NCRA Bylaw Amendment Proposals 2019

Like many of you, I got the email proposing bylaw changes. You’re free to read them for yourself if you are a member of NCRA. I wanted to give a brief summary of each and my general thoughts. Voting will take place August 15, 2019, so set that in your calendars and make sure you make your voice heard in the next election. Remember, they send out the emails to electronically vote, and they hold that vote open the whole day, meaning you do not have to be present.

  1. Amendment 1 is going to make it so members may submit written or verbal requests to be reinstated. This is a great choice for all those members who have left who want to join back up because they’ll have more options. I’ll vote yes.
    Amendment 2 would make it clear that registered members can be reinstated as registered members as long as they fulfill educational requirements. This is also a great move. It shows that the NCRA is not money grabbing for the exam dollars. In my view, if it was a money grab amendment, they’d demand returning members retest and re-qualify for certs. This is pretty much the opposite, pro-stenographer, and I’ll vote yes.
    Amendment 3 seems to be about moving the proration of dues from the bylaws to the policies and procedures. Without an argument as to how this might hurt us as members, I’ll vote yes.
    Amendment 4 deals with how leadership seats will be assigned in the event of a vacancy. It seems to streamline the process and simplify it. The only thing I will caution here is that the language might be challengeable or confusing in that the previous language was that in the event of a vacancy, the president-elect would take the president’s office, and if that term was six months or less, have the opportunity to serve a full term. This new proposed language just says “half a term” when it should probably say “half a term or less.” This new language could probably be argued to allow someone who serves more or less than half a term to still go on to serve another full term. I would urge us to revisit this language next year. That said, I’ll be voting yes.
    Amendment 5 just changed the language to make more sense, saying the nominating committee will meet before the election instead of before the next election. This is an easy yes.
    Amendment 6 changes the National Committee of State Associations to the National Congress of State Associations. Oddly enough, I had written about this in the recent NCRA survey, saying we need more emphasis on state action. This is definitely more emphasis on state action, and I’ll be voting yes.
    Amendment 7 would change the requirements to be a state association affiliated with the NCRA. Currently you must show your organization is in line with NCRA’s bylaws and constitution and that most of your members are stenographic reporters. This would remove that majority stenographic members requirement. Now, some people will likely urge a no vote on this one because it can come off as anti-stenographer, but there is a clever catch. NCRA’s bylaws and constitution are all about promulgating stenographic reporters. So basically it would allow hybrid state associations to affiliate with NCRA if they were in line with promoting stenography. This is a creative way to be inclusionary, and I’m voting yes, but I also have to urge us to make sure we have a process for taking away affiliation if an association shifts from our team to against us.

NCRA Amendment Proposals

A short post encouraging everyone to read and eventually vote on the recent NCRA amendment proposals. Though I have not been the NCRA’s greatest fan in most recent times, I do believe all of the bylaw changes are necessary and good. I do believe I will be voting yes on each, and I encourage everyone to vote as their heart tells them to vote. In a quick summary, it deals with a lot of clarification regarding who is a voter and maybe most impactful of all, changes the name to National Captioners and Reporters Association. I see this move as inclusionary and reasoned. Many court reporters are upset that we are moving away from the court reporter title, but I do believe there is a bright side to the change.

There are two things I have commented on in the past that are worth mentioning though, and it’s unfortunate to not see them mentioned, nor see any mention of them. One, the price of CEUs had been increased, as per my memory, and at that time I stood by NCRA’s decision to do that, and I retract that. I think given everything I know, NCRA probably shouldn’t increase the cost for instructors to make CEUs available. Accessibility is key.

The second thing that I had commented on, and stand by pretty firmly, is that the NCRA should continue to keep people’s testing legs for the lifetime of a membership. And I still stand by the statement that I would sacrifice my own legs, of which I hold 3/4 on the RPR, if the testing procedure would remain holding the legs for the lifetime of a membership. Again, accessibility is key.

Now, I’d have to ask anyone who takes the time to read this to really voice your concern about the legs, or anything you have concern over. Write NCRA. Perhaps that should’ve been something we voted on as a membership? But regardless, also vote on the proposed amendments. I basically put my stake in the ground and said I’m letting my membership lapse if the testing legs stop being kept for members. There’s literally nothing more I could do to convince anyone of how seriously I feel on the issue. And if anyone feels as I do, please speak up. Please vote on the amendments. Please be an active part of the association and profession for as long as you are a part of it.

EDIT. Important update. The vote should go to your email on August 2, 2018. That’s the date I have currently.