Happy Thanksgiving! I hope this holiday of gratitude finds you all happy, healthy, and amongst loved ones. Thanksgiving is traditionally the kickoff to the holiday season, right before the December hustle and bustle, so I wanted to take this time before the craziness begins to tell you how thankful I am for each and every one of you.

I am grateful for this community we call California's stenographers, including our official court reporters, deposition reporters, captioners, and stenography students. When CCRA talks about the gold standard of making a record, we are talking about YOU! I hope you know how valuable you are to California's court system, litigants, legal community at large, and the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities you serve. There is no substitute for the skill level you bring to the table, and I know how hard you've all worked to be able to earn the title of guardians of the record.

This Tuesday, December 3, is known as Giving Tuesday, a day to give back to a cause that you are grateful for.  I sincerely urge you to give back to YOUR profession, the profession of stenography, and specifically a program brought to California by CCRA that will ensure that YOUR profession thrives into the future. Inspired by NCRA's leadership, CCRA sprang into action to bring NCRA's A to Z Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand Program to California.

In 2019 CCRA offered SIX A to Z Programs in California, a free, six-week introductory steno program with an average of 30 participants completing each program. Several students from each of the six programs enrolled in stenography school after completing the program, and CCRA continues to mentor and shepherd the newly enrolled students during their steno education. We couldn't be more proud of our students, and we can't wait until they are full-fledged working stenographers in California!

As proud as we are of CCRA's implementation of the A to Z Program in California, and as much as we'd love to say it's as easy as 1, 2, 3, the truth is that implementing these programs across California - to increase steno school enrollment and ultimately bring working reporters to California - is hard work. Countless hours have been dedicated to the program by our team of volunteers and sponsors, for whom I am truly grateful. We secure locations for six consecutive weeks, provide steno machines to each participant, a workbook binder that costs real dollars to be printed, and secure guest speakers from all aspects of the steno profession to come and inspire our participants. We also provide food and beverages for each of the six weeks of the program and try our best to throw one heck of a "graduation" celebration at the end of the six weeks.

CCRA is committed to offering even more A to Z programs in 2020, but we can't do it without your help. We have already begun planning future program locations, and we are on track to double the number of programs CCRA hosted in 2019. Any amount you are inspired to give will contribute to the success of this program and help bring working stenographers to California. This Giving Tuesday, please use the link on CCRA's website to give back to the profession of stenography, YOUR profession, a profession I trust that you most certainly are grateful for.

Sincerely,

Sandy M. Walden, President
California Court Reporters Association

Donate to California's A to Z Program

 



CCRA Equal Pay Graphic#EqualPayCA 
Let's Get a Transcript Rate Increase!

Today First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom will lead a discussion on equal pay and gender equality in the workforce hosted by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus! What a perfect day to share our #EqualPayCA issue on social media! 

As we all know, court reporting is a female-dominated profession that hasn’t seen a transcript rate increase in 30 years! Does anyone else think this might be an #EqualPayCA issue? We do! It’s about time our voices are heard in Sacramento!

CCRA and court reporters all over this great state need your help! We are at a critical time in the legislative season especially on a day like today.

We thank all those who have gathered letters and sent them in. All support letters previously submitted and the lobbying efforts of CCRA and SEIU have gotten AB 1385 to this point. 

AB 1385 is being held with hundreds of other bills that have a monetary value. We need Senator Anthony J. Portantino and the Senate Appropriations Committee to see the NEED of getting AB 1385 to the Governor’s desk this year. Governor Newsom needs to see the support and need of funding and signing AB 1385.

Your letters will help! Please send in your support letter, ask your co-workers, friends and family to sign a support letter. We need at least one from every single CSR in the state.
The letters will go to the Appropriations Committee and then on to Governor Newsom’s desk. We must show the support and importance of this bill being funded and signed!
Please send all letters in ASAP to [email protected].

To read more about #EqualPayCA, click here.

Thank you for your support. Together, we can do this!
CCRA Board of Directors

Want to help spread the word even more? Post on social media using the hashtag
#EqualPayCA

Sample Letters:
CSR personalized: Click here to download
CART/Captioners: Click here to download
Co-workers, friends & family: Click here to download
Please send all letters in ASAP to [email protected].

PRESERVE YOUR PROFESSION: A TO Z NEEDS U NOW!

The California Court Reporters Association, in conjunction with the Northern California Court Reporters Association and the Sacramento Official Court Reporters Association, are excited to announce the California launch of NCRA’s nationwide “A to Z Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand” program. The goal of this intensive recruitment effort is to introduce members of our local communities to the court reporting and captioning professions through a hands-on course in which candidates are provided loaner steno machines and attend live weekly classes over a six-week period taught by experienced reporters. Join the momentum. Be the solution. Whether it is your volunteer time or a donation, it is YOU that will preserve stenographic reporting!




California Budget Watch: What about Court Reporters?

Only four days into his tenure as Governor of California, Gavin Newsom introduced his first proposed state budget. The $144 billion plan is the first step in a months-long process to adopt a state budget before the July 1st deadline.

The Judicial Branch proposal includes more than $350 million in additional funding. After the Jameson decision and 30 years without an increase in the statutory transcript fee, how much of it is going to hire new State-employed court reporters or to fund a rate increase? Zero. More than $9 million is proposed for raises of Judicial Council and other state-level staff; millions more for judges’ salaries.

Remember, this proposal is just the starting point. CCRA is already working to make 2019 the year we secure a long overdue rate increase, especially now that freelancers covering court work are also statutorily bound by those rates, and funding to increase the number of court reporters provided in courtrooms statewide. Stay tuned for more California Budget Watch emails.


Dynamex Explained

The California Supreme Court’s recent decision in Dynamex created a new legal test for determining whether someone is an “independent contractor” and not an employee. In order to be properly classified as an independent contractor, the hiring entity must prove each of the three factors in the “ABC Test”: (A) The worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact; and (B) The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and (C) The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed. In the context of court reporters, the analysis will depend upon the particular facts and circumstances of each individual relationship. While it is ultimately unclear how Dynamex will be applied to court reporters, this article provides a detailed legal overview to assist our members with understanding the key issues. READ MORE