We want to thank the almost 600 Members that joined us for our first-ever official digital General Membership Meeting this past Sunday. We have received great feedback from the Members regarding this platform and moving forward, we hope to be able to integrate both in-person and digital meetings in an attempt to engage as many Members as possible.
As we have said many times before, an educated and engaged Membership is a strong Membership and we appreciate those that took time out of your Sunday to join us. We will be looking to schedule more digital town halls in the coming months, targeting specific classifications to keep our Members as up-to-date as possible, especially as our Industry continues to re-open.
For those that were unable to attend the meeting this Sunday, we have prepared a brief recap below highlighting some of the important topics and reminders addressed. Please note, we have removed any sensitive Union Business that is not to be shared publicly. However, if you have any additional questions, any of the Business Agents would be happy to assist you.
GENERAL MEMBERSHIP RECAP:
Reminder, all Local 399 Staff is continuing to work through this COVID-19 situation. At this time the Union Hall is still closed to Members and the general public however we will let the Members know as soon as we plan to fully open back up.
Front Office Hours: 9AM – 5PM
Call Board Hours: 5AM – 10PM
Business Agents are available around the clock by phone or email. For a full list of Business Agent contact information please click here or head to your Local 399 App.
AMPTP RETURN TO WORK NEGOTIATIONS:
We are getting closer to finalizing health & safety protocols with the Studios and hope to conclude discussions in the next couple weeks. At this time, we cannot share the specifics about this process however, we want to assure our Members that our top priorities are not only protecting you while on the job, but also protecting all of our jobs. In an unprecedented act, we have been in negotiations alongside our Brothers and Sisters in the DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE and the Basic Crafts to address our common issues such as: testing, contract tracing, sick pay, COVID-19 Compliance Officers, PPE and more.
Many Members have asked if they will be voting on any of the items discussed during negotiations and the answer is simply, no. The reason being is that our current CBA’s remain in full effect. In these discussions, Local 399 is representing our Local and the Locals in the 13 Western States to protect our jobs and jurisdiction. IBT Motion Picture Division Director Tom O’Donnell is representing all the Locals outside of the 13 Western states. Holding these negotiations via videoconference has added more challenges to an already difficult process, however we are grateful for the collaboration and solidarity among all Unions and Guilds and within the Teamsters. We will get back to work. Stay strong.
Each of the Business Agents gave updates regarding the Studios they represent. Most Studios are slowly re-opening and we are seeing some Members on the Lot return to work. At this time, many have indicated they will be seeking to start up productions at the end of August or early September. If you are working, we cannot stress this enough, please call in your jobs and make sure your Business Agent is aware of the production. As we wait to finalize the safety protocols with the AMPTP, each production should be submitting a plan to Local 399 for the Business Agents to review. We need to know if you are working so that we can do our best to ensure your safety, please call in your jobs to the Call Board.
If you are a Casting Professional and you are returning to your Office, or considering doing something beyond virtual Casting, we need to know how you plan to do that and what protocols are in place. Please email Business Agent Ed Duffy: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have been in discussions with the AICP to discuss return to work protocols for the Commercial industry. We have seen many Commercials start up and it has been a mixed practice at this time. Some productions are implementing very thorough safety protocols and others have been more lax., so make sure you contact him or any BA with any questions. Once the AMPTP protocols are finalized, we will be seeking to roll these over into Commercial Productions as well. Safety is the number one priority right now. Business Agent McDowell has been out checking jobs, so If you are on a production and you feel unsafe, please contact Business Agent Calvin McDowell immediately: email@example.com.
Please be aware if you are working in music videos, many if not all of the same protocols will apply to the MVPA as they do to the AICP.
WAGE INCREASES – BLACK BOOK & LOCATION MANAGER AGREEMENTS:
On Sunday, August 2nd Members working under our ‘Black Book’ and Location Manager Agreements will see a 2.5% wage increase and an additional 0.5% into your IAP as this is the next cycle of raises in these two Collective Bargaining Agreements. We know this is a difficult time, with many not working, however when you return to work we want to ensure our Members working under these contracts are being paid correctly. Click here to view “Black Book” or Location Manager Rates.
Universal Studios Tours has officially cancelled Halloween Horror Nights, which is a big hit for our Members and the Company. We are awaiting a return to work date from the Tour group.
We want to remind Members that are working at Universal Tours that raises were issued back in May and retro-pay was adjusted and paid out as well. If you did not receive a pay increase or if your retro-pay wasn’t correct, please reach out to Business Agent Ernie Barraza: firstname.lastname@example.org.
MPTF LOCAL 399 EMERGENCY RECOVERY FUND:
For our Members that are financially stressed, you are still able to apply for a $1,000 Teamster grant administered by MPTF. So far we have seen about 150 families receive this support. The application process is ongoing; please click here to learn more.
We want to congratulate the 10 recipients of this year’s Leo T. Reed Scholarship Award:
- Zoe Hunter
- Hanna Franchi
- Morgan Ritcher
- Bryce Sanchez-Kelley
- Jerry Shaughnessy
- Jonah Henry
- Alanna Maldonado
- August Potier
- Kel Musseter
- Beatriz Cabrera
Each year we are impressed by the accomplishments and achievements of each one of our applicants. Thank you to every single student that took the time to apply for this year’s scholarship program. We know this year has been especially difficult for our 2020 graduating High School Seniors but we see your resilience and commitment to grow in your education and career and we are proud of our Teamster Members that have raised such incredible children.
Thank you to the Members of Teamsters Local 399, for seeing the value in investing in our Teamster students by supporting the growth of this program that was created in honor of former Local 399 Secretary-Treasurer Leo T. Reed. We also want to thank the Los Angeles Federation of Labor for reviewing all applications and choosing the scholarship recipients for the 4th year in a row.
LOCAL 399 MASKS / SAFETY HOTLINES:
In early July, we mailed out masks to Members along with a Local 399 Safety Card. Members are encouraged to save that card as it indicates two new hotlines that we have created at the Union Hall.
If you did not receive your mask, please contact the Front Office so we can double check the information we have on file for you: 818-985-7374.
LOCAL 399 SAFETY HOTLINE: 818-436-0239
- Local 399 Hotline to report a safety concern at your workplace. (Reminder: Studio Safety Hotline Numbers are on the back of your call sheet or in your 399 App.
HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION HOTLINE: 818-432-3301
- Local 399 Hotline to report harassment or discrimination at your workplace.
Below is the most recent update from MPI regarding medical benefits. As mentioned in the meeting on Sunday, everyone’s hours and eligibility periods are different. If you have questions about your hours, please CALL: (855)-ASK-4MPI or EMAIL: email@example.com Plan staff to find out your current status at MPI and what options you have available to you.
No-Cost COBRA for Benefit Period of October 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021
Over the past few months, Participants who meet certain conditions have been provided with additional hours to allow them to meet the minimum hours necessary to qualify through MPIHP. These included providing Participants with eligibility for the following Benefit Periods: June 1, 2020 through November 30, 2020; July 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020; and August 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021.
The Board of Directors of MPIHP has enacted another measure that will provide Active Health Plan eligibility to certain Participants – no-cost COBRA coverage for certain Participants for the benefit period of October 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021 so long as certain conditions are met.
Specifically, for Active Participants in the MPIHP (excluding those currently on COBRA and those enrolled as Disabled) who are currently enrolled and whose Benefit Period ends on September 30, 2020, MPIHP will grant up to six months of special no-cost COBRA coverage for the Benefit Period commencing October 1, 2020, provided that such currently enrolled Participants has at least 100 worked and/or banked hours combined, but less than the 400 worked and/or banked hours combined required to gain eligibility for the Benefit Period commencing October 1, 2020 to and including March 31, 2021. No-cost shall mean that the standard COBRA premiums will be waived during the applicable Benefit Period; however, payment of the premiums otherwise due under the MPIHP for Active Participants will be required.
All of the Participant’s banked hours and worked hours for the Qualifying Period from January 26, 2020 to July 25, 2020 will be applied to the Benefit Period of October 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021 prior to the granting of the special no-cost COBRA coverage, and no hours will be retained in the Participant’s Bank of Hours.
Participants will be required to complete a COBRA enrollment form with MPIHP by September 30, 2020 in order to qualify for the special one-time benefit.
MPI PENSION & IAP HARDSHIP WITHDRAWAL:
The next finance committee meeting is scheduled for August. Business Agent Joshua Staheli will provide a follow-up report regarding the state of the Plans as soon as the information is available.
Application Period for Individual Account Plan Hardship Withdrawal is Extended: Click here to learn more.
Participants who are vested in the Motion Picture Industry Individual Account (“IAP” or “Plan”) as of the year ended December 2019 may continue to apply for a one-time special early withdrawal of up to 20% of their 2018 IAP account balance not to exceed a maximum dollar limit of $20,000 through November 30, 2020. This is the same one-time benefit that was offered to Participants starting in May 2020; the benefit application period has been extended to November 30, 2020 to give Participants additional time to apply for it.
Again, Participants must apply for this one-time special withdrawal by November 30, 2020 and payments must be completed no later than December 31, 2020 to be reported on a 2020 Form 1099-R issued by the Plan for tax purposes.
This is a one-time hardship withdrawal provision under IRS regulations, pursuant to the newly enacted legislation known as the CARES Act. Participants who are requesting the maximum available amount of $20,000 will be allowed to “gross up” their withdrawal to account for federal and state tax withholdings (i.e., Participants are able to withdraw up to $20,000, excluding federal and state tax withholdings).
The law permits Participants who take a hardship withdrawal to spread their taxes over three years from the withdrawal date. In addition, any amounts repaid to the IAP within three years will not be subject to taxes. For more information about the repayment option, please visit the “COVID-19” tab at www.mpiphp.org.
The application process for this withdrawal request is as follows:
1 The Participant must complete an IAP Hardship Withdrawal Request form;
2 The Participant must sign an affidavit affirming his or her temporary job loss due to the COVID-19-related health emergency; and
3 Payments will be processed in accordance with instructions provided on the IAP Withdrawal Request form.
CSATF has suspended in-person training however you must keep up with any online training. There are some blended courses, so please take any online portion of a course that you can and the in-person portion will be administered in the future. Please make sure to Call 818-565-0550,ext 2240 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org CSATF to request a training extension. If you need help beyond contacting CSATF, contact Chris Sell at Local 399, CSell@HT399.org.
New 6-Month Training Window for Individuals with Expired Documents.
Local 399 individuals who have an expired document required for their classification (e.g. Driver License or Medical Card) will have access to required training for an additional six (6) months from the date the document expires. (Previously, training was unavailable immediately upon expiration of required document.)
To review the expiration dates of your documents on file with Contract Services, head to your Contract Services Portal: www.csatf.org under Compliance Report. If you have any questions, please email: email@example.com.
Lastly, please opt in for emails from Contract Services to receive information directly from them in a timelier manner compared to direct mail.
In accordance with updated guidance from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the DMV is issuing an extension through September 30, 2020, to all commercial driver licenses, learner’s permits, endorsements and certificates expiring between March and September 2020. While the extension is automatic, drivers 69 and younger will not receive a new card or an extension in the mail. As an option, these drivers will also be able to request a free temporary paper extension online through DMV’s Virtual Field Office to document their extension, though one is not needed to drive. Commercial drivers who previously requested an extension through June 30, 2020, are eligible to submit a new request to document the new expiration date.
To further expand services, commercial drivers also can now submit medical certificate updates for their license online through the Virtual Field Office. Head to: www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/
Reminder – DMV field offices offering limited services. DMV field office employees are assisting customers with current appointments at the specific office or with limited transactions that require an in-person visit, including commercial driver license transactions. Last month, offices began offering additional services, including vehicle inspections and behind-the-wheel drive tests.
The DMV continues to recommend that customers use its online services, expanded virtual services and other service channels to complete transactions, including eligible driver license and vehicle registration renewals. Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on Tuesday that waives in-person renewals.
ZOOM FINANCIAL FITNESS & MPI CLASSES:
Over the past several months we have offered four digital Personal Financial Fitness classes and one MPI class about the MPI Pension and IAP. Thank you to all our Members that have participated in this series. Due to its success, we will be restarting this series in August.
We will be sending out registration information next week, so please be on the lookout if you are interested in attending any of the classes listed below.
AUGUST 11th: Personal Financial Fitness Class: Planning for Retirement
AUGUST 18th: Understanding Your Active and Retiree Health, Eligibility, Medicare and the latest Covid-19 update.
AUGUST 20th: Financial Fitness Webinar: Budgeting and Debt Reduction
AUGUST 27th: Personal Financial Fitness: Growing & Protecting Your Assets
If you have taken these classes before and want to retake them, you are more than welcome.
The next Federal Stimulus bill that is in the works is the HEROES Act. This Bill was passed by Congress in May and has been sitting in the Senate ever since. Among many important aspects of this bill, the HEROES Act proposes the extension of the additional $600 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance through the end of the year. There are many concerns at the moment in regards to how slowly this process is going, especially considering the additional $600 payments concluded on July 25th. Additionally, considering how long it took for EDD to be able to implement the PUA program, significant changes could add to more delay in individuals receiving their money.
Since Sunday’s meeting, the Senate Republicans have announced the HEALS Act, which among other aspects of the bill, only proposes an additional $200 through the PUA program. Every Union and many organizations and groups at this time are pushing hard to ensure workers are truly protected through this next stimulus package as many, especially in our Industry, may have to wait several more weeks prior to returning to work. This is an evolving situation and we will share more information as it unfolds.
For those of you still having issues with EDD, Ed Duffy reported that many found success by reaching out directly to their Assemblyperson to address any issues. If you need any assistance figuring out who your Assemblyperson is, or if you have any questions, please reach out to Business Agent Ed Duffy: firstname.lastname@example.org.
FILM & TELEVISION TAX INCENTIVE UPDATE:
It was reported that the 2.0 Film and TV Tax Incentive Program finished in June. From 2015-2020 it helped to create 243 Feature Film and Television productions, generated $11 billion in spending in California and ensured $4 billion in qualified wages for below-the-line workers.
The 2.0 program last allotment has selected the next 12 productions, in which some have even begun to scout locations. At this time, most of these productions will be taking place in or around Los Angeles, which is good news for our Members.
The 3.0 first allotment which runs to July 2025 will be selected and reported soon
NO ON PROP 22:
Unions and guilds are strongly in favor of NO on Prop 22 this November. It is the measure put on the ballot by Lyft, Uber, Postmates and Insta-Cart. This prop would give these companies the right to continue their practice of treating their drivers like independent contractors. This is a very big issue. These workers are left with no protections or benefits such as unemployment, social security or access to health benefits.
These companies are spending a lot of money to try to convince the public that these workers are not entitled to rights of being an employee. We will be sharing more information about NO on Prop 22 and ways to get involved in the coming months.
There are only a couple weeks left to complete the 2020 CENSUS! Three things to remember about the 2020 Census — it’s safe, easy and important!
- SAFE because respondents’ personal information remains private and confidential by law.
- EASY because it is the first-time respondents may complete the Census online, along with phone-in, mail-in and in person options.
- IMPORTANT because getting a complete count determines our representation in Congress, the redistricting of voting districts, and where and how over $675 billion in Federal Funding, per year for ten years, will be dispersed among the states, municipalities, services, non-profits, community organizations, small business, etc.
You can complete the CENSUS in minutes by:
- Phone: 1-844-330-2020
- Internet: www.2020census.gov
- By Mail-In Form
- Traditional In-Person Interview
As work begins to slowly return, Business Agent Chris Sell wants to remind Members to RENT UNION when starting up productions. When renting equipment, we encourage you to make companies like HERC your first choice. HERC is the only Teamster aerial equipment and hvac company and all 60 Teamster Brothers that work there are under MPI. This means that by renting from HERC, you are not only supporting your Teamster family, you are also contributing into the MPI Plans.
We have 1600 Group 1’s, 700 Group 2’s and 500 Group 3’s in our Union. As a reminder, as productions return Members MUST be hired in Grouping. With that being said, though we anticipate more work to pick up soon, the reality is it might take some time before Group 3’s are consistently working again. For those Members that need to find work immediately, we have been in touch with other Teamster Locals and they have let us know that UPS is looking to hire Class A CDL Drivers immediately at their Ontario location.
The Pay is $23/hour. If you are interested, we can get you placed over there as soon as possible. This will not remove your from the Roster, however this will provide stable work until the Industry picks back up.
If interested please email email@example.com.
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION COMMITTEE:
The newest committee that we have created, that was actually bargained in the last round of negotiations, is our Diversity and Inclusion Committee. We have already seen a lot of Members express interest and sign-up. We will be scheduling our first meeting with this group towards the end of August and plan to take our concerns and suggestions directly to the Studios for further discussions.
We are looking forward to engaging with our Members to find ways to ensure positive lasting change that supports all Brothers and Sisters in our Union, Industry and across our labor movement for years to come. If you would like to learn more or get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.