Our contracts are at the heart of our union. Everything we get through collective action and collective bargaining is guaranteed because management signs agreements. Our contracts allow us to ensure that employers do what they are required to do. They raise the expectations of all musicians in terms of remuneration, performance and professional treatment. As musicians, we can only feed our families and live with dignity if we are paid fairly for our work. This scenario consists of two components: initial meeting payments and FMSMF distributions. Given that entertainment consumption has shifted to on-demand platforms, the association is rightly concerned about how musicians will be paid in the digital future. We are committed to engaging the film industry on these issues, making a good deal and reaching a fair agreement for our members. The AFM and Local 47 have recently concluded two innovative agreements. The recording of New Line Cinema as a signatory to our film contract will result in additional meeting work, health and retirement benefits and remaining payments for musicians to be used in the evaluation of film soundtracks. This development is another positive step in our campaign to preserve and protect employment standards and prevent the relocation of sound recordings to the film industry. Democracy wins for the musicians of the Emmy-winning political satire Veep, which will be covered from this season by an agreement from the American Federation of Musicians. Note: The above agreements are merely summaries of collective agreements.
For effective agreements, please contact the Electronic Media Services Division of the American Federation of Musicians. The short-term contractual solution was seen by both parties as an acceptable alternative to blocking positions resulting from the reluctance of producers to achieve two important negotiating objectives of the Federation: the improvement of the remaining payment obligations for the broadcast of theatre and television films and the introduction of residual payments in streaming when films are produced for the first time on streaming platforms. Low-budget rates can be used if the film falls below $45 million for motion pictures or $5 million per hour of programming for television films (basic and long-form television movies). Since their introduction in 1996, these low budget rates have increased employment opportunities in the field of application. In addition, low-budget soundtrack albums are often published. The use of this agreement is subject to the association`s prior written agreement. Contact the local recording company representative or Pat Varriale at the AFM West Coast Office for more information on a low-budget package for theatre or television films. There are also new additional provisions that allow discounted prices for the first 25 episodes of a television series or pilot. However, the atmosphere of these negotiations was quite different. The animosities after the end of the previous round had eased. In his place, there was an attitude of true respect. This difference, I believe, is a product of the Federation`s treaty compliance and implementation agenda.
The parties – the Federation on the one hand and the producers, represented by the Alliance of Film and Television Producers (AMPTP) on the other – are in fact negotiating two separate agreements at the same time, which come into force and expire.