In the Matter the American Guild of Organists; File No. 151-0159
I applaud the FTC's action in ending the AGO's efforts to prevent competition among organists and other church musicians. The AGO's rules have harmed consumers and hindered the careers of the many highly skilled and talented musicians who are willing to engage in open and fair competition for positions and to work for compensation determined by the free market. I'm glad to see that the AGO has revised its Code of Ethics and removed the Salary Guidelines from its website. The National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM), however, continues to promote anti-competitive practices modeled after the AGO's former behavior. The NPM still has the AGO's salary guidelines posted on its website in a document entitled "Work and Remuneration", available at the following link: http://www.npm.org/Sections/images/DMMDSalaryGuidelines.pdf. The NPM Code of Ethics, available at http://www.npm.org/Sections/images/DMMD%20Code%20of%20Ethics.pdf, is also modeled on the previous version of the AGO Code of Ethics and contains language discouraging competition and advocating unearned pay for "incumbent musicians." Although the NPM has no disciplinary procedures, the anti-competitive language in its documents has the effect of raising costs for consumers and restricting job opportunities for non-incumbent musicians.