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Home » Recent News » 2016 Bylaw Changes


2016 Bylaw Changes

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Following are the changes to AFM bylaws effective September 15, 2016 as determined by the 100th AFM Convention held in June 20-24, 2016. 

A NEW SECTION is added to Article 3-Officers:

SECTION 4(a). It is the duty of each AFM Officer to hold the AFM’s money and property solely for the benefit of the AFM and its members and to manage, invest, and expend the same in accordance with these Bylaws and the rules and policies as adopted by the IEB, to refrain from dealing with the AFM as an adverse party or in behalf of an adverse party in any matter connected with his or her duties and from holding or acquiring any pecuniary or personal interest which conflicts with the interests of the AFM, and to account to the AFM for any profit received by such AFM Officer in whatever capacity in connection with transactions conducted by him or her on behalf of the AFM.

SECTION 4(b). In addition to the obligation to provide an accounting, an AFM Officer shall pay to the AFM an amount equivalent to the personal profit gained by him or her as a result of any transaction involving the AFM unless, prior to engaging in the transaction, a majority of the disinterested IEB members voted to approve the transaction after the material facts and the Officer’s interest were fully disclosed, and the transaction was fair and reasonable to the AFM when approved.

SECTION 4(c). For purposes of this Section, any personal pecuniary interest taken by an AFM Officer for engaging in the duties and obligations of the Office above and beyond the salary or honorarium provided by these Bylaws shall be presumed unreasonable.

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Section 23 of Article 5-Locals’ Rights and Duties is amended as follows:

SECTION 23. All Local Officers must be nominated and elected in conformity with Local and AFM Bylaws and, except for Canadian Locals, in conformity with the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, as amended. All Local Union Delegates and alternate Delegates to AFM Conventions must be nominated and elected in conformity with Local and AFM laws and in conformity with the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, as amended. In elections of Local Officers, Convention Delegates, and alternate Delegates, no vote shall be counted for a person who has not been duly nominated. A quorum is not required for such nominations/elections to take place. All Player Conference Delegates and alternate Delegates to AFM Conventions must be selected in conformity with the bylaws of their conference.

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Sections 32, 33(a), 33(b) and 33(c) of Article 5-Locals’ Rights and Duties are deleted in their entirety and replaced with the following:

Contract Ratification

SECTION 32(a). Federation Agreements Other Than Canadian National Agreements

i. Any CBA negotiated or renegotiated by the AFM (other than Canadian National Agreements; including but not limited to the TVO/TFO, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the National Film Board, the Canadian Commercial Announcement Agreements) or any negotiated extension of an existing agreement for a period of more than six months beyond its expiration date shall be subject to a secret ballot ratification by the eligible members in good standing who have worked under the previous agreement. A majority of those eligible members who cast ballots shall be sufficient to ratify the agreement.

ii. If there is a dissenting opinion emanating from members of the negotiating committee, the dissenter(s) shall have the right to prepare a minority report at their own expense and have it included as part of the ratification materials presented to those members eligible to vote on the agreement.

iii. The eligibility requirements and ratification voting procedure shall in each case be determined by the IEB. The AFM shall keep accurate and up-to-date lists of all musicians who are eligible to ratify the agreements. In the event that a list of eligible members cannot be reasonably established, this requirement shall not apply, and the IEB shall be empowered to ratify the agreement.

iv. The IEB shall also be empowered to ratify amendments that are of the nature of technical corrections, incidental improvements, or experimental formulas provided the period of time during which the amendment is to be in force does not exceed 15 months.

SECTION 32(b). Federation Agreements – Canadian National Agreements

i. Canadian National Agreements (including but not limited to the TVO/TFO, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the National Film Board, the Canadian Commercial Announcement Agreements) or any negotiated extension of such agreements for a period of more than six months beyond its expiration date shall be subject to a secret ballot ratification by the eligible members in good standing who have worked under the previous agreement. A majority of those eligible members who cast ballots shall be sufficient to ratify the agreement.

ii. If there is a dissenting opinion emanating from members of the negotiating committee, the dissenter(s) shall have the right to prepare a minority report at their own expense and have it included as part of the ratification materials presented to those members eligible to vote on the agreement.

iii. The eligibility requirements and ratification voting procedure shall in each case be determined by the Vice President from Canada in consultation with the Canadian Conference Executive Board or with a committee pursuant to Article 3, Section 6(c) shall make the eligibility determination. The Canadian Office shall keep accurate and up-to-date lists of all musicians who are eligible to ratify the agreements. In the event that a list of eligible members cannot be reasonably established, this requirement shall not apply, and the Vice President from Canada in consultation with the Canadian Conference Executive Board (or with a committee thereof pursuant to Article 3, Section 6(c)) shall be empowered to ratify the agreement.

iv. The Vice President from Canada in consultation with the Canadian Conference Executive Board (or with a committee pursuant to Article 3, Section 6(c)) shall also be empowered to ratify amendments that are of the nature of technical corrections, incidental improvements, or experimental formulas provided the period of time during which the amendment is to be in force does not exceed 15 months.

SECTION 32(c). Local Agreements

i. Any CBA negotiated or renegotiated by a Local Union or any negotiated extension of an existing agreement for a period of more than six months beyond its expiration date shall be subject to a secret ballot ratification by the eligible members in good standing who have worked under the previous agreement. In the event of a ratification held by meeting and secret ballot, there shall be no proxy or absentee ballots. If it is necessary to hold a ratification by mail, then all voting shall be by mail ballot. A majority of those eligible members who cast ballots shall be sufficient to ratify the agreement.

ii. If there is a dissenting opinion emanating from members of the negotiating committee, the dissenter(s) shall have the right to prepare a minority report at their own expense and have it included as part of the ratification materials presented to those members eligible to vote on the agreement.

iii. The eligibility requirements and ratification voting procedure shall in each case be determined by the Local Union executive board. The Local Union shall keep accurate and up-to-date lists of all musicians who are eligible to ratify the agreements. In the event the Local Union is unable to identify a bargaining unit for purposes of ratification, the International President or the Vice President from Canada, as is appropriate, may empower the Local Union Executive Board to ratify the agreement.

SECTION 32(d). Ratification by Electronic Balloting.

i. If it is necessary to hold a ratification by an electronic balloting method (e.g. online, telephone), then all voting shall be done by electronic balloting, provided that ratification by electronic balloting has been authorized by the Local’s bylaws or action of the Local’s Executive Board, and provided that the Local selects an independent organization approved by the International President’s Office to conduct the voting. In all cases, the method of voting must (1) ensure that the member casting the vote is eligible to do so, (2) ensure that the member casting the vote cannot be identified with the vote cast, and (3) afford sufficient safeguards to protect the integrity and security of the voting system. Further, in the case of electronic balloting, an appropriate accommodation must be made for a voter who lacks the technology or equipment necessary to cast his or her vote.

ii. Ratification by electronic voting for a CBA negotiated by the AFM may be permitted at the discretion of the IEB or, in the case of Canadian National Agreements, at the discretion of the Vice President from Canada in consultation with the Canadian Conference Executive Board or with a committee thereof pursuant to Article 3, Section 6(c). Where electronic balloting is utilized pursuant to this subsection, all voting shall be done by electronic balloting. Such electronic balloting shall be conducted by an independent organization approved by the International President’s office to conduct the voting. In all cases, the method of voting must (1) ensure that the member casting the vote is eligible to do so, (2) ensure that the member casting the vote cannot be identified with the vote cast, and (3) afford sufficient safeguards to protect the integrity and security of the voting system. Further, in the case of electronic balloting, an appropriate accommodation must be made for a voter who lacks the technology or equipment necessary to cast his or her vote.

iii. The International President’s Office shall maintain a list of one or more vendors whose electronic balloting services meet the requirements set forth in this Section.

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A NEW SECTION is added to Article 5-Locals’ Rights and Duties:

Officers As Fiduciaries

SECTION 43(a). It is the duty of each Local Officer to hold the Local’s money and property solely for the benefit of the Local and its members and to manage, invest, and expend the same in accordance with its Bylaws and the rules and policies as adopted by the IEB, to refrain from dealing with the Local as an adverse party or in behalf of an adverse party in any matter connected with his or her duties and from holding or acquiring any pecuniary or personal interest which conflicts with the interests of such Local, and to account to the organization for any profit received by such Local Officer in whatever capacity in connection with transactions conducted by him or her on behalf of the Local.

SECTION 43(b). In addition to the obligation to provide an accounting, a Local Officer shall pay to the Local an amount equivalent to the personal profit gained by him or her as a result of any transaction involving the Local unless, prior to engaging in the transaction, a majority of the disinterested Local executive board members voted to approve the transaction after the material facts and the Officer’s interest were fully disclosed, and the transaction was fair and reasonable to the Local when approved.

SECTION 43(c). For purposes of this Section, any personal pecuniary interest taken by a Local Officer for engaging in the duties and obligations of the Office above and beyond the salary or honorarium provided by the Local’s bylaws shall be presumed unreasonable.

SECTION 43(d). The International President shall have the authority to take all acts and issue all orders necessary to enforce the obligations of this Section.

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Sections  47(c), 47(e), 48, and 59 of Article 5-Locals’ Rights and Duties are amended as follows:

SECTION 47(c). Each Local shall [pay] report Federation Per Capita Dues quarterly based on the membership in good standing of each Local as of March 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31 of each year. Payments of Federation Per Capita Dues for such respective periods shall be due and made by check, draft or postal or express money order payable to the AFM not later than April 30, July 31, October 31 and January 31 of each year. Absent a showing of extraordinary circumstances, payments postmarked after April 30, July 31, October 31 and January 31 shall be subject to a penalty in the amount of 2% per month or fraction of a month computed from April 30, July 31, October 31 and January 31.

SECTION 47(e). A Local in arrears one quarterly payment of Federation Per Capita Dues [and/or Federation Initiation Fees (FIF)] or in arrears three months in reporting and/or forwarding Federation Work Dues and/or Federation Initiation Fees (FIF) collected to the International Secretary-Treasurer  shall not be allowed representation at the Convention. A Local in arrears two quarterly payments of Federation Per Capita Dues and/or six months of Federation Initiation Fees (FIF) to the International Secretary-Treasurer may have its charter revoked by the IEB if it fails to pay the delinquent Federation Per Capita Dues within 60 days of written final notice of its delinquency from the IEB. Upon revocation of the charter, the IEB shall be authorized to assign the jurisdiction to an adjacent Local or Locals.

SECTION 48. The FIF shall be paid by each member subject to it, [and ]collected by the Local the member joins at the time of affiliation, and forwarded to the Federation each month, whether or not the member pays the LIF in installments. The Local shall [forward]make a monthly report of the FIF collected to the International Secretary-Treasurer [together with a report ](in a form that the Secretary-Treasurer shall prescribe) not later than the 15th day of the month immediately following the member’s affiliation. The form shall include the member’s name, address, U.S. Social Security or Canadian Social Insurance number, and prior AFM affiliations. Absent a showing of extraordinary circumstances, Locals remitting FIF payments after a grace period of 15 days shall be subject to a penalty in the amount of 2% per month or fraction of a month computed from the end of the grace period.

SECTION 59. The Local where the services were performed (unless provided otherwise in these Bylaws) shall collect the Federation Work Dues along with its Local Work Dues and make a monthly report of Federation Work Dues collected to the International Secretary-Treasurer in a form that the Secretary-Treasurer shall prescribe. The Local shall forward to the International Secretary-Treasurer all Federation Work Dues collected during each month on or before the 15th day of the following month[, together with a report in a form that the Secretary-Treasurer shall prescribe]. Absent a showing of extraordinary circumstances, payments forwarded after a grace period of one month shall be subject to a penalty in the amount of 2% per month or fraction of a month computed from the end of the grace period.

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Section 56(d) of Article 5-Locals’ Rights and Duties is amended as follows:

SECTION 56(d). The maximum amount of Work Dues payable by any Local members for performing services within the jurisdiction of a Local of which they are members shall not be more than the following:

i. 4% of the scale wages earned for employment under AFM-negotiated Agreements covering services rendered for electronic media (recordings, broadcasts, films, video, etc.) plus the percentage amounts set forth in the chart in Article 9, Section 32(b);

ii. 5¼% of the scale wages earned for employment under a Local-negotiated Agreement covering theatrical employment where the members in the bargaining unit have voted to participate in the Theater Defense Fund as provided [, except as noted] in Section [59]58 below;

iii. 5% of the scale wages earned for all other work.[ or except as otherwise provided by the IEB in connection with Article 9, Section 40(b).]

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Section 5 of Article 6-Funds is amended as follows:

SECTION 5(c). [Non-interest bearing emergency]Emergency relief loans of up to 20% of the funds available as of April 1 of the current year shall be available to participating orchestras that are current in their payments to the Fund. Loans payable from the Fund only after a strike has been ordered or approved by: (1) the players of a participating orchestra acting by at least a majority vote or in accordance with some other established written policy requiring more than a majority vote, (2) the Local Executive Board, and (3) the International President’s Office.  Emergency relief loans shall be payable from the Fund in the event of a local or other serious confrontation with management that, in the Trustees’ opinion should be considered for emergency relief.

 SECTION 5(e). Loans shall be repaid without interest in 12 equal monthly installments commencing on the first day of the month following resolution of the confrontation.  At the end of the 12 month period any outstanding unpaid balance will be charged interest calculated at the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) prime rate in effect on the first day following the 12-month period until said balance is paid in full.  In the event of a hardship, a feasible payment schedule shall be determined by the Trustees.

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Section 9 of Article 6-Funds is amended as follows:

SECTION 9(a). The IEB shall have the express authority to establish an annual fee payable by all musicians who earned scale wages of $2,500 or more, in the aggregate, in the prior calendar year for work under Federation recording agreements (other than symphonic recording agreements) provided that such fee i) is approved by the four AFM members who currently compose the EMSD Oversight Committee as described in the Roehl Report (or their replacements selected in accordance with current practice); and ii) is ratified by the affected musicians by mail ballot referendum. Such fee (“EMSD Fee”) shall be collected by the appropriate Local and shall be remitted by the Local to the Federation.

SECTION 9(b). If the EMSD Fee is calculated as a percentage of scale wages earned, the fee shall be due and payable to the Local  where  the  services  were  performed and shall be due and payable no later than the 15th day of the month following the month during which the member was paid. Any member violating the provision of this Section shall be subject to a fine of not less than $10 nor more than $100, suspension and/or expulsion from the AFM. The Local where the services were performed shall collect the EMSD Fee along with its Local Work Dues.

SECTION 9(c). The Local shall forward to the International Secretary-Treasurer all EMSD Fees collected during each month on or before the 15th day of the following month, together with a report in a form that the Secretary-Treasurer shall prescribe. Absent a showing of extraordinary circumstances, payments forwarded after a grace period of one month shall be subject to a penalty in the amount of 2% per month or fraction of a month computed from the end of the grace period.

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Article 13-Traveling Engagements is amended as follows:

Sections 9, 11(a), 11(b), 11(c) and 12 are deleted in their entirety.

SECTION 13. Except  for  services  that  are  covered  by  a  CBA  with  a  home Local or the AFM  that provides for wages and other conditions of employment and that is approved for the purposes of this Article by the AFM, or services that are covered by another provision of these Bylaws or by AFM rules or regulations promulgated under these Bylaws, the minimum wage to be charged and received by  any  member  (including  arrangers,  orchestrators  and  copyists)  for  services rendered on a Traveling Engagement shall be the following:

Section 13(a) is deleted in its entirety.

Section 13(b) is amended as follows:

SECTION 13(b). In the case of a Traveling Engagement of less than the periods set forth above, the minimum wage shall be no less than  either the Local wage scale where  the  services  are  rendered  or  the  Local  wage  scale  where  the  musical unit group  (or individual member performing alone) has its base of operations, whichever is greater.

Section 16 is deleted in its entirety.

Section 19 is amended as follows:

SECTION 19. The leader of a traveling orchestra shall be required to furnish transportation  for  the  orchestra  members.  If  orchestra  members,  at  the leader’s request, are required to drive their vehicles, they shall be reimbursed for all toll road expense and shall be compensated at the current mileage/kilometer rate recognized by the U.S. or Canada, as appropriate, for a maximum of four musicians per vehicle. Each additional passenger shall require compensation at the rate of one-fourth (1/4) the U.S. or Canadian mileage/kilometer rate, as appropriate, per passenger. of six cents per mile or four cents per kilometer per member they transport, with a minimum payment of 30 cents per mile or 19 cents per kilometer.

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Sections 5 and 6 of Article 17-Conventions are amended as follows:

SECTION 5. Local Union Delegates to the Convention (and alternates for those Delegates who may be unable to attend the sessions) shall be elected by the Locals either at annual, regular, or special meetings or at regular or special elections, but in any event by secret ballot. In the event there is no opposition for the Delegate position(s), the unopposed Delegate candidate(s) shall be declared elected by acclamation. At least 15 days prior to the election of Delegates, notice of the election shall be mailed by the Local to the last known home address of each member in good standing. Elections in violation of this law are null and void.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That Article 17, Section 6, be amended as follows:

SECTION 6. All Local Union Delegates and alternate Delegates to AFM Conventions must be nominated and elected in conformity with Local and AFM laws and in conformity with the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, as amended. In elections of Local Officers, Convention Delegates, and alternate Delegates no vote shall be counted for a person who has not been duly nominated. A quorum is not required for such nominations and/or elections to take place. All Player Conference Delegates and alternate Delegates to AFM Conventions must be selected in conformity with the bylaws of their conference.

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A NEW SECTION is added to Article 20-Policy as follows:

NEW SECTION. As a matter of policy, musicians who work for full-time orchestral employers and their Locals are urged to negotiate and/or maintain parity in wages and benefits for substitute and extra musicians performing with those orchestras.

Further, in accordance with fundamental principles of union democracy and the Mission of the AFM, musicians who work for full-time orchestral employers and their Locals are encouraged to explore ways that substitute and extra musicians may participate in the bargaining process.

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A NEW SECTION is added to Article 22-Miscellaneous as follows:

SECTION 5. Canada has two official languages, French and English. In the Province of Quebec, French is the official language. New Brunswick is Canada’s only bilingual province. The Federation shall accommodate the requirements of that reality, in the context of the applicable legislation, to the extent it is practicably able to do so.







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