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 » Organizing » Everyone’s Voice Counts: Is Your Local Represented?


Everyone’s Voice Counts: Is Your Local Represented?

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joe-parenteby Joe Parente, AFM IEB Member and President of Local 77 (Philadelphia, PA)

In two months, the AFM will hold its 100th Convention in Las Vegas. Aside from being a historic event for the Federation, the convention will once again afford the opportunity for delegates to help shape the future of our union.

Since the last convention in 2013, the Federation has successfully negotiated most of its media agreements; collected money for musicians due them for violations under the Motion Picture Agreements; continued the fight for expedited visas, the ARTS Act, and for musicians traveling to this country; and supported the creation of the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, which would require AM/FM radio to pay performance rights royalties. However, none of this would be possible without what is probably the most important factor—the Federation’s ability to maintain its financial stability.

Any success the Federation has had over the last three years have not merely been the result of the Federation itself. The AFM relies on each member of the union, through its locals, and in turn, through its delegates at the convention, to make decisions on resolutions, recommendations, and bylaw changes that will affect all members of the AFM.  These decisions establish the policies for the Federation going forward.

However, the reality is that we have had an increase in merged locals. And when we merge locals, we lose members. Not once in a while … not every so often … every time. Loss of members means less per capita for the Federation and fewer locals and delegates attending the convention, resulting in some members not being represented.

The number of locals attending conventions over the last 10 years has been steadily declining. Fewer locals, equal fewer delegates, and again, more members not being represented. I know some locals are experiencing financial hardships. I also know that all locals should be involved in the process of shaping the Federation in the future. Those two statements seem to pose a problem to which no one has an answer—at least not yet.

Everyone’s opinions count. Everyone’s ideas count. Everyone’s voice counts. We must find a solution so everyone counts!







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