Benefits of Membership
AFM contracts are free and available for union members. By filing a signed AFM contract at the Local, you have automatic protection should a purchaser default.
Local 76-493 provides dispute resolution including mediation, small claims court and referrals to appropriate legal experts.
Daily Job Referrals:
The union receives many leads per month for live music. Members get daily (M-F) updates via email or by calling the local office. 2% work dues apply to referral jobs. Along with the referrals we also send out announcements for auditions, grant applications, festival applications, action alerts, union member discounts and local music news.
The AFM-EP (Pension) Fund, one of the best in North America, is 100% employer funded and is available if you perform at qualifying workplaces or single engagements.
Dental Insurance Plans:
A comprehensive dental plan is open to members from month to month along with Union member discounts at Sunrise Dental. See our Healthcare page for more info.
Instrument and Equipment Insurance:
Coverage is available at competitive rates, ensuring that your gear (including computers) is insured wherever you are working, not just at home. PDF Application for the AFM Instrument Insurance plan through Marsh/Seabury & Smith.
Business Liability Insurance:
This plan has been designed for those AFM members who operate as independent contractors. This includes individuals who perform alone or with a group. More info. If you own or operate a small studio, please refer to the Business Owners’ Policy or call 1-888-591-1954.
Accidental Death and Dismemberment Benefit:
All regular and life members in good standing recieve an automatic $3000 Accidental Death & Dismemberment Benefit through American Income Life Insurance Company.
Other AFM Personal Insurance Plans:
Click here for a complete listing
The AFM legislative office represents musicians’ issues in Washington, D.C. The local union works directly with city, county and state government to protect musicians’ rights and promote initiatives that help performers.
Local Wage Scales:
Set by working musicians these minimum wages keep us working cooperatively and allow us to keep a fair rate for the musicians’ services.
The local union hosts booths at several regional wedding shows each year generating gigs for members. Showcasing opportunites cost nothing for our members and are an excellent way to be seen and heard by thousands of future brides and grooms.
Music Industry Work Shops and Seminars:
Work shops and seminars pertaining to the music industry are held in our conference room throughout the year.
Local and National Recording Contracts:
The AFM negotiates minimum wages and working conditions for all media; CD’s, TV, Radio, NPR, Jingles, Films, Demos, Video Games, Digital Downloads, etc. Using union contracts guarantees your fair share, including pension, additional payments for new use, yearly profit-sharing payment (residuals) and protection.
Social Networking for Members:
Send us your latest news or gig/concert info and we will publish it on our Facebook/Twitter and MySpace pages. Our Business Representative Kirsten James will also help members set up accounts and pages if they are new to Social Networking.
Website Listings for Teachers snd Performers:
Seattle Music Commission:
Local 76-493 is represented by Vice President Joan Sandler on the Seattle Music Commission.
Access to AFM Members Only Website:
Here you can access AFM Forums, Audition Ads, Go-Pro, Online documents, Current and back issues of The International Musician, Roster Search Engine and much more.
An International (USA/Canada) online booking service for AFM Members. LINK You must have the following to qualify for a listing:
- At least one high-quality, professional photo.
- At least three distinct audio samples (our site will automatically clip them to 30 seconds), and/or at least one good video, uploaded to YouTube.
- A bio for the Act, minimum 100 words and with correct spelling and grammar.
- Your song list or repertoire.
The Musician’s Bill Of Rights
Whereas, musicians, in addition to being artists, are also human beings entitled to human rights, and workers entitled to workers’ rights, therefore let it be self-evident that these rights shall for now and forever include:
- The right to enjoy a minimum wage, whether derived from live performance, royalties, or reuse, that is sufficient to provide a standard of support proportional to the entire investment of time and resources required to secure and perform said gainful employment.
- The right to safe and healthy working conditions including protection from health threatening theatrical devices, demeaning and exploitive costumes or uniforms, excessive sound pressure levels, substandard travel arrangements, ingestion of second hand tobacco smoke, irrelevant recorded music before performances and during intermissions and the right to reasonable rest periods.
- The right to quality education, health care, legal protection and representation, housing, financial services, child care, unemployment benefits and retirement security, all of which must be affordable within the economic limits defined by the minimum wage.
- The right to equal employment opportunities based on musical qualifications and/or entertainment value regardless of race, ethnic background, age, gender, religion, cultural diversity or political affiliations.
- The right to negotiate fairly on one’s own behalf with universal recognition and legal enforcement of resulting contracts on agreed terms.
- The right to free speech as defined in the U. S. Constitution Bill of Rights and applied to all musical performances and/ or recordings.
- The right to ownership of all intellectual property rights as applied to compositions, performances, and recordings by all players and singers as well as leaders and publishers who are already protected.
- The right to bargain collectively.
- The right to freedom from discrimination.
- The right to respect from society, equal to that afforded all other workers and professionals are also entitled to the same rights in exchange for the respective contribution of time and materials to place their work in society.
What Is “Minimum Wage”?
Minimum wage from gainful employment must be sufficient to pay all necessary costs for life, shelter, and health care in the proportion of 100% for 40 hours weekly invested and directly proportional for fewer hours.
This investment of time includes, in addition to hours of actual live performance, those hours spent in practice, rehearsal, preparation, post-production and (when required by the employer) promotion of the event.
In absolutely no instance shall this total work investment be compensated for less than federally mandated minimum wages. Cash investment, including commissions to agents, managers, attorneys, and promoters, to secure musical employment, as well as all production costs associated with said employment, shall in every instance be over and above this minimum wage.
In those instances when the artist is at financial risk for a speculative project, including performances and/or recordings, that artist shall be guaranteed a portion of the profits realized (including all subsequent reuses) that is never less than directly proportional to the percentage of risk borne by the artist.
Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA’s)
Local 76-493 is the collective bargaining representative for musicians working at the Paramount Theatre, the 5th Avenue Theatre, Village Theatre, the Tacoma Symphony and Cornish College accompanists in the dance department. As the local union president, Motter Snell negotiates and administers the collective bargaining agreements. Our collective bargaining agreements set forth wages, benefits, and working conditions for each orchestra, so these rights cannot be unilaterally taken away by the employers.
About 350 of our musicians work under collective bargaining agreements. Many have served on the negotiating teams and as union stewards. The local’s president administers the agreements which protects your rights at work. Each collective bargaining agreement has a dispute resolution process that is fair to the musicians and the employers. We use the process to protect the integrity of the collective bargaining agreements and resolve problems collaboratively.
Benefits of a Typical Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA):
- Musicians working under a CBA often receive a wage premium of 20-30% above musicians working in the same sector without the protections of a union contract;
- Musician may participate in the American Federation of Musicians-Employer Pension Fund (a multi-employer pension fund/ and portable) when working under qualifying contracts;
- Industry standards for doubling pay, cartage, parking, over-time pay and minimum call pay are negotiable and provisions in many AFM CBA’s;
- A three-step grievance process with arbitration by a neutral third party when the contract is violated or a musician’s rights under the CBA are violated;
- Due process for musicians who are terminated from their job including a Peer Review Committee that may over rule the conductor’s decision;
- A fair auditions process to fill vacancies in the orchestras; and
- Recording provisions that protect your work from unauthorized uses.
- Union representation and CBA negotiations are an organizing campaign and available for musicians working for an employer.
How To Join The Union :
Membership Application Form (2 pages)
2017-18 Membership Fees:
*WE ACCEPT CASH, CHECKS AND VISA/MC (PLEASE ADD A 3% TRANSACTION FEE TO CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS, PAYABLE BY PHONE 206-441-7600).
New Member Discount if paying annually and have never been a Member of any AFM Local:
Save 10% and pay $181.80 + Initiation Fees: $65.00 Federation + $20.00 Local (These are one-time-only fees which you pay upon joining) for a total of $266.80
New Member Discount if paying annually and have been 0r currently are a Member in good standing of any AFM Local:
Save 10% and pay $181.80 + Initiation Fee: $20.00 Local (This is a one-time-only fees which you pay upon joining) for a total of $201.80
For new Members paying quarterly:
- Initiation Fees: $65.00 Federation + $20.00 Local (These are one-time-only fees which you pay upon joining)
- Dues are $50.50 per quarter. If you’ve never been a member before, dues would be $135.50 (which includes initiation fees) for the first quarter of your membership and then $50.50 per each quarter after joining.
For returning Members who resigned in good standing:
See “existing members” and don’t include late fees.
For existing Reqular members in 2017:
Paying for 3rd Qtr before Aug. 1 $50.50
Paying for 3rd Qtr before Sept, 1 $55.50
For existing Life Members in 2017:
Paying for 3rd Qtr before Aug. 1 $24.25
Paying for 3rd Qtr before Sept, 1 $29.25
Additionally there could be Work Dues, (based on Scale Wages), payable at:
- 2% on jobs booked through the Local’s referral service
- 4.25% on recording sessions
- Similar varying rates on organized performance groups as defined by their Collective Bargaining Agreements
For returning Members not in good standing:
A $20.00 reinstatement fee and dues for the quarter you were expelled in will apply along with current regular membership dues as for “existing members”.
For more information feel free to call us at: (206) 441-7600, Mon-Fri 9:00-5:00
Talk to our office staff about the costs involved in becoming a member or receiving insurance or health benefits – we’re here to help you and answer your questions. Our organizing team is also eager to hear your ideas and concerns as a working musician.
Great deal for new Members of Bands or Ensembles of two or more!
One time initiation fees waived! A savings of $85/per musician can be had if the either of the following apply:
- Musicians are joining as a band at the same time as a musical unit (consisting of two or more musicians)
- Musicians are bandmates of a current AFM member and the rest of the ensemble joins
Health & Healthcare
As a benefit of membership, the Musicians Union offers dental insurance for an additional charge.
As of 2014 we will only be offering a dental plan. Please go to the Washington Healthplan Finder for medical insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
The Musicians Union also has a group dental plan with Dental Health Services DentalHealthServices.com. Open Enrollment is from December 1-December 31, 2016. Monthly premium prices as of 1/1/2016 are as follows:
- 1 person $28.53 (includes .50 cent sur-charge)
- 2 People $55.53 (includes .75 cent sur-charge)
- 3 People $73.91 (includes $1.00 sur-charge)
- 4+ People $94.59 (includes $1.00 sur-charge)
- Payments are due to the local on the 25th of the month prior
Another option for dental care is access to Sunrise Dental services. This is not a monthly plan but a group of dental offices that offer large discounts to Union members and their families. Call or email us for more information on Sunrise Dental Services.
Other Insurance Options For AFM Memebers
The American Federation of Musicians also offers other Health Insurance options. See their page for a complete listing. More information on the AFM plans for members through the Marsh Affinity Group can also be found here.
Union Plus Health Savings
From dental, vision and prescription discounts, to telemedicine and health counseling.
Healthcare resources for all professional musicians
Washington Healthplan Finder WA Healthplan Finder is WA state’s operation of the Affordable Care Act. Qualified Health Plan Open Enrollment is currently closed. The next upcoming Qualified Health Plan Open Enrollment is November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016.
Washington Healthplanfinder offers:
- Apples-to-apples comparisons of health insurance plans
- Financial help to pay for copays and premiums
- Expert customer support online, by phone, or in-person through a local organization, insurance broker or agent
AHIRC – Artist Health Insurance Resource Center Connecting artists, craftspeople and entertainment industry workers around the country to health insurance and affordable health care since 1998.
Health Archives – International Musician A good selection of articles on heath related issues for musicians.
The Musicians Foundation, Inc Helps professional musicians by providing emergency financial assistance in meeting current living, medical and allied expenses.
The Jazz Foundation of America They can help with emergency living expenses, medical care, housing and performance opportunities for Jazz and Blues musicians.
The Jeremy Wilson Foundation The Jeremy Wilson Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to helping uninsured and underinsured NW area musicians and their families in times of medical crisis. The Foundation also aims to aid musicians and their families in obtaining day-to-day health care through education and referrals to assist them in acquiring adequate healthcare and insurance.
Sweet Relief Sweet Relief Musicians Fund provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems.
Virginia Mason Clinic for Performing Artists The Clinic for Performing Artists at Virginia Mason in Seattle provides evaluation and treatment for the special problems of performing artists. Professionals, students and amateur artists experiencing performance difficulties because of musculoskeletal, neurologic, orthopedic, vocal, podiatric or psychological problems are welcome.