As the COVID-19 situation continues, we understand the growing concern our Members face in terms of providing for family and loved ones during this time. In talking to the Membership, we recognize that the number one priority right now for our Members is safely getting back to work. We can assure you that this is also our top priority, and that there is much work currently being done to determine the best standards to adopt in order to protect Entertainment Industry Workers across all departments when we are able to safely return to work. However, the fact still remains that many Members are struggling right now.
Since the onset of this situation, we have listened to the Membership to gauge where our Members have most needed support. The Executive Board believes now is the time our Members could use additional financial assistance and we are fortunate to have the ability to provide it, if ratified. Through our recent survey identifying what sort of additional assistance we could provide, most Members identified 1-2 months as being the point at which they would need additional financial support. As we near the 2 month mark, I am pleased to report that the Local 399 Emergency Recovery Fund has been developed in partnership with the Motion Picture and Television Fund.
The Local 399 Emergency Recovery Fund was approved by the Executive Board on Thursday, April 23rd. If ratified by a vote of the Membership, the fund will allocate up to $500,000 from the Local 399 Treasury to pay for the Emergency Recovery Fund which will be administered by MPTF.
- The Executive Board believes the Local can afford the expenditure to assist our Members in need, and this once in a lifetime occurrence is precisely the right time to support our Members.
- The fund would be reserved exclusively for 399 Members that have found themselves in extreme financial hardship and would be given in the form of a $1,000 grant per family.
- These grants do not go directly to Members, but rather to those designated vendors (banks for mortgages or car payments, utility company, landlord, healthcare providers or insurers) provided to MPTF.
- The allocation to MPTF will be paid out in $50,000 increments to make sure we only spend based on the actual need. If any money from the last $50,000 allotment remains, then those funds will remain with MPTF to be used for Members or Retirees of Local 399 with future needs.
- The total amount spent will be based on how many Members utilize this fund. If the $500,000 is completely allocated, it will cover 500 Teamster Local 399 families.
Before you vote, we have prepared a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section to help further explain the nature of the fund, as well as the eligibility for Members to apply that can be reviewed here, or by clicking on the image below.
LOCAL 399 MEMBERSHIP VOTE DETAILS:
In order for the fund to be implemented, it must first be voted on by the Local 399 Membership in ‘good-standing’. Per our Local 399 “By-Laws”, in order to be considered a Member in “good-standing” a Member must be on an active Status and current with their Local 399 Dues through the month of May. Please keep in mind, we are aware that many of our Members are currently on a “Withdrawal” Status. Though you may not be able to vote on the approval or rejection of this fund, being on a “Withdrawal” Status does NOT preclude you from being eligible to apply for the Local 399 Recovery Fund should it be approved. To view the determined eligibility requirements of the fund please click here.
For those Members that are eligible to vote on the Local 399 Emergency Recovery Fund, we will be sending out an Electronic Ballot via text message and/or email on Monday, May 11th at 10AM. Members in “good-standing” will have until Thursday, May 14th at 12PM to cast their ballot to either “Accept or Reject” the expenditure by our Local in the creation of this fund.
If the Fund is approved, the application process for Members through MPTF will begin on June 1st.
Please keep in mind, if you are a Member that is currently on a “Withdrawal” status and you’d like to participate in this vote, you will need to pay your dues for the month of May before the voting window in order to receive a ballot.
If you have any questions about your account with the Union, this recovery fund, or the voting process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be directed to a staff Member to follow-up with you in regards to your question.
We know this situation has impacted each and every one of our Members differently. We encourage Members that are eligible to vote on this fund to make your voice heard and vote what you feel would be best way to serve and support the collective Local 399 Membership at this time.