Benefits

Professional Publications: All members in good standing receive the AFM International Musician and all members receive the Local 153's Inside Music. These keep you abreast of union business, job openings, auditions, events, and articles of interest to musicians. Auditions and the current issue of Inside Music are also posted in the member area of the Local 153 web site.

AFM and Local 153 Website: afm.org offers downloadable contracts/scales, articles and other resources. The Local 153 website includes Local 153 events, music links, archives, and our Hire Musicians page.

Low Cost Instrument/Equipment & Liability Insurance: Replacement cost insurance covering instruments and related equipment for theft and damage at home, at work and on the road is available at a very reasonable rate. Up to $2 million in liability protection is available to members through the AFM Liability Insurance Plan.

Group Health Insurance (self-pay): Through an arrangement with French Cormany Insurance Services, Inc of Irvine, California, Local (153) is able to offer self-pay, group health insurance to its members. This group health plan is not intended for members 65 and older. Members interested in obtaining rates on medigap insurance should contact the local, and we will put them directly in touch with our broker. The available plans are through Kaiser (HMO) and HealthNet (both HMO and PPO). All of the plans offer guaranteed acceptance and coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Union Plus Programs: Union Plus was created by the AFL-CIO to bring union members and their families high quality consumer benefits and services. Programs include Union Plus MasterCard, Loan, Mortgage, Legal Services, and Health Needs. Check out www.unionplus.org for the latest info.

The following legal benefit, for non music business related matters, is available through Union Plus:

  • A free initial consultation with a lawyer of up to 30 minutes (in person or over the phone)
  • A free simple document review and explanation
  • A free follow-up letter or phone call, if likely to resolve a legal matter
  • Most additional services are discounted by 30% (including attorney's hourly rates and flat fees for most common legal cases)

Local 153 is a member of Bay Area Lawyers for the Arts, which offers discounted services to Local 153 members for music business related matters.

Credit Union: Members may join the Alliance Federal Credit Union, which provides a variety of banking services and offer loans at very competitive rates.

Wage Scales: Members participate in the establishment of minimum wage scales and working conditions for all types of musical employment. Union contracts require compliance with these scales and insure that musicians are not exploited.

Pre-Printed, Legal Contracts: Contracts suitable for all types of engagements are available free of charge. These easy to use contracts contain appropriate language for the resolution of disputes and provide protection for both musicians and purchaser. When properly signed and filed, they are enforced by the union and its’ attorneys.

Locally Negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreements: Local 153 currently has agreements with eleven employers in the Local 153 jurisdiction including Symphony Silicon Valley, Opera San Jose, and Monterey County Symphony.

AFM Negotiated Electronic Media Agreements: The AFM negotiates agreements for all electronic media employment which include reuse and new use payments, pension, and health and welfare benefits.

Contract Guarantee Fund: The union will pay Local 153 musicians unpaid scale wages for engagements performed in our jurisdiction if a proper contract is filed with the Local prior to the engagement.

Multi-Employer-Paid Pension Fund: Employer paid contributions to the American Federation of Musicians - Employers Pension Fund are a part of most Local 153's Collective Bargaining Agreements. Vesting requires contributions on $3,000 of earned wages in each of 5 consecutive years.

Canadian Cultural Exchange: The AFM will act as your sponsor for engagements in Canada. Forms are available at the Local 153 office and must be completed at least 30 days prior to the performance.

Membership Directory: A directory of all members, including address, phone, e-mail, and instruments played is updated monthly, and posted on the Local 153 website. It also is available to members in pdf or print form by request.

Local 153 bylaws, and Wage Scales are posted on the Local 153 web site. They are also available in pdf or print form by member request.