3rd-party contract--to cross out clause or not cross out?!

Subject: 3rd-party contract--to cross out clause or not cross out?!
From: Randy Burgess <ghost -at- DAVINCI -dot- NETAXIS -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 1997 16:11:56 -0500

Hi all--

I am about to sign (in fact must do so by tomorrow, Monday) my first
third-party employment agreement for tech writing. This is with Support
Our Systems, or SOS, out of New Jersey. The end client is a financial
services company in Connecticut.

I see in it the clause that they can terminate the agreement (i.e. fire my
butt) at any time with no notice, but that I have to give them 30 days
notice, in writing, to do the same.

And I've just looked over my issue of "American Writer" from the union in
which advice is given that this kind of restriction is a good thing to
cross out before you sign the contract. A boxed sidebar (this is on p. 20
of the Winter 1996-1997 issue) suggests that rather than a simple
crossing-out, the clause should be amended so that both writer *and
agency* must give 30 days' notice.

My question is, a) should I go ahead and either amend and cross out, given
that the client, myself, and the agency are all verbally committed? Will
it screw things up? (I guess that depends on the agency--I would think
they'd not want to rock the boat too hard at this late stage.)

My second question is, b) given that it's a three-month contract, 30 days
seems like a long period of time--if there's dissatisfaction between
myself and the end-client, and there's an abrupt parting of the ways for
any reason, I worry about the 30 days being used by the agency as an
excuse not to pay me for any weeks I've already put in. Payment is

Anybody have any experience/opinions on the above?

Randy Burgess ghost -at- netaxis -dot- com
freelance writer,
tech writer, ghostwriter

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