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.

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Home » Orchestra News » Grand Rapids Symphony Ratifies One-Year Contract


Grand Rapids Symphony Ratifies One-Year Contract

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In mid-May, members of the Grand Rapids Symphony ratified a one-year contract, which extends the wages and other economic provisions of the previous agreement while updating some work rules. Covering the orchestra’s 50 full-time musicians, the contract takes effect September 1, 2020, the day after the expiration of the previous contract.

Prior to the pandemic, the orchestra had been working with management on a multi-year contract, but both sides agreed that current circumstances due to COVID-19 would make it difficult to plan with certainty. Assistant Principal Viola Barbara Corbató and double-bassist Mark Buchner were lead negotiators on behalf of the musicians, members of Local 56 (Grand Rapids, MI).

Corbató and Buchner wrote in a statement: “The musicians of the Grand Rapids Symphony feel very fortunate to have the support of our board, administration, and community leaders as we all navigate these uncertain times. These negotiations were collaborative and amicable, with a shared vision of working for a strong organization. This one-year extension gives the musicians a sense of stability with the knowledge that the Grand Rapids Symphony organization will be prepared to begin performing for our audiences as soon as we can do so safely.”







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