Policies and Procedures Manual - Section 8 - Affiliated Units

SECTION 8:  AFFILIATED UNITS

NCSA Guidelines
Criteria for Considering Applications for Affiliation in States Where Multiple Affiliated Units are Permissible
Partnerships with Affiliated Units
Services Available to Affiliated and Non-Affiliated Units from NCRA


NCSA Guidelines

CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS REFERENCE:  Article XVI–Affiliated Units, Section 5–National Committee of State Associations

Original Adoption:  Unknown
Revision:  March 2015

I. Purpose

The purpose of the National Committee of State Associations (NCSA) is to provide a forum for affiliated association leaders to meet at the time of the Annual Convention of the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), and at other times as may be deemed appropriate by the NCRA President, for purposes of exchanging information, experiences, and various points of view involving NCRA and the court reporting and captioning professions.

II. Affiliation Eligibility

To be eligible for affiliation, an association shall be approved by the NCRA Board of Directors. According to the NCRA Constitution and Bylaws, the following requirements shall be met:

ARTICLE XVI - Affiliated Units

Section 3 - Definitions

  1. The term "unit" and or "units" shall be synonymous with the term "association."
  2. A "state" shall be defined as a state or territory of the United States or foreign nation which is approved for membership in the National Committee of State Associations (“NCSA”) by the Board of Directors.
  3. Only one affiliated unit may be recognized from any one state, with the exception of states wherein the number of NCRA members exceeds ten percent (10%) of total NCRA membership.

Section 4 - Affiliation Policy

  1. A state association is eligible for affiliation if (1) it evidences through its constitution and bylaws or a statement of purposes that it espouses and embraces the purposes and precepts promulgated in the Constitution and Bylaws of the Association and all applicable statutes, including antitrust laws; and (2) a majority of its members are verbatim stenographic reporters.
  2. The Association shall not be legally liable for any act or failure to act on the part of any affiliated unit.
  3. Affiliated units shall not be required to pay any dues.
  4. The Association shall have no obligation to affiliated units other than to cooperate to the extent practicable in serving the verbatim stenographic reporting profession. Members who are members of affiliated units shall not be entitled to any services not provided by the Association to other Members.
  5. Members who are also members of affiliated units shall pay dues to the Association on the same basis as other Members.
  6. Affiliated units may state that they are affiliated with the Association in publications, on stationery, or in other ways. However, members of affiliated units who are not Members shall not refer to Membership in or affiliation with the Association in any manner.
  7. Material released by the Association to affiliated units shall not be redistributed, reprinted, or its contents released by the affiliated unit without permission from the Association.

III. Organization

The NCSA body is defined as affiliated unit delegates and/or alternates of affiliated units.

The NCSA body shall be composed of two delegates from each affiliated unit. For purposes of the NCSA Annual Meeting, each affiliated unit may designate two delegates and two alternates. No delegate or alternate shall represent more than one affiliated unit.  Each affiliated unit shall have no more than two votes.  No representative shall vote by proxy.

The delegates and alternates from each affiliated unit shall be Registered or Participating Members of NCRA in good standing at the time of each meeting of NCSA. Exceptions may be made by the NCRA President, in consultation with the NCSA Chair, where an affiliated unit accepts as members court reporters who are ineligible for NCRA membership and such a member is an officer of the affiliated unit and is a member in good standing of the affiliated unit.

Each affiliated unit shall determine, independently of NCRA and NCSA leadership, who shall serve as their delegates and alternates.

During the Annual NCSA Meeting, an alternate may take the seat of a delegate at the delegate’s request. In such case, the alternate will remain seated as the delegate for the remainder of the meeting. The original delegate shall remain an alternate for the remainder of the meeting.

Affiliated units shall notify the NCRA Staff Liaison of the names of its delegates and alternates, as appropriate, at least 30 days prior to each meeting of NCSA.

In the event that a state is not represented by an affiliated unit, the NCRA President, in consultation with the NCSA Chair, may appoint delegates-at-large from that state, with such delegates-at-large having a voice, but no vote,  at any NCSA meeting.

The NCSA Chair and Vice Chair shall be appointed by the NCRA Board of Directors and shall each serve for a two-year term.

The Immediate Past Chair of NCSA shall serve as an advisor to the current NCSA Chair, Vice Chair, and NCSA Governing Committee. The Immediate Past Chair shall serve in an advisory capacity only and shall have no obligation to attend meetings or actively participate in the day-to-day activities of NCSA, nor shall the Immediate Past Chair be a member of the NCSA Governing Committee.

IV. Meetings

In consultation with NCRA staff and the NCRA Staff Liaison to NCSA, the agenda for all meetings of NCSA shall be prepared by the NCSA Chair and Vice Chair.

The NCSA Chair and Vice Chair shall, in advance of the Annual NCSA Meeting, contact affiliated unit leaders and request topics of importance to NCRA and its membership, affiliated units, or the profession as a whole.

The NCRA Staff Liaison to NCSA shall notify affiliated unit leaders of the date and time of each meeting of NCSA.

V. Meeting Procedures

The following meeting procedures shall be followed at each NCSA meeting. "Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised" shall govern the NCSA Annual Meeting and all other NCSA meetings to which they apply and in which they do not conflict with the policies and procedures adopted by the NCRA Board of Directors and any special rules adopted by NCSA.

During topic discussion, affiliated units shall designate one delegate to speak on a topic. Delegates shall yield the floor as appropriate to the NCSA Chair and to fellow NCSA delegates to allow for a free-flowing exchange of ideas and information. The NCSA Chair may recognize, at the Chair’s discretion, individuals attending the meeting as observers. The meeting procedure may be supplemented by the NCSA Chair. Any such supplements to the meeting procedure shall be provided to the delegates, alternates and/or representatives at least 15 days in advance of the meeting.

The NCSA Annual Meeting room shall have clearly designated areas for the NCSA delegates and alternates, for members of NCRA, and for other registered attendees of the NCRA Annual Convention.

The NCRA Staff Liaison to NCSA shall distribute the minutes of the meeting, within 30 days of its receipt, to the NCSA delegates, the NCSA Governing Committee, the NCRA Board of Directors, and the affiliated units. The minutes may be made available to any other party at the discretion of the NCSA Chair and the NCRA President.

The NCRA Staff Liaison to NCSA shall receive and validate the credentials of the NCSA Annual Meeting delegates and alternates, maintain a continuous roll call, and report these totals to the NCSA Chair as the meeting commences.

VI. Resolutions Procedures

In an effort to best serve the NCRA membership and profession, affiliated units may submit resolutions to be considered by the NCRA Board of Directors at any time throughout the year.

Resolutions shall be written in a clear and concise manner, containing one single topic. Resolutions should relate to the following areas for information and discussion purposes:

  • Types of problems experienced at the national, state and/or local level and constructive suggestions for assistance from NCRA;
  • Types of assistance affiliated units feel are needed from NCRA;
  • Suggestions for increasing professionalism among verbatim stenographic reporters;
  • Suggestions and ideas for strengthening the profession;
  • Suggestions for improving ongoing programs in NCRA;
  • Positive experiences and programs which have proven beneficial to affiliated units.

Submission

All resolutions, and any amendments thereto, shall be submitted on a resolution form supplied by the NCSA Chair, Vice Chair and/or the NCRA Staff Liaison to NCSA. A full rationale shall be stated in support of any proposed resolution. A NCSA resolution shall be submitted to the NCSA Chair, NCSA Vice Chair and/or the NCRA Staff Liaison to NCSA. The NCSA Chair may modify any resolution with minor editorial changes, provided the changes do not alter the intent.

All resolutions submitted by an affiliated unit shall be signed by the President of the affiliated unit and approved by the Board of Directors of the affiliated unit.

All resolutions submitted by the NCSA Governing Committee shall so indicate. No signature shall be required.

Members of NCRA who wish to have resolutions introduced to NCSA shall request sponsorship/submission of the resolutions by an affiliated unit or by the NCSA Governing Committee. Neither an affiliated unit, nor the NCSA Governing Committee, shall be required to sponsor/submit any such resolution.

When two or more resolutions are submitted having the same intent, the NCSA Chair may prepare a composite resolution. Each of the submitting affiliated units shall be identified on such resolutions.

The NCSA Governing Committee shall organize all resolutions in subject classifications as follows: Accreditation; Certification; Continuing Education; Ethics; Financial Affairs; Governance; Government Affairs; Membership; Member Affairs; Professional Issues; Public Relations; Publications; Reporter Training; State/National Relations.

Discussion and Outcome

When a resolution is submitted, the NCSA Chair will notify the NCSA body of the submitted resolution within one week. The NCSA Chair shall be responsible for initiating and overseeing discussion as to a resolution on an online email listserv dedicated to affiliated unit leadership.

The NCSA body shall have two weeks from the date the NCSA Chair submits the resolution for discussion on the affiliated unit leadership listserv.

Within two weeks after the close of discussion of the resolution by the NCSA body, the NCSA Chair, in consultation with the NCSA Vice Chair and the NCSA Governing Committee, shall submit a summary of the discussion to the NCRA Board of Directors for its consideration.

The NCRA Board of Directors will address submitted resolutions no later than the next in-person board meeting, provided that the resolution is submitted more than forty-five (45) days in advance. Submitted resolutions can also be addressed by the Board of Directors before the next in-person board meeting at the discretion of the NCRA President.

Within two weeks of the Board of Directors acting on a NCSA resolution, the NCSA Chair shall be responsible for notifying the NCSA body of the Board’s decision, the rationale behind the decision, and, if necessary, a timeline documenting implementation. In the case of a Board decision via email, the NCSA Board liaison shall notify the NCSA Chair and Co-Chair of the Board's decision, the rationale behind the decision, and, if necessary, a timeline documenting implementation.

VII. Notification

Delegates shall be informed of submitted resolutions through NCRA’s affiliated unit leadership listserv and this shall satisfy any guidelines for dispersing information to NCSA members, delegates, or the NCRA board.

VIII. NCSA Governing Committee

Composition

The NCSA Governing Committee shall be composed of the NCSA Chair, NCSA Vice Chair, and six appointed regional representatives. To ensure even geographic representation, an appropriate regional map consisting of six regions shall be established by the NCRA Board of Directors.  Each of the six regions of the NCSA Governing Committee will be represented by one NCRA Registered or Participating member who lives or works in that region.  The regional NCSA Governing Committee members shall be appointed by the NCRA Board of Directors.  The NCRA Executive Director shall appoint an NCRA Staff Liaison to NCSA.

Each NCSA Governing Committee member shall serve a two-year term, with staggered terms to ensure continuity of committee membership.

Duties and Responsibilities

The duties of the NCSA Governing Committee shall be:

  • To fulfill their charges as approved by the NCRA Board of Directors;To facilitate meaningful and productive discussions in the interest of their appointed regions;
  • To respond to regional requests and provide a direct link between the affiliated units represented and the NCSA body;
  • To issue a quarterly report to the NCSA Chair and Vice Chair on topics of ongoing discussion within their region, including possible recommendations for NCRA to better serve its affiliated units and members. The NCSA Chair shall compile and disseminate these reports to the NCSA body via email listserv so that discussions are documented and affiliated units are informed of regional discussions;
  • To recommend to the NCSA body an appropriate course of action on matters which have been placed before it, including evaluating and making recommendations to the NCSA body on all resolutions which it has received from the affiliated units, using the best information and advice available, and making its decision in the best interests of the verbatim stenographic reporting and captioning professions;
  • To assist the NCSA Chair and Vice Chair to develop NCSA-sponsored programs and/or meetings throughout the year;

To attend any meetings called by NCSA if requested to do so by the NCSA Chair and/or Vice Chair and to perform any other duties assigned by the NCSA Chair and/or Vice Chair.

The NCSA Governing Committee must act within the NCSA Guidelines and within the framework of NCRA's Constitution and Bylaws. It may call upon the NCRA Board of Directors, NCRA committee and task force members, and members of NCRA staff when it desires to gain information necessary to fulfill its duties.

Based on conversations with affiliated units, the NCSA Governing Committee may advise the NCRA Board of Directors as to a desired action which would benefit NCRA members, affiliated units and/or the court reporting and captioning professions as a whole.

IX. Listservs

The NCSA Governing Committee shall supervise listservs and other means of communication as directed by the NCRA President. In order to be a part of any listserv associated with NCSA, the individual shall be a Registered or Participating Member of NCRA in good standing. Exceptions may be made by the NCRA President, in consultation with the NCSA Chair, where an affiliated unit accepts as members court reporters that would be ineligible for NCRA membership and such a member is an officer of the affiliated unit and is a member in good standing of the affiliated unit.  All listserv participants shall be familiar with and abide by the “NCRA Listserv Rules and Etiquette.

Criteria for Considering Applications for Affiliation in States Where Multiple Affiliated Units are Permissible

Original Adoption:  November 2008
Revision: N/A
  1. The subject affiliate has its focus on, and draws membership from, a statewide basis.  Applicants from a smaller regional or specialized focus would not fit the meaning or spirit of “state associations” as currently defined in the NCRA Bylaws.
  2. The subject affiliate opens its membership to all verbatim stenographic reporters*.  The spirit of affiliation of “state associations” would inherently be inclusive to all stenographic reporters within a state.
  3. The subject affiliate must offer an educational opportunity at least once per year for its members to earn NCRA CEUs.  This helps present an applicant as an engaged participant consonant with the purposes and goals of NCRA.
  4. The subject affiliate must be current in its standing as an entity with the applicable state agency.  The subject affiliate should be, and remain, a viable association and legitimate entity.  

*Some associations offer membership to reporters outside the association’s area of specialty only on a nonvoting (e.g., associate) basis. No distinction between voting or other membership is made under this criteria, although the NCRA Board is discomfited with the notion that an affiliate can be discriminatory in its membership with regard to stenographic reporters.

Partnerships with Affiliated Units

Original Adoption:  November 2007
Revision: March 2013

NCRA will continue to provide such benefits as a complimentary exhibit space, and further, that NCRA will not enter into any contractual risk and/or revenue-sharing partnerships with a state affiliate for any NCRA major meetings.

Services Available to Affiliated and Non-Affiliated Units from NCRA

Original Adoption:  July 2003
Revision: November 2017
  1. NCRA's Constitution and Bylaws currently directs that NCRA can only recognize one affiliated unit in each state with limited exceptions (see Article XVI, Section 3a). However, affiliation does not restrict NCRA from providing key benefits to other statewide and local associations. The following list explains the many benefits and services that are available to state and local reporting associations. Services or benefits that differ for a nonaffiliated association compared to an affiliated association are designated with an asterisk.
  2. Representation on National Committee of State Associations (NCSA)*
    Each affiliated unit may appoint two delegates and two alternates to NCSA. Each affiliated unit may have no more than two votes on NCSA. In addition, delegates-at-large who represent states that are not affiliated, with a voice but no vote, may be appointed by the President to serve on NCSA. The NCRA Constitution and Bylaws govern these terms.
  3. Participation in NCRA's directors and officers professional liability insurance policy*
    Affiliated associations are provided with voluntary participation, contingent upon paying an annual premium. All participating affiliate units are covered under a single policy, subject to a limitation of $1,000,000 in coverage per claim and $3,000,000 annual aggregate. The deductible is $2,500 per claim.
  4. Listing on NCRA website and publications
    A listing on the "Reporter Associations" section of NCRA's website is available to all statewide reporting associations upon request. Affiliated units are clearly distinguished from nonaffiliated units.
    State organizations are encouraged to include complete listings of regional, county and other reporting organizations within their state, so new or potential members clicking through the national listings to a state website will have access to this information.
    Annual meetings of both affiliated and nonaffiliated units may be listed on NCRA's website interactive meetings calendar.
  5. JCR advertising
    All reporting organizations may advertise in the magazine so long as they adhere to NCRA's Advertising Policy. Discounts are available based on multiple issue commitments.
  6. Member prospect lists
    Prospect lists are shared on a reciprocal basis with all interested reporting organizations.
  7. Donation of items for state seminar or convention fundraising
    One $50 NCRA gift certificate to the NCRA Store is available per calendar year to any statewide reporting organization to be used as part of the state's seminar or convention fundraising efforts.
  8. Access to NCRA staff experts
    Assistance and support is provided to individual members (regardless of state membership) and affiliated groups, primarily via telephone and e-mail, on such issues as association law, lobbying, statistics, publishing, ethics, etc.
  9. Tabletop exhibit at major NCRA meetings, when held in association's state
    Depending upon the available space, statewide organizations will be provided with a single table. NCRA has discretion as to where the tabletop will be placed.
  10. NCRA representatives at state conventions
    Both affiliated and nonaffiliated groups may request an NCRA representative for a convention; however, all requests cannot always be accommodated.

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