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 » Kennedy Center Ratifies One-Year Modification


Kennedy Center Ratifies One-Year Modification

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In late October, the musicians of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra (KCOHO) and Washington National Opera (WNO), members of Local 161-710 (Washington, DC), ratified modifications to the third year of their agreements that expire on August 31, 2021.

Musicians had previously agreed in April 2020 to a 25% cut in all scale wages for the period from May 1 through August 31, 2020. By June, management signaled they wanted to have economic conversations about the 2020-21 season. Nothing was proposed until mid-September.

Initially, WNO sought a 27% reduction in the annual guarantee, and a freeze in wages based upon unmodified 2019-20 rates. Having successfully resisted several attempts in recent years to reduce annual guarantees, it was important that this guarantee not be decreased in this modification, so musicians instead accepted a pay reduction, which was commensurate with that accepted by their colleagues of the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO). By pointing to standards established in NSO bargaining, KCOHO and WNO musicians were able to keep larger concessions at bay, thanks in part to the hard work of the NSO musicians at their bargaining table. The two current contracts expire August 2021.







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