What would be in our collective bargaining agreement? Sane working hours, for sure. Harder to lay off or better severance. What else?
i don't know how realistic this is but i hear a lot about agencies double billing for creatives who have extra skills doing things like translating copy, taking really quality agency headshots, or even voice acting/acting in spots... but the actual person doing the extra work doesn't see a dime. easy way to save a lot of money and take advantage of how multidisciplinary people have to be to stand out in such a competitive environment.
I'd like to see people get paid at least a little bit of money extra for doing that sort of thing.
This has happened to me multiple times for voice acting. I can’t imagine how to get paid for this if you’re salary (as I was) or if the client doesn’t know it’s being done internally.
A pension and lifelong insurance coverage.
This has been a major goal of mine in thinking about this as sort of guild rather than a bunch of autonomous unions (though your agency's union could still negotiate its own contract—the guild would just provide a baseline for you to start from, as well as legal counsel, coordinated communications and, eventually, a solidarity network).
One of the unique things about advertising in my experience is that people like bouncing to different places not just out of professional frustration but to work with/under certain people, to chase certain brands or to do different kinds of work. When I worked at Pizza Hut, I didn't also want to see how they washed dishes at Dominos or Little Caesars, you know? So I would want to have bylaws and structures that protect that kind of culture.
Sane hours could come via a WFH day each week, official turn-off hours, or overtime.
Severance negotiation would be a huge one. Transparency in promotions and raises, with clear org charts and salary bands we all agree to would be another.
I'd also like to fundamentally change the way we pitch and freelance but those would be later goals once we have an organization that actually wields some power.
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