February 24, 2024

Beauty Arts

The Arts Authority

New Orleans Musician’s Union facing concerns with handling of finances

New Orleans Musician’s Union facing concerns with handling of finances

“It’s not just one thing that immediately happened. It’s variety of been compounded around a collection of time.”

NEW ORLEANS — In an April 2nd letter sent to New Orleans Musicians who are section of the Community 174-496 musicians’ union, there are worries about how union funds were taken care of, for decades.

“It’s not one particular factor that right away occurred. It is form of been compounded in excess of a series of time,” said American Federation of Musicians agent Steven Begnoche.

Begnoche took over as trustee previous thirty day period, striping elected officers of their authority. He was set there by the American Federation of Musicians, or AFM, which discounts with regional unions throughout the place. The letter factors to “financial malpractice” and “administrative mismanagement” as difficulties in the area union. 

“It’s a series of misfortunate occasions that obtained the nearby powering in its money obligations,” Begnoche claimed.

1 obligation is paying dues and fees to AFM for its guidance and network. Begnoche states the nearby union is three yrs powering.

“In basic principle, about $72,000,” Begnoche mentioned. “That’s where by we try to obtain out what transpired.”

Begnoche details to Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ida, and the COVID pandemic as significant reasons why the union doesn’t have the income. 

“It was put in with salaries, pensions, repairs, lease,” Begnoche claimed.

The letter also points out the 2016 reserve fund of about $500,000 is now just $24,216.

“There was no maleficence intentionally. It was a sequence of unfortunate gatherings,” Begnoche claimed.

Begnoche is now tasked with shoring up the union, which is thoroughly funded by its associates. He claims there are about 270 musicians who pay back either $176 or $120 a calendar year relying on membership stage.

Eyewitness Information arrived at out to union members Wednesday. They advised us they possibly experienced no idea what was occurring, or they had been puzzled about how it could even take place. 

“It’s something that can be preset,” Begnoche claimed. 

Possessing already restructured the local union in Austin, Texas Begnoche ideas to reestablish fiscal duties and implement training and schooling courses.  He says it’ll consider time.

“Meet folks, restore fiscal stability which we’re now in the procedure of carrying out now,” Begnoche reported.

There will be a hearing Thursday afternoon at the union hall on Ursulines Avenue on whether or not the trusteeship should remain in position. Union associates are invited to show up at.

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