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


Home » Recent News » Nontenured Faculty Seek Union Relief for Low Pay and Benefits

Nontenured Faculty Seek Union Relief for Low Pay and Benefits


Universities across the US are seeing an up-tick in union activity. Fifty years ago, 80% of university faculty positions were tenured or tenure-track jobs. Now this statistic is reversed, with about 80% of instructional jobs, including teaching graduate students, nontenured. These faculty have little say in university governance, few job protections, and low salaries.

Columbia University Provost John Coatsworth sent an email to the Columbia community pledging to continue legal efforts against graduate student unionization. The university has refused to bargain, while the union has authorized a strike and campus picket for April 24-30.

In 2016 the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a groundbreaking ruling that graduate students at Columbia do fit the requirements for workers who could bargain collective agreements, which led to waves of organizing at campuses across the country. Increased union activity has been seen at the University of Chicago, Loyola University, the University of Illinois, Northwestern University, and Columbia College Chicago, among others.

Now that the NLRB balance of power has shifted under the Trump administration, union organizers fear the Columbia ruling could be reviewed and reversed, particularly if another university challenges their administration’s refusal to bargain. For this reason, Yale, Boston College, and University of Chicago have withdrawn petitions for NLRB recognition.

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