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.
August 21, 2017IM -
In the years when there is no AFM Convention, the Federation hosts the Locals Conference Council (LCC) and Players’ Conference Council (PCC). Taking place at the same venue and at the same time of year as the 100th Convention last year, the LCC-PCC affords delegates from both councils the opportunity to exchange information and ideas on appropriate subjects regarding the good and welfare of the AFM, its locals, and its members. In short, it allows these diverse constituencies the opportunity to hold the AFM accountable.
Since I was a local officer at this time in 2016 and I was never a conference delegate, this was my first LCC-PCC. Represented in the 2017 LCC-PCC were the Professional Musicians of California, Canadian, Eastern, Illinois State, Mid America, Mid-States, New England, New Jersey State, New York State, Southern, Professional Musicians of Texas, and Western locals conferences, as well as the five players’ conferences: International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM), Organization of Canadian Symphony Musicians (OCSM), Regional Orchestra Players Association (ROPA), Recording Musicians Association (RMA), and Theater Musicians Association (TMA). The delegates of the conferences are typically officers of the conference, who are elected in conformity with the bylaws of their conferences.
In attendance from the AFM were executive officers and senior staff, as well as international representatives (IRs). Spread out across the US and Canada, with each servicing the locals in their respective territories, the IRs are often the first line of communication between the AFM and its members.
Essentially a weekend conference, the first day of the LCC-PCC started out with reports from AFM officers and department directors. AFM President Ray Hair spoke about the general status of the AFM since the convention, current and pending contract negotiations that he is involved with, and the long-term stability of the AFM going forward. AFM Vice President Bruce Fife discussed the recently initiated local officer training program, while Vice President from Canada Alan Willaert gave an update of AFM matters north of the border. AFM Secretary-Treasurer Jay Blumenthal presented a financial and statistical report, and talked about the International Musician Editorial Board. Following departmental reports, representatives of the AFM Employers’ Pension Fund gave a pension presentation.
In the afternoon, the delegates met as councils to formulate topics that they wished to discuss and questions that they wanted to ask. Each conference, of course, brought with it its own unique attributes and needs. As per the AFM Bylaws, the first order of business is to elect an LCC Chair. This year it was Local 7 (Orange County, CA) Secretary Tammy Noreyko, who is also secretary of the Western Conference.
On the second day, the LCC and PCC met with AFM officers and staff. Topics of discussion included touring and traveling issues, organizing and membership recruitment, suggestions and ideas for afm.org, and questions about the pension fund. Perhaps the most significant and possibly most overlooked detail about this event is that it is likely the only time these delegates and AFM representatives will all be together outside of a convention. I was struck by the level of knowledge and professionalism of the delegates, and by the smooth discourse between the AFM representatives and the delegates about their respective concerns.
In conclusion, this event was a very successful show of solidarity between several different constituencies within the AFM. I would like to thank all who helped to make this a meaningful event. See you next year, delegates!