COVID-19: Member Resources & Updates 08 May 2021
What You'll Find On This Page
News You Can Use
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.
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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)
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.
Eligibility.com 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.
District of Columbia (DC)
Unemployment Benefits and Insurance information by state (3/17/2020)
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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 email@example.com 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
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
FECU branch lobbies are currnently closed. During this time, online services and ATM networks across the nation are available to you 24/7, and fee free. You can always bank from home safely, make your deposits via the Mobile App and/or call to speak with one of their representatives at (888) 800-3328. At this time, FECU is offering:
- Zero interest emergency loans up to $5,000
- Eliminating all foreign ATM fees, including reimbursing those charged by the other financial institutions
- Increased access to check deposits made via mobile deposit
First Entertainment Credit Union COVID-19 Update (3/18/2020)
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.
EP Business Continuity Preparedness (3/10/2020)
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)
Resources By Region
Local 600's Eastern Region Resources Guide (4/6/2020)
District of Columbia (DC)
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.
Over 400 NYC Schools locations offer three free meals Monday to Friday. Kids pick up 7:30 am—11:30 am. Adults pick up 11:30 am—1:30 pm. Text ‘NYC FOOD’ or ‘NYC COMIDA’ to 877-877 to find a location.
Triple-S Benefits During COVID-19
Local 600 Central Region Resources (4/13/2020)
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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Safety on Set
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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.
Los Angeles: Join the COVID-19 VOLUNTEER CORP (4/1/2020)
The LA Fed is calling on all union members in good health to stand with our community by volunteering to join the LA Labor COVID-19 Volunteer Corps. As a member of the volunteer corp, you will be able to join different efforts across the county, ranging from food distribution to building structures. With your support, we will come away from this crisis a stronger and more united labor movement. Please fill out the form 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 600Strong.com and the Local 600 Media Task Force (4/1/2020)
600Strong.com 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 600strong.com 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 600strong.com will get forwarded to the task force.
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Industry News & Updates
Lionsgate / Starz >
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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)
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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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