November 11, 2016
Dear AGO Leader:
As you know, the AGO has been negotiating for many months with the Federal Trade Commission to settle a complaint that the FTC initiated in 2015 alleging that the Guild may be violating Federal antitrust laws. Our negotiations with the Federal Trade Commission have now concluded, and with the approval of the National Council we are poised to execute a Settlement Agreement with the FTC thereby avoiding litigation of their complaint in Federal court. This agreement prescribes many steps that the Guild must undertake. Among them are discontinuing the publication of our salary guidelines and model contract provisions and removing them from our website.
AGO National Headquarters anticipates discontinuing all circulation of salary guidelines and model contract provisions as of Wednesday, November 16. On that date, all chapters need to begin the process of compliance as well. Salary guidelines and model contract provisions from national and all local variations thereof that your chapter has promulgated should be removed from your chapter website, newsletter, or other publications, and you must no longer reference them or circulate them to AGO members, churches, or the public.
We will be sending all AGO leaders many more details about the terms of the settlement in the weeks to come, but we want to give you advance notice of the imminent execution of the agreement so that you can begin to plan for it and share the news with your members.
James E. Thomashower
American Guild of Organists
475 Riverside Dr., Ste. 1260
New York, NY 10115