What's new with the CFU:

CFU now accepting full membership registrations

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!

Go to: http://www.cfunion.ca/forms/dues_form.html

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IT'S OFFICIAL!

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.

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CFU Inaugural Meeting a historic success

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).

Founding bylaws were discussed, with a formal vote being called (to be conducted online via the CFU Forum). In addition, the founding national Board was elected:

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

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CFU takes part in national Copyright debate

The Canadian Freelance Union participated in the Toronto Town Hall discussion on August 27, 2009. A question from interim President Michael OReilly was read into the record. In addition, the CFU presented a formal position paper to the consultation process (available here online, or as a PDF file) and was a signatory to a joint submission to the Copyright Consultations on the dangers of expanding Fair Use.

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July 17, 2009 - The Canadian Freelance Union gets full CEP support

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.

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#1. We will hold our inaugural meeting of members on OCTOBER 3, 2009. This will involve a number of physical sites, with electronic links to the entire country. At this meeting we will adopt a set of initial bylaws, elect the first national executive, and establish other founding policies.

#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:

http://www.cfunion.ca/forum/
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.

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