Archives: October 2008

10/17/08 Federation of Public Employees to Host Annual Picnic

The Federation's annual Labor Picnic will be held on Saturday, October 25, 2008 at Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek (3600 West Sample Road). This is a fun-filled family day for $6 per person (kids 10 and under get in FREE).

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10/14/08 AFL-CIO Announces Local Election Endorsements

The South Florida AFL-CIO, Broward County AFL-CIO, and the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast AFL-CIO have announced endorsements for local offices and issues in the upcoming elections. For federal candidate endorsements, please contact the office.

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10/01/08 Message from the President

My Fellow Musicians,

I wish to thank you for electing me President of our AFM Local 655.

The task at hand is difficult but not impossible.  Not just with the current contractual struggles with FGO, but with all the contract negotiations coming up in the near future.  It is time for all the local's members to stand up and be counted.  We all need to unite in support of each other's concerns.

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10/01/08 Board Adopts Ethics Policy

In recognition of the trust members have placed in their elected Officers, and of the responsibilities Local Officers have toward the membership, the Local Executive Board has adopted a Code of Ethics Policy to help clarify their responsibilities when conflicts of interest arise. The policy is published below.

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10/01/08 Local Creates Contract Guarantee Fund

The Local 655 Executive Board has adopted a resolution creating the Contact Guarantee Fund, a service to help ensure that local musicians are paid for their work, regardless of if the purchaser defaults.

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10/01/08 Double Times

Local Issues Several Warnings About Nonunion Gigs

Please be advised that members have issued complaints about the following organizations, which have failed to pay them:

Please also note that the Madison (WI) Chamber Orchestra is in contentious negotiations, and you should contact the Local if you are approached to perform chamber orchestra events in Madison, Wisconsin.

Sunshine Pops Imposes Eight Percent Pay Cut

We have been informed that the Sunshine Pops no longer intends to make AFM-EPF pension contributions for its musicians, effectively giving its musicians an eight-percent pay cut. For a musician performing just one season season, that could result in a loss of over $1000 in pension benefits paid during the course of their retirement years. Also, please note that the Pension Fund has not yet received pension contributions from Sunset Entertainment/Sunshine Pops for most of the 2007-2008 season and will soon be escalating their collection efforts.

10/01/08 FGO Update

You may or may not be aware of the situation that currently exists between the Florida Grand Opera management and the musicians who have performed in the FGO orchestra for the past 7 seasons (and some for more than two decades).  The opera's management has showed callous disregard for the years of service and dedication the musicians have provided and has decided to make a deal with a new orchestral contractor, Alfredo Oliva, apparently giving him carte blanche to hire whomever he chooses for this coming season, even if that means musicians from out of town or students.

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10/01/08 That Union Thing

SAG and AFTRA have agreed to a 6-month extension of their commercials contract. The extension will give SAG more time to resolve its negotiations for a new television and film contract, which expired June 30.

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10/01/08 Local and Industry News

According to Americans for the Arts, 2008 saw a 12 percent increase in arts-related businesses and arts employees in Broward County. The county is now home to over 4,600 businesses and over 20,000 employees in the arts.

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