Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.
As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.
The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.
Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.
December 1, 2019Jay Blumenthal - AFM International Secretary-Treasurer
As 2019 draws to a close, the International Executive Board (IEB) will soon be holding its December meeting. As in the past, we use the current year’s financial numbers to date (actuals) to estimate the budget for the upcoming year (2020). We go through the budget lines to determine what we anticipate will be monies coming in (income) and monies going out (expenses). Budgeting is not an exact science, but rather a best guess estimate based on past actuals and the expectations for the upcoming year. Income is never guaranteed, and unforeseen expenses often arise affecting the way the financial numbers turn out at year’s end.
The AFM budget process begins with a preliminary budget meeting that includes BDO Director Bob Hamilton, BDO Audit Manager and CPA Jessie Mabutas, AFM President Ray Hair, AFM Comptroller Michelle Ledgister, and myself. Once we all concur on the preliminary budget, the budget is brought to the AFM Finance Committee (currently Alan Willaert, John Acosta, Dave Pomeroy, and Ed Malaga) for review, discussion, and adjustment if necessary. The final step in the budgeting process is a day at the IEB meeting reserved for discussion, answering questions, and a vote on the final budget by the full IEB. The AFM bylaw Article 3, Sec. 9(u) states in part, “the projected operational expenses shall not exceed the projected annual income for that year.” Therefore, this bylaw requires that we have a balanced budget.
Our main budgeting objective is to create a healthy financial position for the upcoming year so that AFM programs and initiatives can be implemented or continued that improve the lives of AFM members.
2019 AFM Convention Official Proceedings
The 2019 AFM Convention Official Proceedings is now available on the AFM website in the Document Library – AFM International Conventions folder. Hard copies of the booklet were recently mailed to each 2019 AFM Convention Delegate.
AFM Bylaws (revised 9-15-19)
The AFM bylaws (rev 9-15-19) in English are currently available online at AFM.org. Log in with your AFM ID and password. Go to the Document Library and open the Bylaws folder. Click on AFM Bylaws (rev 9-15-19).
The printed bylaws booklet (English version) will be mailed to locals shortly. We are in the process of translating and printing the bylaws (French version). We will post the bylaws (French version) as soon as we receive the translated file. The bylaw booklets in French will be mailed to the appropriate Canadian locals as soon as we receive them.
2020 US Federal Election
Recently, we entered the US federal election campaign cycle. Regardless of any party affiliation you may or may not have, it is critical that you vote in the general election next November. If you think your vote will not make a difference or feel going to vote is a waste of time, I urge you in the strongest terms to reconsider. Democracy depends on everyone’s participation. Please take the time to educate yourself on the issues and exercise your right to vote.
We are less than a year away, so the election will soon be upon us. Make your voice heard.