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.
January 1, 2023Jay Blumenthal - AFM International Secretary-Treasurer
by Jay Blumenthal, AFM International Secretary-Treasurer
The 102nd AFM Convention will take place Monday, June 26 through Thursday, June 29, 2023 at the Westgate Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Delegate registration will be Sunday, June 25, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Monday, June 26, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Please see the 2023 Convention General Information article, on page 19 in this issue of the International Musician, for important additional details.
Our initial planning meeting for the AFM Convention took place December 8, 2022. We have several new members on the 2023 convention logistics planning team, but we’ve gotten off to an early start. I am confident we will have an efficient and interesting 102nd AFM Convention.
All locals should be aware that Article 5, Section 46(e), of the AFM bylaws states in part:
“A Local in arrears one quarterly payment of Federation Per Capita Dues or in arrears three months in reporting and/or forwarding Federation Work Dues and/or Federation Initiation Fees (FIF) collected to the International Secretary-Treasurer shall not be allowed representation at the Convention.”
Please make sure your local is paid up!
Article 5, Sec. 22, of the AFM Bylaws states in part:
“All Local Union Delegates and alternate Delegates to AFM Conventions must be nominated and elected in conformity with Local and AFM laws and in conformity with the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, as amended. In elections of Local Officers, Convention Delegates, and alternate Delegates, no vote shall be counted for a person who has not been duly nominated. A quorum is not required for such nominations/elections to take place. All Player Conference Delegates and alternate Delegates to AFM Conventions must be selected in conformity with the bylaws of their conference.”
Department of Labor LM Reports
We were recently notified by the Department of Labor that their records show that our union currently does not have any delinquent local affiliates. Congratulations and thanks to local officers for getting your LM reports filed. If your local filed late, be forewarned that a pattern of late filing is likely to invite an audit by the Department of Labor.
At the December meeting of the AFM International Executive Board, the AFM’s 2023 balanced budget was passed. Getting to a balanced budget is always challenging, but this year was a bit easier due to improving AFM revenue streams. While we are not back to pre-pandemic levels, we are hopeful revenue streams will continue to improve throughout 2023.
Kennedy Center Honors
The 2022 Kennedy Center Honors took place at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 4, 2022, in the Kennedy Center Opera House and aired on CBS December 28, 2022. This year’s honorees included one of our own, Local 802 (New York City) member Tania León. Tania was our International Musician cover story for our February 2018 issue
I met Tania well over a decade ago. At the time, I was financial vice president at Local 802. I’ve never met a musician with more drive, energy, creative ideas, and follow-through (with union sensibilities) than Tania. As AFM members, we should all be proud of her positive achievements and the worldwide recognition she has brought upon herself, and by extension, our union.
Congratulations, Tania! We’re very proud of you.