HOW DUES ARE USED
When the inevitable questions about dues come your way, having the following information will be a big help. The privileges and protections derived from working under an AGMA contract carry the reciprocal obligation to pay dues on a timely basis.
Dues are used to provide collective bargaining representation and related services to AGMA’s members. These services include:
- The negotiation of collective bargaining agreements that protect the wages, hours and working conditions of professional singers, dancers and production personnel.
- The enforcement of those contractual provisions and protections, and members’ other legal rights through the grievance process and through litigation in arbitrations, governmental agencies and the State and Federal courts.
- The employment and retention of a highly trained professional staff to administer those contracts and to provide related services to members, and to comply with all federal and state laws regulating labor unions.
- The education and training of elected union officers, delegates, members of negotiating committees and the general membership in the collective bargaining process.
- All related services necessary to protect the livelihood and welfare of the membership.
Approximately 97.90% of all dues are used for direct collective bargaining-related services. The other 2.10% is used to assist organizations that, in turn, directly assist AGMA members, including the AGMA Relief Fund, The Actors Fund, the AFL-CIO’s Union Plus Program and Actors Federal Credit Union.
AGMA does not engage in political activity, support candidates or political parties, or undertake activities that do not have a direct collective benefit for members.
As allowed by the provisions of federal law, except in right-to-work states, all persons performing under an AGMA contract are required to join the union and remain a member in good standing as a condition of their continued employment.
All AGMA members are required to pay a one-time Initiation Fee of $500. This tax-deductable fee, which is the lowest of any entertainment union, may be paid by credit card or check. The total fee must be paid by the time your AGMA income reaches $2,000 or three years from the date of your first AGMA contract, whichever is sooner.
All new AGMA members are required to contact the National Office and make arrangements for payment of their Initiation Fee within one week of the first rehearsal of their first AGMA job. An application for membership must be submitted to the National AGMA office. These applications are available from the National Office or on our website.
All new members are protected by the provisions of the contract immediately. All questions or inquiries regarding any aspect of membership classification, the Initiation Fee, Basic Dues, or Working Dues should be directed to the Membership Department at the National Office in New York, (212) 265-3687 or (800) 543- 2462.
Joint Membership with the Actors’ Equity Association (Equity)
A reciprocal arrangement allows AGMA members in good standing for at least one year, and who have worked under an AGMA contract, to join Equity by virtue of membership in AGMA. Both AGMA and Equity members in good standing are permitted to attend each union's auditions.
Additionally, a prospective AGMA member who is an active member in good standing of Equity may join AGMA as an affiliate union. In such a case, only half the Initiation Fee and $78 for annual Basic Dues are required ($328).
Basic Dues are required of the entire active membership in the amount of $78 per year. Basic Dues are billed to each member annually and are due on January 1 of each year. It is the responsibility of all artists to submit their Basic Dues directly to the national office in a timely fashion. Dues can easily be submitted online by logging on to http://members.musicalartists.org.
Each member is ultimately responsible for ensuring that AGMA has his or her current address, and that AGMA receive dues payments promptly. Failure to pay dues in a timely manner will result in suspension. To reinstate their Members in Good Standing status, members must pay all dues and fees owed at the time of reinstatement, plus a $250 reinstatement fee.
Paying your dues keeps you in good standing and qualifies you to:
- Work under an AGMA contract;
- Participate in negotiations of the collective bargaining agreements that will determine your compensation and working conditions;
- Vote for the national and local area officers that will represent you;
- Have a voice in the union, its governance structure, and its policies; and
- Receive the wide array of members-only benefits available through the AGMA Relief Fund, The Actors Fund, the AFL-CIO’s Union Plus Program, Actors Federal Credit Union, and various other vendors.
All members working under an AGMA contract will have 2% of the first $100,000 of gross annual AGMA income (maximum of $2,000 per year) deducted from their paychecks and remitted by the employer to AGMA according to the terms of the collective bargaining agreement. Working dues of 2% are uniform for all members regardless of parent membership in another union.