When the waters are calm and the sea is still, it makes for smooth sailing. It is only when the cry from the captain is heard, “ALL HANDS ON DECK”, that from the belly of the ship emerge the sailors with their swift and decisive action. It is with vigor and zeal that the sailors man their places in preparation for the rough waters that lie ahead.
Being asked to serve our association is an honor and a responsibility that I take very seriously. However, as a mother of two very active sons, a wife and a full-time court reporter, I have to admit that I was glad to know that my year with TCRA would be smooth sailing. After all, we are not dealing with legislation, we are not dealing with certification, the waters are smooth and the sea is still - - at least I thought.
Shortly into this new leadership position I received a call that the Administrative Office of The Courts (AOC) is having a hard time filling the official positions with court reporters, and that the situation is so bad that they have gotten to the point of having to consider alternative means by which to capture the record. Now we can all claim that this would not be the case if those positions paid more. Unfortunately, and upon further scrutiny, this complaint of a shortage is being heard and felt across the country. We are hearing more and more about this shortage of court reporters through, not only our National Court Reporting Association, but through national news reports, articles, videos, lawyers, federal and state judges, all supported by statistical information being circulated that the court reporting shortage will soon be at critical levels across the country.
So we may ask, does this mean we will finally be able to adjust our rates? I mean, this does fall in the category of supply and demand, right!
Hold your horses. Emerging from the wings are digital, audio and other alternatives, just waiting to step up and come to the rescue. Is this a risk we are willing to take?
This Newsletter is filled with information that explains a strategy, a plan and course of action your TCRA board believes to be the battle plan. The call has been made “ALL HANDS ON DECK”. May we, the court reporters, emerge with swift and decisive action and pull together for the benefit of the whole.
While I may not have that year of smooth and calm waters, and we may be fighting hard to hold down the hatch, I want to close by once again thanking each of you for bestowing on me the honor and privilege to serve TCRA, a responsibility I do take seriously.
Dana Webb, President TCRA
P.S. (Please share this plan with a non-member and encourage them to join the battle by joining TCRA.)