Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the questions below for answers to some frequently asked questions:

  1. I am a former member, how can I rejoin?
  2. Who is on the Board?
  3. If I join the Union, will I be fined for accepting non-union recording/performing work?
  4. Why doesn’t the Union audition musicians before they are allowed to be members like some other locals?
  5. Will the Union dictate what I can or cannot charge for private lessons?
  6. Can the Union help me negotiate a contract with an employer?
  7. How many people do I need to “organize” my workplace with the Union?
  8. I worked for a Purchaser without a Union contract and have not been paid for my services, can the Union help?
  9. I played in a Non-Union recording session 6 weeks ago and have not been paid. Can the Union help?
  10. I played in a Non-Union film recording session and now a CD of that soundtrack is for sale in the stores. Shouldn’t I be getting paid extra for that?
  11. I am already a member of another AFM Local, do I have to join the Los Angeles Local too?
  12. Why do Non-Union members get hired over Union members for jobs that work under a Union negotiated CBA?
  13. What is agency fee status?
  14. I always respond to the referrals but never get the gigs. Why is that?
  15. Does a Union contract guarantee that I will get paid at least Union scale and on time?
  16. Why are there Union orchestras in the Los Angeles area that don’t pay Union scale?
  17. How do I know what “scale pay” is for any particular gig?
  18. Can the Musicians Union help me with border crossings (Canada) and gigs?
  19. Where can I report a technical problem or other issue with this website?
  1. I am a former member, how can I rejoin? If you have resigned or been expelled from Local 47, please contact the Membership Department to find out the current reinstatement fees. 323.993.3116

  2. Who is on the Board? The Executive Board is composed of 12 elected representatives, including three elected Titled Officers, elected every two years by the membership. The Board develops policy for the Local; Officers make the day-to-day decisions of running the Local. Board meetings are every Tuesday, meeting at 10:00 am in the Board Room at Local 47. Membership is welcome to attend. Please contact the Board if you have an important issue that you feel needs to be discussed. See our current Executive Borad members here.

  3. If I join the Union, will I be fined for accepting non-union recording/performing work? The AFM potentially could levy fines for members working non-union recordings.

  4. Why doesn’t the Union audition musicians before they are allowed to be members like some other locals? Historically, unions did audition musicians but the industry has changed and now the local has an open door policy.

  5. Will the Union dictate what I can or cannot charge for private lessons? No, the union has a teaching minimum wage in our Wage Scale that we recommend. It is suggested but not enforced.

  6. Can the Union help me negotiate a contract with an employer? Yes. Any member can ask for help with negotiating a Single Engagement contract.

  7. How many people do I need to “organize” my workplace with the Union? Two.

  8. I worked for a Purchaser without a Union contract and have not been paid for my services, can the Union help? Yes, if you are a member and have a contract filed. Yes, if you are a member but did not file a contract, but without any of our legal resources and in a limited capacity. No, if you are not a member, but we can offer you advice for the next time.

  9. I played in a Non-Union recording session 6 weeks ago and have not been paid. Can the Union help? No, but if this had been a Union recording session you would be due late fees and have the full resources of the AFM available to you.

  10. I played in a Non-Union film recording session and now a CD of that soundtrack is for sale in the stores. Shouldn’t I be getting paid extra for that? Probably not, but if it was a Union job and depending upon the new use media you would be receiving a session fee, “new use” payment and possibly AFM residuals. For further information, please call the union office.

  11. I am already a member of another AFM Local, do I have to join the Los Angeles Local too? If you are working under a CBA that is administered by Local 47 the answer is Yes. If you are a freelance musician who has moved into our jurisdiction you are also encouraged to join. If you are in 3 or more locals you would receive an AFM “per capita” rebate of $56 for each local over 2. Download the rebate petition here. Local 1000 of the AFM is local for touring musicians.

  12. Why do Non-Union members get hired over Union members for jobs that work under a Union negotiated CBA? Employers can hire whomever they want regardless of Union status, however, once hired under a CBA, musicians must join the Union after 31 days or elect agency fee status.

  13. What is agency fee status? Agency Fee Status applies when a musician meets these requirements:

    1. Is working under an AFM collective bargaining agreement
    2. Pay all fees and dues in an equivalent amount to the fees and dues paid by union members
    3. Did not complete a local union application and did not sign an oath of allegiance to the AFM
  14. I always respond to the referrals but never get the gigs. Why is that? The referrals are based on a first come first served basis and the client makes the decision of who to hire. They have often also contacted other musicians and websites along with ours. If you feel like you need help promoting yourself, the Union will help members with advice about your promotion packet and website.

  15. Does a Union contract guarantee that I will get paid at least Union scale and on time? Yes, if the contract is filed at the Union.

  16. Why are there Union orchestras in the Los Angeles area that don’t pay Union scale? Each CBA has separately negotiated wages and working conditions. These uniquely reflect the needs and abilities of each organization to pay the employee musicians.

  17. How do I know what “scale pay” is for any particular gig? Wage scale pay for musicians and leaders is listed here. Leaders receive a premium in addition to scale wages.

  18. Can the Musicians Union help me with border crossings (Canada) and gigs? Yes, the AFM has an expedited method to aid U.S. AFM members. You can find more information here.

  19. Where can I report a technical problem or other issue with this website? You may fill out this online form to report any bugs or issues with this site, or email the webmaster.

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