From the President

The American Federation of Musicians is a professional organization that has been setting the standard for professional musicians for over one hundred years. It sets work conditions, minimum wage scales, and provides for their enforcement. Professional organizations such as the physicians' AMA, the educators' AFT, the lawyers' ABA, and the musicians' AFM exist to promote respect for their professions as well as to establish a good quality of life for their members and their community. Our local freelance musicians are an important part of the education and culture in South Florida. They perform in schools, churches, nightclubs, weddings, and other private events which enrich the lives of our residents and tourists. The union provides single engagement contracts which ensure fair wages and protect against non-payment and other abuses. The Local also provides them with the opportunity to purchase a liability insurance at a low price which covers musicians while working.

The union negotiates collective bargaining agreements with orchestras and theater groups. Among the many things our CBAs ensure are decent wages, job security, safe working conditions, and pension contributions. They also ensure that extra musicians who substitute with groups performing under a CBA are treated fairly.

All of the major recording labels and many other media producers are signatories to AFM agreements. They are obligated to abide by their agreed wages and benefits. These often include back-end payments for years to come. If a musician performs a recording service, they should report it to the Local so we can make sure the musician gets everything they are owed. Many musicians lose a lot of money because no one knows they were on the job.

Our Local 655 is referring musicians to potential vendors and contractors, so please update and send in your information so we can match you to the right gig. I also urge you to visit to take advantage of the wide variety of services and benefits that are available to members of the AFM.

Protecting the quality of music and life here in South Florida requires that we remain united by working together and treating each other with the respect and dignity that we expect to receive from others. The South Florida Musicians Association, Local 655, is run by musicians for musicians. Come out and meet your colleagues at our "Quarter Note Networking Night" on March 15th at Bimini Boatyard in Fort Lauderdale. I look forward to seeing you there.


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