English-speaking journalists working in the Netherlands are today highly likely to be self-employed. As such they are more vulnerable than ever to exploitation and changes in the labour market. Their need for protection from a trade union is therefore greater too.
Even if your work is primarily for Dutch employers you can expect support from the NUJ if you get into trouble.
Continental NUJ members working in Continental Europe no longer pay reduced subs and so must get equal treatment. As one national officer once said representation is like being pregnant you either are or not; there can be no half measures
Like everywhere issues are taken up on a case by case basis but there is no reason to expect a request for help to be rejected because you work on the Continent.
At the same time NVJ membership, even the basic rate, is a good investment to given its expertise and knowledge of Dutch employers.
But you don’t need to wait until there is a problem. There is a whole range of help that but the NUJ and the NVJ offers for working journalist every day.
These are your national officers for freelance members’ phone numbers and emails
National Organiser (Freelance and Wales) – John Toner
T: 0044 20 7843 3706
M: 0044 7867357866
Assistant Organiser – Pamela Morton
T: 0044 20 7843 3706
M: 0044 7921 700913
For general information check out: https://www.nuj.org.uk/work/freelance/
This includes help with matters such as late payments and copyright plus ten reasons for freelancers to join the NUJ.
The NUJ’s Freelance Industrial Council
There is an industrial council for each industrial sector of the membership in England and Continental Europe. These include the Freelance Industrial Council.
Freelance Industrial Council members are elected from geographical constituencies, including continental Europe, so every freelance has a representative voice from their area. www.nuj.org.uk/contacts/industrial-council-contacts/freelance/
We have a “continental” representative, the Brussels-based journalist called Vic Wyman.
The FIC produces a very useful and comprehensive Fact Pack covering issues such as professional matters, business matter, well-being, subscriptions, copyright and e-communication: https://www.nuj.org.uk/work/freelance/freelance-fact-pack/
You can advertise yourself on the NUJ’s Freelance Directory. Here is the URL for the Freelance Directory where you can place your details: http://www.freelancedirectory.org/
Rates of Pay
If you want information on current rates of pay being offered in the UK which should be comparable with Dutch rates who can try the London Freelance Branch. It is one of the largest freelance branches. Its website and branch newsletter which is delivered with comes with the Journalist is well worth checking out. It includes a Rate for the Job section. Its website address is: http://media.gn.apc.org/lfb/index.html
It also offers specifically a Freelance Fees Guide: www.londonfreelance.org/feesguide/index.php?language=en&country=UK§ion=Welcome
The NUJ’s guide for photographic rates can be found at: https://www.nuj.org.uk/documents/nuj-guide-charging-digital-imaging-editorial-photography/
Freelancers without the backing of a large media organisation can today benefit enormously from online searches. One example is the Google News Lab where the NUJ has combined with Google to help journalist use Google as an investigative tools. The news labs are free. One is currently in the pipeline to be held in Paris others have been held in London, Manchester, Cardiff and Belfast. Check out them out at the NUJ’s website including a video: https://www.nuj.org.uk/news/how-to-use-google-tools-as-a-journalist/
For those who are also members of the NVJ its freelance section is very active is currently conducting a survey of freelancers focused on rates of pay. Its magazine Villa Media has articles on freelancing such as in April on changes in the VAR law.
Obviously if you are working primarily for Dutch employers then the support you can call upon as a freelancer is much better. This may be worth the investment even in the basic NVJ membership.