With this Holiday Season Comes the Promise of Tomorrow

December 18, 2020

Socially Distanced But Still Together

The holiday season is now upon us again! While we look back on one of the most difficult years in our history, we can now make our plans to emerge from crisis and rebuild our lives and profession. 

We actually have much to be thankful for. In the toughest times our bonds of solidarity, put to the test, gain a strength born of crisis. We have new relationships, new skills and a strong resolve.

As each one of us has faced economic challenge, so has our union faced financial difficulties even as we work harder to face the biggest challenges of all. Here at Local 72-147 we have taken on this challenge by fundraising and marshalling reserves to build and distribute relief funds; we have built relationships in the community and with MPTF funding have set up more than fifty live streamed performance engagements; and we have negotiated non-stop with our employers to work out agreements to maximize conditions for employment for the 2020-21 musical seasons.

And with all this work, we have the challenge to do it under economic adversity. With a virtual industry-wide job loss, the financial stresses to our membership, and other losses in revenue, our local has had to step up to the challenges with seriously reduced revenue. All in all, we have been forced to operate with about a $100K decrease in revenue, cutting costs in every possible way. The officers and staff have all taken substantial cuts for the year, in the spirit of shared sacrifice, even while we must work harder than ever.

With all this in mind we begin a new cycle of annual dues collection with great concern and acknowledgement of these extreme circumstances. In order to continue working to contain Pandemic damage and to prepare to rebuild, our union relies on these dues for our very existence. We also understand the economic situations our members face. Therefore, with this year’s dues payment notice comes an appeal. If you are able to pay, please do, understanding how important your support of the local is at this time. We also understand the difficulty in paying. To address members’ economic hardship, the Executive Board has approved a Quarterly Dues Payment option of $35 for those needing flexibility due to economic hardship. You may make this payment online at www.musiciansdfw.org or just by mailing it to the office. And as always, if you are having problems, please call us and let us know. We are here for you.

Also through Pandemic policies approved by the AFM, we are waiving late fees and reinstatement fees. We are also running a membership drive through January, making it easier than ever for new members to join.

I imagine now, after more than nine difficult months of this Pandemic – and infection rates at their highest – we can perhaps begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. With the beginning of vaccine distribution we can FINALLY begin to plan for a return to “normalcy” and the new world which that will bring.

We have much work to do. Virtually every contract will have to be renegotiated in the coming months. We will continue to grow our live stream series with MPTF into the new year (Check out the new Live Stream Theatre on our website). And we will continue to work to make relief available for musicians through our Relief Fund.

What is most important is YOU, the great musicians of Dallas Fort Worth. It is most vital that we keep our family together as we weather this storm, protect our health, and make sure we are strong  and ready to make 2021 the year of our resurgence.

From the Officers and Executive Board of Local 72-147, we wish you the safest, healthiest and best of holidays. We thank you for your solidarity, support and resolve – and look forward to forging our path ahead together.