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 » Teaching at a University, Fighting to Earn a Living Wage

Teaching at a University, Fighting to Earn a Living Wage


The stories are strangely familiar: adjunct professors fighting for better wages and working conditions—not unlike fast-food employees fighting for minimum wage. The workload for fulltime professors and adjuncts is nearly identical, but the starting salary for full-time professors at most institutions is typically three to four times higher than an adjunct.  

According to an AAUP survey of part-time faculty members, adjunct professors earned a median of $2,700 per semester in 2012-2013. A March 2015 survey conducted by Pacific Standard among nearly 500 adjuncts found that a majority earn less than $20,000 a year from teaching. In addition to working at other jobs to supplement their teaching income, a report out of UC Berkeley Labor Center found that 25% of all part-time college faculty members receive some sort of public assistance, such as Medicaid or food stamps. A widely cited article last year from reported that many adjuncts earn less than the federal minimum wage. Unless they work 30 hours or more at a single college, they are not eligible for health insurance or other benefits.  

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