The Musicians’ Voice

Volume 118, No. 2February, 2018

Write to Allegro, Local 802, 322 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036, or send by e-mail contact form. Letters must be no more than 300 words.


This 86-year-old has been receiving the same never-increasing $862 monthly AFM pension over the same quarter century in which the AFM-EPF has employed Maureen Kilkelly, who has been executive director since 1997 and, as President Gagliardi explains, “oversees the entire process…Maureen’s current salary is $352,561 plus $41,000 in health insurance, travel and meal reimbursements plus a pension fund contribution of 8.72 percent on the first quarter million of her salary…her annual salary increases range from 2 percent to 3.5 percent.”

It is not just unfair, but the equivalent of legal thievery, that while elderly pensioned musicians suffer annual diminution of their pensions by virtue of never receiving a penny in cost-of-living increases, the executive director “oversees” annual increases for herself of up to $12,350 on her salary.

As to President Gagliardi listing her titles, a certified public accountant usually requires only one additional year of education past a regular four-year college degree, and the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist program is only a five-course curriculum. Yet the AFM-EPF is run by someone receiving the equivalent in salary of a corporate executive.

Over the years of published discussions of the sinking pension fund, I don’t recall any mention of elderly retirees, perhaps because most of us could not afford to retain current membership and so have no vote in elections and no voice in union affairs.

Over 40 of the state boards now require applicants for CPA status to complete a special examination on ethics. Perhaps Ms. Kilkelly is not looking down on elderly pensioners. But maybe worse, she is not even noticing us while scooping up more than her share of money in spite of knowing that the fund is in danger of insolvency. There is nothing ethical about pensioners never getting cost-of-living maintenance of their income while the executive director does in obscene abundance.

– Henry Nowak