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govinda

Freelancers Union

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As I post this thread, Freelancers Union is sponsoring NPR's Morning Edition. This makes it impossible to ignore, hard as I've tried.

 

Is anyone a member of FU? Anyone outside of NYC as well as inside. Has anyone been working for them? Does anyone have an opinion on them?

 

Whatever happens with Healthcare Reform in the next month in Washington, it'll be three or four years before the system becomes real, and even then it'll have to evolve to work properly. In the meantime you're gonna need insurance. I'm shocked at how many of my friends and colleagues just don't bother to get covered.

 

Freelancers Union almost sounds like an organization I can sink my teeth into as a volunteer.

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I was looking at this also. Medical Ins. has been the main reason I have never gone freelance. I am young and never get sick. But I live in LA and drive on the freeways. My biggest fear is waking up to a fireman cutting me out of my car with the jaws of life. OR getting drunk and breaking a leg.

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I was looking at this also. Medical Ins. has been the main reason I have never gone freelance. I am young and never get sick. But I live in LA and drive on the freeways. My biggest fear is waking up to a fireman cutting me out of my car with the jaws of life. OR getting drunk and breaking a leg.

 

If you are single, ain't no thing. You can get something like Anthem/Blue Cross for under $200 a month. It gets pricey when you start squirting out babies, about $200/month per baby. Add $200 for a wife, too.

 

It's chump change when you compare it to the cost of rent.

 

BTW, I called regarding the Freelancer Union insurance, and it's pretty much the same as any other insurance with the same underwriting procedure, whereas a "group" policy wouldn't reject you based on prior health history. So, although FU calls it a group policy, it isn't. It's just a bulk discount, just like AIGA. I doubt that the "discount" is much, but it might be worth looking at.

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Yep that is one of the things i dont like about living in Singapore, no insurance policy whatsoever at least in my case. Not the same in Europe you barely need any insurance if you work for a company but if you are freelancing you are screwed.

I hope people start realizing how important is a good health system, specially in the U.S

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I just became a member of Freelancer's Union in September so that I could get Disability (Workman's Compensation) through them. It would appear that someone at the top in NY went around to a large selection of notable studios this Spring and threatened them with large fines (for the last 3 years) if they hired Freelancers and weren't paying to cover Disability. NY State doesn't like that our industry hires so many freelancers (they can't control the money as well with freelancers) so they do everything in their power to scare studios into changing their practices. Even as a registered LLC, and all the self-employed taxes I pay every year, I was being forced to work as an "employee" until I could prove I had my own disability insurance. God forbid I slit my throat on a function key.

 

So I now have Disability... and here's the kicker... it's less than $10 a month.

My mind silently screams, "All this red-tape and bullshit is about 10 fucking dollars/mo?"

 

However, I have not signed up with a healthcare plan yet.

Like so many others, I've been without it longer than I've had it. I promised I'd do something about that within the next year, but I was sort of waiting to se what the verdict will be in Washington before making any major commitments. While Govinda makes a good point that it will likely be years before anything is implemented, I feel like right now is probably the worst time ever to start a new plan.

 

-m

Edited by the_Monkey

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To me, being a freelancer goes against everything a union stands for. Security in trade for lazyness.

If wanting to be union, there are several staff gigs that can limit your income and allow you to bail at 5. Unions and minumum wage are what are wrong with our work force and economy today

...imo.

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To me, being a freelancer goes against everything a union stands for. Security in trade for lazyness.

If wanting to be union, there are several staff gigs that can limit your income and allow you to bail at 5. Unions and minumum wage are what are wrong with our work force and economy today

...imo.

 

ZeBrownie? Is that you?

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Monkey, it's not like you can't end the plan at some point. You never know what could happen to that precious health of yours!

 

Anyway, I pay the frunion about $230 a month. For very minimal coverage. It's not ideal. But it's the best deal I could find. That's why we charge 'em extra, after all.

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To me, being a freelancer goes against everything a union stands for. Security in trade for lazyness.

If wanting to be union, there are several staff gigs that can limit your income and allow you to bail at 5. Unions and minumum wage are what are wrong with our work force and economy today

...imo.

 

 

I have to agree, a union for contractors seems very odd... it's like unionising hitmen...

 

" we wont work for the rates that we set!!!" "we demand us to set fairer terms!!!" "We want to work less hours!!!"

 

oh wait... that's why we are freelancers...

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I am a Freelancer's Union member and have had their health insurance for over 3 yrs. One thing all you should be aware of is that the Freelancer's Union is NOT a labor union. It's an advocacy group and a membership service that provides healthcare coverage and other insurance options for independent contractors.

 

It DOES NOT determine rates, labor rules or any other contract issues a traditional labor union typically does.

 

Sometimes, I wish it did, though. My 2¢.

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How'd i miss this thread? Yep, still a member. I pay the lowest option of $189/month. The annoying thing is that I get assigned a dentist and to change it, I have wait through some sort of term cycle. The dentist I was assigned is 8 miles from my apartment and in a not so nice of a neighborhood.. That was a little annoying. Otherwise, Im pretty happy with them. In LA I used Tonik healthcare.. That was just a tiny bit cheaper.

 

Adam Saul....where are you... weren't you a member?

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How'd i miss this thread? Yep, still a member. I pay the lowest option of $189/month. The annoying thing is that I get assigned a dentist and to change it, I have wait through some sort of term cycle. The dentist I was assigned is 8 miles from my apartment and in a not so nice of a neighborhood.. That was a little annoying. Otherwise, Im pretty happy with them. In LA I used Tonik healthcare.. That was just a tiny bit cheaper.

 

 

 

 

i'm a member....i get a nice discount on my t-mobile cellular phone bill from them

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I believe you can be a member of the freelancers union without getting insurance from them, so if you want to take part in all the discounts they offer members, the only thing you need to do is sign up.

 

I would get insurance from them, but they no longer cover people who live in New Jersey who freelance in NYC. Those of us in Jersey have to go through whatever options insurance companies offer to the self-employed. Having said that, the price is coverage is pretty comparable.

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It's good to see the word "union" here. I'm in NABET (way friendlier union that IATSE), and I can't tell you what it means to work decent hours, have a lunch hour, and not walk around in a perpetual state of exhaustion. It would be great to see this "freelancers union" evolve into a labor union with teeth.

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Yeah I hate those unions. I mean all they did was bring us the weekend, the 8-hour day, social security and pensions.

 

I don't want anyone restricting my freedom to be told I have to work on Saturday, 12-hour days, mandatory overtime and not get health care.

 

That said, FU isn't a union. It's a non-profit that gets you discounts on insurance and certain other benefits. I've been a member for 8 years. Liked their health care. Their dental plan wasn't as good. It was hard to change and in NYC it wasn't the greatest plan. The dentists who were part of the network weren't very good.

 

But I'd definitely recommend them as a cheaper health care provider. But I'm not sure if it is better or worse than anyone else that provides bulk discounts (AIGA, etc)

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It's good to see the word "union" here. I'm in NABET (way friendlier union that IATSE), and I can't tell you what it means to work decent hours, have a lunch hour, and not walk around in a perpetual state of exhaustion. It would be great to see this "freelancers union" evolve into a labor union with teeth.

 

I completely agree. Freelancer's Union's name is misleading. Cute, but not accurate. I'd love if it was.

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Does union membership jeopardise the willingness of clients to hire you? How does FU help if you get stiffed by a client?

 

I should go on their website, but as I'm not yet living in America it's really quite irrelevant.

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Oh? We're freelancer's because we want to work less hours? Didn't know that.

 

 

well i'm a freelancer coz i can't stand working all day and not getting any beach or drinking time.

 

While we are on the topic, i think i'll start a new thread so as not to hijack this one.

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2 years ago, I took an editing gig at a major cable shop in NYC. The job was from 6 pm to 4 am. The pay was terrible, but I wanted an editing credit. To my surprise, no one took a lunch break. I took a half hour lunch anyway, and was let go very quickly. Thank God.

Workers who don't want unions are really kind to sacrifice themselves for wealthy upper management.

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