Attention all freelancers seeking HEALTH CARE

Important message from the Freelancer’s Guild. This is BIG! -mia



In the upcoming months, the Guild’s Freelancer unit will be negotiating a contract with a major health care provider that will offer rates far lower than what you could get on the open market as an individual.

It is vital that before we sit down to negotiate, we obtain the largest possible membership through your sign-ups because that membership size in turn will affect the amount of the annual rate unit that members pay.

So now is the time for any of you who are freelancing and facing the prospect of no benefits, expensive benefits or loss of benefits to join the unit so we have the largest possible group and thereby win the least costly and best possible health care plan for you.

Maybe you have health coverage for a few more months — if you were laid off by The Chronicle — or maybe you still are covered by your parents’ policy if you are a journalism student who is about to graduate. But if that coverage is due to end anytime soon, you are exactly the people who should be joining the freelance unit now so we can get a great health policy for you.

Along with the upcoming health plan, here are some of the benefits provided by the freelance unit for the fee of $144 a year:

College scholarships of $3,000 each for the 2010-2011 school year for members and their family members. Winners, selected in a lottery drawing, also will receive second-year scholarships of the same amount contingent upon satisfactory academic accomplishment. Part-time scholarships are also available. $500 for families that open a new 529 college savings plan. Juried press pass eligibility.

Free membership for two weeks — long enough to learn some new programs or skills.

Membership in the Bay Media Federal Credit Union, which features low- cost loans, high-yield savings, and safe, secured deposits, competitive rates on IRA/Health Savings Accounts and (HSA)/Education Savings Accounts.

Union Plus, which offers mortgage assistance, discounts on legal counsel, tax services, car rentals, prescription drugs, electronics, and more, a low-cost credit card — and a 10 percent discount on AT&T service — great for those who use iPhones!

Free admission to monthly seminars on topics of value to freelancers, from filing taxes to pitching a non-fiction book to driving up traffic to your Web-based work.

You will become part of a group that advocates for better conditions for freelancers, promotes high standards in an age where journalism quality is deteriorating and allows members help one another deal with the hurdles of self-employment.

Please consider joining today. Log onto and click on “Join Us.” Questions? Call Rebecca at 510-472-3024.

In solidarity, Rebecca Rosen Lum, Unit Chair Susan Sward, member, Guild Freelancers

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