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.
April 1, 2019IM -
Continuing to rehearse and perform under the terms of an expired CBA since January 15, Baltimore Symphony Musicians are also working hard to build political support in both Baltimore City Hall and the Maryland state legislature for increased public funding. A resolution passed by the Baltimore City Council urged the Maryland General Assembly to restore the BSO’s state funding to pre-recession levels, “ensuring that [the Baltimore Symphony] remains a vital cultural and artistic asset for generations to come.”
Members of the BSO Players’ Committee, initially by themselves, and later joined by some of the orchestra’s board and management leadership, met with numerous state delegates and senators to effectively lobby for House Bill 1404, which will provide two years of additional state funding of $1.6 million each year. As of mid-March, the bill has been passed by the Maryland House of Delegates and awaits discussion and vote in the Senate. Assuming the bill becomes law, the two-year grant would go into effect July 1.
The bill requires the creation of a work group comprising board members, administrators, and musicians under a chairperson approved by the leaders of the general assembly. The purpose of the work group is to examine structural efficiencies of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, including health care costs and facility usage, and make recommendations regarding cost containment strategies and audience development. The report is due to the Maryland General Assembly by October 1.
Meanwhile, the Baltimore Symphony Musicians, members of Local 40-543 (Baltimore, MD), continue to appear out in the community. An ensemble recently performed at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, and a woodwind quintet will play Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf (with narration in Spanish) at one of the city’s library branches. A group of musicians will also take part in an event sponsored by the National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC). The NNOC is conducting an organizing campaign for the nurses of Johns Hopkins Hospital. In addition to raising awareness about the nurses’ issues, this concert is a benefit for a pregnant registered nurse who advocated for fair treatment and improved patient care, and was fired after requesting Family and Medical Leave Act information.