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.
November 6, 2019Jay Blumenthal - AFM International Secretary-Treasurer
The delegates to the 2019 AFM Convention passed substitute Resolution No. 9 that directs the international president and the international secretary-treasurer to “commence a study regarding establishing and implementing more efficient and uniform tools and procedures for the administration of AFM electronic media contracts, to decrease the expense of collecting, processing, and remitting payments to the Federation, and maximize the effectiveness of the delivery of services to affected members.”
The study began on September 11, when AFM President Hair and I, along with EMSD Director Pat Varriale and EMSD Assistant Director John Painting, met in Toronto with AFM Vice President from Canada Alan Willaert, AFM Canadian office Executive Director Liana White and AFM Canadian office Electronic Media Supervisor Daniel Calabrese to discuss the process and procedures for the handling of electronic media contracts in the Canadian office.
Following the meeting, Hair, Varriale, Painting, and I went to the Toronto Musicians’ Association Local 149 to meet with Executive Director Michael Murray and Treasurer Andy Morris, along with Local 149 President Linda Cara and Secretary Charlie Gray. Andy has developed electronic media database software for the local that has led to efficiencies in the processing of EMSD contracts and expedited payments to musicians. Our visit included a full demonstration showing the capabilities of this software.
It is our intention to confer with the Recording Musicians Association (RMA) and collect information from various other locals where electronic media work is performed to better understand their electronic media procedures and the software they use to accomplish the task of administering electronic media contracts and collecting and remitting payments to the Federation. Ultimately, it is our goal to “decrease the expense of collecting, processing, and remitting payments to the Federation, and maximize the effectiveness of the delivery of services to affected members.”
AFM Information Systems Manager Walter Lopez will be leaving the AFM and moving with his family to a new home and job in Florida. It is an understatement to say that Walter will be missed.
He was very involved with our recent move to the ninth floor where he collaborated with the architects who planned the new space and the outside vendors who installed the IT infrastructure to meet our present and future IT needs. New cabling throughout the space, a central and secure IT server room, boardroom and meeting room teleconferencing, new copy machines, a new telephone system, and many other technological improvements fell within Walter’s purview. He also negotiated many of the contracts covering outside vendor IT services, which now contain more favorable terms for the AFM.
Besides our AFM New York City headquarters, Walter oversaw our technology and IT operational needs for the AFM Canadian office in Toronto, the AFM West Coast office in Burbank, and our AFM Legislative office in Washington, DC. During his seven-year tenure, Walter continually remained focused on securing our AFM systems to protect member information. We wish Walter and his family all the best in his new position and thank him for his dedicated service to our members.
Working side by side with Walter for the past four years has been Michael Ramos, AFM information system support specialist. Michael will move up to become our new information systems manager.
Michael was involved throughout our recent move to the ninth floor, so he knows our current IT systems and, having been present for the 2016 and 2019 AFM Conventions at the Westgate Hotel in Las Vegas, he has experience with our off-site technology requirements. Michael has hit the ground running in his new role. Please contact Michael for IT needs at ext. 270.