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.
July 28, 2020Tino Gagliardi - Theatre, Touring, and Booking Division Director
The Broadway League announced in late June that Broadway performances in New York City will be suspended through the remainder of 2020 due to COVID-19. Returning productions are currently projected to resume performances over a series of rolling dates in early 2021.
As we navigate through the current pandemic and the total shutdown of live theatrical performance, it is important to think ahead and consider what our industry will look like as we prepare for a return to work in the theatre pits across the United States and Canada.
For the last several weeks, I have been working with the officers of the Theatre Musicians Association—President Tony D’Amico, Vice President Heather Boehm, and Secretary Treasurer Mark Pinto—and the Director of Broadway Jan Mullen to evaluate the needs of theatre musicians for a safe return to work.
We will be faced with many challenges in ensuring musicians performing in the theatre pit environment remain safe and healthy. Below is a list of questions and issues that we believe will be important to address with our employers as we emerge from the current crisis. We offer these as a guideline for the bargaining of safety protocols for musical theatre. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the items below are subject to collective bargaining and can be addressed in COVID-19 side letters to avoid opening the agreement and keep bargaining confined to safety protocols. As with any change negotiated in a collective agreement, side letters must be ratified by the bargaining unit before musicians return to work. Musicians should only return to work after the union has determined that the employer has met its obligation to provide for a safe and healthy work environment.
All the below items should be considered for load-in, load-out, sound-check, rehearsals, and performances.
A coordinated response to health and safety procedures between the AFM, Actors Equity, and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) will ensure consistent guidelines for our workplaces. All theatres should establish safety committees and compliance officers to monitor that sanitation, ventilation, social distancing protocol, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are in accordance with best practices and legal requirements. Employees are not responsible for establishing these protocols and should not shelter the employers from liability. No worker should sign a liability waiver as a condition of returning to the theatre or any other workplace.
Under no circumstances should COVID-19 reopening procedures be used to change or diminish instrumentation or run of show by electronic or any other means.