All About Contracts
What is the Contract Defense Fund?
This fund guarantees that musicians will receive financial assistance when an employer fails to provide payments for a properly contracted engagement.
About Canadian and U.S. Contract Forms
Canadian Engagement Contract Forms
- LPCC: is for single or steady engagements. Those Canadian Locals with bylaw provisions calling for payments to the pension fund on miscellaneous and/or steady engagements should use the LPCC contract format with additional language providing for pension contributions.
- Radio/Television Contract: is used for live, recorded or remote radio and television broadcasts.
PLEASE NOTE that U.S. musicians should use Canadian contracts when performing in Canada and Canadian musicians should use U.S. contracts when performing in the United States. Contract forms are available from the Locals and Local officers will be happy to help you complete the forms.
U.S. Engagement Contract Forms
- Form L-1: is for local engagements only and provides an option for the purchaser to have any claim that might arise from the contract arbitrated either by the Local Executive Board or the American Arbitration Association.
- Form L-2: is for local engagements only and differs from L-1 in that it contains no provisions for the resolution of claims or disputes. It's recommended for use in Locals that prefer to proceed directly to court on behalf of their members by filing a suit to enforce the terms of the contract.
- Form T-2: is for traveling engagements. It contains no provision for the resolution of claims or disputes, as the Federation now proceeds directly to court, at no expense to the traveling member(s), by filing a suit to enforce the terms of the contract.
How To Use Contracts
A signed AFM live performance contract is "peace of mind" insurance for both the purchaser and the musicians. AFM musicians are obligated to honor the contract and so is the purchaser.
AFM live performance contracts are easy to use. Simply follow the steps below:
(1) The first thing you need is the contract forms. The TMA office will be pleased to provide you with a supply of pre-printed contracts without charge. As an added convenience, you can also download the required forms on this site. The form LPCC (Live Performance Contract for Canada) is the basic contract required for all live engagements in Canada. The form LPCC-PEN is required in addition to the LPCC where the musicians wish to have the purchaser make a contribution to their AFM / EPW (Pension) fund on their behalf. (Highly recommended) The many benefits of the AFM / EPW fund are explained elsewhere on this site.
TIP: Keep a few copies of the contracts handy when you're out gigging or visiting prospective employers. Leave a copy potential employers so they can familiarize themselves with the forms. They will soon see that the contract is mutually beneficial to both signing parties.
(2) Fill out the required fields on the LPCC form. An example of the completed form is shown HERE. If you are using the downloadable forms, print three copies of the completed form.
TIP: "Part (b)" of the LPCC form is to be initialed only if you intend to also use the LPCC-PEN form.
(3) Sign all three copies of the completed LPCC contract and have the purchaser do the same. The purchaser retains one copy, the leader retains one copy and the third copy is filed with the TMA office.
ADDITIONAL STEPS REQUIRED ONLY WHEN USING THE LPCC-PEN FORM
(4) After the engagement is successfully completed, fill out the required fields on the LPCC-PEN form. If you are using the downloadable forms, print three copies of the completed form.
(5) Sign all three copies of the completed LPCC-PEN Participation Agreement and forward two copies to the TMA office along with a cheque or money order made payable to AFM / EPW Fund Canada for the total amount of applicable pension contributions. The TMA (or other Local having jurisdiction) will verify your information and forward your contributions to the AFM / EPW office.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Both LPCC and LPCC-PEN forms are required to be filed with the AFM Local whose jurisdiction the engagement will take place. If you plan to perform engagements outside of the TMA jurisdiction, you should download the AFM Locals List. It provides complete contact and jurisdictional details of all AFM Locals. You will find it an especially valuable resource for regional or national tours.
AFM Contracts - The Musician's Best Form of Protection
Professional musicians know there's nothing like getting paid for a gig. The American Federation of Musicians and its Locals have negotiated collective bargaining agreements with a wide variety of employers, such as the major recording companies, symphony orchestra managements, and others, to insure that musicians get paid for playing those types of jobs.
But not all gigs fall under those categories. Many performances, like those in clubs, stage shows, and for private parties, etc., are negotiated directly between the musician and the purchaser. Unfortunately, some professionals risk their wages by not filing signed contract forms--and without a contract on file with the Local where the performance is taking place, there's little your Local or the Federation can do to get you your hard-earned money in case you get stiffed. Standard AFM contract forms are easy to complete, requiring only such information as the date(s) of the engagement, the number of musicians playing the job, the name, address and telephone number of both the signatory musician and the purchaser, the type of engagement, the compensation agreed upon, and the signatures of both parties.
It's also smart to include language in the contract that determines how disputes over the terms and conditions of employment will be resolved. (Using most standard AFM contracts takes care of this for you.) This gives both you and the purchaser greater security because if for some reason the contracted engagement doesn't meet everyone's satisfaction an equitable mechanism for resolving the problem is already in place. In addition, the AFM recommends that whenever possible, members get a 50 percent, non-refundable deposit. Under current consumer law, all deposits must be returned to the purchaser in the event of a dispute, unless it has been previously stipulated that the deposit is non-refundable. Once completed and filed, the contract has the force of law and the AFM behind it. If for some reason the purchaser fails to meet the terms agreed to in the contract, the AFM or the Local will make every effort possible to pursue monies owed to its members, including taking the purchaser to court, in certain circumstances.
Members can download contracts in Downloads (must be logged in or register to gain access).