(6/12/20) Press release and ‘The Safe Way Forward‘ Joint Report from the DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, and Teamsters on COVID-19 Safety Guidelines to Provide Safe Workplaces in a Pre-Vaccine World.
(6/1/20) The Industry Wide Labor Management Safety Committee has submitted “White Paper” document to U.S. governors in order to begin the process of restarting our industry in a way that will allow our members to safely return to work. Read it here. Please be aware that this is the first step in the process; this paper will be the foundation for upcoming discussions by our Union with the AMPTP regarding the specific, comprehensive applications of these safe return to work protocols.
(4/20/20) Message from NYS Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and COVID-19 Financial Survival Toolkit for New Yorkers. Please click here.
4/8/20 Lender’s COVID-19 Mortgage Plans provided by our sisters & brothers from Local 600. Please click here.
4/2/20 Fact sheet provided by AFSCME has useful details on provisions of The CARES Act. Please click here.
(3/27/20) Press release regarding the successful passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security “CARES” Act by Congress moments ago: https://www.iatse.net/news/congress-passes-cares-act-providing-immediate-economic-relief-entertainment-workers This bill will provide tangible and immediate economic relief for entertainment workers across the United States. Most notably, the bill increases and extends unemployment benefits, sends one time direct payments, establishes the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for those who would otherwise not qualify, and increases federal arts funding.
Flowchart – produced by the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) in partnership with the IATSE and other arts, entertainment, media industry unions – to provide initial guidance on how to access the expanded unemployment insurance benefits. Click here.
In addition, here is the National Employment Law Project factsheet on the unemployment provisions in the “CARES” Act: https://www.nelp.org/publication/unemployment-insurance-provisions-coronavirus-aid-relief-economic-security-cares-act/
(3/26/20) Make A Difference – Volunteer for IATSE C.A.R.E.S.
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. For example, IATSE CARES creates a buddy system where members in need may sign up to have a volunteer check in with them as often as they choose. We have also created a safe and free delivery system which connects trained and healthy IATSE Young Worker volunteers with older IATSE members in need. Members in need may request supplies, groceries, or whatever else they may need, and another IATSE member will bring it to their doorstep through our volunteer database. Sign-Up Here: https://iatsecares.org/volunteer/
Here is an update on the IATSE’s legislative efforts and the current state of play in Washington, DC: https://www.iatse.net/news/iatse-facilitates-80000-letters-congress-campaign-support-displaced-entertainment-workers.
Social Security offices are now closed to the public. Their secure online services remain available at www.socialsecurity.gov. If you cannot complete your Social Security business online, please call them at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
Justice Policies (New York)
Advocates have continued fighting for justice during this pandemic. Their efforts bear fruit that gives us hope. Here are some highlights:
Education (New York)
Public Schools are offering free grab-and-go breakfast and lunch this week, 7:30am-1pm. You can go to your closest school, it does not have to be the one your child attends. You do not have to have a child at the school and your child does not even have to be school age. You can pick up both meals at the same time, no need to come back a second time. If the school is locked, ring the bell.
DOE Schedule March 17 – 23
Special Education Concerns
NYC Schools Account
Please sign up for a NYC Schools Account. You must have a New York City Schools Account for your children to access remote learning programs. You can sign up for your account HERE [https://mystudent.nyc/].
DOE “Learn at Home” Resources
In addition to “remote learning,” the Department of Education is providing supplementary learning resources to students and parents for use during the school closure. The DOE has shared resources for students in all grades. These materials should not replace “remote learning” plans, but during this unusual time, it is important that students supplement their course work.
New York Public Library (NYPL)
You can find a comprehensive list of NYPL’s digital resources on their website. This includes access to e-books, research e-journals, online newspapers, and resources for young learners. If you have any questions, please refer to their reference service, Ask NYPL.
Starting yesterday, Charter cable is offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription, and installation fees will be waived for new student households. To enroll in the free broadband service, call 844.488.8395. Because this is the standard customer service line, use the “new service” or “add service” option. To avoid long wait times, call early in the morning or later in the evening, until 1am.
Small Businesses (New York)
Effective Tuesday, March 17th at 9 a.m. the Mayor has restricted restaurants, bars, and cafes to take-out and delivery only and has ordered that bars that do not serve food, clubs, movie theaters, smaller theaters, concert venues and gyms will be closed.
Sign up here to receive COVID-19 updates from NYC Small Business Services
NYC will provide relief for small businesses across the city that are experiencing a reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 outbreak. If your business has fewer than 100 employees, and has seen a decrease in sales of 25% or more, you will be eligible for zero interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit. The City will also offer a grant for those businesses with less than 5 employees to cover 40% of payroll costs.
In the event that the novel coronavirus crisis worsens, the State needs the help of qualified retired health and related professionals AND students to supplement our hospital capacity on a temporary basis to treat seriously ill coronavirus patients including those who may need to be intubated. The NYS Dept. of Health will recertify individuals for the purpose. Please sign up here.
The city is also mobilizing a Medical Reserve Corps of retired and licensed medical workers, and is also seeking help from all healthcare workers right now.
Many hospitals are canceling elective procedures, including NewYork-Presbyterian, which has several locations within our district. If you were scheduled to receive an elective procedure in the coming weeks, be sure to consult your doctor’s office to see whether that procedure has been postponed.
Information + Resources (New York)
Up-to-date information is available at the State and Local levels:
3/24/20 An Update on COVID-19 Resourcesfor the NYWIFT Community. Please click here.
3/25/20 Families First Coronavirus Response Act Provisions. Notice from Cast & Crew to Employers. Please click here.
How to Build an Emergency Fund in the Middle of an Emergency
This is a crowdsourced list of resources to help freelance workers in the arts stay afloat financially and otherwise during this pandemic.