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.
March 7, 2018Jay Blumenthal - Secretary-Treasurer
by Jay Blumenthal, AFM International Secretary-Treasurer
There is a new and different mortgage brokerage company available to many AFM members: the Union Plus Mortgage Company (UPMC). What makes it different from other mortgage companies is that it is owned by the AFL-CIO, Union Plus, and a group of affiliated unions (including the AFM). The revenue generated by UPMC belongs to the labor movement—not the big banks or Wall Street. UPMC offers a variety of financing options—Federal Housing Administration loans (FHA), VA loans, 15- and 30-year fixed rate loans, and adjustable rate loans.
Currently, the UPMC is licensed in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington DC, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. If you are seeking to purchase a property in one of these states, the Union Plus Mortgage Company may be an option you wish to consider. To find out if a state where you wish to purchase a property has been added to the list or to learn more, go to the UPMC website www.unionplusmortgage.com.
One year after obtaining a UMPC mortgage loan, union members can benefit from the Union Plus Mortgage Assistance Program. This program provides hardship mortgage assistance in the event of income loss due to disability, unemployment, or strike/lockout. And a new mortgage customer can expect to receive a $500 Visa gift card after closing!
“As a mortgage broker, UPMC shops the top lenders in the country to find the best mortgage rates and products for its union customers. The UPMC team members have an average of 18 years’ experience in the mortgage industry, and as the company grows, the staff and loan officers’ right to union representation will be supported and encouraged. The program is available to active and retired union members as well as spouses (or domestic partners), parents, and children of those union members.”
Note: The AFL-CIO, Union Privilege and a group of unions own Union Plus Mortgage Company and will benefit if you get your loan through the company. However, you are not required to use Union Plus Mortgage for your loan and are free to shop. For your Affiliated Business Arrangement Disclosure Statement please visit www.unionplusmortgage.com.
Last year I attended the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Show in Anaheim, California, for the purpose of meeting and thanking our current advertisers and soliciting new advertisers for the International Musician (see “NAMM Show Hits the Mark!” IM March 2017). I’m pleased to report that the leg work at NAMM, done in conjunction with the amazing staff at Bentley-Hall (the company that produces the International Musician) resulted in a 10% increase in IM advertising billing last year, surpassing our 7% goal.
This positive result played heavily in my decision to attend this year’s show, which took place in January. It’s difficult to know whether this year’s attendance will produce the same positive results as last year, but time will tell.