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.
August 8, 2017IM -
On July 15, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and National Public Radio reached a tentative, three-year agreement, preventing 400 NPR employees from striking. Despite soaring public radio ratings following the election of President Donald Trump, NPR sought to institute a two-tier salary system where one group of workers would receive lower pay, which would have dealt a major blow to solidarity. Management considered gutting overtime pay and taking health care coverage away from temporary workers.
“They are trying to lower salary minimums, and they are really trying to weaken the power of the union,” says NPR producer Becky Sullivan, asserting that they were trying to create a situation that allowed outside people to do union work and take away the union’s ability to file a grievance. The new deal includes salary increases and repels efforts to erode union protections and institute the two-tiered salary system.
During negotiations, some of NPR’s most popular staff, including All Things Considered host Robert Siegel, sent a letter to CEO Jarl Mohn detailing the importance of a union contract. “NPR has become great partly because of our labor-management contract,” the letter read in part. “The contract has ensured proper working conditions, collaboration, and collegiality, and an atmosphere of mutual respect.”
“Despite the often-referenced decline in organized labor, news unions have been a major story over the last two years as media outlets like Salon, Vice, MTV News, The Guardian US, Jacobin, Thrillist, Slate, and others have obtained union representation,” wrote Journalist Gary Weiss at the Columbia Journalism Review. “They never really went away, of course, but for the first time in memory they are proactive rather than on the defensive.