Services Provided by Local 247
All forms of musical employment in the CFM are covered by some form of contract. If you work for an employer and the CFM has a collective bargaining agreement in place (i.e. if you work for a major studio or record company, symphony orchestra, the CBC, TV Ontario, Much Music, etc.), the terms and conditions of employment will be spelled out in that agreement. However, since most musicians are self-employed and work for many different employers, we establish minimum guidelines for freelance work as well.
Every member is provided with a Directory, Bylaws and Tariff of Fees, which lists such things as minimum wages for various types of engagements, guidelines for contractors (members responsible for hiring groups of musicians), and rules of conduct for working musicians. These conditions are set by the membership every year at a General Membership meeting. All musicians in the Local are expected to use the Local’s guidelines when negotiating with purchasers of musical services. To further assist freelance musicians, the Local also provides contracts for use on such engagements. Most of the Local’s services depend on a signed contract between purchaser and musician. In the event of a contract default, the Local will endeavour to collect on behalf of the musician, paying all legal and court costs, if necessary.
In addition to legal protection, a CFM contract contains provisions for employer pension contributions. The Canadian Federation of Musicians participates in a private pension plan called the Musicians’ Pension Fund of Canada. A percentage of scale wages is contributed by the employer/purchaser directly into your pension. Even if you are a freelance musician, you can still accrue pension benefits. Almost all collective agreements in Canada have pension clauses in them as well, so no matter where you work, the Musicians’ Pension Fund can work for you.
Referral Service/Booking Agents
Local 247’s referral service provides purchasers with booking connections to our musicians. Prospective purchasers from Greater Victoria and Vancouver Island, as well as Vancouver, across Canada and the United States, call looking for musicians for hotel lounges, conventions, dances, weddings and receptions. To be included in our referral list members fill out a questionnaire. The Federation also provides guidelines for Booking Agents that govern the use of its members. Two signatory agents are currently in our Local.
Music Performance Fund (MPF)
As part of an agreement with the recording industry, money from the sale of recordings goes into this fund to co-sponsor free live public concerts in parks, squares, schools, and senior care centres. In our Local the City of Victoria is the largest co-sponsor, with an annual summer concert series in Beacon Hill Park and Centennial Square.
Instrument and Liability Insurance
We are fortunate to have a group insurance plan that provides worldwide, comprehensive coverage for musical equipment at rates below commercially available policies. Liability insurance is also available at very competitive rates. Contact the Local office for current details.
Emergency Travelling Assistance Program (ETAP)
With CFM contracts in place, you are protected on the road anywhere in Canada or the United States. If you have an engagement that takes you hundreds of miles from home, and suddenly the purchaser cancels without due notice, fails to pay you your contracted amount, or in any way fails to fulfil the terms of your contract, help is a phone call away. Under the ETAP program, we will wire you money to assist you in getting home if you are stranded. Then the Local in whose jurisdiction the default took place will attempt to collect from the purchaser on your behalf, with the assistance of the CFM (or AFM). When the CFM is successful in collecting your claim, the amount originally forwarded to you under the ETAP program will be deducted from the amount you are awarded in the suit. If the claim is lost for one reason or another (bankruptcy, e.g.) then the ETAP money will be considered a forgiven loan.
Working in the U.S.
If you work in the United States you can take advantage of a work permit program (the P-2 visa). With signed contracts you can, through the CFM and our Local, apply for a temporary work permit for your engagements. The P-2 work permit is the least expensive way to work in the U.S.
This fund is created by contributions from film and record producers. Every year the fund is divided among members who have played in these sessions, according to the number of sessions worked. The greater the number of sessions, the more money received—as long as contracts were in place.
Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance Benefit
Our Local maintains a supplementary insurance partnership with AIL Canada, a 100% wall-to-wall unionized insurance company. The benefits include a “no cost” or obligation Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) benefit of $2500.00 for each member of Local 247.
A Collective Voice
It is only through the combined efforts of its members that we are able to improve the position of musicians in our society. As a collective unit we not only have a strong voice in collective bargaining, government lobbying, and anywhere that musicians work. As a member of Local 247, you have a voice in deciding our collective future!