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.
May 9, 2018Alan Willaert - AFM Vice President from Canada
Negotiations have successfully concluded with the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) and the Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA). A deal in principle has been reached, which will extend to April 1, 2020. Upon ratification, a more compact, up-to-date, and in some areas, radically different General Production Agreement for Commercial Announcements will be in effect.
After decades of patchwork and “pilot” approaches to new media, we now have an agreement that recognizes digital media as a third—and equal—platform, along with television, radio, and nonbroadcast use. A simplified chart replaces the former hard-to-find fees, and much of the historic language relating to long obsolete advertising practices has been expunged. Following are some of the significant changes.
Fees for the basic one-hour session for a 13-week cycle (26-week digital) grow from $191.80 to $250, representing an approximate 30% increase, leader double. Reuse for an additional 13 weeks (26 digital) is 50%, or $125.
Sideline session rates have increased from $364.70 to $650 for an eight-hour day, representing a roughly 78% increase in fees. If the audio is recorded during sidelining, an additional 25% is added to bring the total to $815.
A new “demo” fee is added to the leader’s compensation to assist with payment to musicians involved in demos.
While the team worked hard for a significant bump in pension, we were able to achieve a 1% increase to 12%.
Another unique change is that any stock music or library track used in the production of a commercial will be subject to a flat fee of $30, reported to and payable monthly to the Canadian Office. Half will be forwarded to the Musicians’ Pension Fund of Canada as an unallocated contribution to ensure the ongoing health of the fund, and the other half will be held in the CFM’s New Use account, for payment to musicians in special circumstances. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time a union has taken jurisdiction over library music, anywhere.
It should be noted that both sides felt a need to increase flexibility of the agreement, as well as construct a more user-friendly document that would attract greater use in the low budget area, specifically in digital.
I would like to thank my negotiating team, who were exemplary in their dedication, wisdom, and patience. Among them were Local 149 (Toronto, ON) Executive Director Michael Murray and Membership and Contracts Coordinator Rebecca Sinnaeve; and Local 149 Members Chris Tait of Pirate Toronto, Nicola Treadgold of Eggplant Music and Sound, and Jane Heath of Needle Drop Audio. I give special thanks to CFM Electronic Media Supervisor Dan Calabrese and Director of Administration Susan Whitfield. Without them the magic just doesn’t happen.
Editing will take place over the next couple weeks, and if everything goes according to schedule, members can expect the ratification process to begin around the start of May. While the protracted negotiations stretched to two years, we feel that the major increases in fees and extraordinary gains in other areas should garner healthy approval.