As this issue went to print, AFM’s negotiating team, comprised of recording musicians and our union’s leadership, had reached a new Sound Recording Labor Agreement (SRLA) with the major recording companies including Hollywood (Disney), Sony, Universal, and Warner. The tentative three-year contract is a huge win for musicians who record under the SRLA, which sets minimum wage scales and working conditions for audio recordings—both studio sessions and live performances. When ratified, musicians will see improved pension and health care contributions, and 3% wage increases in each year of the contract.
“With music consumption transitioning away from CDs and downloads, we fought hard to connect our residual and pension funding to streaming. For the first time, the SRLA obligates the companies to contribute a portion of interactive streaming revenue to our Sound Recording Special Payments Fund (SPF) and the Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF). New provisions also require the companies to make substantial guaranteed annual payments to the AFM & Employers’ Pension Fund (AFM-EPF) from streaming,” says AFM President Ray Hair. “Negotiations are not always an easy or quick process, but when musicians stand together—we have the power to do anything!”
In the coming weeks, musicians who work under the SRLA will receive a ratification letter and voting information about this new and improved contract. Look for additional details of the new Sound Recording Labor Agreement in Hair’s March column.