MPTF Also Feels a Major Pinch

Recording Vice-President's Report

Volume CIII, No. 5May, 2003

Erwin L. Price

In several memos to officers and MPTF supervisors across the country Trustee Noel Berman has given early notice that the royalty and audit receipts for MPTF for 2003 are, to use his words, “down precipitously – well over $2 million.”

This financial bombshell is the result of lower sales in the recording industry, no mega hits among established or new artists, consolidation turmoil among record companies – and piracy on the Internet, where downloads and file swapping and sharing do not generate any income for the recording companies or MPTF.

The prevailing conditions do not bode well for Local 802 since our MPTF allocation for 2003-04 will undoubtedly be reduced to reflect the overall cuts to be put in place.

The trustee correctly informed the locals and the musicians who participate in the use of MPTF that the way out of this dilemma is to increase co-sponsorship, the number of co-sponsors and the percentage of money co-sponsored to as much as 100 percent.

Berman reminds musicians that they “provide a great service and opportunity to co-sponsors. For a monetary contribution, based on public service rates, a co-sponsor receives public awareness and appreciation – all the positives that flow from association with the performance of free concerts by professional musicians. The co-sponsor doesn’t have to devote all the time, bother and expense of being an employer in arranging MPTF events.”

Nonetheless, the mandatory co-sponsor rates remain the same in Local 802: 65 to 70 percent – and 50 percent for schools, hospitals and nursing homes.

Within our financial capabilities and depending on the constraints of our MPTF allocation Local 802 will respond in a positive way to the requests and needs of our constituent members and co-sponsors to keep MPTF viable and active for the coming fiscal year, which starts May 1.

Our committee will meet sometime after May 1 and evaluate the requests received for fiscal year 2003.

We have been fortunate in that our level of co-sponsorship has met the requirements of the MPTF guidelines and we look forward to that same commitment for this coming year.

For those of you who intend to apply for MPTF funding, now is the time to apply. We await your response now.

For more information, contact my office at ext. 110.