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.
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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.
June 1, 2017IM -
In November 2015, the librarians of the Sarasota Orchestra signed cards asking to be represented by the AFM and to be included in the collective bargaining unit of the Sarasota Orchestra. For more than a year, Florida Gulf Coast Local 427-721 officers and AFM representatives worked with the librarians and orchestra members to finalize an agreement with management. The resulting agreement fully recognizes the librarians as musicians and members of the orchestra, and provides coverage on par with the orchestra’s CBA.
Throughout the process, management proposed separate CBAs that would continue to treat the librarians as administrative staff, and through several sessions, rejected recognition of the librarians as musicians. With persistence and continued support from the AFM and their fellow musicians in the Sarasota Orchestra, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was ratified May 22. The MOU calls for immediate tenure for the principal and assistant principal librarians. Beginning September 1, librarians’ benefits and salaries will be equivalent to the instrumentalist musicians who share the same principal and assistant principal titles.
“We are grateful for the support of the AFM local and our colleagues in the orchestra as they have been pursuing this issue at the bargaining table for many years now. The warm reception we have already felt from our fellow musicians made this outcome even more meaningful,” says Sarasota Principal Librarian Justin Vibbard.
Librarians will have their own specific terms for obtaining tenure, but in virtually every other instance, will be treated as their fellow musicians under the terms of the CBA.“The members of the Sarasota Orchestra have long been grateful for the excellence and musical skill that our librarians are able to afford us onstage and off. We certainly would not be able to perform at the level we do without their far-reaching knowledge and hard work. It is with excitement that we officially welcome them to our orchestra as musicians and colleagues,” says Orchestra Committee Chair and Principal Percussion George Nickson.