A lookback at the General Assembly - November 27, 2012

The GMMQ's general Assembly was held on November 27, 2012 at the Gesù, in Montreal, where thirty musicians attended. The items on the agenda led to some very interesting discussions. 3 resolutions, related to the GMMQ requests to the AFM, the Charter of the French Language and amendments to the article 12.3 of the minimum working conditions,were adopted by the General Assembly.

1. Report of the GMMQ requests to the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) 

The President Luc Fortin reminded the members of the current terms of affiliation with the AFM, including the financial terms (per capita, work dues, etc.) which represented 15.66% of the Guild incomes. President Fortin also reminded them about the efforts made by the Guild since 2008 in order to improve our affiliation links. In June 2011, a formal proposal was submitted to the International Executive Board (IEB) in order to obtain a particular status that would allow us to reduce our financial burden; a proposal which was refused.

The President highlighted the unique situation of Quebec and its differences : single legal framework, status of the Guild as the sole holder of the accredition certificate and as the exclusive negotiator for the musicians in the territory of Quebec, exceptional cultural vitality, additional obligations for the Guild in virtue of the Charter of the French Language, the Guild's two offices on the territory of Quebec, the legal obligation to negotiate in good faith in virtue of the Act on the status of the artist, and finally, numerous lobbying representations to agencies and departments. The President also listed the main services provided by the AFM.

President Fortin then specified the main lines of the Guild's proposal submitted to the AFM, that would save $180,000 per year, allowing us to reinvest in useful services provided by the Guild aiming in particular at improving the socioeconomic situation of musicians.

Although the AFM rejected our affiliation proposal, it showed a certain openness to changes in the organization of services. No concrete proposal has however been made in this regard.

Since the publication of the Entracte journal, the AFM is looking for a Canadian solution, and a summit meeting will be held in early-January with members of the Canadian Conference (CanCon).

Resolution passed: 
It is unanimously resolved to support the  Quebec Musicians' Guild in its efforts to establish better terms of affiliation with the AFM and to mandate the GMMQ's Board of Directors to take appropriate measures to ensure the AFM acts upon. 

2. Charter of the French language

Following a complaint filed in August to the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) regarding the American collective agreement Sound Recording Labour agreement (SRLA), the Guild was ordered to translate this collective agreement in a relatively short time. The President recalled that the Guild could be suject to conviction leading to a substantial fine. The Guild contacted the AFM regarding this issue but the AFM is not willing at this time to translate its documents. The complaint is currently suspended until January 31, 2013.

Resolution passed: 
It is unanimoulsy resolved to demand to the AFM to assume the costs for the translation of all agreements applicable in Quebec, as well as any major document usefiul for the Guild members (bylaws, membership requirements, etc.) in order that these documents are systematically available in French, which is Quebec official language, in accordance with the law and that the board of Directors takes appropriates measures to ensure the AFM acts upon. 

Read the letter from Luc Fortin to Allan Willaert (CFM)

While waiting for a solution, the Guild decided, in accordance with the Office québécois de la langue française, to remove from its website the collective agreements that are not available in French.