Canadian Freelance Union - news

By: Canadian Freelance Union  09-12-2011
Keywords: Professional Writers

What's new with the CFU:

SACKVILLE, NB – July 14, 2010 – Organizers of Communicating for Cash, a two-day series of professional development workshops for writers and other content creators in Atlantic Canada and beyond, are heralding it a huge success.

Professionals from Ontario and all four Atlantic provinces gathered in Sackville for workshops, networking and socializing, while others from across the country participated in two interactive online sessions. Communicating for Cash was organized by the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC), Atlantic Region.

Fredericton-based Golden Coast International Inc. filmed the government and the marketing sessions. Anyone who missed them can now go to to purchase access to the on-demand video archives. They will be available for viewing starting on July 15, 2010.

Sponsors of the event were the Canadian Freelance Union, the Quebec/Atlantic chapter of the Editors Association of Canada, the Moncton Area Freelance Writers and the South West New Brunswick chapter of PWAC. Other supporters were Golden Coast Incorporated/George Butters, Goose Lane Editions, Strong&Free, Jennifer Fiander - Canadian Disability Resources Database, Marion Soubliere, Paul Lima, Johanna Bertin, Allison Finnamore, Ross Mavis, Carmel Vivier, Jennifer Power Scott and Trudy Kelly Forsythe Freelance Writing Services.

With the formal creation of the CFU we are now accepting regular membership applications. As you have heard, we have set the annual dues to $125/year, however all Charter Members receive a first-year discount, paying only $100. GET SIGNED UP NOW!


The Canadian Freelance Union (CEP Local 2040) is now fully legal. The bylaws were approved by an overwhelming majority of CFU Charter members who voted (45 to 3, or 94% in favour). Thank you all for your long support, and your help in making this happen.

.. now the hard work begins.


The Canadian Freelance Union (CEP Local 2040) held its inaugural meeting of members on October 3, 2009. Over 50 participants came together online via an Internet webcast, or attended at three locations (Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver).

President: Michael OReilly
Vice-President: Marco Procaccini
BC-Yukon Regional Representative: Colleen Fuller
Prairie, Nunavut & NWT RR: Penney Kome
Ontario RR: Sharon Lindenburger
Quebec RR: Daniel Marchand
Atlantic RR: George Butters



We now have the resources, and a three-year commitment from national CEP, to make the CFU a reality. This means things are going to happen relatively soon now.


#2. A draft set of bylaws have been put together by members of the interim executive and interested CFU members. They will soon be available via our online web forum for a full discussion and editing.

If you have not signed up to our web forum, please do so now. Even if you don't want to take part in the discussions, please sign up. It will soon become the primary CFU communication tool. Go to:
NOTE: To register *you must use* your first name and your last name as your User Name. (Otherwise it is impossible to know who is actually speaking.)

#3. The web forum will be one of the important member services. In addition we are also able to offer full members:

- A contract advice service to help members interpret and understand what they are signing.
- A formal contract support to help members deal with disputes over payment, rights usage or other problems. We will now have the time, and the professional support, to truly help.
- A "Red Flag" service to warn members about unscrupulous engagers.
- A basic benefits plan (details to follow).
- Access to full benefits packages at rates far lower than would normally be possible (leveraging our linkages to the CEP)
- A Hiring Hall which will link members to work, and work to members.
- Use of the CFU bug (following our inaugural meeting).
- A CFU membership card (which can also be used as a PRESS card, for those members who want this).
- The start of efforts to negotiate better freelance contracts from some of the country's largest publishers such as Quebecor, Transcontinental, Canwest, Rogers, etc.

#4. In addition to the above services, we are working to deliver additional ones such as:

- Access to other group benefits (possibly car rental, office supplies, hotels, etc.)
- A standard contract which can be used by all members (tailored to each individual sector).
- A published set of standard rates.
- An accounting/tax service.
- Training and skills upgrading programs.
- Access to a new Creator-focused Credit Union.

There will be other less tangible benefits to membership as well. Through the CFU you will have a voice at the federal and provincial levels on issues like copyright reform, EI/CPP changes for self-employed and Status of the Artist laws. No one is speaking for us as these things are being developed. The CFU will.

#5. We am pleased to announce that Charter Members will receive a special discount towards their first year's annual dues. Instead of the normal $125/year, Charter Members will pay only $100 for the first year.


The information in this article was current at 06 Dec 2011

Keywords: Professional Writers

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Canadian Freelance Union - CFU LFP letter of concern

By providing a professional editor to work with these “citizen journalists,” and even offering training, the paper is clearly attempting to replace paid professional journalists with the free work of members of the public. We at the Canadian Freelance Union are dismayed and frustrated that the London Free Press is now seeking to replace the work of professional journalists with free content produced by members of the community.


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Anyone who works in the public media as a journalist, photographer, illustrator, magazine/newspaper/online writer, editor, etc. is eligible to apply for our cards. Qualified CFU members are also eligible to apply for the International Federation of Journalists International Press Card. As a member of the Canadian Freelance Union you are eligible to apply for an official PRESS CARD.


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As a local of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, the Canadian Freelance Union the CFU is able to offer a set health and dental plans at prices far better than would normally be available to self-employed people. For INDIVIDUALS who need full coverages: Medically underwritten Health, Dental, Out of Province/Country Medical, Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Life & Long Term Disability, Estate Vault.


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Christine Kelsey is a Workplace Fairness Analyst with Toronto's Workplace Fairness Institute, where she conducts assessments into sources of workplace conflict to identify improvements in conflict prevention and management. Prior to being an analyst, Chris worked for over twenty years for the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television & Radio Artists in various positions including Manager and Assistant Director (ACTRA Performers' Rights Society.


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We first talk with the member to determine the scope of the problem, and to get their explicit permission to act on the member's behalf. A growing number of freelancers face work-related issues, usually around non, or slow payment of fees. If the client fails to respond within three weeks a second, more formal, attempt is made. We will intervene to help resolve the dispute, and to get what is owed to you.


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A good contract is the basis of a fruitful and positive business relationship between freelancer and client. A contract sets out the obligations and responsibilities of the signatories. Change or cross out sections of an offered contract -- it's your right. A service to help members interpret the contracts they face. Contracts are a fact of life in the freelance world.