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A message from the president of the CMG’s Freelance Branch

As the New Year and adjustments to our new collective agreement with the CBC settle in, there are some important updates you should know about regarding the Freelance Branch.

(By the way, you are a member of the Freelance Branch of the CMG if you perform Freelance Contributor or Freelance Specific Service contracts for the CBC. You pay dues to the Guild and we are here to represent you.)

I encourage you to take a look at the Branch section of the CMG website, at http://www.cmg.ca/freelancebranchhome.asp. We have updated the section with some FAQ’s about freelancing at the CBC, the new rates for freelance contributions and contact info for the branch executive. Feel free to contact any of us with any questions or concerns. This year, I hope to meet with many of you, and the producers who commission your work, so we can all better understand the new rates and licensing regimes.

I am also advising anyone who is asked to work under a Freelance Specific Services contract to contact the Guild office in Toronto BEFORE you sign any contract. Changes to the way non-permanent employees are hired mean you should know exactly what you’re getting into.

The Freelance Branch at the CMG is a unique entity, in that we have the support of a major communications union. We are endeavoring to reach out and strengthen ties with other professional communications associations. To that end, we have joined with PWAC, the Professional Writers Association of Canada to support a survey about writing careers in Canada, as many of you may write for print or internet as well as for broadcast. There are even some excellent incentive prizes such as an iPod and a fancy portable word processor.

To take part in the survey, go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/CheckPassword.asp?SID=761007&U=49636761007&C=
The password to enter is pwac2006. The survey will be closed shortly, so don’t delay your entry.

The Freelance Branch has openings on our executive council. We need representatives in Alberta, Toronto, Quebec and the Maritimes. Please contact me at 604-836-5542 or pacificpalate@telus.net. As an executive council member, you will take part in conference calls, face-to-face meetings, and help other freelance branch members with questions and concerns. While some of this work is voluntary, the Guild reimburses you for authorized expenses, including travel and per diem, and provides a day rate if we engage you to help out with a project or meeting that would prevent you from doing another assignment. I look forward to meeting and working with you in the future.

Don Genova

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