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Posts Tagged ‘freelancers union’

6 Tips for Landing Repeat Writing Assignments

As Sara Horowitz, founder of the Freelancers Union, once said, “One of the challenges for all freelancers, though, is it can be feast or famine.” Sometimes you could be raking in the assignments; at others, editors could be strangely silent when you want to hear from them the most.

In the latest Mediabistro feature, magazine veterans give tips on how to foster your relationships with editors to keep the assignments, and the paychecks, rolling in.

Read more in 6 Tips for Landing Repeat Writing Assignments.

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Sara Horowitz on Helping New York Freelancers ‘Get Paid, Not Played’

When Sara Horowitz was hired as a lawyer, she was made an independent contractor and wasn’t given any benefits. Since then, she’s created Working Today, a nonprofit for uniting freelancers; Freelancers Union, an organization that promotes the needs of independent workers; and Freelancers Insurance Company, which provides health insurance. She also authored the recently released Freelancer’s Bible, a practical guide for the self-employed.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, Horowitz talks about the best and worst parts of freelancing, and gives advice on networking, budgeting and getting ahead. Here’s an excerpt:

The Freelancer’s Union was the fire behind the pioneering Payment Protection Act, which helps freelancers in New York “get paid, not played.” How does the burden of chasing paychecks affect freelancers specifically and the media industry as a whole? 
One of the typical things that freelancers face, obviously, is not getting paid — not the full amount or the total amount. And there’s no place to go but small claims court. We wanted them to be able to go to the Department of Labor, and we came within a hair’s breadth of that. Now [the act] is pending in both New York and New Jersey. I think the media industry tends to treat freelancers like invoices, like receivables, so they say ‘OK, you’ll get paid 30, 60, 90 days out.’ This gives them a lot of float, because they’re holding on to that money for that time, and, if you want to get paid within two weeks, you get paid $0.96 on the dollar. You lost 4 percent. If you were a traditional employee in New York right now, that would be illegal. This is bad practice and something we’re going to be looking at in the next year.

For more, read So What Do You Do, Sara Horowitz, Founder and Executive Director of the Freelancer’s Union?

Meet the Woman Who United Over 170,000 Freelancers

When Sara Horowitz was hired as a lawyer, she was made an independent contractor and wasn’t given any benefits. Since then, she’s created Working Today, a nonprofit for uniting freelancers, Freelancers Union, an organization that promotes the needs of independent workers, and Freelancers Insurance Company, which provides health insurance. She also authored the recently released Freelancer’s Bible, a practical guide for the self-employed.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, Horowitz talks about the best and worst parts of freelancing, and gives advice on networking, budgeting and getting ahead. Here’s an excerpt:

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take the dive into working for themselves?
Really pay attention to your network. By network, I mean the people you care about. So when you go to a networking event, don’t just take your card out and shove it in somebody’s face. Look to find the one or two people you like and can relate to and nurture those relationships. Your network is going to be everything. The second thing is look at your consumption and stop overspending. It’s bad for America, but you’ve also got to keep your expenses down. People become very anxiety-ridden because they try to maintain a standard of living, but when you’re starting out, you don’t know what your standard of living is going to be. So be frugal.

For more, read So What Do You Do, Sara Horowitz, Founder and Executive Director of the Freelancer’s Union?

More Healthcare Options for Freelancers – Union Receives $340 Million

This could be good news for all of those uninsured freelancers out there.

Freelancers Union, a membership organization of about 170,000 independent workers, is launching a nonprofit, consumer-run health plan in New York.

The initiative is funded by $174 million in low-interest and no-interest federal loans. The insurance plans are being billed as “consumer operated and oriented plans,” or CO-OP, that aim to be more affordable, more accessible, and more responsive to the needs of all workers.

The Freelancers Union-sponsored CO-OP plans – part of the Affordable Care Act – will also be available in New Jersey and Oregon. They are slated to begin enrollment, pretty soon, in Fall 2013, and begin offering benefits in January 2014. The total federal loan investment for the three states is $340 million.

Read more