Nobody likes hearing about union dues. But just as your taxes keep our government functioning, your dues are what keep the union functioning. We have recently made some changes that will help make paying them easier. In addition to the credit card option on the website, we have added a Venmo payment option, which will appear in all of the electronic newsletters. The Venmo service charge is also slightly lower than the credit card processing fee on the website. You can also continue to write us a check, which saves you from paying any kind of processing fee. We have also made the Quarterly Dues option that we started during the pandemic a permanent option.
Your dues for the year, or at least some of them, are always due by the end of January. If you pay the $135 Annual Dues amount, that pays you through the whole year (and also saves you $5). You can also pay the $70 Semi-Annual Dues amount, which will pay you through June, and then you would owe another $70 by the end of July for the rest of the year. And you can now pay the $35 Quarterly Dues amount, which would pay you through March, and then you would owe the next installment by the end of April.
In this Local, we have a late fee system. If your dues are not paid by the end of January, a $5 late fee is added. If they are not paid by the end of February, a $10 late fee is added. If they are not paid by the end of March, then in April your membership goes into suspension, and a $25 reinstatement fee is charged to get back into good standing. All of this is in the Local’s bylaws, which can be found in the members area of the website.
This Local has never invoiced membership dues in the past. Notices were always provided in the printed newsletters, and back in the day, postcards were mailed in March for people who hadn’t paid. Now that the newsletter has gone all electronic (if any member wishes to receive printed copies of some of the things in the newsletters, let me know at 817-469-6040×102), we are sending out more reminders than ever before.
What I have not been so consistent with is sending out an email specific to dues reminders. This will change in the future – if you have not paid your dues by the middle of January, you will receive an email reminder, and again in mid-February, and again in mid-March. This March we also sent out the postcard reminders.
Please make sure that I always have your current email address, mailing address, and phone number. Email is now our primary form of communication. We will still mail certain things that are required by labor law, for instance your union card (which comes with a paper receipt since we have to mail the card anyway) and election notices. But your dues notices will be in the electronic newsletter and your dues reminders will come via email in future. My email is email@example.com, so please make sure that it and any other email from that domain is in your contacts list. And if you have not paid your 2023 dues yet, please do so now.
On another note, I am looking forward to attending the AFM Convention this summer, where new international leadership will be elected for the AFM. I will be out of the office from the afternoon of June 23 through June 29 – I will be back in on the 30th. Lastly, I want to give special thanks to outgoing International President Ray Hair for all the work he has done for musicians both here and all over the country in his long career.