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:

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
"Concerned Student" Blog

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It sounds like you did but I'm just checking: did you say everything in the NCRA letter that you so eloquently stated in your post? I hope so!!

No, those are mainly thoughts. There wasn't adequate space on the multiple choice questionnaire for venting.
Katy, please write to them, cutting & pasting your post here, so they KNOW!
Marge, Kay (and anyone else reading this!) --

I note the NCRA sent a stern letter to the Governator after his disparaging remarks ... but thus far, I haven't been able to find the letter.

I also don't recall seeing anything about the layoffs on the NCRA's news page, either ... but then again, they might have been relying on the three CR organizations there (COCRA, DRA, and the CCRA) to fix the problem.

Just a thought ....

"For a Good (steno) Time ...."
Oh, that's just perfect, Glen. We pay membership dues to "our" organization just so they can "rely on the three [OTHER] CR organizations there (COCRA, DRA, and the CCRA) to fix the problem."

I'm already a member of CCRA and DRA, so I guess I don't need to continue to throw my money away at the NCRA, do I? Since they're doing NOTHING to help me or my profession.
I noticed that the NCRA was absent on this issue, as well. I thought I was just being super-sensitive.
I have no dog in this fight. I do not do any court reporting. I do transcribe CLIENT-produced audio on a QWERTY keyboard. I transcribe interviews, TV shows, college presentations, conferences, focus groups, press briefings, and the recordings are always recorded by the client. There is no court reporter present -- no stenotypist, no ER, no stenomask, and no pen writer.

That said, I don't understand why the NCRA is doing this. Why isn't the AAERT [American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers] continuing to certify its members? That is the industry organization for ERs.

It's because the NCRA wants to charge money to supposedly test/certify ER/DAR, whatever NCRA wants to call it, and so that the NCRA could charge these ER/DAR people money to maintain their so-called certification by requiring them to fulfill CE credits, I'm sure. It's all about the mighty dollar -- regardless of who the NCRA is screwing, even its core members.
Thanks for the kind reply, Quyen. :)

You know, this reminds me of another industry organization I've had some experience with called the BCA [Billiards Congress of America]. They have a Hall of Fame, and each year they induct two new pool folk into the Hall of Fame.

The organization is made up of industry members, and when there is a vote for who gets into the Hall of Fame, the industry members vote. Of course, they vote for a person who will benefit their companies, not who is worthy to be inducted into the Hall of Fame based on their lifetime achievements.

They have a full-time staff, committees, secretaries, directors, et cetera, and the BCA is in a building located in Colorado. All of these people make an annual salary, and their contribution to professional pool is a once-a-year pool tournament for $15,000 for first-place prize. It's disgusting. The whole organization is all about its industry member, and they don't give a damn about the pool players who shoot professionally. Yet, this is the North American representative that is supposed to govern professional pool.

In The Netherlands, for example, the country's Olympic Committee sponsors all profesional pool players. They get money to travel around the world to shoot in various professional tournaments. In the United States, it's every man for himself. The BCA staff get their salaries, and the professional pool players get nothing, no support, no stipends, no sponsoring. It's disgraceful.

I could write a thesis on this topic alone, but I have digressed. I only bring this example up to show the parallel. Industry organizations only care about who's going to put money in their pocket. They don't care a hill of beans about the industry that they are supposed to be representing. It's all about the almighty dollar.

American professional pool is dying a slow and ugly death. The lot of existing American professional players is dwindling, with no new blood to take their place. Who'd want to shoot pool professionally when there's no reward?

I could post up a poll and ask each member of this forum who the best American professional pool player is today, and I'll bet you I'd come up empty. Yet, I'm sure most of this forum's members have heard of Willie Mosconi or Minnesota Fats.

Stay tuned for my pool book to come out. It will be a doozy and reveal a glimpse of the pool world, American style.

End of rant! ;)
Take everything you've said about the BCA and apply it to the NCRA, and you've pretty much got the full background of the ongoing melee between the NCRA and its members.


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