Can’t afford your American Translators Association (ATA) dues? New this year, the organization is allowing members to pay in two installments: 50 percent down now, the remainder in six months. Annual renewal fees cost anywhere from 89 USD to 492 USD, depending on membership type.
This payment plan is a first for ATA and what organization president Ted Wozniak calls “a member benefit [considered] as a token of appreciation for current members who may have financial issues due to the pandemic.” According to a December 30th Tweet, in order to take advantage, members must renew online. ATA currently has more than 10,000 institutional and individual members across more than 103 countries.
“We don’t have hard data on the economic impact of the downturn or the pandemic on our members,” Wozniak emailed MultiLingual. In the United States however — where the ATA finds the bulk of its members — recent Census Bureau surveys reveal self-employed adults were hardest hit by 2020’s economic downturn. In states where at least 25 percent of businesses had to close for temporary quarantines, 13.9 percent of freelancers were forced to rely on food banks, religious or community groups, or friends and family for at least one meal a week. This compares to 8.7 percent of workers who were not freelancers prior to the downturn. The majority of American translators are self-employed.
ATA had planned to conduct a members’ compensation survey in 2020 — a plan Wozniak says was pushed back to this year because of the pandemic. Right now, the association is basing the need for payment plans on “anecdotal stories from members,” he explains, which range from “a near complete loss of business to little or no change to an increase in business — not entirely unexpected given the diversity and dispersion of [translation and interpreting] services around the globe.”