November 12, 2018
Left to Right: Shawn Sanders, Aaron Lack, Daniel Gee, Bob Cannon, Annie Burridge, Nathan DePoint, Vincent Frittelli, Ames Asbell, Bev Frittelli, Steve Begnoche, not pictured Esther Sanders & Jane Owen
The Austin Federation of Musicians, AFM Local 433, is pleased to announce that The Austin Opera Orchestra’s Collective Bargaining Agreement for the next three years was ratified by The Orchestra Members, Austin Opera Management, and The Austin Federation of Musicians in early November. Initial research by AFM Trustee, Steven Begnoche began in early April. Preparatory meetings with The Austin Opera Orchestra Committee, Committee Chairperson, Robert Cannon, AFM Local 433 Negotiator, Aaron Lack, and AFM Trustee, Steven Begnoche were held at The Austin Federation of Musicians offices on East Ben White Blvd. in early June. Negotiating meetings with Austin Opera Management commenced in late June at the Austin Opera offices. Multiple remote consultations with AFM Symphonic Services Division Negotiator, Jane Owen, yielded guidance and insight into national industry trends throughout the negotiations.
The research and discussions of The Committee resulted in multiple improvements in working conditions that were proposed in negotiations and then achieved in this new agreement. New policies on discrimination, harassment and other types of misconduct were agreed upon and enacted. Yearly increases in pay were established that are greater than in the previous agreement. These increases are also above the national average according to The Symphonic Services Division of The AFM.
Many thanks to Austin Opera Management members, General Director & CEO, Annie Burridge, Director of Artistic Operations, Nathan DePoint, and Orchestra Manager, Beverly Frittelli. Gratitude is due to AFM Symphonic Services Division Negotiator, Jane Owen for her tireless commitment to the negotiating process. The Union Office would especially like to thank the Members of The Austin Opera Orchestra Committee: Chairperson and Principal Trumpet, Robert Cannon, Orchestra Steward and Cellist, Shawn Sanders, Concertmaster Emeritus, Vincent Frittelli, Principal Viola, Ames Asbell, Principal Violin II, Esther Sanders, Assistant Principal Viola, Daniel Gee Cordova. Their commitment and work for the benefit of all of the orchestra members was exemplary.
By Aaron Lack, Local 433 Member and Negotiator
October 19, 2018
Marriott workers in Boston, Detroit, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, San Diego and Hawaii are on strike fighting for fair treatment, dignity and respect from one of the richest hotel corporations in the world.
Hardworking hotel employees tried to reach an agreement over months of negotiations, but Marriott refused to make significant progress on key issues like a living wage and safety on the job. Now more than 7,700 UNITE HERE! members are on strike.
Please join me in standing in solidarity with these women and men. There will be a #MarriottStrike Day of Action in cities around the country tomorrow, Saturday October 20th. Learn more here. You can also sign the pledge to stand with hotel workers in their fight for a better future.
If you’re booked in one of the below hotels, please make alternate plans to not cross the picket line until the strike has ended.
Musicians and other working people standing together have the power to win!
AFM International President
October 12, 2018
UPDATE: The Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Musicians Union Local 10-208 representing its orchestra musicians have reached a contract agreement, just days after the musicians went on strike. The musicians ratified the deal Sunday evening, according to a statement.
In a tweet late Saturday, the Lyric Opera said that they and the Chicago Federation of Musicians Local #10-208 had reached a labor agreement that extended through the 2020/2021 season.
The final agreement includes a reduction in the number of main opera season weeks from 24 to 22 and a reduction in the number of musicians, according to a statement by musicians.
They add that the “concessions are mitigated by more favorable terms we were able to obtain.”
Other terms of the agreement include:
— A 5.6 percent increase in weekly salary over the 3-year contract term.
— The 2019-20 season now includes a guarantee of five (5) additional weeks for the “Ring” cycle, outside of the 22-week main opera season.
— The orchestra size will be reduced by four instead of five musicians, delayed until the 2019-20 season.
— The Spring musical is now guaranteed to employ 37 members of the Orchestra, and the salary for the musicals increases significantly (by 6.6%).
— There are new guarantees regarding the hiring of Orchestra musicians for Joffrey Ballet productions beginning in 2020.
— Health care benefits are maintained as is; family leave is now 8 paid weeks; and there are numerous other improvements in working conditions.
October 2, 2018
KOOP Radio hosts open houses/membership drives in the Spring and Fall every year. They have a variety of local non-profit organizations together in the radio station to bring the community together, to gain members and to network. We had an opportunity to attend their Fall 2018 Open House as well as get a spot on the “Bringing Light into Darkness” live radio show hosted by Pedro Gato.
Thanks KOOP Radio for having us at your radio station. We had a great time!
To learn more about KOOP Radio click here.
September 28, 2018
A Ninth Circuit appeals court panel sided with AFM in our suit against Paramount Pictures Corp. (“Paramount”) for recording the score to “Same Kind of Different As Me” in Slovakia.
“When musicians join together and fight—we win,” said AFM International President Ray Hair. “This is a major victory in standing up to large corporations offshoring our jobs to drive up profits at the expense of U.S and Canadian musicians.”
The original complaint, filed in June 2015, claims Paramount breached its collective bargaining agreement with musicians requiring Paramount films produced in the United States or Canada be scored in the United States or Canada.
Yesterday’s decision reversed a lower court’s 2016 finding that Paramount didn’t violate its contract by scoring the film overseas because it did not produce the movie. The appeals court said the lower court overreached in ruling that Paramount was not the “producer” of “Same Kind Of Different As Me,” as they did not “employ” the cast and crew and accordingly could not violate their contract with the musicians.
The appeals court opinion written by Judge A. Wallace Tashima noted that scoring occurs in postproduction and is separate from the shooting of films. Thus the lower court erred by presuming that “just one entity can ‘produce’ a motion picture and that the same entity controls both production and postproduction.”
“Same Kind of Different As Me,” directed by Michael Carney and starring Renée Zellweger, Greg Kinnear and Jon Voight, was filmed in and around Jackson, Mississippi but was scored in Bratislava, Slovakia.
To read the court’s ruling click here.
September 28, 2018
The House of Representatives UNANIMOUSLY passed the Music Modernization Act because musicians strongly stood together. The bill is not the law of the land yet—but we are almost there!
-American Federation of Musicians
To read the full update visit: https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/8476954/music-modernization-act-on-brink-becoming-law-awaits-president-signature
September 28, 2018
Musicians on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live, The Voice and other live television shows are not paid when they appear on YouTube and network websites.
Right now musicians working on late-night, award, and other live television shows aren’t paid when shows or clips are “free” to watch online. But these “free” shows aren’t really free—they are supported by paid advertising just like broadcast television. Other performers are all paid residuals when live television shows stream.
Union musicians have been negotiating a new contract for almost two years, but the networks refuse to pay musicians for all of their work. The contract covers musicians who have regular gigs—but it also includes hundreds of other musicians performing on live shows as guests, as subs, on awards shows, or at sporting events.
That’s why musicians and music lovers are joining together to demand the networks negotiate a fair contract and respect the band. Add your name to urge ABC, CBS, and NBC to pay musicians when shows stream on YouTube & similar platforms.
March 17, 2018
While radio used to be one of the only ways we could hear music, times have changed. The explosive growth of streaming services, combined with the diversity of listening options have transformed the music landscape. Yet, the current laws governing music were designed for a media landscape that no longer exists.
The United States antiquated system treats musicians and their music differently depending on how we hear it—especially for AM/FM radio. While streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music pay performers for their songs, traditional radio stations don’t pay a cent for playing creative property and using it to sell advertising.
The bipartisan Fair Play Fair Pay Act of 2017 aims to restore a core principle of fairness to music: People who work should be paid for their work, particularly when others are profiting from it. The Fair Play Fair Pay Act:
- Treats music the same, regardless of how we listen to it. Under the legislation, all forms of radio, regardless of the technology or platform used, would pay a fair market value for music performances. This would ensure that big AM/FM radio broadcasters receive equal treatment with digital radio platforms that pay performance royalties to music creators whose songs are broadcast through the internet, cable and satellite channels. The bill would also end satellite radio’s special “grandfathered,” or below market rate, and apply the “willing buyer, willing seller” standard across all platforms.
- Restores fairness for artists whose songs were written before 1972. Digital and AM/FM radio have stations that are dedicated exclusively to playing “oldies.” They earn millions each year from playing iconic records while refusing to pay anything to the performers who created them. While the issue is under litigation in the courts, this legislation makes it clear that pre-1972 recordings have value and those profiting from these recordings should pay appropriate royalties for their use.
- Protects and exempts small, local stations. Big Radio is alive and well. Ten radio corporations are responsible for about half the revenue generated by the nearly $15 billion radio industry while maintaining an average operating margin over 30%. Local, small market stations still exist and this bill treats community radio differently than big broadcast. Under the legislation, local AM/FM stations with annual revenues below one million dollars would pay just $500 a year, covering all the music they can play for little more than a dollar a day. Public, college and other noncommercial stations would pay only $100 a year.
March 2, 2018
Artistry of Music was founded by timpanist, educator, programmer, and AFM Local 433 Member Tony Edwards. Artistry of Music helps musicians and music programs create a professional web presence and manage the administrative tasks that come along with this profession. Visit their website to learn more. http://artistryofmusic.com/
March 2, 2018
Date: Wednesday, March 7th, 2018
Location: 4818 E. Ben White Blvd., Suite 300, Austin, TX 78741
(Located in the IBEW Building)
The Austin Federation of Musicians is sponsoring a **FREE** Tax Workshop for UNION MEMBERS. Lisa Sretenevic, CPA/CITP/CGMA from The Mangold and TALA ( Texas Accountans and Lawyers of the Arts) administrating liaison will be our guest speaker. We are very excited to have Lisa join us. IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers)520 Members and IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) 205/484 will be joining us.
*What it means to be self-employed/independent contractor
*What the self-employment tax is and how it is paid
*Keeping records of income and expenses
*Which expenses are deductible
*What is needed to prepare your taxes
*Estimated tax payments
*Business v hobby rules
*Sales tax and employment tax
*Home office expenses
About the Austin speaker Lisa Sretenovic, CPA:
Lisa, a shareholder of The Mangold Group, is an entrepreneurially oriented professional delivering financial and organizational efficiencies to increase the profit in small and large companies. She manages client relationships with customized schedules of services in accounting, tax, strategic planning, budgeting, analysis, process improvement, and training. In addition to 20 plus years of experience, Lisa holds the AICPA Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP), a unique credential designed specifically for the CPAs who have a wide range of documented IT competency. She particularly enjoys the education of financial literacy to non-profits and entrepreneurs. Lisa is a current professional volunteer for artists and arts organizations through TALA and is a past TALA board member.
Please RSVP on our Facebook event page (https://www.facebook.com/events/1793458627616536/) by March 6th. We can’t wait to see you there.