Archive for September, 2016

COMMENTARY / FORT WORTH / EVENTS

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

9/24/16
I. MEMBER COMMENTARY
II. FORT WORTH MUSICIANS

III. EVENTS

 

…Absolutely guaranteed anonymity – Former Musician’s Union officer

…The one voice of reason in a sea of insanity – Nashville ‘first call’
scoring musician

…Allows us to speak our minds without fear of reprisal – L.A. Symphonic musician

…Reporting issues the Musicians Union doesn’t dare to mention – National touring musician
=============================================

I. MEMBER COMMENTARY
The recent RMA recruitment letter inspired one member to send in
a commentary. You will find it below.
———–
WHAT RMA MEMBERSHIP $’S BUYS
A future you can depend on

Recently described by the RMALA as the “NEW AFM” still embodies the
“OLD” RMALA, nothing has transformed for professional recording
musicians in Los Angeles.

What many “New” recording musicians don’t know yet, monies collected
for membership on behalf of the RMALA, is used to defeat it’s own
membership preventing opportunity to earn a career as a recording
musician while spending your money to support and sustain their “inner
circle” life style. Those who continue to advocate for the RMALA are the
ones who have or still are benefiting from the system, a small portion of
the total membership. This was calculated and intentional.

Prior to the formation of the RMALA the recording musicians of Los
Angeles always had AFM representation as did New York musicians in
negotiations. So why was it necessary for LA to form RMALA?

Back during the transition to the RMALA there was a plan, only kept to
those who would eventually benefit the most financially through creation
and support of a contractor’s most entrusted employees? They never
thought they could get away with it. It ultimately succeeded by “RMALA’s
entrusted employees”, removed most of the obstacles reducing the
workforce and robustly removed barriers. They cleaned house and fooled
everyone by voting the RMALA line. Getting them to turn on the AFM. This
was encouraged by a contractor who played into the hands of
management to create a single orchestra supported by the RMALA
founders to control a majority of work, eliminate studio contractors, take
control over all MPTV contracts and reign in residuals to a relative few of
the total RMALA work force. They abandoned the union principles while
building walls to keep out everyone who got in their way while using
union empowerment when it was to their advantage.

Nothing has changed. RMALA continues to use the membership resources
to capitalize on as much residuals to the inner circle. Your money to the
RMALA with the help of persons who were behind this deliberate
transformation of employment will be used again to strengthen their
position to take whatever action they see fit to keep you from your
recording career goals. It is now being passed on to the next generation.

Membership dollars will also strengthen the RMALA resolve to continue to
breach opportunity for all freelance recording musicians by keeping the
AFM out of RMALA’s business in L.A. to maintain dominance for the
RMALA inner circle.

Your dollars also buys contractors that hire you. The RMALA inner circle
got so use to being hired over everyone else by their contractor that
when their contractor retired they lost their grip and instituted other
contractors to follow in a similar manner. You had to hire who was on the
RMALA inner circle list or you didn’t gainfully work as a contractor in LA.
This was an implied condition with their contractors and the list they
were provided.

So what is the “NEW AFM” position?

As long as we give the RMALA what they want the AFM continues to
collect their monies from Los Angeles recording work. It doesn’t matter
whether the inner circle are selected by the RMALA most of the time or
hundredths of individual musicians, the AFM still collect the same amount
of L47 recording money from the same work. You’ll may hear that there
were thousand of jobs for musicians where in reality the inner circle was
used over and over again the ones who were the only recipients of most
work, the ones who blindly supported the RMALA to enrich themselves.
Even if they disagreed with RMALA policy it worked to their favor to be
silent. They did what they were told!

What else does your membership money buy you?
RMALA classification “A”,”B”, or “C” orchestras!

To make selling the RMALA inner circle, they presented themselves as the
“A” list. Since their contractor had direct access to producers when
booking the ‘RMALA assigned  “A” classification orchestra it was
discouraged to use any one but their orchestra or producers were
instructed to record elsewhere that included and encouraged to record
outside of Los Angeles altogether rather then use another contractor or
hire another LA orchestra. What the RMALA “A” list employed was to
permanently eliminate and defeat competition to avoid diluting there over
scale musicians salaries when another orchestra could have provided the
producers movies with the same quality performance.

These techniques using letters purposely differentiated there imposed
inner circle from the rest of what they referred to as the B & C riff raft
inexperienced orchestras. These B, C orchestras were RMALA members,
the very membership who they ask for your money to promote their inner
circle desperate to remain relevant and first. Devised from a previous
music contractor and a close inner circle of employees were to undermine
employment in Los Angeles, this became a very effective way of doing
business. Most musician’s careers were directly affected leading to an end
of an era of freely hired union freelance recording musicians. Today is a
shadow of the past.

The RMALA Players Conference is another debacle your dollars buy. Used
to solidify and represent working recording musicians RMALA is in reality
a non-equal opportunity employer. Unless your talking about the inner
circle repeatedly hired to deliberately keep from anyone gaining enough
musical influence, voting eligibility on contracts endangering their
claimed work, became RMALA’s way a self instituted “economic
protectionism”. How else do you get the reputation of being the best? By
default, there’s no one to compete because the RMALA went out of his or
her way to keep the rest of the RMALA membership out of work or barely
working. Many recording musicians lost their homes while the RMALA
inner circle bankrolled employment and residuals.

So what else does your dollars buy? The RMALA even when they were told
to stay out of the sale of L47 building insisted to comment by RMALA’s
president who implied at a L47 meeting and on sessions, that somehow,
you may not get a work call from (RMALA’s) contractors, if you don’t vote!
As we know now RMALA would have won either way you voted. Some may
call this collaboration for benefits they will reap at a latter date, just
another advantage to your contributed membership dollars.

You can’t deny that the RMALA’s machine does everything it can do to
strengthen there resolve to have good representation at the bargaining
table, forcing the hand of AFM to doing exactly what it wants, to control
the contractors, the MPTV contracts that control employment and
ultimately keeps the vast majority of non-RMALA & RMALA freelance
recording musicians from going anywhere near their inner circle
residuals. Yet the International RMA President, a residual of the LA’s past,
continues to solidify this by maneuvering on there behave by keeping
most of his regulars employed and why he remains in power. Other
unaware musicians are encouraged to continue to support the president
in order to sustain this elected officer.

Your hard earned dollars also contribute to the RMALA’s cart blanche as a
member of the Players Conference. Unfortunately they use the Player’s
Conference status and behave in ways no other music player’s conference
does. The result brings the RMA legitimacy where there isn’t any.  It’s
essential the RMALA have this status to justify the benefits and
recognition it tries to emulate in order to sustain its overwhelming
recording interests and dominance in LA.

RMA Night is another add on to what your membership dollars buy where
they will take anyone’s money for a ticket to the event to advance its self
interests and remain financially relevant. Even lure composers where they
have intentionally alienated from being union members so the inner circle
can get their a larger share of residuals.

Membership and RMA Night together has brought in millions of dollars
over its existence, how was this money spent? Are LA’s freelance
recording musicians any better off today since the RMALA took control of
Los Angeles years ago? Their meddling in LA employment collectively
decimated LA’s work force made possible by shortsightedness, self
imposed ignorance, greed, dictated by entitlement. A result  that took
place back in the 80″s making deals with management behind the AFM
and L47 back to advance their own inner circle agenda at the expense of
their membership.

This is but a glimpse of what RMALA membership can buy. Undeniably a
real investment into your future you can depend on!

=======================================
II. FORT WORTH MUSICIANS
This link is to an article about the ongoing struggles of the
Fort Worth Symphony musicians.
What Went Wrong… with the Media’s Discussion of the FWSO Strike?
Posted on September 9, 2016

http://tinyurl.com/jgpzyq2

=========================

 

III. EVENTS

.

DEAN AND RICHARD

DEAN AND RICHARD are now at Culver City Elks

the first 
Friday of every month.

7:30pm-10;30pm

11160 Washington Pl.

Culver City, 90232

310-839-8891

————————————-

LA WINDS JAZZ KATS 584

NO COVER, NO MINIMUM.

Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at Viva Cantina

7:30-10:00.

900 Riverside Drive,

Burbank.

Free parking across the street at Pickwick Bowl.

Come hear your favorite charts played the way they

should be. 

We are in the back room called the Trailside

Room.

Come on down. Guaranteed to swing.

—————————————

9/30/16

THE FLAMENCO SESSIONS – AN EVENING OF FOOD & WINE,
MUSIC & DANCE

Event to be held at the following time, date, and location:
Friday, September 30, 2016 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM (PDT)
Sessions at the Loft/The Wine Closet
2465 Ventura Blvd.
2423 Ventura Blvd.
Camarillo, CA 93010

———————————–
10/2/16

DON’T MISS THE
THE PHIL NORMAN TENTET
PERFORMANCE OF
“THEN & NOW”

Sunday, October 2nd
7:30 pm (doors open @ 6:00 pm)
Catalina Jazz Club
6725 Sunset Boulevard
Hollywood, California 90028
Reservations call 323-466-2210

Click this link to make a reservation online: Catalina Bar & Grill

Remembering the classic sounds & variations of
12 jazz legends to include:

The George Shearing Quintet
The Dave Brubeck Quartet
The Modern Jazz Quartet
The Cal Tjader Quintet
the Ahmad Jamal Trio
Miles, Dizzy and more

————————————

10/5/16

FREE ADMISSION GLENDALE NOON CONCERTS

On Wednesday October 5, 2016 at 12:10-12:40 pm
the Free Admission Glendale Noon Concerts will feature
Violinist Elbert Tsai and
Pianist Jennie Jung

in a program, “The Performer as Composer as Transcriber,”
featuring works by Mozart, Kreisler and Mason Bates
at the Sanctuary of Glendale City Church,
610 E. California Ave. (at Isabel St), Glendale, CA 91206.
For more information, email glendalesda@gmail.com
or call (818) 244- 7241.

Elbert Tsai leads a multifaceted career as virtuoso violinist, sought-after pedagogue, and orchestral musician. As a soloist, one of his musical missions is to revive the art of the virtuoso violin recital, which celebrates the short showpieces and gems of the instrument’s 450-year musical history. Since 2007, he has performed with the San Francisco Ballet orchestra and San Francisco Symphony, touring with the symphony domestically and to Europe and Asia. Elbert has taught violin and chamber music at Center Stage Strings, the Luzerne Music Center, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, SFCM Pre-College Division, and the Crowden School. He holds degrees from University of Southern California, Rice University, and Oberlin College.

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ACCLAMATION / RANK AND FILE HARASSMENT / COMMENTS / EVENTS

Saturday, September 17th, 2016

9/17/16
I. MEMBER COMMENT – ACCLAMATION
II. MORE HARASSMENT OF RANK AND FILE
III. COMMENTS
IV. EVENTS

…

Absolutely guaranteed anonymity – Former Musician’s Union officer
…

 

The one voice of reason in a sea of insanity – Nashville ‘first call’
scoring musician
…

 

Allows us to speak our minds without fear of reprisal – L.A. Symphonic musician
…

 

Reporting issues the Musicians Union doesn’t dare to mention – National touring musician
=========================

I. MEMBER COMMENT – ACCLAMATION
–haha nobody cares any more and think it’s history!
[EC: Apathy reigns indeed, and a lack of faith in the Local really shows.]

2016 Local 47 General Election

All candidates unopposed, elected by acclamation

President (1): John Acosta
Vice President (1): Rick Baptist
Secretary/Treasurer (1): Gary Lasley
Trustees (3): Judy Chilnick, Dylan Hart, Bonnie Janofsky
Directors (6): Pam Gates, John Lofton, Andy Malloy, Phil O’Connor, Bill Reichenbach,
Vivian Wolf
Hearing Board (7): Alan Estes, Jon Kurnick, Jeff Lass, Norman Ludwin, Helen
Nightengale, Allen Savedoff, Marc Sazer
Delegates to the AFM Convention** (3): Pam Gates, Bonnie Janofsky,
Norman Ludwin
First Alternate Delegate (1): Phil O’Connor
Second Alternate Delegate (1): Vivian Wolf

=========================

II. MORE HARASSMENT OF RANK AND FILE

The Local has stepped up harassment of rank and file members while
letting highly placed players work non-union with impunity.

A case in point:
1) Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) recently went to London and
recorded a three CD set. He brought 4 top tier LA players with
him. (We won’t name them here, let the Local do their own investigating.).
Will those players be held accountable? Of course  not.
Crazy number, like 33 or 43 tunes, cash and carry…… Seth, who
has been extremely loyal to LA’s recording musicians and the AFM,
even he, has sold out to the buyout, gheesh, the membership NEEDS
to know ASAP

[EC: According to sources, Seth was so impressed with one particular
trumpet player that he brought him over here for a concert in
Washington.]

CLOSER TO HOME, we received the following comment:

2) I couldn’t help but notice that a group called “Video Game
Orchestra” with a P.O. box in Boston, the backyard of Local 300
which brought resolution #4, has been placed on the AFM’s
unfair list. While the people in Nashville who were and are doing
non-union video game work (and getting quite a bit of publicity for
doing so), in the local of an IEB member has not been placed
on the unfair list.

[Indeed: Why is Mr. Pomeroy (President of the Nashville Local)
from the IEB giving a pass to those musicians and the AFM is
going after the jurisdiction that dares look to the future?

Another case of blatant hypocrisy.]

and this…..

3) A Local Library company just spent five days at Abby Road in
London recording an orchestral CD of a particular composer’s music.

All of the above could have been done here in Los Angeles had we
had workable buy-out contracts. Thanks to the RMA leadership and
their minions at the Local and the National, we don’t.

MEANWHILE…

Every young composer’s and/or contractor’s website is being
scoured to find pictures of any musician working nonunion in
the studios. Those identified, who are not among the chosen,
are being told they will be charged unless they name names.

As a particularly underhanded and unethical add-on, some
members are being told to sign a letter written by one of
the local’s employees (Not the musician) that specifically
targets a specific member for participation, whether it is
true or not.

Selective enforcement is illegal,
(see http://www.law.nyu.edu/sites/default/files/upload_documents/tamirarticle.pdf page 45 +)
but this Local has been guilty of it again and again, against
those who dare speak up.

So, the Local kisses the ring of the recording leadership,
driving over 85% of the work away, then has the gall to go
after those members who work non-union because they have
NO CHOICE? Well, they do have a choice, get out of music
or work non-union. It is the cowardice and inability of our
local to stand up to this cabal of a very, very few recording
leadership that has brought us to this point.

Until the union makes a serious effort to bring back work for
ALL members, not just the have’s, they should back off those
just trying to make a living and doing what they have to do to
pay their rent, mortgages, bills and feed their families. The Local
should also be ashamed of the disservice to the rank and file
they are guilty of.

THE COMMITTEE

=========================

III. COMMENTS:
the only “groundbreaking” thing about the Sony Playstation
“event’ is that a non-AFM member and non-RMA member
was the orchestra contractor. Yet, it’s the lead story in a pitch
to raise money? Puzzling at best.

———-

Deposition of Dennis Dreith:
Q:”So where is it that you obtained the understanding that if
a company invests in a motion picture and it is not a distribution
deal, that that makes a company, quote, ‘producer’?
A: “That’s my personal view. It comes from discussions with
various people in the industry.”
Full Court Opinion, pg 14
https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2863183-AFM-Opinion.html

——–

Hi!

With the upcoming elections…it would be worth the edification of our
brethren to OUT the manipulation and coercion of those that put the
“union” business before those represented.

Anybody that thinks the “Professional Musicians of Hollywood” are
served by giving up our (wholly owed) property only blocks from
the center of gravity in all of film…they are deluded!

What will it cost to OUT the actual actions of Local 47 in this stuff?

 

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WE’RE BACK! / CRITICAL STATUS / EVENTS

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

8/26/16

I. WE’RE BACK!

II. THIRD TIME NOT THE CHARM

III. CRITICAL STATUS FOR AFM PENSION

IV. EVENTS

…Absolutely guaranteed anonymity – Former Musician’s Union officer
…The one voice of reason in a sea of insanity – Nashville ‘first call’
scoring musician
…Allows us to speak our minds without fear of reprisal – L.A. Symphonic musician
…Reporting issues the Musicians Union doesn’t dare to mention – National touring musician

==================================

 

I. WE’RE BACK!

 

Again and again we’ve had our blog attacked by very

predictable sources, but each time we come back stronger.

This time is no different. We plan on again sending out a

post once a week, and should soon have the mailing in place.

 

========================================

 

III. CRITICAL STATUS FOR AFM PENSION

In the last blog we mentioned that the pension was in critical status.

In case you’ve not yet gotten the info from the federation here is what
it says in part.

The ANNUAL FUND NOTICE is for the Plan Year ended March 31 2016.
Parts of this notice reflect the finances of the Plan as of March 31, 2015,
rather than March 31, 2016.

The plan’s funded percentage was 81.6% as of April 1, 2015
The Plan’s funded percentage as of April, 2016 will not be known
until the actuarial valuation for the most recent plan year, ending
March 31, 2017, is complete, but is estimated to be 76%

Funding percentage for the last available years:
April 1, 2013 – 86.9
April 1, 2014 – 85.7
April 1 2015 – 81.6

——–

NOTICE OF CRITICAL STATUS:
The Plan is considered to be in critical status because it
has funding or liquidity problems, or both. More specifically,
the Plan’s actuary has determined that the Plan is in critical
status because:

(i) the Plan was in critical status last year and, over the next
nine years, it is projected to have an accumulated funding
deficiency for the Plan year ending March 31, 2019 and

(ii) the sum of the Plan’s normal cost and interest for the year,
the present value of vested benefits of inactive participants
is greater than the present value of vested benefits of active
participants and over the next four years, the Plan is projected
to have an accumulated funding deficiency in the Plan year
noted above.
[EC: In other words: There are fewer putting in than taking out.
Membership, dues and work are all down.

HOW MANY?
The total number of participants and beneficiaries covered by
the Plan on the valuation date was 49,947 total.
of which
20,884 were current employees
13,555 were retired and receiving benefits
15,508 were retired or no longer working for an employer and
have a right to future benefits.

[20,884 active / 29,063 retired]

FUND REHAB
This is the fifth year the Plan has been in critical status. The law permits
pension plans to reduce, or even eliminate, benefits called “Adjustable
benefits” as part of a rehabilitation plan. On April 30, 2010, you were
notified that the Board had adopted a rehab plan (the “Rehabilitation
Plan”) that reduced or eliminated adjustable benefits. As of June 1, 2010
the Plan is not permitted to pay lump sum benefits (or any other payment
in excess of of the monthly amount paid under a single like annuity while
it is in critical status. If the Board decides further cuts are needed, you
will receive a mailing explaining the reductions.

Under current law, any reduction of adjustable benefits will not reduce
the level of a participant’s basic benefit payable at normal retirement, and
the reductions apply only to participants and beneficiaries whose benefit
commencement date is on or after June 1, 2010.

The board has not made any additional reductions since the adoption of
the Rehab plan.

WHAT CAN BE REDUCED
-Post-retirement death benefits/guarantees
-Early retirement benefit or retirement-type subsidy
-Benefit payment options other than a qualified joint-and-survivor annuity (QJSA)
-Post normal retirement age subsidy.

CRITICAL AND DECLINING STATUS
A plan is generally is in “endangered” status of its funded percentage is
less than 80 percent. A plan is in CRITICAL status if the funding
percentage is less than 65 percent. (other factors may apply)

The sponsor of a plan in critical and declining status may apply for
approval to amend the plan to reduce current and future payment
obligations to participants and beneficiaries.

A COUPLE OF CLEAR EXAMPLES
A) If a participant with 10 years of credited service has an accrued
monthly benefit of $600, the accrual rate for purposes of determining
the PBGC guarantee would be determined by:
1) Dividing the monthly benefit by the participant’s years of service
($600/10), which equals $60.
2) The guaranteed amount for a $60 monthly accrual rate is equal to
the sum of $11 plus $24.75 (.75 x $33), or $35.75

Thus, the participant’s guaranteed monthly benefit would be $357.50
($35.75 x 10)

B) If the participant in Example I has an accrued monthly benefit of $200,
the accrual rate would be $20 (or 200/10). The guaranteed amount for a
$20 monthly accrual rate is equal to the sum of $11 plus $6.75 (.75 x
$9), or $17.75.

Thus, the participant’s guaranteed monthly benefit would be $177.75
(17.75 x 10)

It is estimated that the fund will continue to be self sufficient for
another 20 years.

For more info contact the fund office at 1 (800) 833-8065 (extension
1311) or email them through the “Contact Us” link on the fund’s web site
(www.afm-epf.org).

You can receive a complete copy of the plan as well if you wish. See the
notice you should have received.

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