Sharpening Skills for the Courtroom


Local 1070 members improved their skills at the annual court recess training at union headquarters. Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera.


One hundred Court Reporters, Interpreters and clerical workers in Local 1070 wrapped up 2017 with a two-day job skills seminar at union headquarters in December.

“Based on our strong labor-management relations with the Unified Court System, we again presented court recess training for members in workshops and seminars led by an outstanding group of legal professionals,” said Local 1070 President Fausto Sabatino.

UCS agreed to open the sessions to state employees who are mandated to use their comp time or annual leave while courts are on recess between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Court employees will be credited for attending the two-day event.

“The training helped build solidarity among the Interpreters,” said Elana Grossman, who interprets Spanish and Hebrew at Manhattan Family Court. “Being in the same room with so many colleagues who share similar experiences is empowering and unifying.”

Trainer and paralegal consultant Gloria Long led workshops on cyber literacy, note taking and ethics in the workplace.

Technology constantly changes. I have to stay cyber literate, especially regarding computer viruses,” said Data Recording Assistant Adrena Murray, who works at Bronx Criminal Court. “I’m learning from the instructors and my peers as we share our different viewpoints and experiences.”

The seminar’s workshops on time management, conflict resolution, workplace trauma, career development and financial planning were spot on.

“I learned to improve my approach to my job,” said Maria Antunes, a Court Reporter in Manhattan Family Court. “The advice on real-time procedures, pretrial preparation and troubleshooting my laptop were great.”

“We may work on similar cases but each case can have very different outcomes,” said 13-year veteran Interpreter Anna Ng. “There are factors like stress, physical and mental fatigue — we learned exercises to handle these challenges so we can better focus on being the impartial mouthpiece of the court.”

“That everyone sacrificed to be here speaks volumes on how dedicated Local 1070 members are to their jobs and to making the court system run,” said Sabatino.

This story appeared in the January-February 2018 issue of Public Employee Press, the official publication of District Council 37, AFSCME, which represents 125,000 municipal workers in New York City.

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