Wage Scale Update

June 26, 2024

This July an update to our wage scales will go into effect, with most of the scales in our wage book being raised. Late last year I appointed a Wage Scale Committee which discussed, deliberated and delivered to the Local 72-147 Executive  Board a number of recommendations. In early March the Executive Board unanimously approved the recommended changes, which were then ratified in Local 72-147’s March General Membership Meeting.

In our e-newsletters, you may access a list of the new scales in a condensed and simple format for easy reference, and download the revised scale book. Of course, the scales are always available in the Member’s Area of our website: www.musiciansdfw.org.

I want to express my appreciation to the Wage Scale Committee, consisting of Candy Williams, Jennifer Griffin, Brian Piper, Brian Brown, S-Ankh Rasa and Hannah Martineau. I am particularly proud of the seriousness and care this committee took in addressing this task.

I was moved by the passionate discussion of what we professional musicians really need and deserve. There was also a serious consideration of how necessary rises in wage scales will affect their respective markets. We consulted and reviewed scale books from other AFM locals across the US for further context and comparison.

I was also impressed by how this group of musicians, each coming from different areas in our varied musical market, brought a varied wealth of musical experience to the table. Our scales address wildly different circumstances and business environments: with scales for club work, church services, corporate events, theatrical events, star policy engagements, and symphony and opera gigs just to name a few.  While few on this committee would regularly find themselves working the same gigs, it was notable how everyone came to see that the fundamental issues we all face are basically the same.

There was also time spent on discussing the actual purpose of these scales, asking what practical use they have for us, and what they mean to our mission. In a column I had written last fall, I traced the history of freelance work in which wage standards where upheld by requiring booking agents to file AFM engagement contracts which then enforced local wage scales. While we still rely on Union contractors for certain hiring, most freelance booking now falls on our band leaders and musicians themselves. As a result, we are left to self-enforce our standards.

So our wage scales are not only rules for contractors or booking agents to follow. They are rules that WE agree as a union to use to maintain the wage standards.

In working with this great committee I have become convinced of the necessity to keep this committee in continuous operation as a standing committee. The ongoing discussion of the efficacy of our wage scales, how they affect the marketplace, and how to spread the word about them is of the utmost importance. If you are interested in being a part of this important engagement, please let me know, as discussions for the next round of revisions will begin next year!