Freelancers & Benefits

Freelancers make up a growing sector of the Pacific Media Workers Guild and The NewsGuild-CWA. Guild Freelancers represents independent journalists and media professionals, and advocates vigorously on their behalf in the marketplace, the Legislature, and the public mind. We work to provide benefits, services, and educational programs for our members as the publishing, communications and social media industries evolve. As a member of the Guild’s Freelance Unit, you are connected to a network to help you secure your next client.

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As a freelance member of our Guild, you’re eligible to take advantage of:

Our founding members are working to create a broad array of services and referrals to help members deal with the many hurdles that accompany self-employment.

Enrollment for the Guild’s vision and dental plan is open through June 15, 2020. To participate, you must be a member of the Pacific Media Workers Guild who is in good standing. If you have joined within the last 90 days, you are eligible to sign up for benefits, but your coverage won’t start until you’ve been a member for 90 days. Coverage for current members who opt for coverage during the open enrollment period will begin on July 1.

If you do not apply by June 15, you’ll have to wait for next year’s open enrollment period. If you are currently enrolled in the vision and/or dental plan and do not wish to make any changes, you do not need to do anything.

Instructions to apply for the benefits are in this flier. Please read them carefully. For more information, go to  the Freelance Unit website and click on the “benefits” tab.

Note: There’s been a small change in the cost of the vision plan. Here are the new rates:

Member Only: $10.28
Member +1: $16.57
Member + Family: $29.34
Rate for the dental plan is unchanged.

Feature: Libel insurance: the freelancer’s dilemma
While investigative reporters are frequently hit with court challenges, other specialties are vulnerable as well, says attorney Michelle Worrell Tilton of the Kansas City-based Media Risk Consultants. Entertainment writers are sometimes accused of copyright infringement. Food writers are frequently hit with suits, as are advice columnists –including automotive, real estate, and financial advice columnists.

That can be a chilling reality for freelancers who may not have the support of a news organization. Is a carefully worded contract protection enough? Or are they wise to obtain professional indemnity (or “media perils”) coverage?

Read more