101st Convention Report

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

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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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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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Bargaining Unit Report: FWSO

by The FWSO Players’ Committee

Two recent appointments have brought great optimism to the musicians of the Fort Worth Symphony: Dr. Keith Cerny began his tenure as President and CEO in January, and last week came the announcement that Robert Spano will join us as Principal Guest Conductor in the 20/21 season.
We’re confident that Keith Cerny will bring the same quality of fresh thinking and innovation that he brought to the Dallas Opera, where he established the Hart Institute for Women Conductors, oversaw the commissioning of several new operas, and led the music director search that culminated in the hiring of Emmanuel Villaume. He remains popular with the musicians of the Dallas Opera Orchestra.

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Remembering A. Philip Randolph, Union Leader, Father of the Civil Rights Movement

As February rolls to a close, it is most appropriate to remember one of history’s greatest labor leaders, A Philip Randolph. On August 28, 1963 more than 200,000 Americans gathered in Washington DC for a political rally which became a key moment in the struggle for civil rights in the United States. On that day, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired millions across the world with the delivery of his immortal “I have a dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

In many ways that march and that speech defined the virtue and ideals of an era struggling for and through progressive change – a struggle which continues today.

What we often forget is the place of organized labor in bringing about this watershed event.

When looking over photos documenting this history-changing event, one sees the two principal organizers of the event at Dr. King’s side. One is A. Philip Randolph who had been an African American Union leader (National Brotherhood of Workers of America and the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters) for more than 40 years, and now considered the father of the modern American civil rights movement. Randolph’s protege Bayard Rustin, who can also clearly be seen in those pictures, had been cutting his teeth organizing non-violent protest for decades.
The idea for the March on Washington actually began back in 1941 when these two began organizing such an event.

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Resolutions

I hope everyone has had a great holiday season, and a Happy New Year! As we tend to make New Years resolutions, I would like to put forth some resolutions for our local — resolutions we will keep!

Building on the beginnings of last year, we are set to move forward representing musicians and partnering with our community like never before. Last year, we held three events — Jam Sessions — where we reached out to members in the community to host events building our own internal relationships while reaching out to other musicians in our area. We held events in Dallas, Denton and Fort Worth. In beginning this initiative, we took the first steps in developing a new outreach, but achieved things that we had not expected, leading us to new avenues of potential. As a result, we now have partnerships with the community that we otherwise would not have. With the Greater Denton Arts Council for example, we now have a partner in reaching out to students preparing for their music careers at the University of North Texas. And with the Woodall Rogers Park Foundation (Klyde Warren Park), we have a partner in bringing musicians together and showcasing them to the city. (You will hear more about that soon!) With these new connections we are increasingly set up to foster the performing arts scene

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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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2018, A Year in Review

It’s been a busy year full of new initiatives, community partnerships, website updates, meet & greet jam sessions and more. We began the year with our first meet & greet which happened at Winfrey Point in Dallas. These events are open to the public with the intention of bringing our music performance community together. Many members, non-members and even non-musicians were in attendance for a delightful event. In addition to messaging through our newsletters and emails, you can keep track of our events

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