Overland are the first publication to sign on to the MEAA Freelance Charter!
This is a huge step towards securing fair conditions and rates for freelancers across the industry.
Freelancers at Overland have secured…
Minimum rates and annual rate increases Timely payment following submission Superannuation for a secure retirement “Kill fees” for commissions that are cancelled by the outlet Retention of all copyright Indemnity from defamation Respect for the MEAA Journalist Code of Ethics Clear dispute resolution options
Read the statement from MEAA Freelancer Jennifer Mills, and see the MEAA and Overland agreement below.
Writers should be paid fairly for our work and we have a right to organise for better conditions. For creative workers, basic things like fair pay, superannuation, and being paid on time are too often dismissed as luxuries. We all know that unjust working conditions cement inequalities and throw up access barriers in our industry. When most writers are impoverished, literature as a whole suffers.
The National Freelance Committee and MEAA media section have been working hard behind the scenes, assessing the needs of freelancers and finding ways to make change. Last year, we launched the Freelance Charter, endorsed by over 500 freelance members. The Charter establishes some basic conditions like being paid on time, superannuation, and minimum rates. Importantly, the Charter also gives freelancers a means to bargain collectively.
It can be difficult for writers to organise. Freelancers rely on our relationships, and we often can’t afford to be disruptive. But that makes it even more important that we act collectively and in solidarity with others, both in the arts and in every form of precarious work. It’s great to see the literature sector leading the way in discussing and adopting better practices. I’m so proud of the freelance committee and the union for seeing the need to take action and putting in the years of work – meetings, discussions, writing, agitation and more meetings – that are now resulting in lasting change.
Overland has been essential to my own development as a writer, editor and critic. It’s a journal with a strong radical history and it has always offered its writers and readers space to imagine a more just world. I’m thrilled that the Freelance Charter is now part of that legacy.