LOCAL 399 GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING RECAP:
(This brief outline serves as a general overview of some of the topics and issues discussed at our Local 399 Union Meeting on Sunday, January 24th. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please reach out to your Business Agent. This information is presented in no particular order.)
UNION HALL TO OPEN TO MEMBERS: Tuesday, February 9th
All COVID-19 Union Hall protocols apply and a mask is required to enter the building.
SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS / NEW CALL BOARD SYSTEM:
Over the course of the past year we have been working with the IBT and Strategic Organizing Solutions to improve our internal software solutions utilizing Salesforce.
Completed aspects of the project:
- Creation of a contract management system
- Event management / tracking
- Internal communication system
- Better targeted messaging to Members
- Enhanced reporting
We are currently in the process of rebuilding our Call Board software system and integrating it into our Salesforce system. We hope to launch within the 1st Quarter of the year. This new system will allow for:
- Elimination of duplicate work between our Staff
- Enhanced Member, Contracts and Production reporting
- Better tracking for potential workplace violations
- Easier method for Members to make themselves AVAILABLE / UNAVAILABLE by way of a text messaging solution. We will be sharing more information when we’re closer to launching our new Call Board system.
UPDATE YOUR MEMBER INFO:
Have you moved? Are you not getting email and text message notices from the Union Hall?
Click here to update your information with the Union Hall to receive dues reminders, important updates, event information, upcoming Negotiation alerts and more.
This is a BIG year for our Members as several of our major Contracts and many of our White Paper Agreements are up for re-negotiation. Our solidarity and ability to work and fight together is key to achieve what our Members deserve in collective bargaining. We will be sharing much more information soon regarding the steps to prepare. Stay tuned.
2021 GENERAL MEMBERSHIP SURVEY:
We want to hear from YOU. Take our 2021 General Membership Survey to let us know how we can best serve and represent you. Your participation in your Union makes us strong.
FILM & TV TAX CREDIT PROGRAM:
This is the first year of the 3.0 CA Film and TV Tax Incentive Program. The application window for Feature Films to receive tax credits was this past week so we should know who was granted credits in the next couple weeks for Feature Films and Indies. We will be making some minor tweaks to the program over the next 6 months so stay tuned for ongoing reports.
LA COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT:
Vice President and Political Director Ed Duffy along with other representatives from the Motion Picture Industry have been meeting with Doctors Ferrer and Bealer weekly to discuss the current COVID-19 situation and any changes that need to be made to the Appendix J outline for the industry. The most recent changes included formalizing the wearing of facemasks and face shields if you are in close contact with an Actor, and the requirement of testing if you are pulling a permit. This change will help include smaller Commercial and Music Video productions, and has also included the requirement of testing any and all live audience members.
FILM LA REPORT:
Read the latest FilmLA report regarding filming trends in Los Angeles County. Though we saw a drastic drop in December and January, we are happy to report in the past week we have seen over a 30% increase in permitting requests.
Some neighborhoods are concerned about filming and would like to limit or eliminate filming for the time being. As a reminder, wherever you find yourself working, please be safe and extremely respectful, especially in neighborhoods at this time. Our ability to continue to work depends on it.
RETURN TO WORK AGREEMENT:
We encourage Members to familiarize themselves with the Return to Work Agreement for TV/Features and Commercials. It clearly spells out what you deserve and are owed.
If you have any questions, please contact your Local 399 Business Agent.
OVERVIEW OF BENEFITS FOR CREATIVE PROFESSIONALS IN H.R. 133:
H.R. 133, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, includes many long-awaited COVID-19 stimulus and relief measures. It is the second major stimulus package to address the pandemic. The package extends some parts of the CARES Act and adds new provisions to protect our industry and us.
- HEALTH OF THE PLANS:
We entered 2021 well funded in both Active and Retiree Health Plans. We had 20 months in our Active Health and 13 months in the Retiree Health plans, which exceeded our projections. That means our Retirees who retired prior to August 2009 received their negotiated 13th and 14th checks. For our Members working under the ‘Black Book’, Location Manager and Casting Director Agreements, will receive the 10% MPI Defined Pension increase that was bargained in the last contract cycle. In order to receive this increase, the Plans must have more than 8 months in reserves in both pension and health funds. Since we met that threshold, we’re pleased to report there will be a 10% increase to the MPI Pension hours credited back to January 2017, meaning all hours you have worked from 2017 will get a 10% boost. If you have any questions, please contact Business Agent Joshua Staheli: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- QUESTIONS ABOUT MPI HOURS / NO COST COBRA:
Every participant’s account is going to be different. If you have questions about your MPI Hours or health coverage, please go to www.mpiphp.org or contact them directly at: (855)-ASK-4MPI
- CAREMARK / PRESCRIPTIONS:
For the most part, the transition to CVS Caremark is going smoothly. If you run into any issue when using your new card or your MPI Participant I.D. is not yet in the CVS system, it has been recommended to try your SSN. New prescription cards are on are their way to MPI participants, however it might take a couple of months to work out any final kinks of the changeover from Express Scripts.
GENERATOR OPERATOR / JURISDICTION:
We have filed grievances regarding the Generator Operator position on two productions. To be clear, a Generator Operator – OCC Code 3524 – is a person that is a both on the 399 Driver Roster and IBEW Local 40 Roster. 399 Members working outside of Hollywood has been an ongoing issue for Local 399 for decades. There are Locals out there that are challenging our jurisdiction and our Contract. Those Locals should make no mistake about our resolve. As always, we will not let them overstep our jurisdiction, we will fight back and enforce our contract.
RENT UNION REMINDER:
Herc Entertainment is the only 399 signatory Arial equipment and HVAC company in Hollywood. What that means is when you rent from HERC, you are investing in Teamster members’ livelihood and your own, as their hours are contributed into our collective MPI Pension and Health Plans, which helps all of us.
Jeeves Transportation is our newest Local 399 Vendor! If you need a Town Car / Limo Service for talent, please rent from Jeeves as they are part of our Teamster family and they are the only Union limo service in the Industry.
CSATF offices are still closed to the public and in-person training is still suspended at this time. If you have ANY online course or any online portion of a course to take, please make sure to do so. CSATF has been granting extensions for in-person training, however anything that can be completed online must be done to avoid any issues with your Roster status. If you do not have a computer at home, please contact Business Agent Chris Sell to set up a time to come down to the Union Hall to use a computer in the “B” Building: email@example.com.
- Recertification of Forklift and Reach Forklift – A lot of you are starting to reflect red in regard to Forklift Training. There is a hybrid course – C101 – so you are not going to have to take Reach and Forklift at different time. You can currently take the online portion and when things open back up, you can take the in-person portion.
- Skills Training – The voluntary Skills Training program that is contractually mandated and is organized by Business Agent Chris Sell each year with Contract Services, has been suspended until 2022. That being said, if you still want extra stick time or work towards your ‘P’ Endorsement, please contact Chris and he will try to find a way to help you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEHIND-THE-WHEEL DRIVE TESTS will RESUME starting FEBRUARY 1st. Previously CANCELLED appointments will be automatically RESCHEDULED.
NEW APPOINTMENTS will be available mid-February.
In-vehicle testing is a requirement for commercial license applicants. The DMV extended expiring commercial driver’s licenses, commercial learner’s permits, certificates and endorsements through February 28, 2021.
More info: http://bit.ly/36jELSK
Información en español: http://bit.ly/2KW6scP
SELF DRIVES / SHUTTLING:
We must ALL fight to protect our work. It is the Driver’s job to drive the vehicle; it is no one else’s. If there is a question about this, please contact the Union Hall. Self Drives and confusion around shuttling has become an issue, mostly with off production crew. A vehicle must be assigned to transport or shuttle crew. If you see any violations, please let us know immediately so we can investigate and get a Teamster on the job. Our contract is only as good as all of us working to collectively enforce it.
LATE PAYMENT OF WAGES:
We are aware this has become a MAJOR issue over the course of the past year. The rollout of paperless start forms and timecards by the payroll companies has not been as seamless of a transition as hoped. We are encouraging Members to notify their Business Agent and file a late wage claim if your paycheck is not received on time. If you have any questions about how to file a claim, please contact Business Agent Joshua Staheli: email@example.com.
NEW MEDIA WEBINAR:
Please plan to attend our New Media webinar on Sunday, March 7th. More information and a link to register will be shared soon. We hope to see 3,000 Members on this webinar as there is a lot of misinformation circulating about New Media productions.
If you are aware of a Permit that is close to getting their days but is continually working on New Media Productions, please contact a Business Agent. We may be able to help place them when we go into permits if they are a few days shy of getting their 30 days.
Entering into the 5th year of our AICP Agreement for Location/Scout Managers and our AICP Agreement for Drivers, Wranglers, Animal Trainers and Handlers, Members working under these two contracts will see contractual wage increases take effect this Sunday, January 31st.
The James R. Hoffa Scholarship is now accepting applications until March 1st. Learn more and apply here: http://www.jrhmsf.org/
NEW MEMBER ORIENTATION CLASS:
Calling all new Members – save the date of February 21st for our next digital New Member Orientation. This is a great seminar to learn more about your role as a Union Member and the benefits available to you. Registration link will be shared next week.
2021 LOCATIONS WORKSHOP SCHEDULE:
We have emailed our Locations group our 2021 Locations Workshop Schedule. We will be hosting these classes digitally. If you did not receive the schedule, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 2/16: Location Manager Union Meeting
Registration link coming soon.
- 2/20: Locations 101 Workshop for Keys and Assistants
Registration link coming soon.
- ARTIOS AWARD NOMINEES:
Congratulations to our Local 399 Artios Award nominees! The Award show will take place this year, virtually on April 15th.
View the full list of nominees here: www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/artios-awards-casting-directors-for-the-boys-pose-watchmen-among-tv-nominees
- CASTING DIRECTORS WORKING IN TELEVISION:
Local 399 Shop Stewards Margery Simkin and Gary Zuckerbrod will be hosting a meeting with Business Agent Ed Duffy in the coming weeks to discuss contractual issues and begin to prepare for negotiations.
Since this group is new and some are just beginning to get the hours needed to qualify for health benefits, we will be hosting a Catering Assistant specific MPI webinar in early March in both English / Spanish. Stay tuned.
Catering Companies are desperately trying to fill their crew(s) with new Catering Assistants. This might be one of the toughest jobs in the Industry with the longest hours, but if you know someone from food service that is looking for work, please reach out to Ernie Barraza so he can connect you to one of the Industry Catering Companies: email@example.com.
APRIL 2021 NEWSREEL
Our Quarterly Local Union publication will be returning in April of 2021. Stay tuned.
5 YEARS PINS:
Members that hit a milestone year (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45) in 2020 will receive their 5-year Membership Pin soon. Remember, these are 5 YEAR milestones so if you do not receive a pin this year, please contact the Union Hall to find out when your next milestone year will occur.
Our next batch of Retiree Watches for those that retired in the 2nd half of last year will be going out this coming month. Due to COVID-19, we were slightly delayed on this project but we’re looking forward to acknowledging our hardworking Retirees for their years of service in our Industry with a Gold Card and Watch.
If you are paying your dues quarterly, they are due every January, April, July and October. Payment outside of these months will result in late fees and fines.
Never pay a late fee again – sign up for a Local 399 Recurring Payment plan here: www.ht399.org/pay-dues/recurring-payment-sign-up/