News / 04.03.2011

The Union assists self-employed journalists

Self-employed journalists do get help from the Union, including counselling.

In the Union office Valtteri Aaltonen is in charge of interest protection issues of freelance journalists in the print media while Marianne Leskinen handles those working in the electronic media.

Practical information is provided by the popular training programme, What is it to be a freelance journalist, organized by freelance branch and the union together. The issues discussed there, among others are business models, negotiating of agreements, remuneration and copyrights.The Union has also published a comprehensive guidebook for freelance journalists.

“We also provide reliable information on remuneration and how to keep them up”, says director at the Union, Petri Savolainen.

The union negotiates on the minimum working conditions of freelance journalists with media houses and their employers association, the Finnish Media Industry (VKL) within the framework of competition rights.

“We assist in drawing up agreements and lobby on behalf of the self-employed also with an eye to the election cycle: better social security and unemployment benefits as well as the right to collective bargaining”, says Savolainen.

With the help of the rights to negotiate entrusted to the union by freelance journalists, the union also negotiates for basic service conditions and remuneration of freelance journalists. The union does lobbying work with other trade unions. In the spring the union will organise a Co-operatives Day in collaboration with the Finnish Confederation of Professionals (STTK).

But what about services for start-up firms in the media sector? There is none. According to Savolainen those have not been requested from the union.

Anne Kähkönen, secretary the for freelance branch of the Union says the highest income earners, i.e., those who earn more than 50 000 Euro a year cannot get into training for workers in the creative sector organised by Centres for Economic development, and Transport Environment.


Translated and edited by Linus Atarah.

Original story.

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