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.
May 2, 2014Tom Mendel - Theatre Musicians Association (TMA) President and member Local 10-208 (Chicago, IL)
There’s a lot going on with the Theatre Musicians Association (TMA) right now. Before I tell you about our 2014 Annual Conference location, I’d like to fill you in on what TMA is up to leading up to our conference and beyond.
Theatre Contract Data Repository
TMA is proud to announce that the new Theatre Contract Data Repository became “live” on our TMA website on February 22. It is a collection of data formatted to compare important aspects of theater CBAs from many locals in the AFM. We feel that this will be an invaluable tool to prepare for contract negotiations. In addition to being available to TMA officers, it will also be accessible to AFM international and local officers.
Here’s how it works: go to the TMA website (afm-tma.org), click on “Members Only/AFM Officers,” then click on “Theatre Contract Data Repository.” You will be asked to log in and enter your password. First time users will need to click on “Register” and fill out the registration information, and on next page,
click “Submit Registration.”
Our webmaster, Stephen Green, will validate your registration and then send you a return e-mail confirming your registration. We encourage all AFM locals with CBAs for theatres to send their contract info to TMA Secretary-Treasurer Mark Pinto, a member of Locals 9-535 (Boston, MA) and 126 (Lynn, MA). He will continually update the Theatre Contract Data Repository as new contracts come in.
TMA Executive Board and
Committees Are Busy
The TMA Executive Board is constantly addressing issues and concerns for our members. Most recently, we had a two-hour conference call with AFM Director for Theatre, Touring, and Travel Steve Gelfand to discuss issues relating to theatre musicians. We appreciate this synergy between the AFM and TMA!
The TMA Legislative Committee is in the midst of restructuring our bylaws. Headed by Chair Walter Usiatynski of Local 802 (New York City) and TMA Parliamentarian Paul Castillo of Locals 47 (Los Angeles, CA) and 353 (Long Beach, CA), the committee is making clear and ergonomic restructuring recommendations to accommodate the numerous changes in our bylaws since we started heading toward a delegate system in 2011. The recommendations will be voted on at our annual conference. Because of this change toward a delegate system, we have formed a Membership-at-Large Organizing Committee (also chaired by Walter) to give our members-at-large the opportunity to elect their director. Currently the director for the membership-at-large is elected at TMA’s annual conference.
Debbie Brooks of Local 72-147 (Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX) is the new TMA chair for the Chapter and Membership Recruitment Committee. (You may recall from my previous IM article that she was quite a motivator in the formation of our new DFW chapter.) She is joining forces with TMA Marketing and PR Committee co-chairs Heather Boehm of 10-208 (Chicago, IL) and Christina Steffen of Local 586 (Phoenix, AZ) to advocate TMA membership and new chapter chartering. They have many exciting ideas, some of which have already been implemented.
The TMA Travelers’ Forum, chaired by Jamie Schmidt of Local 802 (New York City), is constantly searching for traveling musicians to bring together to discuss their unique concerns. Assisted by Bob Bowlby of Locals 9-535 and 126 and Angela Chan of Local 369 (Las Vegas, NV), the committee is developing a members only Facebook page, which will include welcome packets from many of our TMA Chapters.
Finally, the TMA Conference Committee, headed by Steve Sanders of Local 6 (San Francisco, CA), was quite busy this year discussing locations and logistics for our annual conference and making recommendations to the TMA Executive Board.
2014 TMA Conference to Be Held
in Fort Worth, Texas
On behalf of the TMA Executive Board, I am happy to announce that our 19th Annual TMA Conference will be held August 11-12 in Fort Worth, Texas, at the Holiday Inn-Downtown. This was a difficult year to choose a place for our conference because we chartered two new chapters last year, one in Washington, DC, and the other in Dallas-Fort Worth. Fort Worth was chosen this year, but you can be sure that DC will certainly be high on the list for a future conference location. Full details of the conference will be announced in the next TMA Pit Bulletin, as well as on our website: afm-tma.org. All TMA members are welcome and encouraged to attend!