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Written by Staff   

2009 Wrap Up

2009 was a momentous year, both for travelers and for the Association. 2009 saw a continued precipitous decline in assignments, down almost half from the peak in 2008. Temporary jobs are a leading economic indicator, which means that they foreshadow events in the larger economy. As a result, travelers were among the first to be affected by the economic depression starting in the middle of 2008. Job orders increased dramatically this January, continuing a trend that began in October. This increase shows great promise for travelers and also suggests a larger economic recovery for the nation.

Association highlights in 2009

  • After almost five years of working for travelers, the Association remains an exclusively volunteer organization run by active travelers. This has allowed us to keep membership fees low, avoid conflicts of interest, and allow for extra benefits such as legal services.
  • Speaking of our legal benefits, we helped save the last assignment and nursing license of a young pregnant traveler who was being sued by her former agency, Aureus Nursing in 2009. This was done with the able help of our general counsel, a contract employment specialist, and an associated local counsel at no extra cost to our full member. Other members were also helped in less critical disputes with agencies.
  • A case study arising from this major incident was published on the primary issue of non competes, a common contract clause affecting the ability of travelers to freely find work. That case study and recommendations for travelers can be found here. An editorial on the matter is published here.
  • Our membership was kept up to date on critical news last year directly impacting travelers, such as augmented COBRA benefits and unemployment benefits. Topical information about how to stay working in the economic downturn was published on the front page and updates placed inside of core knowledge base articles.
  • A new website platform was ordered in 2009. This was necessitated by a large growth in membership. Technology improvements will enable better services and features, including the ability for members to comment and add information directly to any article or resource. You should be able to see the results very soon, starting with improved readability.
  • Several writers were recruited during 2009 to write columns and articles when the new site goes live. These are travelers or those with specialized tax, legal, and industry knowledge related to traveling.
  • The best Nursing Board resource available anywhere was published in 2009 allowing easy access to comprehensive information on obtaining a nursing license by reciprocity or reactivating a lapsed license. Many hours of work were done by volunteers who actually called every board to obtain information not published by the state online.
  • The Association was able to put the kibosh on a collections and blacklist scheme by working with a consortium of agencies behind the scenes. There is an update below on this page, or you can read the in depth article here.
  • While our negotiations have effectively ended a new blacklist of travelers, an existing and still legal national blacklist run by the Dallas Fort Worth Hospital Council is still active and expanding. There is pending and by all accounts popular legislation initiated in 2009 that will kill both this and future blacklists that is based on a federal loophole in credit reports. The Association has lobbied pertinent members of Congress about new abuses our research uncovered. We have also published a sample letter and instructions on how to write to your legislator. Your help in passing this important bill will help protect your rights and those of your fellow travelers in future.
  • The research from this case led to the publication of a flurry of articles about blacklists on our site. A full collection of links can be found at the bottom of this article.