About AGMA

Careers at AGMA

American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) is the labor union of singers, dancers, and staging staff in opera, ballet and concert dance, and concert choral performance in the United States.  A national union with a membership of approximately 6,500 artists, AGMA provides forceful advocacy and defense of its members’ employment and artistic rights.  AGMA has a direct charter from the AFL-CIO and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO Branch of Associated Actors and Artists of America and the Department for Professional Employees (DPE). AGMA is also a part of the Coalition of Broadway Unions and Guilds (COBUG).



The American Guild of Musical Artists, AFL-CIO, the union of singers, dancers, and staging staff working in opera, ballet, and concert performance across the United States, seeks a committed labor attorney for the position of Counsel.

Reporting to the National Executive Director and working alongside an assigned Business Representative, the Counsel will function as lead negotiator and administrator for multiple collective bargaining agreements with opera, dance, and concert signatory companies. The Counsel will work closely with leadership and senior staff to provide direct member services, enforce AGMA contracts, ensure safe working conditions, represent the union in grievances, arbitrations, and other legal proceedings, support organizing campaigns and other national initiatives, and provide legal and strategic advice to the National Executive Director, elected leadership, standing committees, and member caucuses.

The Counsel must perform all duties within context of membership-led labor organization. This entails develop working knowledge and familiarity with AGMA structure, policies, procedures, and practices as they relate to the operation of the union, and then applying that knowledge and familiarity to all aspects of the bargaining relationship, including the pursuit of critical bargaining priorities for each AGMA working group. It also requires the maintenance of collegial relationships with other staff, union members, and elected leadership.


  • Candidate will work remotely and must be based on the West Coast. Preference for candidates located and licensed to practice law in California.
  • Regardless of location, candidates may be assigned to work with West Coast signatories.


  • Juris Doctorate.
  • Extensive labor negotiating, grievance and arbitration experience required.
  • Experience administering and interpretating collective bargaining agreements required.
  • Ability to creatively solve problems, resolve disputes, and address member issues.
  • Experience or demonstrated understanding of how to work collaboratively within labor organization structure.
  • Strong problem-solving skills, organizational skills, and demonstrated attention to detail.
  • Strong interpersonal skills including demonstrated ability to work successfully with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and assignments and work effectively under deadlines.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Serve as lead and supporting negotiator for CBAs, side letters, waivers, and media agreements with assigned signatory companies.
  • Establish and work with diverse, inclusive, and representative negotiating committees comprised of AGMA performing artists.
  • Administer and enforce collective bargaining agreements at signatory companies, including in day-to-day contract administration and grievance and arbitration proceedings, as needed.
  • Represent the union in NLRB proceedings as well as in litigation.
  • Coordinate membership functions at assigned companies.
  • Consult on an on-going basis with senior staff members throughout the country.
  • Conduct on-site visits to AGMA shops.
  • Attend shop meetings, rehearsals, performances as necessary.
  • Provide training and union education to new delegates, committees, area chairs and members.
  • To the extent possible, create and maintain collaborative relationships with signatory employers and their representatives.
  • Recruit, develop and train new member leaders.
  • Provide outreach and consultation to traveling and guest artists.
  • Collaborate with senior staff to implement policy and procedures.
  • Work collegially with a Business Representative as part of a contract team.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the National Executive Director.

Working Conditions

  • Flexible work schedule, with some night and weekend work required to accommodate the work schedules of AGMA performing artists.
  • Travel to signatory locations and AGMA facilities throughout the United States.

Physical Requirements

  • Able to sit for extended periods of time.
  • Able to travel as required.

Secondary Reports

  • Business Representative, primarily overseen by AGMA’s National Organizing Director.


  • Salary $130,000 - $160,000, commensurate with experience, competitive benefits package.

Applying for the Position

Please email a cover letter, résumé, and recent writing sample to careers@musicalartists.org.

As a labor union, AGMA is committed to combatting injustice and inequality in our members’ workplaces, as well as our own workplace. AGMA is committed to building a staff that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills, and we value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We seek to employ staff that reflects the diversity of our membership, and strongly encourage women, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, veterans, and other people who identify as members of marginalized communities to apply.  AGMA is an equal opportunity employer, and, as such, does not discriminate against an employee or applicant on the basis of race, creed, color, age, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, disability, or any other classification protected from discrimination under applicable law.