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.
July 1, 2016IM -
by Jay Blumenthal, AFM Symphonic Services Division Director
This month’s symphonic issue of the International Musician contains a broad range of articles that I believe will be of interest to the entire membership. Our cover story features Weston Sprott, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra trombonist. Sprott’s interests include work as an artist/clinician, educator, and advocate for music education.
Article contributions by the AFM Symphonic Services Division (SSD) staff and counsel include:
SSD Counsel Rochelle Skolnick’s “Why the AFM? Collective Action Across the Generations” reminds us that hard-fought gains over 50 years can be easily lost unless we educate the new generation of musicians about the power of collective action. Negotiator Nathan Kahn reflects on his years as a musician and union activist in “A 40-Year Union Perspective: My Final Offer.” “Keep Your Voice Strong—Keep Your Voice Focused,” by Negotiator Chris Durham, explains how orchestra committees should express the voice of the rank and file.
Contract Administrator/Communications and Data Coordinator Laurence Hofmann’s article details the new features of the online Symphonic Wage Charts. “Revenue Sharing in Symphonic Media Agreements—Know When Are You Owed Money?” by Director of Symphonic Electronic Media Debbie Newmark explains how revenue sharing should work. International Representative and Negotiator Barbara Owens discusses the importance of face-to-face communications in the age of technology in “Face Time or Screen Time?” Negotiator Todd Jelen writes on the importance of locals receiving information from employers to ensure proper contract maintainance and payments in “Freedom of Information … Act!” SSD Canada Director Bernard LeBlanc and Associate Directors Christine Little Ardagh and Steve Mosher co-wrote an article about how Canadian orchestras reach out to broader audiences. I hope you enjoy reading these articles.