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     Quarter Notes
The Nominations Meeting for Local 66 is scheduled for December 13, 2015.
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                     Rochester Musicians' Association, Local 66 AFM
                     875 #. Main Street, Suite #370

                     Rochester, NY  14605                           585-546-7633


Nominations Meeting December 13th


     The biennial Nominations Meeting of the Rochester Musicians’ Association will be held on Sunday, December 13, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.  At that time, nominations will be taken for the positions of President, Secretary-Treasurer and five chairs on the Board of Directors.  The meeting will take place at the Local’s office in the Auditorium Theater at 875 E. Main Street, Ste. #370, Rochester, NY 14605.  This meeting is being held consistent with provisions of the bylaws of the local union and federal labor law.
     
      Any nominee must be a member in good standing of the Local as a Regular, Youth, Student or Life member.  Inactive Life members are not eligible to vote or hold office.  Local bylaws require a nominee to have been a member in continuous good standing for at least twenty-four (24) months preceding the nominations meeting.  A nominee must be present to accept a nomination or a signed acceptance from the nominee must be provided at the time of the nomination.  The nomination may also be made in writing by a member in good standing, again accompanied by a signed acceptance from the nominee if the nominee is not present at the meeting.  Nominations will be closed as of 12:00 noon on Tuesday, December 15, 2015. Elections will be held at the February membership meeting in 2016, and those elected take office on April 1, 2016.


 


Email now used for many Bills & Receipts
        Improvements to the InTune Software Program


This is not the first time we have written about improvements to InTune, the software program utilized by the Local in its regular daily operation, but the information bears repeating.  Among other new features, the program allows us to send bills and receipts by email.  The use of email is providing a significant decrease in the total cost of postage for the Local.  For many years now the office has generated bills to our members on a monthly basis while many other locals generate bills only quarterly.  Because most of our local dues collections result from the quarterly dues obligations of our members, bills sent in the 2nd and 3rd month of each quarter largely reflect amounts owed by members who have failed to respond promptly to bills they have already received. 

           New Protocol for Bills & Receipts

We didn't want to discontinue the practice of generating bills on a monthly basis, but it was hard to justify the postage expense involved in mailing two or three bills each quarter to members who were not prompt in their payments.  The November newsletter from 2014 provided notice that we had adopted a billing protocol whereby the initial quarterly dues bills (January, April, July & October) would continue to be sent by mail but bills generated during the intervening two months of each quarter would be sent by email where possible.  This new protocol, with a few hiccups, has been working well. 

            Feedback and Email Addresses

We have previously solicited feedback from members in the form of both concerns and suggestions, and frankly we have received little response.  While there were a few bugs in the system in the first few months, it now seems to function very effectively.  Obviously, this functionality is dependent upon maintaining an up-to-date email list, so your cooperation will be appreciated in keeping us informed as to changes in your email address (and, of course, the rest of your contact information).  But using the email addresses we already have more routinely also alerts us when an address stops functioning.  Based upon feedback received from the national union, we know that our membership database includes email addresses for a larger percentage of our membership (about 90%) than most locals.  Never-the-less, we also want to make sure that you know you can opt out -- please notify us if you would like to continue to receive bills and/or receipts by mail.




AFM-EPF


       Register on-line to keep track of your pension if you have earnings on which pension contributions are made by employers (primarily electronic media in Local 66) or if you are already vested in the AFM's pension plan.  This registration can be accomplished at:

                                     http://www.afm-epf.org/home.aspx



AFM & RMA Websites

       Register on-line through the AFM website (www.afm.org) in order to gain access to the private members' area of both that website and also the website of the Rochester Musicians' Association (www.rochestermusicians.org).  A number of important documents are included in the private pages of the Local's website including current Wage Scales, a Membership Directory which is regularly updated, and copies of the annual submissions of the local to the Internal Revenue Service (Form 990) and the Department of Labor (LM-3).  You will need to set up a username and password through afm.org.  Contact the local office if you need assistance in obtaining those credentials or if you have other problems using the system.


 


Contract Extension with Rochester Philharmonic Negotiated


      Musicians of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the orchestra Board have recently ratified a new agreement which includes concessions in the current season (2015-2016) and a 2-year extension of the contract. The prior agreement would have run out at the end of 2015-2016, but the employer again demonstrated an inability to provide a sound funding base for the institution making the concessions unavoidable. 

       Interim President & CEO of the orchestra Ralph P. Craviso, who began his appointment October 1st, indicated that "once again, the musicians have shown a willingness to invest in the future of this world-class orchestra by agreeing to extend the previous year's concessions."  The union had also agreed to a freeze last season (2014-2015).  The current season actually marks the fifth year in a row with weekly salary levels at the same rate.  Contracted weeks have remained unchanged at 37 since the 2013-2014 season.  Craviso also stated that the orchestra has "a responsibility to repay" the good faith of the musicians "by creating a stable and financially sustainable future...".

        Members of the Orchestra Committee involved in the contract discussions included Chair Will Amsel as well as Jeff Campbell, Gaelen McCormick, Matt McDonald and Anna Steltenpohl.  The Local also utilized the services of AFM Negotiator Nathan Kahn.  The agreement was not reached until Federal Mediator Scott Montani of Syracuse had participated in the last three negotiating sessions.  The 2-year extension provides for a weekly salary increase and an added week of work next season and a yet longer season in the final year.  Amsel indicated that "by agreeing to a continuation of concessions, the musicians are investing in the long-term future of this organization, and hope that this new agreement can mark the first steps toward financial stability for the RPO."
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