In mid-October, Local 802 became aware that the Manhattan Symphonie was hiring musicians to appear throughout a three-hour broadcast of “Fox and Friends.” Fox is not a signatory to the AFM Basic Cable agreement. No agreement was filed for this engagement by the Manhattan Symphonie or its leader, former Local 802 member Gregory Singer. The wages offered were far below local area standards. Musicians on this engagement did not receive health or pension benefits and no AFM protections were provided for future usages of this recorded performance. Local 802 believes that musicians should receive fair compensation and remains committed to fighting for better working conditions within the music community. Anytime you are called to play a job that pays less than area standards, please contact Recording Vice President Andy Schwartz at (212) 245-4802. The more advance warning we have, the more we are in a better position to help you win the wages and benefits you deserve.
NEGOTIATIONS, CONFERENCES, MEETINGS AND LABOR CONNECTIONS
- I’ve recently been working with the AFM in negotiations for a successor Integrated Media Agreement, which covers the recording of orchestras, opera and ballet in a variety of media. I’ll keep you posted.
- I attended the AFM & FIM Streaming Conference and meetings of the AFM International Executive Board in Burbank, Calif., as well as the AFM Mid-States Conference in Detroit.
- Executive Board member Alvester Garnett has attended two meetings so far of the NYC Nightlife Advisory Board. The board was established earlier this year to serve as a way to connect various city agencies and promote a vital nightlife scene. The board is also on a five-borough listening tour. All New Yorkers are invited to raise issues, voice concerns and share ideas. This is an important opportunity for musicians to share our concerns and experiences as nightlife workers to influence the decisions this office will make. The Bronx event is Nov. 15 and the Manhattan event is Nov. 28. Please contact Communications and Marketing Associate Maria DiPasquale at (212) 245-4802, ext. 197 if you want more information on attending. Alvester has also been making organizing visits to jazz venues with our organizing director Joy Winkler. I hope to have updates from both of them in a future issue.
NEW MEMBERS JOIN AT A DISCOUNT
If you know any friends or colleagues who haven’t joined Local 802 yet, now’s the time! From now until Dec. 28, new members pay no initiation fee when joining Local 802. This is the best time to join the largest and most powerful local of musicians in the world. To join now, call (212) 245-4802 and ask for the membership department or visit www.afm.org/join/new-members.
MUSIC MODERNIZATION ACT
On Oct. 11, the Music Modernization Act was finally signed into law. Thank you to all Local 802 members who contacted their members of Congress to support this important legislation.
The musicFIRST Coalition, which includes the AFM, celebrated the signing of the act with the following statement by Executive Director Chris Israel:
“Today is a momentous day for the entire music community as the Music Modernization Act is signed into law. This achievement has been years in the making and only possible thanks to powerful advocacy from every facet of the music community. It was a movement that rose above politics and partisanship and resulted in a more effective and efficient legal framework for digital music services. It’s incredible what the music community can do when we are united in voice and cause.
“The MMA is significant for many reasons, and especially because it finally put an end to one of the most egregious injustices in the industry. Music pioneers who recorded songs before Feb. 15, 1972 – and who until now have been locked out from receiving royalties when their works are played on digital and satellite radio – will finally be compensated like younger artists. It was a form of legal discrimination that with the stroke of a pen came to an end.
“The MMA has pushed us into a new era, but we still have strides to make when it comes to ensuring fair compensation for music creators wherever their work is played. That means terrestrial AM/FM radio.
“Members of the musicFIRST Coalition are in discussions with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to try to achieve this goal. And we must. The music environment is changing fast and it’s high time terrestrial radio in the U.S. joins nearly every country and begins compensating artists as equals and partners.
“So, while we celebrate this moment, our work is not done. Together, we will continue to work to harness the same enthusiasm that led to the MMA to strengthen the environment for music creators well into the future.”
BACK TO SCHOOL, BACK TO BROADWAY
We recently received a press release from the Broadway League with the following exciting news about making sure the next generation enjoys the magic of live musical theatre. The League, with the support of the NYC Department of Education and the United Federation of Teachers, has announced 17 participating shows for the fall 2018 season of Broadway Bridges. Launched in 2017, the Broadway Bridges program is offered to public high schools in the five boroughs. It was developed by a group of leading commercial and non-profit industry professionals to build on the significant work the Broadway community already does in bringing New York City students to Broadway. Broadway-based commercial producers and not-for-profit institutions such as Lincoln Center Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, Roundabout Theatre Company and TDF already bring nearly 30,000 students to live theatre each year. In complementing the long-standing work of these programs, Broadway Bridges has the ability to reach students who may not otherwise have the chance to attend a Broadway show. Broadway Bridges offers high schools $10 Broadway tickets for their tenth-grade students. The tickets are purchased based on availability and are timed to coincide with the demands of the school calendar. Broadway Bridges expects to bring 17,500 tenth-grade students and chaperones to a show during the 2018-2019 season. This will bring the accumulative total of participants to 26,000 since the program’s launch in January.