Protect Yourself By Filing Contracts

Every year we have several requests from members who work freelance for help concerning a problem with a job. Usually, they either haven’t been paid at all, or were paid too little. Sometimes it involves working conditions. Unfortunately, usually the person(s) requesting assistance did not use a union contract on the gig. Sometimes we are able to help them get a satisfactory outcome anyway, but if you are working without a signed contract, you are at risk of losing your pay, as there is little the local or the AFM can do legally without an agreement.

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101st Convention Report

Report Submitted by Aaron Pino

This past June we had both the annual Southern Conference of Locals, and the triennial AFM Convention. During the Convention years, the Southern Conference meets in Las Vegas in the same hotel as the Convention, the weekend prior. President Williams, as the Vice President of the Southern Conference, was seated at the dais and served on the Agenda Committee. Alternate Delegate and former President of our Local, Ken Krause, served as the chair of the Bylaw Committee, and I again served as the chair of the Finance Committee. During the conference, we had presentations from the International officers, as well as a panel from the AFM-EP fund trustees. There was also a presentation from the Organizing Dept. on building locals. Alfonso Pollard, the AFM’s Legislative and Political Director, gave a presentation on TEMPO and how to form a local legislative political committee, something we would like to put together in this local in the near future. If you are interested in serving on such a committee, let me know.

The biggest news for our local from the conference is that President Williams is now also the President of the Southern Conference, and therefore our local will be hosting the 2020 Southern Conference in June at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel in Addison. The new Vice-President of the Conference is Megan Chisom, who is the President of Local 80, Chattanooga. Lovie Smith-Wright, the President of Local 65-699 Houston, was re-elected Secretary-Treasurer.

Alternate Diversity Delegate Fred Nichelson joined us for the AFM Convention, and International President Ray Hair gave all four of us committee assignments. President Williams again served

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Financial Assistance In Time of Need

One of the most under-publicized things a union does is to help people in need. Examples from the recent past include the plumbers union donating their time to install pipes and filters for people with poisoned water in Flint, Michigan; and here in Texas, many unions donated food, labor, and financial assistance to Hurricane Harvey victims, including the AFM. As President Williams has written, musicians can be the most vulnerable people in the world when health crises occur – even a short illness can result in critical lost income beyond the cost of health care. I wanted to bring to your attention to four different resources where you can get help for yourself or a fellow member in need of financial assistance due to illness, injury, or disability.

First, our local has its own fund in our Musicians Federal Credit Union called the Bill Collins Benefit Fund, which was established by Bill Collins III in honor of his father, Bill Collins Jr. Its purpose is to help members who are temporarily unable to work as a musician, or are in need of financial assistance, for medical reasons.

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Please take a look at the new website

I hope that you have all had a chance to look at our new website. If not, please take a moment and log in. It can be found at the same address, www.musiciansdfw.org. The user name on your account will be the same as the email address that we have on file for you (if you would like to change this, call the office at 817-469-6040, or email me at apino@musiciansdfw.org). You should have received an email from us at that address several weeks ago with a temporary password. If you cannot find it, or have trouble, try using “forgot my password” link on the login page to set up a new password. You can also always call the office and any of us can help you set up a new password.

The functionality of the new site is greatly increased over the old one, and we will continue to improve it over time. It will also greatly improve our ability to communicate with our members. This new online newsletter you are now reading, for instance, is in the form of a blog and will be out monthly in the future.

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