And I'm not talking about the occasional tape that a client asks you to transcribe for them.

Here's a tidbit from the Constitution and Bylaws:

[i]Article II–Purposes
Definition: in the context of this document, stenographic verbatim reporting refers to that reporting technology by the use of symbols, manually or by stenographic machine.

The purposes of this Association shall be:

To assume responsibility for leadership and enlightenment of verbatim stenographic reporters and of the public regarding the special competency, importance, and value of verbatim stenographic reporters, and to promote verbatim stenographic reporting technologies by the use of symbols, manually or by stenographic machine, over alternative reporting methods. [/i]
I agree that they should recuse themselves, but that's assuming they're going to be honest about their true intentions -- fat chance.
I cannot vote since I am not a member of NCRA. I hope all NCRA members vote. Just thought I'd put a note to make sure it stays on top.
Rosalie, thanks for reading. Even if you are not a member, please encourage any/all of your friends or reporters that you know who are NCRA members to be proactive and go to the annual convention and vote. Thanks!
I saw this coming last year in the letters to the editor section. Both the past president and the new president were pushing audio recording. Because of that, I did not renew my membership this year. Maybe it's time to form a new organization just for us and let them have their voice writers and tape recorders.
Yes, Kathy, please reconsider joining so you can vote and help us fight for OUR profession. :)
Hi, Katy. Not only do I want to respond to your post, but do double duty by bumping the topic to the head of the line. (Sidelight: When I ask my little 4-year-old grandson, "Do you want to go to Chuck E. Cheese?" he'll say immediately ... no doubt because of hearing it from his mom all the time ... looking exasperated, he'll say, "But Grandma, I ain't GOT no money!" So in attempting to bump the thread topic to the front, let me say, "But Katy, I ain't GOT no jumpin' frog!!!")

I've also taken great care to read the president's message and the words of Mark Golden which appear in the front of every JCR. In my opinion as well, it's been a long time coming, from as far back as 2004 ... but that's just my opinion from what I read.

And you are also right that a new organization can be formed. Voice writers have NVRA, tape transcriptionists have the AAERT, and we have had the NCRA, such as it is, until this point. Maybe the best thing to happen will be for NCRA to vanish and a new association rise up out of the ashes. It's very, VERY hard to start an organization like that from the ground up.

M.A.
(Yes, I remember ... Do you? ... Hello, my baby ... Hello, my darlin' ... Hello, my Rag-Time gaaaaaaaaaaaaal ...!!!)
Katy,

If it passes, I'll quit. But until then, I'm going to fight for the membership. I wish you'd reconsider joining again so you can VOTE! I hear they're doing a 1/2 price deal right now for joining.
Yes, if the association decides to test/certify ANY method of reporting other than STENO, I, too, will quit.

I strongly encourage all other NCRA members to quit the association if it acts against our best interests. In other words -- a boycott!
I felt compelled to post the following from the NCRA's Constitution and Bylaws as to the association's purpose:

Article II–Purposes

Definition: in the context of this document, stenographic verbatim reporting refers to that reporting technology by the use of symbols, manually or by stenographic machine.

The purposes of this Association shall be:

1. To assume responsibility for leadership and enlightenment of verbatim stenographic reporters and of the public regarding the special competency, importance, and value of verbatim stenographic reporters, and to promote verbatim stenographic reporting technologies by the use of symbols, manually or by stenographic machine, over alternative reporting methods.
2. To promote a broader understanding and acceptance of the verbatim stenographic reporter as an integral part of the judicial process.
3. To apply the knowledge and experience of verbatim stenographic reporters, working in cooperation with the bench and bar, toward the upgrading and improvement of the criminal and civil justice system, in order that the public good may best be served, and to promote a broader understanding within the profession of the responsibility of a verbatim stenographic reporter to participate actively in the achievement of this objective.
4. To encourage, establish, and maintain high standards of professional education, competence, and performance of verbatim stenographic reporters.
5. To conduct and promote lawful and proper technical and business research to enhance the services of verbatim stenographic reporters.
6. To promote lawful and proper professional ethics, as well as compliance with all applicable laws, including antitrust laws, for verbatim stenographic reporters.
7. To stimulate and encourage the establishment and maintenance of appropriate training and educational facilities and programs for persons interested in the profession of verbatim stenographic reporting, and to promote verbatim stenographic reporting as a successful career.
8. To cooperate with federal, state, and local governments, their agencies, and other organized groups for the benefit of the public and the verbatim stenographic reporting profession.
9. To conduct educational seminars and conferences relating to verbatim stenographic reporting.
10. To further the exchange of professional knowledge and to disseminate, by all appropriate means, to the extent permitted by law, accurate knowledge and information with respect to the verbatim stenographic reporting profession.
11. To advance the interests and general welfare of the verbatim stenographic reporting profession.
12. To promote and encourage development of realtime reporting skills and ethics to provide communication access pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
13. To do any and all things that are lawful and appropriate in the furtherance of these purposes.

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