Archives: April 2004

04/01/04 That Union Thing

AFL-CIO Criticizes Media Monopolies

New FCC rules make it easier for companies such as Clear Channel to establish monopolies, a new Cornell University study reports. Under the new rules, corporations can now own 45% of the media in a single market. In the last six years, Clear Channel has grown from 44 radio stations to 1239, and they also own 44 amphitheaters, 51 theaters, and a number of clubs and arenas. They also account for 20% of all radio industry revenue. Consolidation reduces diverse perspectives in the news, reduces local programming, and increases local advertising rates, all a disservice to the community. For example, voice-tracking systems and pre-recorded programs made it impossible to issue warnings during a train derailment in Minot, ND last spring. Dominance by one corporation in the local radio market also makes it more difficult for local artists to get airplay.

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04/01/04 Member Feedback

I’m terribly concerned about the adopted emergency recommendation #8 which states that any individual musician who receives a distribution from recording special payments fund, or the Film Musicians fund shall make a payment to the Federation based on the annual individual gross distribution from each fund, and the 655 general membership is being accessed an additional amount of $2.00 that will be sent to the Federation because of their financial situation, which I believe is caused by the long standing practice of it’s members to accept non union/under scale employment which generates nothing for the local and no pension benefits for the musicians. I also resent being assessed three different amounts, just for doing the right thing by filing union contracts and paying my work dues. This practice is not only unjust, but might be a violation of our rights. However, to get the Federation out of their financial situation the general membership of all locals should assess all members an additional fee to cover the amount. I feel this is the only fair way to handle this situation. When this is resolved we must elect a new slate of officers who will work harder to contain Federation overhead.


Hal Batt a member of the union since 1978.

04/01/04 Member Benefits

Reason to Belong #14…Liability insurance

Working at one of those hotels that requires the bandleader to maintain liability insurance?  Protect yourself by taking advantage of the AFM Liability Insurance Plan. Designed for musicians who work as independent contractors, whether alone or in a group, this policy may be just what you need. For more information, contact the Local at (954) 925-1996 or toll-free (888) 655-GIGS (4447).

04/01/04 Legislative Roundup

Due to state of Florida arts funding reductions, Broward county received 88% less funds: $359,000 instead of the requested $4.1 million.

A bill introduced in the Florida House of Representatives by Leslie Waters and Daniel Webster, Bill 427, would reinstate arts funding using corporate penalty fees as a dedicated source of funding. The bill was passed by the Commerce Committee and needs your support as it works its way to the floor. Please contact your Florida Representative to express your support of this bill!

04/01/04 Symphonic Shorts

FPO Bankruptcy Update

Twenty FPO members met on February 18, including OC members Geoff Hale, Jay Bertolet, and Carole Simmons, as well as members of the Executive Board. The OC and Board recommended to fight rejection of the CBA in order to preserve union recognition (the obligation to negotiate with the Union) and to require a reorganized FPO to hire former FPO musicians, and all present unanimously agreed that this was the best course of action. Specifically, the Local will request that the FPO return to the bargaining table to negotiate a "bare bones" contract which preserves musicians’ right of first refusal and the obligation to bargain with the union.

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04/01/04 Recording Rap

The AFM Sound Labor Recording Agreement will be expiring in January of 2005. Cliff Walker and I have been attending the Digital Downloading negotiations that are part of the new agreement which will be negotiated this summer. Our recording committee, which is headed by Steve Roitstein, will be making their recommendations to our AFM council. I urge any recording musicians to contact Steve if you have suggestions.

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04/01/04 Casual Corner

Leader/Contractor Checklist

 Call the Local or visit the website if you have questions about which wage scales apply and to make sure you are using the current rates

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04/01/04 Official Business

Membership Meeting

Meet other members, discuss common concerns...come join us!

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04/01/04 Cliff's Notes

Let’s focus on the Freelance (Casual) musicians in our Local. You folks need some marketing. We started working on the new wedding website for Freelance (Casual) musicians. This site will be linked with The Knot is a proven wedding resource; I have personally been using it for 2 years and it has brought in many leads for ceremony and reception bands. The typical scenario is the bride is going to college in New York, doesn’t trust her parents to hire the band or find her dress, so she searches “The Knot”.

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