The Electronic Media Oversight Committee; Phil Ayling, Bruce Bouton, Neil Stubenhaus and Bill Foster, worked with President Ray Hair and our new IEB to craft the best plan possible. The AFM, Local Officers and RMA Chapter Officers in New York, Nashville and Los Angeles reached out to communicate. We sent the communication included below almost a month ago, and since then, AFM musicians – you and your colleagues – cast ballots.
I am pleased to report that the recording musicians of the American Federation of Musicians voted – and their overwhelming vote was AFM YES!
As a result of this ratification, work dues for recording musicians will rise. Further, as a result of this vote, the AFM will receive funds that it needs to work for you.
All of this is as a result of the AFM reaching out to rank and file musicians and assuring them of goodwill and good faith. Be assured that we will be working earnestly with the AFM International Executive Board, with Locals, and with rank and file musicians around the AFM to ensure that your money is spent effectively.
January will see us participating in the Sound Recording Labor Agreement Negotiations. We are working to assist the AFM on a variety of other issues relating to electronic media, including Motion Picture, Television, Videotape, Basic Cable, Videogames and Jingles. We are working to assist the AFM and the AFM is working to assist us.
If you earned more than $2500 in national contracts recording (non-symphonic) last year, you are elegible to participate in an unprecedented act of union democracy. You should have recieved, or will shortly recieve, a ballot in the mail from the American Federation of Musicians, and we strongly recommend a “yes” vote.You are being respectfully asked to vote on whether to add 0.4% to your recording work dues.
The purpose of this is to strengthen the AFM’s hand in enforcing your contracts. In this new era of unity, we need to demonstrate to the AFM that we can be there for them, as they are now there for us. Please make sure to vote, and please vote “yes”. A YES vote has been endorsed by the AFM International Executive Board, the EMSD Oversight Committee*, the RMA Executive Board, and the full RMA General Conference.
We’re all on the same page: Vote Yes!
Here is why you should vote YES:
- We have expanded New Media coverage in our contracts, and we’re negotiating more. There will be significant costs (beyond what’s being spent now) for monitoring, analysis, and legal support in order to get New Media right. We have to get it right – it’s our future. That can only be done if the AFM has the money to do so.
- The fact that eligible recording musicians are getting a ballot to vote on their own dues with the AFM is a huge improvement in our access to the union. The ballot itself is the best reason to vote “yes”…this gives us immediate democratic access to the AFM.
- The EMSD Oversight Committee is our window into intelligent, reality based union policy. The AFM entrusted the EMSD Oversight Committee with structuring this new percentage. The proof of the new empowerment is that what is on the ballot looks very different that what was discussed at the AFM Convention. That’s because the IEB let your EMSD Oversight Committee do its job.
- It is a tiny percentage; 0.4%. In other words, for a hundred dollars, 40 pennies.
- You won’t be getting a special bill: your Local will handle just adding this tiny percentage on your regular bill. It will be easy.
- When your employer is a huge international corporation, only the AFM can stand up for you. When the contract you are working under is the same contract that colleagues all over North America are working under, only the AFM can hold us together. We need a strong AFM more than anyone else because all our contracts are national contracts.
* The EMSD Oversight Committee is currently comprised of Phil Ayling, Bruce Bouton, Neil Stubenhaus, and Bill Foster. You can read about the Committee and its members on the AFM website at http://www.afm.org/news/emsd-oversight-committee-appointed.