Best Wishes for the New Year – 2013!

Dear members, friends and colleagues,

We hope that during this time of holidays, rest and reflection you have experienced the joy of family and good times.

Thanks to each and every one of you for your support, your comments, suggestions – and yes – questions and criticisms, all of which are the foundation of our effectiveness. Rank and file participation is the basis for making the AFM the strongest union it can be.

I offer my sincere appreciation to all the RMA officers, representatives, committee members and volunteers who worked so hard throughout 2012 to bring the voices of active recording musicians to your AFM. Your attendance at meetings and willingness to participate is what makes this work.

2013 will see RMA working on your behalf in a variety of different areas. We are in the midst of negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) for a successor Theatrical Motion Picture and Television Film Agreements, which we hope to conclude in the next few months. Later in 2013 we will be participating in negotiations with employers in the advertising industry for a new Commercial Announcements Agreement.

Resurgent AFM democracy brought active musicians and AFM Officers together in the successful negotiation and implementation of new Sound Recording and Videotape Agreements. In addition, the IEB promulgated a new Videogame Agreement; the product of rank and file member input from musicians active in that field.

We also send our warmest wishes to officers and staff across the AFM, in the U.S. and Canada, who work together on behalf of solidarity, economic well-being and workplace stability for all AFM members.

All of those good things, however, are founded on musician participation. The current AFM leadership – with your help – has organized a variety of different recording projects and new employers on to AFM contracts. Looking forward, the AFM has made it clear that they will be engaging non-union media companies like Marvel and Lionsgate. These companies receive hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to finance their projects. Then, when it is time to record the music, they send our tax monies to Europe, creating musician jobs overseas (sapping state and provincial resources that could be spent on homegrown arts organizations). That is just plain wrong! Ending this abuse of taxpayers will create good AFM jobs, lift our union economically, and provide crucial support for our Pension Fund, as well as health care for many AFM musicians. The AFM will need our help and commitment to deliver that message.

I am excited that we have already created real change and progress during the past year. By working together and standing with each other there is so much more that we can and will do in 2013.

Best Wishes for a Safe, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Marc Sazer
President, RMA