AFM-EPF Drops the Hammer

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While it comes as no surprise, the recent announcement from the American Federation of Musicians and Employers’ Pension Fund (AFM-EPF) heralding massive cuts to member benefits is sure to bring more than its fair share of angst among AFM members who are part of the plan. While the plan has to be approved by the US Treasury Department before it goes into effect, the 1/7/2020 edition of The New York Times …

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What Orchestra Musicians Might Learn From The Current UAW Strike

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How important is equal pay for equal work in today’s unionized orchestra environment? We examine this issue on a regular basis as it relates to substitute musicians, but the recent Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) work stoppage highlights a growing inequality at living wage orchestras between veteran and new-hire musicians by forcing the latter into a retirement program that provides markedly lower benefits. The impact on solidarity is self-apparent. In turn, degraded …

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Shop Talk: S01E01 Poke It With A Stick

Surprise! Today marks the inaugural episode of a new video podcast series where I sit down with movers and shakers in the field and talk shop. Today’s episode focuses on a topic near and dear to my own arts admin heart: substitute musician equal pay for equal work. I’m joined by a pair of leaders from the musician side of the equation, International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) chairperson …

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A Major Election Upset At New York City’s Local 802, American Federation of Musicians

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Last week, the membership of New York’s Local 802, American Federation of Musicians (AFM) voted in a new leadership team to replace the near decade long tenure by Local President Tino Gagliardi. At the forefront of the new leadership is the president-elect Adam Krauthamer, who won 1,111 votes, or 67.42 percent of the vote. Full election results are available from the American Arbitration Association, which certified the election process. Krauthamer, a …

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AFM Musicians Charge Pension Mismanagement In Class Action Lawsuit

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One major development we missed last week amid the orchestra compensation reports was the class-action lawsuit filed against a host of defendants associated with the American Federation of Musicians & Employers’ Pension Fund (AMF-EPF). Filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the suit brings action against the defendants for “for breach of fiduciary duties and other violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”), 29 U.S.C. § 1001, et seq.” …

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