Participation in Committees, Membership Meetings & Events

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year, and wish you all the best as we gear up for another great holiday season this December.

This time of year we always look back on the year, its ups and downs, and plan forward for the next year. At our last Membership meeting on November 11, we had a discussion about making more of these meetings, increasing attendance, and our sense of community in our local. After a discussion of how member participation is how we really make our union stronger, one member who had just joined this year commented: “Ask not what your union can do for you, but what you can do for your union…”

We carried this discussion on to our next Executive Board meeting, and from this arose plans to build new standing committees with the purpose of bringing our union more together and getting more done. We are beginning with a Member Engagement Committee to help schedule and plan our Membership Meetings and Orientations, and develop them into really special events. Our first of these is scheduled for the morning of February 22. We are looking for folks to help come up with ways to program the events so they bring special opportunities to our members, along with access to union business, discussion and fellowship. Please contact me or Frederick Nichelson, who has volunteered to chair this committee as we get it going. Let us know soon, as February 22 will be here sooner than we all think!

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Retiree Representative/Equitable Factors Panel Appointed

The Fund’s board of trustees recently appointed Brad C. Eggen, president of Local 30-73 (Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN) to act as the Retiree Representative, a position created by the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act (MPRA). His role is to apply the statutory list of equitable factors in the best interests of the retirees and present his viewpoint to the Fund trustees and the US Department of the Treasury. He will provide an independent

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Resolution No. 8 at the Convention Report by Stewart Williams

As one of the delegates at the AFM Convention this year, I was appointed to serve on the Finance Committee. In this role I participated in the process by which the various recommendations and resolutions are introduced to the floor of the convention. At the committee level, we hear testimony from proponents and opponents, if they choose to be heard. We discuss and prepare a recommendation on the proposed legislation for the moment when it is brought to the floor.

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Seeking Solutions: More Revenue for the Fund aka STREAMING

The theme of the Convention was “Together We Can” and presentation after presentation brought focus to the larger effort necessary to address solutions for today’s difficulties. From facing the challenges of maintaining a balanced budget for the federation, to keeping pace with changing technologies shaping the livelihoods of musicians, and (of course) to putting our Pension Fund back on course to solvency.

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The Convention, New Initiatives, Pension Struggle, Negotiations and Fighting the Union Busters

It has been quite a year so far for us here in Local 72-147. We have begun new initiatives, made new friends, taken on new challenges, and continue to stand up to enforce our agreements. One of our priorities this year has been to develop new relationships and improve the communication and effectiveness of those we already have. We do this to strengthen our position as we move into a new season of music making where we will be renegotiating many new agreements and reaching out to the community.

In terms of reaching out we have a new series that is a result of our relationship with Klyde Warren Park in dowtown Dallas and the efforts of our members working together to broaden our footprint in the community. This “Musicians in the Park” series debuted last April. An adaptation of the Meet and Greet & Jam Sessions that we began doing throughout the community last year, we put together a concert featuring a house band jamming with featured members and reaching out to non members as well. This concert was more than a recruitment event though. It was an opportunity to speak directly to the city about our mission of being there for musicians, and not just any musicians, but OUR musicians. The musicians who are the musical voices of our home and city. Artistically the concert was an amazing success, gave us a moment to celebrate who we are and what we do, have some fellowship, and show the community how important we are to its cultural life. We are making plans for a follow up to this event, and are working to put together another diverse and quality program that people will come to see as a destination event.

We also, through MPTF funding, collaborated with Klyde Warren Park to bring music to the first ever Memorial Day Music Fest at the park. Sponsoring the East Stage during this one day festival, an estimated forty thousand people came to enjoy. Plans for this festival next year have already begun with the intention of improving on this already great success. We are so pleased to enhance the festival seas

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Pension Update: Critical & Declining Status Projected – What to Expect

As of March 31, the AFM-EPF’s fiscal year of 2018-19 has come to an end. In February, we were notified that actuaries project a strong likelihood that the Fund will enter “critical and declining” status after being in critical status since 2010. You may find the text of the full notification, which is posted on afm-epf.org. 

Over the next two months, the Fund’s actuaries will collect and analyze the year-end data and prepare actuarial projections to determine whether our Fund will remain in “critical” status or move into “critical and declining” status for the new fiscal year.

I recommend that you visit the Fund’s Website and check out the “Staying Informed” tab for more detailed explanation, but I wanted to provide as clear an explanation here as possible.

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