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


Home » Officer Columns » Department of Professional Employees (DPE) and the AFM

Department of Professional Employees (DPE) and the AFM

  -  former AFM International Secretary-Treasurer

The AFM belongs to the Department of Professional Employees (DPE). The DPE is part of the AFL-CIO and represents professional and technical unions. While the basic tenants of unionism are collective bargaining and we are all governed by Taft-Hartley, the professional technical unions such as the AFM, the National Football League, SAG-AFTRA, Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), the American Nurses Association, and IATSE, to name a few have special circumstances and meet regularly with the DPE who assist and advocate for our member needs.

While you are reading this, I will be in Washington, DC, at AFL-CIO headquarters at a DPE meeting discussing some of our common issues. I am also included as part of a committee of the arts, entertainment, and media industries made up of arts unions. We collaborate on legislative issues and talk about management tactics detrimental to our members.

This year’s DPE meeting will include a discussion entitled: “The Changing Work Environment for Professional and Technical Workers.” The plan is to discuss how DPE can be a source for collective action.

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