COVID-19: Member Resources & Updates

24 July 2021

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What You'll Find On This Page

News You Can Use

Return to Work Agreement Extended (7/21/2021)

The Multi Union/Guild Coalition made up of the IATSE, DGA, SAG-AFTRA, Teamsters and Basic Crafts and the AMPTP reached an agreement on Monday to extend the Return to Work Protocols through September 30, 2021.

Extension of Return to Work Agreement and Modification of Temporary COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave (4/15/2021)

On April 15, 2021, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers agreed to extend the Return to Work Agreement and Temporary COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave until June 30, 2021. Read the full letter here.

DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE American Rescue Plan Support Letter (2/24/2021)

In a letter to the House and Senate leaders, the DGA, SAG-AFTRA, and IATSE urged Congress to work together with President Biden to support the American Rescue Plan Act. Read the full letter here

IATSE Federal Issue Agenda (2/24/2021)

IATSE Federal Issue Agenda

IATSE Priorities for Subesquent COVID-19 Relief Legislation

MPIPHP Guide to New Benefits (Winter 2021)

MPI recently announced weight loss, smoking cessation, and diabetes prevention benefits available to members. Learn more about these benefits here.

MPIPHP Board Provides Relief to Participants with February 2021 Eligibility Period (November Qualifying Period)

For those current Active Participants whose Qualifying Period ends in November for February 1st health care coverage, the threshold for receiving premium-free COBRA has been set at fifty five (55) hours banked and/or worked. For this extension of coverage, however, the period of premium-free COBRA is three (3) months providing benefits February 1st through April 30, 2021. This shorter coverage period is in recognition of the fact that the industry has resumed production at pre-pandemic levels although not everyone has been able to return to work. You must sign up for COBRA to be eligible for this accommodation and, as with previous Qualifying Periods, any earned and banked hours will be applied first.

This action was taken by the MPI Board earlier this week. Read the full letter from MPI

Update:  Payment for Testing on Non-Work Days (12/2/2020)

Received from the International – December 2, 2020

The Joint Unions recently concluded their thirty-day review of the RTW agreement and the issue of how the employers are paying the testing stipend was raised by the Unions. Post implementation, an issue arose regarding the tax obligations of the RTW testing stipend and the payroll companies began taxing this stipend as income.  It was the intent of the parties when this was bargained that it would be paid as a 1099, non-payroll stipend. However, the IRS and the employer tax attorneys subsequently indicated that this is a taxable event, and therefore subject to payroll tax obligations. The unions confirmed this interpretation with their own tax professionals. It was always recognized as taxable income at the end of the year, as is normal for 1099 income, but now it must be treated as earnings.


Since the pandemic began, we have been focused on helping our members return to work, with safety as the priority. Implementing regular, accurate testing was a key component of the RTW protocols negotiated with the AMPTP, as was adequate compensation for the time spent being tested. While Local 600 advocated for testing time to be paid as work time coupled with benefit contributions, ultimately the Joint-Union Coalition, (DGA, SAG-AFTRA, Teamsters, Laborers and IATSE), agreed to a “stipend” model, largely to avoid interfering with Unemployment Benefits. As previously reported, the “stipend” structure of the $250 for testing on a non-workday has been challenging. Many of you have reached out to seek clarification which we have now received. These testing payments must now be treated as wages at the time they are paid rather than miscellaneous income under a 1099.
The RTW Protocols continue to evolve. In this case there was a shared intent that was impossible to achieve. As we move forward, we will continue to update you on changes as circumstances dictate.



Unemployment Information

Local 600 Unemployment Insurance Assistance Contacts (4/3/2020)

Local 600 Business Reps and staff are here to assist you and answer questions you might have about applying for Unemployment Insurance in your state. 

Local 600 Unemployment Insurance Assistance Contacts

Local 600 Step-by-Step Guides to Filing for Unemployment (PDFs)

Eastern Region

Central Region

Western Region

Unemployment Links

DGA's Unemployment Insurance and Benefits Chart (4/21/2020)
Government support for creative professionals impacted by COVID-19.

How to Access Information on "Pandemic Unemployment Insurance (PUA)" (Updated, 4/20/2020)

US Department of Labor's Unemployment Insurance Relief During COVID-19 Outbreak (4/6/2020)
Find your state's Unemployment Insurance site on this page. 

US Department of Labor Publishes Guidance on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (4/5/2020)

Federal and State Resources for Workers Impacted by the COVID-19 Outbreak (3/31/2020)
Select your state below to find unemployment insurance benefit resources and related information for workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To Certify or Not Certify? (3/24/2020)
If you are considering certifying for the week to receive an unemployment check on Friday, please check out this Unemployment Insurance assistance provided by our sisters and brothers at IATSE Local 479.

SAG-AFTRA UI Insurance and Benefits Resource
Our brothers and sisters at SAG-AFTRA have compiled a comprehensive database of all the state's Unemployment Insurance and Benefits sites

National Association of State Workforce Agencies' Updates on UI
Additionally, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) has compiled this list of sites (again, organized by state) that highlight the latest updates on Unemployment Insurance and Benefits across the nation. 

The National Employment Law Project's Chart on UI Protections
The National Employment Law Project has created a helpful chart detailing the Unemployment Insurance protections taken, state by state, in response to COVID-19. has UI information broken down by state. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page to find your state's Unemployment Benefits site. This site also breaks down what each state requires of you (documents, data, etc.) before you apply.

Eastern Region


District of Columbia (DC)



New Jersey

New York

North Carolina


Puerto Rico

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Central Region

Unemployment Benefits and Insurance information by state (3/17/2020)







Western Region





New Mexico






Entertainment Industry Resources

The Actors Fund
Questions related to MPI, disability support, quality of life resources, social security benefits, unemployment insurance, worker's comp, and retirement planning should now be directed to our dedicated representative at The Actors Fund, Emily Lerner Garlick at or (323) 330-2417. 

The Actors Fund Mental Health

Local 600 Hardship Fund

Members seeking financial assistance may also apply for the Local 600 Hardship Fund, administered by The Actors Fund. Once they receive the application, The Actors Fund will reach out to you to continue the process. 

Donate to the Local 600 Hardship Fund
Apply for the Local 600 Hardship Fund


MPI Coronavirus Update (7/31/2020)
MPI Coronavirus Update (6/25/2020)
MPI Coronavirus Update (5/19/2020)
MPI Coronavirus Update (5/14/2020)
IAP Hardship Withdrawal (4/2020)
Kaiser Permanente Telehealth (4/27/2020)
MPI COVID-19 Special Eligibility Hours Extension FAQs (4/15/2020)
2020 COBRA Monthly Rates (4/14/2020)
MPI's Summary of Benefits in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic (4/10/2020)
MPI Coronavirus Update (4/10/2020)
MPI Coronavirus Update (3/27/2020)
MPI Coronavirus Update (3/12/2020)
FYI from MPI - Coronavirus Update

Therapy Helplines

A new counseling service to connect entertainment industry workers with therapists:  

Now offering online counseling

The Motion Picture Television Fund intake line (323-634-3888) is open. They address wide and varied requests from both working and retired members of the entertainment community. If you or an industry friend need help, give MPTF a chance to listen to your story and determine how and where they can make life better for you. 

UCLA Health and MPTF Health Centers Will Re-Open (5/11/2020)

MPTF COVID-19 Update (3/31/2020)

First Entertainment Credit Union
For branch hours, please visit their website.

LinkedIn Learning (LiL)
Membership is free for IA members and those who work under IATSE contracts. The Training Trust Fund is ready for an uptick in sign ups so encourage your members to register! In addition the newsletter today highlights various online craft classes including AVIXA, Safety First, and through LinkedIn Learning. Click here for more information.

Entertainment Partners

EP Business Continuity Preparedness (3/10/2020)

Union Plus
If your family has been directly impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit the Hardship Help section.

EIDO-ED Offering Free Online Lectures to Local 600 Members (4/7/2020)
The first lecture on Thursday, April 9 at 11:00 am will be open to the first 100 members who sign up.

The IATSE National Benefit Funds 

Benhind the Scenes
The Behind the Scenes charity issues grants to entertainment technology professionals in need due to serious illness or injury that may be used for basic living, medical or funeral expenses. 

Therapist Finder (in partnership with HealthPro)

Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative

IATSE Women's Committee Resource List (4/20/2020)

Financial Assistance


Resources By Region


Local 600's Eastern Region Resources Guide (4/6/2020)

District of Columbia (DC)



New Jersey

New Jersey residents can call the NJ COVID-19 & Poison Center Public Hotline at 1-800-962-1253 OR 1-800-222-1222 for updated COVID-19 information.

New York

Local Resources


Puerto Rico

Triple-S Benefits During COVID-19



Local 600 Central Region Resources (4/13/2020)


Local Resources

Georgia COVID-19 hotline: 844-442-2681 

creATL Relief Fund (6/30/2020)
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced applications are now open for the creATL Relief Fund to support Atlanta’s independent creative workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible applicants may receive $1,000 each to support essential financial obligations such as food, housing, utilities, medical expenses, and transportation costs affected by project cancellations and other pandemic-related disruptions.

Apply for creATL Relief Fund grants here

The Atlanta Community Food Bank has launched their new “Text for Help" SMS platform to assist those who need access to food during the current crisis of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Text “FINDFOOD” for responses in English or “COMIDA” for responses in Spanish to 888-976-2232 to get locations near you.



Local Resources

Chicago Cinema Workers Fund (4/14/2020)

AgeOptions supports services and programs that make it possible for older adults to live independently in their homes and communities in the Chicago area. At this time, if you know of someone in need of meals, transportation, or telephone reassurance, please visit their site. 








Leadership Support for Entertainment Worker Relief

California IATSE Council (CIC) and Entertainment Union Coalition (EUC) Letters to CA Governor Newsom Concerning Entertainment Worker Relief (3/19/2020):

California IATSE Council (CIC) Letters to CA Congressional Leaders for Entertainment Worker Inclusion in Federal Relief Legislation (3/18/2020):


Notify LA Those in the Los Angeles area can sign up to receive text and email updates on COVID-19.

Local Resources

LA CARES for Essential Workers (9/29/2020)
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the City of Los Angeles have dedicated part of their CARES Act funding to provide child care services (vouchers) for essential workers and low-income working parents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Los Angeles County Free COVID-19 Testing Locations (6/9/2020)

CA Labor & Workforce Development Agency's Chart on Benefits for Workers Impacted by COVID-19 (3/19/2020)
This link has a chart detailing what employees are entitled to. The purpose of this information is to make it easier to understand what resources may be available.

Los Angeles Resources Available (3/19/2020)
This is a crowd-sourced guide to local services available during COVID-19, covering government benefits, worker, housing, low-income resources, entertainment, education, best practices, etc. It is not an IATSE-generated document.

Project Angel Food (3/20/2020)
Project Angel Food prepares and delivers healthy meals to feed people impacted by serious illness and compromised immune systems - exactly the sort of people at greatest risk from Coronavirus. Right now, they’re urgently working to secure three weeks worth of shelf-stable meals to provide for their clients in the face of the COVID-19 emergency, and could really use your help.

United Way of Greater Los Angeles (3/20/2020)
United Way of Greater Los Angeles provides housing, education, and economic opportunities to those impacted by poverty and homelessness. They’ve just launched their Pandemic Relief Fund to support L.A. County’s unsheltered.



New Mexico





Safety on Set



Helping Those in Need

IATSE C.A.R.E.S. (4/1/2020)

IATSE C.A.R.E.S. (Coronavirus Active Response and Engagement Service) is a new initiative designed to provide support to our most at-risk, elderly, and/or disabled members during the COVID-19 crisis. This website will also be used to provide information about future Mutual Aid efforts from the IATSE.

American Red Cross

Critical Need For Blood and Platelets (Nationwide)
Right now, eligible and healthy donors are strongly urged to make an appointment to provide lifesaving blood products to patients. Make an appointment here

Volunteers Needed (Nationwide)
The Red Cross need for volunteers is constant and continues to evolve as we navigate this Coronavirus health crisis. Volunteer opportunities include supporting blood donations and delivering much-needed disaster services to your community. They even have a wide variety of remote (work-from-home) opportunities available. Sign up to volunteer here

Food Distribution Volunteers Needed (Los Angeles)
The Red Cross is looking for 160 Food Distribution Volunteers per day to serve at 50+ distribution sites across the county. Sign up to volunteer here


Feeding America (4/28/2020)

Find your local food bank and help support them in these uncertain times. The Feeding America food bank network serves over 4.3 billion meals each year through food pantries and meal programs across the United States. 

Find your local food bank and donate here

New York City: CityMeals on Wheels (4/1/2020)

As the designated emergency responder for New York City’s seniors, Citymeals is preparing 300,000 meals in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. Help us guarantee a continuous lifeline of nourishing meals during this crisis – more than 18,000 homebound elderly New Yorkers are relying on your generosity.

Donate here


3D Agents of Shield (3/30/2020)

A team of Local 600 members have teamed up to create 3D Agents of Shield, printing face shields around the clock for medical professionals in need during this pandemic.

If you have a 3D printer and would like to join the cause, click here.

3D Agents of Shield GoFundMe 

Request Shield Donation

Philadelphia COVID-19 Fund (3/30/2020)

At-risk populations in the Philadelphia area need our assistance in this time. The elderly, homeless, disabled, and economically disadvantaged who rely on food pantries and health services need a helping hand. The Fund was created by The Philadelphia Foundation and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.

Donate to the PHL COVID-19 Response Fund

Questions about the fund? Email

Greater Chicago Food Depository 

The Greater Chicago Food Depository is Chicago's food bank. They provide food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in the Chicago community.

Support the Greater Chicago Food Depository by donating food here.

If you or someone you know is in need of food, please reach out to GCFD here

Introducing and the Local 600 Media Task Force (4/1/2020) is a website that spotlights our members doing great things to assist those in need in this time of uncertainty. 

If you know of a worthy cause, event, or organization that is bringing entertainment industry workers and unions together to fight the good fight, please go to and click on Submit a Project. We will make sure to spotlight that story.

National President John Lindley appointed a Media Task Force of members by region to work on any media requests that come through. Any projects submitted through will get forwarded to the task force. 


Legislative Action



Industry News & Updates

Studio Statements



Lionsgate / Starz >

Netflix >



General Info on COVID-19

CDC's Mental Health and Coping Page

OSHA COVID-19 Guidance Website

World Health Organization

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 




To view all the weekly video updates from National President John Lindley and National Executive Director Rebecca Rhine, please head over to the Local 600 Vimeo page.


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