The Freelancers Union originally offered group-rate health coverage within New York State, and now offers plans in 30 other states. While coverage varies by state, the opportunity for graphic designers to save on health insurance costs can be a great benefit for freelancers. The organization is working to extend this coverage to all 50 states. The union does offers dental coverage in every state, and disability and life insurance to members with health insurance.
Events and Networking
The Freelancers Union offers seminars, workshops and networking parties to help educate and further the careers of freelancers. Seminars cover topics such as finances, networking, taxes and incorporating a business. The union holds quarterly networking parties in New York and also sponsors meetups and online seminars for members outside of New York.
Part of The Freelancers Union is political. Their primary issues are taxation and payment protection.
Finding Jobs and Freelancers
The Freelancers Union website offers a “yellow pages” and “gigs” section for both locating freelancers and landing jobs. The yellow page search lets you limit by specialty and zip code to locate a subcontractor in your area. The job postings offer a nice selection of work tailored to union members, such as for copywriters, web designers and game developers.
The site also steps you through creating a contract that protects you and makes sure the work and payment(s) are clearly spelled out. There's also a section that helps rate previous clients (so you will know what you are getting into).
Freelancers Union members gain access to a large selection of discounts. These include corporate discounts from vendors such as Barnes and Noble, Mac Support Store and Hyatt Hotels, as well as discounts from other union members.