New Community Projects with Music Performance Trust Fund Support in addition to Fort Worth Main Street Arts Festival & Denton Arts & Festival brought a busier Festival Season than ever with the addition of Klyde Warren Park’s Memorial Day Music Fest.

Las Colinas Symphony Musicians Locked Out

As of late September, Management of the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra (also performing as the Garland Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Arlington) has locked out its Winds, Brass, Percussion players & Harpist for the 2019-20 Season as a result of Local 72-147 filing grievances on behalf of the orchestra’s members. The season is to open October 17, 18 and 19 with concerts in Arlington, Garland and Irving.

In the last few years of a longtime relationship with the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, tensions have come to the surface as Local 72-147 has taken action to represent musicians of the orchestra in various circumstances. This pattern continued as the spring turned into summer this year as Individual contracts were issued to musicians with non-bargained modifications, a dramatic staff change took place at the LCSO office, and some disturbing actions have been taken by the LCSO adversely affecting musicians.

After a contentious negotiation during the summer of 2018, the goal of the Players Committee and the Union was to build a better and productive relationship with the LCSO, with the appointment of new Executive Director Darren Rich. The musicians regularly expressed their hopes and aspirations Read More about “Las Colinas Symphony Musicians Locked Out”

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. Read More about “Seeking Solutions: More Revenue for the Fund aka STREAMING”

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. Read More about “Resolution No. 8 at the Convention Report by Stewart Williams”

U.S. House of Representatives Passes Butch Lewis Act

the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act, also known as the “Butch Lewis Act.” This bill would provide low-interest government loans to struggling multiemployer pension funds, including the AFM-EPF. If necessary, these loans can be coupled with additional financial assistance from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. The bill would provide sufficient money for these funds to pay benefits to current retirees and beneficiaries for life, while allowing the funds to grow back to stronger financial footing. 29 Republicans joined the Democratic majority in voting for the legislation – an encouraging sign. Read More about “U.S. House of Representatives Passes Butch Lewis Act”

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 Read More about “Retiree Representative/Equitable Factors Panel Appointed”

FWSO Member & Former Negotiating Committee Chair Dan Sigale Addressing the AFM Convention about the FWSO Campaign and Strike of 2016. Sigale & FWSO Member Julie Vinsant were special guests at the Convention. Local 72-147 President Stewart Williams, SSD Negotiator Todd Jelen, AFM Sec/Treas Jay Blumental & International President Ray Hair look on.

101st Convention Report

Report Submitted by Aaron Pino

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 of the Finance Committee. During the conference, we had presentations from the International officers, as well as a panel from the AFM-EP fund trustees. There was also a presentation from the Organizing Dept. on building locals. Alfonso Pollard, the AFM’s Legislative and Political Director, gave a presentation on TEMPO and how to form a local legislative political committee, something we would like to put together in this local in the near future. If you are interested in serving on such a committee, let me know.

The biggest news for our local from the conference is that President Williams is now also the President of the Southern Conference, and therefore our local will be hosting the 2020 Southern Conference in June at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel in Addison. The new Vice-President of the Conference is Megan Chisom, who is the President of Local 80, Chattanooga. Lovie Smith-Wright, the President of Local 65-699 Houston, was re-elected Secretary-Treasurer.

Alternate Diversity Delegate Fred Nichelson joined us for the AFM Convention, and International President Ray Hair gave all four of us committee assignments. President Williams again served Read More about “101st Convention Report”

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