Freelancers are an essential part of the economy, known for their self-reliance and passion for their work. But freelancing also comes with its unique set of challenges. From struggling with inconsistent payments to facing the solitude of working alone, freelancers often grapple with aspects that traditional employees may take for granted. Moreover, when unexpected situations arise, such as a need for a sick day on a crucial deadline, freelancers find themselves in a bind. While freelancing offers real freedom, it also requires individuals to shoulder responsibilities like taxation, superannuation, and insurance independently. This system isn’t foolproof, and not everyone can navigate it seamlessly.
Freelancers are here to stay so how can we co-create a better future?
That’s why the 888 Co-operative Causeway is supporting:
Antony McMullen, 888 chair, and Pete Cohen from RMIT FORWARD have established this network to provide:
- Peer Support and Connection: freelancing can sometimes be isolating – through the co-operative, members will be able to find not just work-related support, but also build lasting personal connections
- Collaboration Opportunities: the co-operative won’t just provide emotional and logistical support – it will also serve as a platform where freelancers can team up, pooling their diverse skills for larger projects
- Support in the Tough Times: whether it’s a delayed payment or the absence of insurance, we are here to help freelancers navigate these challenges – the Society will establish a mutual hardship fund (in development)
- Group Buying: we’ll prioritise ethical, member-based social enterprises to give freelancers access to resources and services at a collective scale (in development).
What happens now?
Just say yes! You will then be given access to a Discourse forum where we are sharing information and fostering conversations.
Co-operative Freelancers Society will be running in a pilot mode for a few months until about Jan-Feb 2024, during which time there will be no membership subs payable. We’ll use that time to refine the value proposition and build up engagement with the community. We will also explore different levels of membership fees to hone in on what feels like the right balance. Then we vote with our feet – either enough people see the value and get on board as paid members, or we cease the experiment, or potentially pivot it to try a different approach.