AFM Secures Tentative Agreement with AMPTP, Delivering Historic Wins for Musicians

Los Angeles, CA: The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) has reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) on the Basic Theatrical Motion Picture and Basic Television Motion Picture contracts. The agreement, unanimously recommended by the bargaining committee, represents a significant victory for musicians working in film and television.

“This agreement is a major win for musicians who have long been under-compensated for their work in the digital age,” declared AFM International President and Chief Negotiator Tino Gagliardi. “We have secured historic breakthroughs in streaming residuals, established critical guardrails against the misuse of AI, gained meaningful wage increases and made other important improvements. This agreement represents a watershed moment for the artists who create the soundtracks for countless film and TV productions.”  

Full details of the contract will remain confidential until the agreement is approved for a ratification vote by the members who work under this contract.

“I want to congratulate our AFM Fair Share for Musicians bargaining unit members for their unwavering commitment to fighting for a contract that fairly compensates them for their invaluable contributions to film and TV and protects them in the ever-changing film and television industry,” Gagliardi concluded. “We were not alone in this negotiation, and we were proud to have the full backing of fellow unions: SAG-AFTRA, Writers Guild of America, IATSE, and the Teamsters. It was yet another powerful reminder that when we have solidarity in the labor movement, we can achieve great things. We also would like to thank Carol Lombardini, president of the AMPTP, as well as the AMPTP and its member companies, for helping bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion.” 

The tentative agreement will now be submitted for ratification by the members working under the Basic Theatrical Motion Picture and Basic Television Motion Picture contracts, pending AFM International Executive Board approval.


News Flash

The RMA General Conference was held on December 5th and 6th, 2022. Elections were held on the 5th. The elected officers include the old and the new, and we are looking forward to working with our new RMA Executive Board:

Marc Sazer, President
Lara Wickes, Secretary
Martin McClellan, Treasurer
Devin Malone, First Vice President
Joanna Maurer, Second Vice President
Brian Fullen, Executive Officer
Chris Anderson-Bazzoli, Executive Officer
Sidney Hopson, Delegate to the AFM Convention
Chris Anderson-Bazzoli, Alternate Delegate to the AFM Convention

American Music Fairness Act

Not only will this critical legislation provide payments to musicians for our music played on AM/FM Radio, but that new right will create a fair global market that ensures foreign countries pay U.S. artists for the use of their songs overseas.

For too long, foreign collecting organizations have denied U.S. musicians payment when our music is played overseas because we have not had a “reciprocal right” – even though the vast majority of music broadcast overseas was produced here! 

We need the American Music Fairness Act now!
Click to Support the American Music Fairness Act

RMA Conference 2020

The Recording Musicians Association held their biennial Conference on Friday, December 18, 2020. Officer elections took place, and the Officers of the RMA for 2020-2022 are:

Marc Sazer, President
Danny Rader, 1st Vice President
Roger Blanc, 2nd Vice President
Lara Wickes, Secretary
Martin McClellan, Treasurer
Don Foster, Executive Officer
Devin Malone, Executive Officer
Don Foster, Delegate to the AFM Convention
Devin Malone, Alternate Delegate to the AFM Convention

more to follow….

Black Lives Matter

The Recording Musicians Association, a player conference of the American Federation of Musicians, embraces AFM President Ray Hair’s recent statement on Black Lives Matter, and acknowledges the 8 minute 46 second video from Minneapolis and what it laid bare: systemic racism persists and is embedded in our national culture in profoundly disturbing and insidious ways. Our thoughts are with the family of George Floyd and the families of all victims of racially motivated violence everywhere. 

We further commit to acknowledging the true history of the United States, one which honestly bears testimony to the subjugation of Black people, and to bear personal responsibility to advocate for equality of justice and opportunity not only under the law, but as seen through the lens of 400 years of Black experience in this country.

We pledge to further our commitment to a more diverse and inclusive RMA. 

Pension Crunch Time

Our Pension Fund recently hosted a Webinar that all participants were invited to attend. One message came through loud and clear.

The proposed Federal legislation that could help us is evolving (as legislation always does). The deadline for the Joint Select Committee is NOVEMBER 30! [Update: The Joint Select Committee will keep working past the deadline in order to reach a solution]


Please follow this link to contact each of the Senators and Congressmembers on the Joint Select Committee now.
The Pension Fund has made it easy to email each one, but phone calls are a powerful way to go above and beyond to make our needs heard. Below is a full list of the members of the Joint Select Committee, with their phone numbers. Please click here for bullet points and helpful information.
Or, you can download letters to send to


  • Senators    
  • Sherrod Brown (D-OH)    202) 224-2315
  • Orrin Hatch (R-UT)    (202) 224-5251
  • Joe Manchin (D-WV)    202-224-3954
  • Lamar Alexander (R-TN)    202-224-4944
  • Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)    (202)224-2043
  • Rob Portman (R-OH)    202-224-3353
  • Tina Smith (D-MN)    (202) 224-5641
  • Mike Crapo (R-ID)    (202) 224-6142
  • Representatives   
  • Richard Neal (D-MA)    (202) 225-5601
  • Virginia Foxx (R-NC)    (202) 225-2071
  • Bobby Scott (D-VA)    (202) 225-8351
  • Vern Buchanan (R-FL)    (202) 225-5015
  • Donald Norcross (D-NJ)    (202) 225-6501
  • Phil Roe (R-TN)    (202) 225-6356
  • Debbie Dingell (D-MI)    (202) 225-4071
  • Dave Schweikert (R-AZ)    (202) 225-2190

RMA General Conference – Live from New York!

RMA General Conference

The 2018 Recording Musicians Association General Conference met on November 2nd and 3rd at Local 802 in New York. Delegates from New York, Nashville and Los Angeles gathered to share reports, discuss issues, hear from Local and American Federation of Musicians Officers and staff, and hold elections.

This year a new generation of Delegates attended, bringing together varied experiences and perspectives. New faces included Devin Malone from Nashville and Martin McClellan and Allison Allport from Los Angeles. Our newly elected RMA Executive Board reflects this new generation of musicians:

Marc Sazer, President
Danny Rader, First Vice President
Roger Blanc, Second Vice President
Martin McClellan, Treasurer
Allison Allport, Secretary
Devin Malone, Executive Officer
Lara Wickes, Executive Officer
Steve Dress, Delegate to the AFM Convention
Devin Malone, Alternate Delegate to the AFM Convention

On Friday afternoon, November 2, RMA hosted a forum at Local 802, open to all AFM musicians, titled “Musicians/Media/Union”. The panel presented a PowerPoint presentation focusing on the history behind our current pay structure for streaming in Live TV, Film and Television Film. A successful, wide-ranging roundtable discussion with the attendees and panel followed the presentation, ending, as Local 802 meetings often do, with musicians leaving for work on Broadway shows and concerts.

AFM Secretary-Treasurer Jay Blumenthal gave a wide-ranging report on AFM finances, AFM negotiations, the status of the move of AFM offices, preparations for the AFM Convention in 2019, and other issues that affect us all. Local 802 President Tino Gagliardi welcomed the Conference, and described his history of involvement with negotiations both on Broadway and national contracts, as well as his long participation in RMA. Pat Varriale, Director of the Electronic Media Division of the AFM provided a comprehensive report on the status of negotiations, and current media issues, and participated in discussions with the Delegates as a valued team member throughout the Conference. John Painting, the Supervisor for Recording at Local 802, also participated and helped us analyze wage and other data that is critical to our understanding of employment trends across the different contracts and cities. Jason Poss, AFM Rank and File Representative for Live TV negotiations, joined our Conference as a guest, and participated in our Open Forum as well. His broad knowledge of the history of negotiations, contract issues and real-life functioning of our contracts greatly enriched our discussions.

One issue that we discussed in some depth was the importance of touring in musicians lives and finances. AFM Director of Organizing Michael Manley, whose previous position with the AFM was as Director of Touring, spent a very productive session with the Delegates from each of the cities, discussing the different kinds of tours that travel on a regular basis across the continent, and what strategies the AFM might employ to bring benefits, coverage and predictability to at lease some parts of this industry.

The Conference reviewed reports prepared by the Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund, the AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Fund, and more, We walked our way through the pension fund website online, reviewing the professional and effective legislative advocacy resources available to all participants.

A new committee was formed to help musicians lobby the U.S. Congress on behalf of pension reform that will provide a lifeline to our pension fund, an effort we have shared with you in the past, but which we will all be ramping up.

RMA would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Officers and staff of Local 802 for being such gracious hosts. We came away from NYC with a new and energized team – stay tuned; you’ll be hearing more from us soon!

Negotiating Pivotal Contracts in the Age of New Media

The following article appears in the February 2018 International Musician. For a rapidly growing list of New Media projects that were scored AFM, please visit “Have Your Heard” at, and note the many entries for Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.

Our AFM negotiates three major filmed media contracts, the Motion Picture, Television Film and Live TV/Videotape contracts. Together, these CBA’s are responsible for over 150 million dollars of AFM wages, and support the livelihoods of thousands of AFM musicians. This year, we are facing pivotal negotiations for all three, and since all of our electronic media contracts are interdependent and intertwined, there will be historic consequences for our shared futures. President Hair has written a series of columns over the past few months that give a strategic overview of trends in recorded media, which I recommend that you review. This column is focused on the immediate here and now of our contract negotiations.

Unions representing directors, writers, actors and others who work on film and television shows negotiated significant improvements in New Media in 2017. For all of us in the industry, it has become clear that New Media is both the future and the present.

  • “Disney Makes $52.4 Billion Deal for 21st Century Fox in Big Bet on Streaming“
    nytimes Dec. 14, 2017
  • “Disney to end Netflix deal and launch its own streaming service”
    The Verge Aug 8, 2017
  • “Cannes film festival takes on Netflix with new rule”
    The Guardian May 11, 2017

We are facing a seismic shift in the way filmed media is produced and distributed. More and more, our jobs will come from projects created initially for streaming, rather than for theaters, networks or cable. How will professional musicians be able to make a sustainable livelihood?

We know that recording music budgets are generally shrinking, and that music budgets for New Media are even tighter. In film & TV, musicians’ wages are now almost always dependent on composer’s packages, rather than studio budgets. What can we accomplish in these negotiations that will allow us to make a living in this new environment?

The other unions negotiated increased residuals for all types of New Media, as well as sharply shortened streaming windows before residuals are triggered. They also negotiated substantial residuals for Advertising-based Video On Demand (AVOD), such as YouTube, network websites, etc.  Payments for Subscriber Video On Demand (SVOD) will now be subject to sliding residual scales based on the number of subscribers the service has; for example, Netflix will pay a higher residual rate as a result of having more than 20 million subscribers. The other unions have also moved from freely negotiated scales (which still prevail for low budget streaming projects) to set wage scales for High Budget SVOD (HBSVOD).

Each of our sister unions negotiated up-front wage increases, as well as different methods of increasing contributions to their respective health and pension funds. Three years ago, film & tv musicians voted to send 1.5% of our residuals fund as an unallocated contribution to our pension fund. The AFM has prioritized strengthening our U.S. pension fund in each of our other AFM recording contracts as well.

Over the coming months, we will continue to reach out to the musicians who work under these contracts so that their voice can be heard. However, this round of negotiations in 2018 will impact every AFM member in the long run, and our greatest strength lies in our solidarity.


  • AVOD – Advertising Based Video On Demand (YouTube, websites, no subscription fee)
  • SVOD – Subscription Based Video On Demand (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc.)
  • HBSVOD – High Budget Subscription Based Vido On Demand (Programs made for SVOD that have budgets equivalent to theatrical and broadcast television programs)
  • Diginets – Secondary Digital Channels (the multitude of channels playing older library programs that broadcast networks run, available for free as broadcast digital channels)
  • FMSMF – Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund
  • AFM-EPF – The AFM’s U.S. Multi-Employer Pension Fund

– Marc Sazer, RMA President