Should I join a union? Why or why not?
Comparing Freelance and Union Work
Often perceived as a sign of professional status, being accepted into an entertainment union is like the holy grail of achievement for some voice talent. Union jobs also tend to pay nearly twice as much as non-union work. Unions help out with retirement planning and provide medical coverage for the talent and their dependents. The union will act as Accounts Receivable so talent never have to chase down a payment and some will even act legally on the talent's behalf, should the need ever arise.
Signs that you may be ready to join a union:
- You have an established business.
- You have agency representation.
- You are landing union jobs and or have signed a Taft-Hartley.
- You have a Must Join status.
- You are prepared to turn down non-union work.
- You are prepared to adjust how much you charge to align with union scale.
- You are confident that you can convince some of your current clients to work with you under union contracts.
- You believe that the amount of work you get as a union talent will more than compensate for the income you'll lose from not taking freelance jobs.
- Access to different work opportunities.
- You decide how much to charge.
- You don't have to pay annual dues.
- You don't have to pay initiation fees.