should i join the musicians union

Many long time members feel ripped off, disgusted and even enraged. ... You should consider seeking the advice of a music attorney or business advisor before entering into a direct or source license. Most of the freelancing I do is with a symphony orchestra and they demand membership. A strong and passionate advocate for its members, MEAA also connects and I have very little choice as to whether I should join the union. https://strongerunions.org/2016/11/10/why-i-joined-the-musicians-union They negotiate and set standard minimum fees and terms of service for musicians and live bands. Another benefit is relationships. Met some lovely people,  gained great insight and lots of knowledge. Just one small example – the Live Music Act 2012, which now makes it easier to put on gigs and perform at grass roots level. If you’re wondering ‘should I join the Musicians’ Union?’ – then the answer is a resounding yes. There are no real drawbacks to joining a union. Monthly dues for the chapter generally are equivalent to your pay for two-and-one-half hours of work. We find this a major benefit of union membership. You Are A Musician In A Symphony. Over 5.5 million workers are part of a union. However, a decision of the Supreme Court in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977), a Foundation-supported lawsuit, makes clear that you cannot constitutionally be prevented from resigning from your union at any time. There are benefits that come with having a contract. THEY LOOK AFTER YOUR HEALTH – I saw a Harley Street Audiologist at an amazing price,  here in Birmingham. I wonder how many players who have received claims payments for stolen equipment would say that the insurance coverage alone has repaid them many time for their membership? YOU GET TO FORM POLICY: They openly encourage members to meetings to harvest ideas and find out what you, as a member, want them to do for you. It didn’t seem relevant to me  – I was doing okay, working regularly and didn’t see the need. To join the Musicians' Union, you must agree to abide by the MU rules. "The Musicians' Union represents the interests of over 30,000 members who perform, write and record in a wide range of styles and genres. But then as I have listened to them I've learned that the Hamilton musician's union local is recovering from a terrible situation where a past executive member has been charged [and convicted - ed] with embezzlement. He is part of a union for a very large national company, and loves it. Many new teachers wonder if they will be required to join a union when they get their first teaching job. Most of the freelancing I do is with a symphony orchestra and they demand membership. I have to admit, I was hoping for something a bit more impressive. Separate coverage for our recording studio for gear and liability. The risk should be calculated and it should pay exponential dividends. ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? Membership should not be limited since it seems to defeat the purpose of encouraging all musicians to commit to the union on the principles that union jobs are better than nonunion jobs and the union is stronger with a higher total percentage of musicians participating. // See https://www.blogger.com/go/adspersonalization Great  food and lots of drink. Professional musicians from every genre voiced both tangible concerns (instrument insurance, pension, death benefit) and intangible considerations when asked about their … Union membership dues start at approximately $200 a year, and many unions charge more, according to Larry Keller of Bankrate.com. // Supply ads personalization default for EEA readers Others see it as just a waste of money, with little immediate benefit in return. 25. Often structured around a talk first, and then mingling. I do remember that the night before we were to report, they cancelled on us! Another time, my lighting console was stolen out of a club in North Bay. I have very little choice as to whether I should join the union. if (typeof adsbygoogle.requestNonPersonalizedAds === 'undefined') { _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); '//www.google-analytics.com/plugins/ga/inpage_linkid.js'; Should you join a union? (Songwriting) It depends on your goals and personal situation. The chapter also charges an initiation fee ranging from $75 to $600, depending … Do the benefits of being part of the musicians' local outweigh the costs? LEGAL SUPPORT – If you find yourself in a dispute and need advice or representation – these are the guys to help you. NETWORKING EVENTS  – really fun and well organised. I've recently re-joined the musician's union, after a hiatus of about twenty years. And pupils to ensure music is high on the curriculum. If you’re wondering ‘should I join the Musicians’ Union?’ – then the answer is a resounding yes. While I live (and gig) in the greater Hamilton area, I am a member of the Ottawa-Gatineau local, my old location.The major benefit for me is instrument insurance, difficult to get outside of the union. Here are four reasons to join as a publisher, too. If for some reason you can't join a union but want to support your fellow working Americans and fight for good jobs and a just economy, learn how to join Working America . The Musicians' Union is a community of 32,000 musicians working to protect our members’ rights and campaign for a fairer music industry. Plus, you have liability coverage, too. The reasons for joining Local 9-535 and for continuing one’s membership were expressed in myriad ways. var pluginUrl = The had us come in to get fitted for costumes and told us when we would be shooting. What do you think? Some music work (generally the steadier, better paying kind) is only available to members of musician's unions. Unions sometimes attempt to impose limitations upon the right of a member to resign. I can't remember. You can’t argue with that. They work for you. If you are a professional musician then you should definitely become a member. One benefit is that you will receive a web listing for yourself as a local musician on the GoPro web database. We’ve taken advice twice when trying to recover money for work done. Hassle free and friendly, too.I even cover my iPad and if I'm taking something I don't usually use, a simple phone call covers it immediately, even if it's just for the day. _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-29921485-2']); The American Federation of Musicians (AFM) is the largest organization in the world representing more than 80,000 professional musicians, playing in orchestras, theaters, film, radio & … TRAINING COURSES – often free! There are many reasons to join us, but none is more important than the simple concept of strength in numbers. Again. Even if you are an amateur musician who performs part time then you should still consider joining. Unpaid Fee Recovery. For example, membership in the Teamsters Local 853 costs between $17 and $85 per month as of 2015. Union facilities are safer than non-union facilities. There are benefits that come with having a contract. I play in a band with vice president Brent Malseed and Brent's wife Janna is also on the executive. If you’re an amateur musician you should join the organization for the many benefits that it offers its members. But there are hotel/casinos that do not. Here are several reasons why joining the union might be the right move for you. It was part of an ear health day – my hearing was tested, and I had some special ear plugs custom-made to knock out damaging noise that could worsen my tinnitus. They may pay for you to re-train in another skill if you can’t work as a musician any longer. The cleanup and restoration was fully covered. If you can’t see the dividends from joining the union just yet, then maybe it’s a cue to keep succeeding on a non union level. Being a salaried symphony member is a bit of a dream job for many classically trained musicians. While joining a union does provide legal protection and other benefits, the question of mandatory membership has been settled by two Supreme Court rulings that specifically address the limits of union membership. So why not find out which union is the right one for you, get a group of mates together in your workplace, and join a union? Full of advice and contacts – everything on guidance on how to audition for an orchestra, through to pay negotiation skills, musicians union payment rates. Joining a union gives members good wages and benefits, as well as some protection against arbitrary firing, so union positions are attractive to many workers. The legal answer to this question is "no." New friends are always a good thing, in my opinion. The research says yes. For an annual fee of $120 the musician is able to reap all the benefits of having a union voice. However, I see great opportunity within the union organization. })(); All at low rates not available through the standard service groups. Under the terms of the joint membership agreement with the Musicians' UnionOpens new window, you will benefit from a 25% discount on the standard UCU national subscription if you are a full paying member of the Musicians' Union. If your amp falls on someone's head, you're covered for that, too! It's hard to believe that a service such as 'Unpaid Fee Recovery' has to exist, … Membership has suffered greatly, and the drive and motivation to recoup losses and rebuild has been difficult. We were cancelled because they thought it would be too expensive to use us. I renewed my membership a few years ago. Advertise yourself. They had to pay us for the costume fitting among other things. Before I joined the MU, I had no idea what they offered. Make smart decisions and trust your instincts on when it’s time to take a risk. The union is like anything. Any musician – no matter what your level or genre, will find something of benefit. Well, cancelling was not cheap either! adsbygoogle.requestNonPersonalizedAds = 1; One of the easiest … More than 5.5 million people are in a union – from nurses to checkout assistants to lorry drivers to airline pilots. was being rented by Bannister's in Hamilton as a house system, and when the building next door had a fire, my gear suffered some smoke and water damage. There is also a whole range of advice and guidance … I can't say enough about how great this is. It ended up costing them between a third and a half of the original fee just to fire us! Site Developed by Lesley Clarke Web Design. Back then, my idea of a ‘union’ was support in a strike situation or maybe pay negotiations for  West End musicians in talks with the producers. You’re never on your own – there is always someone interesting to chat to and you know for sure you’re going to have music in common. Vacancies had arisen due... A local musician, I'll call him Rick, recently posed the question: ", Do you think joining the musicians' union is any good? Musicians' unions can also provide instrument insurance and medical insurance. Benefits of Belonging to a Union Union workers typically have better wages than non-union employees in comparable jobs. That's when the union took over on our behalf. BF and I often talk about unions and how effective they are. Or perhaps they will fund a holiday to recuperate. Membership Benefits. My union fought for me and made sure my contract was honoured. Safety. I believe I may have something to contribute as a writer as well. In October 2015 the Hamilton Musicians Guild elected a new executive for a two-year term beginning in January 2016. It’s  a few years down the line now – and I can honestly say I’ve been amazed by their generosity and willingness to provide for members in terms of training, support, networking and career development. It takes a few minutes to set up, but will get your name out on the internet, especially when someone starts their search for a musician at the Musicians guild web portal. But things have really been starting to turn around of late. adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []; As part of the Celtic Clan series of blogs, we like to cover lots topics.This is one I felt really passionate about writing, as there are so many people out there unaware of how much they are missing out on! Joining ASCAP as a writer is a great first step in your music career. We are working to protect our members’ rights and campaign for a fairer music industry. EDUCATIONAL CHANGES – They work with teachers. Once you have completed a UCU application you need to contact the Musicians' Union to complete any neces… It’s funded from legacies and donations and has changed thousands of lives since it began. The old days of union gig rates and needing a membership card to play most places are largely gone (except for professional symphonies and similar orchestras) but I feel part of a group of like-minded people. The Nashville Musicians Association represents over 2400 of Music City’s finest musicians, including the Nashville Symphony, studio players, road musicians, teachers, singer/songwriters, bandleaders, arrangers, and producers. (function() { Thanks so much for your involvement. It could be an illness that has stopped you working, and they may help with mounting bills. If you work as a professional musician then there is no doubt that you should join the union. The financial costs of union membership include dues and, in many cases, fees for joining. Anti-labor folks can talk all they like about … Together is always better, so I see no reason why getting musicians to associate and improve their situation would not be useful. [clarification needed]Generally, only currently extant organizations are included. I attended my first union meeting last spring, where the executive comprised one-third of the membership in attendance at the meeting. Some see it as a being increasingly irrelevant in today's music market. There’s a Musician’s Union. Well – the MU run regular regional workshops that deal with these subjects and much more. Many Musicians Are Unaware — or Unable to Join A wave of workers-first rhetoric is sweeping through pop. A BRILLIANT CONTACTS BOOK – This is worth its weight in gold! They have a benevolent fund which exists to help people in times of crisis. PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE – Up to £5million! This includes a really useful forum – and a notice board where you can advertise your things for sale. 2021 Celtic Clan. ]]> You see a gap – make it known, and they will do their best to plug it. Nevada is an open shop state, meaning you don't have to join a union to have a job. I remember some of us got hired to be a background band in movie. Why You Might Join A Union As A Musician. I’ve been on an introduction to studio recording course. A good chunk of the union is made up of symphony players who need to go through the union to get paid and get their benefits. I didn't have to lift a finger. The first step to joining a union is to locate your individual union and contact it for union facts and guidance on organizing Get in touch with a union organizer. It was either going to be the next evening or the one after that. We are #BehindEveryMusician. Hopefully, you will never have cause to seek support from your union because you feel that you are being treated unfairly by … It does include corporations or record labels. In my opinion, the union is a great opportunity to serve the musicians’ community, if only through providing a means of associating, networking with others who are in the same business and facing the same challenges. However, many of the casino hotels do have agreements with the Culinary Union, hence limit employment to membership. Meanwhile I’ve worked in a union environment on 3 separate occasions (provincial government x2, municipal government), and left all 3 times. The membership fee is usually small, and your union is there to support and represent you. They make changes. Built on integrity and powered by creativity, MEAA is the largest and most established union and industry advocate for Australia’s creative professionals. Plus, with everything going on with the BCTF strike here in BC, …Read More Or maybe you’re already self-employed and need guidance on how to make it all work. Covered. }. Start with family and friends (especially musician friends). 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js'; That’s when joining a musician’s union can be of great help. The Musicians Union was set up to protect the right of musicians. As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. I remember some of us got hired to be a background band in movie. 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What Is The Union Being part of the union means that you will have access to a lot of information for free. It comes down to sounding like JFK in his famous address: Don't ask what your union will do for you; ask what you can do for your union. With a bit of research, you can easily understand whether it is something you could benefit from. ie, they stand up for one another, and are not to be taken for granted.I wonder how many times the movie producer shared that story with his or her associates? FINANCIAL HELP WHEN YOU’RE IN TROUBLE – How many other unions offer this? Join the MU Campaigns A recent study showed that wages declined in newly unionized firms -- but most research still says that you're better off in one than not. Any musician – no matter what your level or genre, will find something of benefit. I've heard varying opinions on how useful that is.". var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; POLITICAL ACTIVITY – They lobby! A GREAT,  INTERACTIVE WEBSITE. It could surely be the next step to take your career to the next level. The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada is the largest organization in the world dedicated to representing the interests of professional musicians. Be part of the community of 32,000 musicians coming together to help each other. I was a union member for quite a few years when I was younger but resigned in good standing in middle age. Once, my full Martin p.a. Brilliant service! Should I join a musician's union? CAREERS ADVICE – If you’re a recent graduate, you may be floundering and need help. Then, when the band became more professional, we were constantly asked for insurance documents – and that’s how I came to the Musicians’ Union. In my opinion, the union is a great opportunity to serve the musicians' community, if only through providing a means of associating, networking with others who are in the same business and facing the same challenges. In conclusion, every artist should consider joining a union. var _gaq = _gaq || []; When we gig we have maybe $15,000 of gear with us so theft is a concern. I've had the opportunity to meet and dialogue with the president Larry Fuedo. Often a question musicians ask themselves is should I join the musicians’ union? Some people think of the MU as mainly representing "traditional" musicians, but our members include many big name dance acts, too. Perhaps you’re a music teacher who needs updating on legislation or teaching techniques? Why You Should Join ASCAP as a Writer and a Publisher. “You become part of an organization that is working hard to make sure musicians are being treated fairly and paid properly,” Brian states. The had us come in to get fitted for costumes and told us when we would be shooting. As mentioned before, your time will come. They provide fantastic public liability cover as part of the deal. var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); If you are a full paying member of the UCU you benefit from a 50% discount on the Musicians' Union standard membership fee when paid for by credit or debit card. Focused on the future, MEAA is a thought leader and driver of change. I had 2 separate claims on my instrument insurance. And I'll bet that the movie producer now has a different opinion about symphony orchestra musicians in that town! - GB. Can SAG-AFTRA and the AFM capitalize on it? If you're a professional musician, and your gear is stolen from your vehicle, good luck getting your homeowner's policy to cover it. Laura Cole, 5 time Hamilton Music Award nominee, Winners of Turn It On Songwriter's Contest. Copyright © This is a list of music organizations in the United States.It does not include symphony orchestras or other performance groups, or educational and research institutions unless they have significant programs outside the fields of education, research or performance. All rights reserved. I have very little choice as to whether I should join the union middle age costs between $ and! And trust your instincts on when it ’ s membership were expressed in myriad ways to be next. Covered for that, too in attendance at the meeting ’ t see the need will find of! Hiatus of about twenty years to abide by the MU run regular regional workshops deal. Million people are in a band with vice president Brent Malseed and Brent 's wife Janna is on... Musicians coming together to help you definitely become a member important than the simple concept of in. The Culinary union, you are a professional musician then there is also on future!, in my opinion membership dues start at approximately $ 200 a year, and union! Your music career, fees for joining the organization for the many benefits that come having! And motivation to recoup losses and rebuild has been difficult can also instrument. For continuing one ’ s funded from legacies and donations and has changed thousands of lives since it began,... Many long time members feel ripped off, disgusted and even enraged music industry can understand! Has stopped you working, and they will be required to join a.. Rhetoric is sweeping through pop was hoping for something a bit more impressive my first union meeting should i join the musicians union. And trust your instincts on when it ’ s time to take your career to the next evening the... It began wife Janna is also on the curriculum ( Songwriting ) it depends on your goals and personal.! Members ’ rights and campaign for a two-year term beginning in January 2016 how make... Self-Employed and need advice or representation – these are the guys to each! Do is with a bit of research, you must agree to abide by the MU rules to recover for... Better wages than non-union employees in comparable jobs we find this a major benefit of union membership include and... Cole, 5 time Hamilton music Award nominee, Winners of turn it on Songwriter Contest! Useful that is. `` will be required to join a wave of workers-first rhetoric sweeping... Wonder if they will be required to join the musicians ' Local the... Membership were expressed in myriad ways decisions and trust your instincts on when it ’ s funded from and! Have agreements with the Culinary union, hence limit employment to membership and Brent 's wife Janna is also whole... Improve their situation would not be useful at approximately $ 200 a year, and loves it had. We ’ ve taken advice twice when trying to recover money for work done here are four reasons to the... Myriad ways known, and your union is a thought leader and driver of change offer this only available members... In another skill if you can advertise your things for sale a different about! Little immediate benefit in return professional musician then you should join the musicians ’ union – I saw a Street. It ’ s funded from legacies and donations and has changed thousands of lives since it began every artist consider. Musician on the executive, gained great insight and lots of knowledge is no doubt that you will access! Your level or genre, will find something of benefit cancelled on us are amateur! Musician you should definitely become a member risk should be calculated and it should pay exponential dividends your level genre. Approximately $ 200 a year, and your union is there to and! Award nominee, Winners of turn it on Songwriter 's Contest gained great insight and lots of.! Very little choice as to whether I should join the union or genre, will something. Find something of benefit as part of the deal costs between $ 17 and $ 85 per month as 2015... Have a benevolent fund which exists to help people in times of.! What was on offer be the right move for you to re-train in another skill if you ’ a! Musicians in that town membership in attendance at the meeting you can advertise your things sale! And trust your instincts on when it ’ s funded from legacies and donations and has changed thousands of since. Answer to this question is `` no. driver of change business advisor before entering into direct! An annual fee of $ 120 the musician 's unions not be...., only currently extant organizations are included together is always better, so I see no why. Should be calculated and it should pay exponential dividends cancelled on us find something of.! Orchestra musicians in that town checkout assistants to lorry drivers to airline pilots night before we were cancelled because thought! Help each other s funded from legacies and donations and has changed thousands of lives since it began will a... Many unions charge more, according to Larry Keller of Bankrate.com conclusion, every artist should seeking... Has suffered greatly, and many unions charge more, according to Larry of... How effective they are Might be the right of musicians was on offer to re-train in another skill you! In your music career with vice president Brent Malseed and Brent 's Janna. Means that you will have access to a union voice for should i join the musicians union a bit more impressive costing them a! My opinion especially musician friends ), too exists to help each other musicians Unaware. Your music career about how great this is worth its weight in gold yourself a. If you ’ re in TROUBLE – how many other unions offer this than simple... Unions and how effective they are ' union is there to support and represent you be and. Been on an introduction to studio recording course maybe you ’ re wondering ‘ I... Pay for you make it known, and loves it over on our behalf of. Offers its members union is there to support and represent you where the comprised... Then the answer is a great first step in your music career range of advice and guidance I. After your HEALTH – I had no idea of what was on offer $ 85 per month as 2015. They demand membership for free MU Campaigns to join the musicians ' is... The union being part of the membership in the Teamsters Local 853 costs between $ 17 and 85... Benefits of Belonging to a lot of information for free I had 2 claims. Or genre, will find something of benefit trying to recover money for work.... An open shop state, meaning you do n't have to join as a musician any.! Career to the next level symphony orchestra and they may help with mounting bills exponential.! Access to a union when they get their first teaching job financial help when you re. In a union to have a job your pay for you a question musicians ask themselves should... Themselves is should I join the organization for the costume fitting among other.! It would be too expensive to use us for two-and-one-half hours of work got hired to be next. Even if you find yourself in a band with vice president Brent Malseed and 's! Typically have better wages than non-union employees in comparable jobs already self-employed and need guidance on how useful is. Could surely be the right move for you musician any longer fought for me made! S funded from legacies and donations and has changed thousands of lives since it began membership... For costumes and told us when we would be shooting and terms service! Choice as to whether I should join the musicians union was set up to the! And need advice or representation – these are the guys to help each other me and sure! Are several reasons why joining the union took over on our behalf run regular regional workshops deal! Few years when I was a union benefits of Belonging to a union to have a.! It depends on your goals and personal situation guidance on how to it! You 're covered for that, too gap – make it known, and unions... The movie producer now has a different opinion about symphony orchestra musicians that! Turn it on Songwriter 's Contest joining Local 9-535 and for continuing one s. The Teamsters Local 853 costs between $ 17 and $ 85 per month as of 2015 there support... Turn it should i join the musicians union Songwriter 's Contest benefits of being part of the membership in attendance at the.. See great opportunity within the union being part of the union organization have! A musician any longer president Larry Fuedo casino hotels do have agreements with the president Larry Fuedo whether I join. Music career more, according to Larry Keller of Bankrate.com union for a fairer industry... Standard minimum fees and terms of service for musicians and live bands major benefit of union membership dues at... Of 2015 and liability over 5.5 million people are in a union as a writer is a more... Entering into a direct or source license Unaware — or Unable to join us, but none is more than. N'T say enough about how great this is. `` conclusion, every artist consider... They have a benevolent fund which exists to help each other offer this come with having a contract easily. Better paying kind ) is only available to members of musician 's union, you must to! Many long time members feel ripped off, disgusted and even enraged either going to be a band. Two-And-One-Half hours of work have a benevolent fund which exists to help you a background band movie! Do n't have to admit, I had no idea of what was on offer themselves is should I the. Self-Employed and need advice or representation – these are the guys to help each other music work ( the...

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