All posts by afmccmemadmin

Message from AFM President – Travel Ban

This week I’m in Washington, DC meeting with lawmakers on a wide range of issues including the impact of the recent executive order on immigration and its impact on musicians.

Widely referred to as the “travel ban,” the order puts “extreme vetting” procedures in place for immigrants traveling to the United States from seven predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days, indefinitely halts all immigration from Syria and suspends all refugee immigration into the United States for 120 days.

Many AFM members, whether permanent U.S. residents (e.g., green card holders) or our Canadian bothers and sisters, regularly travel in and out of the United States for work. The implementation of the travel ban has caused uncertainty and confusion among AFM members who travel internationally. That’s why we are currently working with Missouri’s Congressional delegation to help ensure the safe return home for St. Louis Symphony Orchestra musicians, who are scheduled to tour Spain next week.

For decades, AFM has consulted with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on applications by foreign musicians for O and P visas to work in the United States. For AFM’s Canadian members, we have been working diligently with members of Congress to streamline and shorten visa-processing times, but the travel ban could delay our efforts to bring these processing times into focus.

We will continue working hard together with other organizations to make our voices heard on Capitol Hill to protect the interests of all musicians. Musicians standing together have the power.

In Unity,

Ray Hair

AFM International President

ECMA and CFM announce new collaborative partnership

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — January 19, 2017- Toronto, Canada

The East Coast Music Association (ECMA) and the Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) are happy to announce a new three-year partnership that puts to rest an ongoing dispute brought to light in 2016.

Over two days of negotiations, both sides have agreed to new collaborative terms they are certain are fair and beneficial to their respective memberships.

“This dispute was never about the ECMA not compensating musicians appropriately,” says Andy McLean, Executive Director of the ECMA. “We felt the 20-year-old successor agreement was unfair to the majority of our members, and were happy to work in collaboration with the CFM to update the approach in a way that recognizes the current reality of independent musicians in the region.”

“We are pleased to have penned this three-year deal guaranteeing fees and benefits for musicians, which we see as a positive step for the East Coast music community,” says Alan Willaert, AFM Vice President from Canada.

All existing contracts for ECMAs in 2017 are still being honoured and all performing musicians will see no change to their fees.

As a result of the agreement, Andy McLean, Chair of the Board of Directors, Dean Stairs, and the ECMA as an organization will be removed from the American Federation of Musicians’ (AFM) International Unfair list.

The East Coast Music Awards 2017 Festival & Conference takes place in Saint John, NB from April 26-30, 2017.

CFM Media Contact:

Victoria Lord

VLPR Inc.

416-484-9047 | victoria@vlpr.com

ECMA Media Contact:

Trevor Murphy

Pigeon Row

902-880-2606 | trevor@pigeonrow.com

CFM Initiates Action Against East Coast Music Association

CFM Initiates Action Against East Coast Music Association

ECMA in Labour Dispute with Musicians

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Toronto, ON December 21, 2016 – Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM, the Canadian National office of the AFM) has entered into a labour dispute with the East Coast Music Association (ECMA), which has offices in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

For nearly 20 years, an agreement has existed between the parties to ensure musicians received at least recommended minimum fees and pension. There were also specific parameters set around what performances could be recorded for broadcast and streaming, with time and use limitations.

The ECMA is refusing to enter into a successor agreement. “Without a collective agreement in place, the musicians are not guaranteed reasonable fees. In addition, there would be no pension, and no language to prevent the ECMA from recording and exploiting the performances, anywhere and in perpetuity,” said Alan Willaert, Vice-President from Canada, American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada. “We have come to expect a higher standard of behavior from the ECMA, and this philosophical shift is not in the best interests of the musicians or their community.”

Numerous attempts have been made by the CFM to reach out to the ECMA leadership, who were finally served with a Notice to Bargain. However, the ECMA continues to stonewall. Therefore, as a last resort, the ECMA has been placed on the AFM’s International Unfair List, naming them as an entity that refuses to negotiate a fair and equitable agreement for performances in association with this year’s East Coast Music Week in Saint John, New Brunswick. This has the effect of prohibiting members from accepting engagements from any organization so designated.

The Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) is the Canadian National office of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM). The CFM provides vital resources to Canadian musicians at all stages of their careers, on any platform, from live concert to recorded performance, broadcast and film scoring. The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) is comprised of 200 local offices across the United States and Canada, collectively representing a membership of approximately 80,000 professional musicians across the United States and Canada. The AFM/CFM has been representing the interests of U.S. and Canadian musicians for 120 years, as the representative of professional musicians in a broad range of collective bargaining and legislative actions. Just recently, the AFM celebrated its 100th Convention from June 20 – 24, 2016.

For more information, please visit us at www.cfmusicians.org | CFM on Twitter|CFM on Facebook.

-30-

MEDIA CONTACT:

Victoria Lord, VLPR Inc.

T: 1-416-484-9047 | E: victoria@vlpr.com

USCIS INCREASES ARTIST PERMIT FEE:

December 15, 2016 last day to Submit P2 Applications under the Current Fee

As reported in late spring, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed an increase to the O and P petition fees. AFM, along with is long-standing coalition of (US-based) non-profit arts organizations, aggressively lobbied against the implementation of any increase. Despite those concerted efforts, late last week USCIS announced a substantial (42%) increase on O’s and P’s, from $325USD to $460USD.

The AFM of course recognizes that this increase adds a significant burden to its Canadian members, musicians world-wide and to petitioners of artist permits such as the AFM.

On November 2nd USCIS is holding a teleconference of its recognized Stakeholders in the US non-profit arts sector. The position and arguments of the AFM and others will be to urge USCIS to respond to its current lack of quality in service, and, to press for vast improvements and consistency in processing times – especially now that USCIS has increased the fee.

To avoid paying the new fee at this time, please submit completed P2 applications to the AFM’s Canadian Office (CFM) ensuring receipt by that office no later than Monday, December 19, 2016. Applications received on or after December 20, 2016 will need to have the new fee ($460) included.

Also, please be reminded that at this time we are recommending 120 days/4 months processing time (unless filing premium processing). The above timeline is an estimate, which is subject to be increased or decreased by USCIS, with no requirement on USCIS to provide petitioners advance notice of changes to processing times. AFM’s P2 Administrative Team monitors USCIS processing progress weekly, in an effort to provide as solid a time line as possible.

While it may be hard to believe, especially considering the processing time and fees, but, for Canadians the USCIS artist visa process is much more simplified and less costly than it is for all other musicians across the globe, who enter the United States under the same permits.

For additional information and questions on the AFM’s lobbying initiatives to improve access to the U.S., or the AFM’s role as a petitioner of artist permits, please email Liana White, Executive Director AFM/CFM, lwhite@afm.org

 

CFM TO LOBBY FOR RE-OPENING OF ALL CBC REGIONAL MUSIC DEPARTMENTS

For Immediate Release -Tuesday, July 26, 2016 –

Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM), the leading professional organization representing Canadian musicians, announce plans to reestablish its lobbying efforts demanding the re-opening of CBC’s regional music departments.  Delegates attending CFM’s recent Canadian Conference tabled the motion and voted unanimously to instruct their elected officials to immediately undertake these actions.

CBC management eliminated its regional music departments in direct response to funding shortfalls enacted by the previous Conservative government. The aggressive measures saw a mass layoff of recording personnel and a closure of music facilities in St. John’s, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary and Edmonton.

“These essential music departments offered a multitude of services including radio drama as well as other arts programming,” explained AFM Vice-President from Canada Alan Willaert.  “These departments operated very modestly and efficiently in spite of sometimes being staffed by as few as two persons, a producer and an engineer”.

“Prior to these cuts, musicians in my jurisdiction, representing all musical genres, earned a collective total of $100 to $200K per annum from their CBC employment,” stated Doug Kuss, Secretary-Treasurer of the Calgary Local. “It’s simply unacceptable that the current annual payroll in the Calgary area now sits well below $25K”.

Mr. Willaert went on to say “The CFM has an expectation that the CBC will utilize the infusion of the improved funding provided by the current federal government to correct the injustices made to the professional musicians, producers and engineers directly affected by these cuts.  In doing so CBC will fulfill its mandate, to all regions of the country, in an equitable manner”.

The Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) is the Canadian National office of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM).  The CFM provides vital resources to Canadian musicians at all stages of their careers, on any platform, from live concert to recorded performance, broadcast and film scoring. The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) is comprised of 200 Local offices across the United States and Canada, collectively representing a membership of approximately 80,000 professional musicians across the United States and Canada. The AFM/CFM has been representing the interests of U.S. and Canadian musicians for 120 years, as the representative of professional musicians in a broad range of collective bargaining and legislative actions.  Just recently, the AFM celebrated its 100th Convention from June 20 – 24, 2016.

For more information please visit us at www.cfmusicians.org | CFM on Twitter | CFM on Facebook.

– 30 –

MEDIA CONTACT:   Victoria Lord, Office: 416-484-9047 / victoria@vlpr.com

100th AFM Convention Election Results

International President:

Ray Hair– Local 72-147; Local 579; Local 777

International Vice-President:

Bruce Fife– Local 99

Vice-President from Canada:

Alan Willaert– Local 384; Local 467: Local 149

International Secretary-Treasurer:

Jay Blumenthal– Local 802

International Executive Board (IEB):

Joe Parente – Local 77; Local 161-710

Tino Gagliardi – Local 802

Dave Pomeroy – Local 257

Tina Morrision – Local 105

John Acosta – Local 47