California SB 271 Protects Workers

06 September 2019

“SB 271 is another victory for the California IATSE Council and its members throughout the state. Our ability to get this important legislation through the California Legislature with unanimous votes, and then signed into law by Governor Newsom, is a clear demonstration of the power of our united action. Our members work in a business where employment is not a sure thing and it is our mandate to seek legislative policies, like this bill, that ensure they and their families are protected and can thrive here in California.”

– Thom Davis, CIC President

“This bill gives our California members expanded access to critical disability, family leave and unemployment benefits. Anytime you can ensure that working families are able to sustain a career and protect themselves and their families, it’s an important win. Our goal should be to make that our priority not just in bargaining but in public policy as well.”

– Rebecca Rhine, National Executive Director, IATSE Local 600

“The successful passage of SB 271 last week combined with our success last year in extending the California Film and Television Credit Program through June 2025 underscores the value of Local 600s recent efforts to create strong relationships in Sacramento, build an effective PAC, engage members in the union’s legislative and political activities, and bring its advocacy of members’ concerns and interests before the very local elected officials who can pass legislation that directly impacts the lives of members and their families.”

– Kathy Garmezy, Local 600 political consultant

(L-R) Kathy Garmezy; Thom Davis, President California IATSE Council; Scott Bernard (Local 695);
Rebecca Rhine (Local 600); Ed Duffy (Teamsters Local 399); Alex Aguilar (Laborers LiUNA! Local 724)


SB 271 ensures full access to California UI, SDI, AND PFL benefits for California residents

California Governor Gavin Newsom late yesterday signed into law SB 271 (Wiener), a bill co-sponsored by the California IATSE Council (CIC) and the Entertainment Union Coalition (EUC). Set to go into law January 2020, SB 271 will ensure full access to Unemployment Insurance (UI), State Disability Insurance (SDI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits for California resident entertainment industry workers who work on productions that take them to other states.

“On behalf of the California IATSE Council and the Entertainment Union Coalition, we want to express our appreciation to Senator Scott Wiener for his leadership in guiding SB 271 through the legislative process, to Governor Newsom for signing the bill into law, to our 12 co-authors, and to the members of the California Legislature for their unanimous support. SB 271 ensures that the working women and men of the entertainment industry will have access to the UI, SDI, and PFL benefits to which they are entitled. We can now protect thousands of our members and their families who depend upon these benefit programs, often in times of great need and economic stress because they are unexpectedly or suddenly out of work, disabled as a result of an injury or illness, or are responsible for the care of family members.” --- Quote from The California IATSE Council and Entertainment Union Coalition

SB 271 resolves a long-standing problem specific to residents of California who work in the motion picture and television industry on productions that shoot in other states in addition to California. Up until now, outdated metrics implemented in the 1950s were used to determine where their employment taxes would be credited. Often that was to other states. When it came time to claim their benefits, many California entertainment industry workers found their benefits were far lower than they should have been and, in some cases, nonexistent. SB 271 resolves this problem and will bring financial and emotional relief to the thousands of California based entertainment industry workers who need and deserve the benefits to which they are entitled.

The California IATSE Council (CIC) represents over 50,000 members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees; women and men working throughout the State of California who make up the backbone of the entertainment industry. They work in all forms of motion picture and television production, live theatre, television broadcasting, sports broadcasting, trade shows, exhibitions, and concerts as well as equipment and construction shops that support all areas of the industry. The CIC, formed to support public policy that supports working families, is comprised of 17 local unions each of which represents one or more craft areas.

The Entertainment Union Coalition has a combined membership of close to 150,000 members in California. Its members are the California IATSE Council, Laborers Local 724, SAG AFTRA, and Teamsters Local 399. The members of the EUC are joined together in working on behalf of their members interests in Sacramento and before local governments throughout the State.

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