TEAMSTERS LOCAL 399 COVID-19: Important Reminders, Updates and Last Week In Review
It has been another busy week navigating discussions around getting our Members back to work. We had an initial meeting with the AMPTP and the other Guilds and Unions to further discuss “The Safe Way Forward” safety guidelines document. The safety of our cast and crew is of utmost concern for all involved in these discussions. We know many are anxious to get back to work, but we also know many have expressed concerns as to how the Studios can best protect all involved. We will continue to engage in these discussions and will set up another Digital Town Hall when there is more information to share.
If you have gotten a call to begin work we want to remind our Members of a few items:
1. If presented with any sort of waiver of liability form to sign, contact the Union Hall immediately. You should not be presented with or sign any sort of document.
2. PPE should be provided by the Employer. If you are not provided with the proper PPE, please reach out to your Business Agent immediately. We will be mailing a 399 branded face mask to Members shortly. When Local 399 re-opens to Members, we will also have additional Local 399 masks available for purchase at the Union Hall.
3. If you get a call to begin working and you are on a “Withdrawal” Status, you must contact the Union Hall to pay your Union Dues in order to return to an Active Status. Please note, you will not be responsible for the dues over the course of the months you were on Withdrawal. Members will only owe Dues moving forward AND if you had any outstanding balance when you went on Withdrawal. If you have questions about your account, please contact the Union Hall Front Office: 818-985-7374.
Below is a recap of this week’s efforts in case you missed anything, as well as a reminder of important ongoing resources and information.
The following information was shared with our Local 399 Representatives on the MPIPHP Board of Directors to share with our Members that are participants under the MPIPHP Plans.
Waiver of Health Premiums
Due to the COVID-19 national health emergency, beginning with payments due by June 30, 2020, the Motion Picture Industry Health Plan will grant a waiver of one (1) quarter (three consecutive months) of dependent eligibility premium payments for health benefits to each Active Health Plan Participant of the MPIHP in the group owing $25 per month for one dependent or $50 per month for two or more dependents who were enrolled on June 1, 2020. Active Health Plan Participants in the group subject to premium payments for themselves along with their dependents are not included in this waiver.
Further, there will be no refunds, and anyone who has already paid a premium for the applicable period will be issued a credit for a future premium payment period.
No-Cost COBRA for Benefit Period of September 1, 2020 – February 28, 2021
Over the past few months, Participants who met certain conditions have been provided with additional hours to allow them to meet the minimum hours necessary to qualify for eligibility. 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 September 1, 2020 through February 28, 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 August 31, 2020, MPIHP will grant up to six (6) months of special no-cost COBRA coverage for the Benefit Period commencing September 1, 2020, provided that such currently enrolled Participants have at least 100 worked and/or banked hours combined, but less than the 400 worked and/or banked hours required to gain eligibility for the Benefit Period commencing September 1, 2020 to and including February 28, 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 December 22, 2019 to June 20, 2020 will be applied to the Benefit Period of September 1, 2020 to February 28, 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 August 31, 2020 in order to qualify for the special one-time benefit.
MPIPHP UNDERSTANDING YOUR PENSION & IAP WEBINAR RECAP:
We want to thank our Members that participated in the MPIPHP: ‘Understanding your Pension and IAP‘ Webinar this past week, as well as MPI’s Ed Brown and Charan Singh for their role in the presentation and for taking time to answer questions from our Members. From this discussion it was announced that MPIPHP has recently released a series of informational videos to help Members under the MPIPHP plan to better understand the process of Retirement and all of the questions surrounding your Pension and IAP benefits.
We encourage seasoned and new Local 399 Members to take some time to review these videos. You must have a login for the MPIPHP website in order to access these videos. If any questions arise, please email Business Agent Joshua Staheli at email@example.com and he can either answer your question directly or connect you with MPI directly.
LOCAL 399 EMERGENCY RECOVERY FUND:
MPTF has added our Local 399 Emergency Recovery Fund to their website. This fund was approved by the Membership to support Local 399 Members that have found themselves in extreme financial hardship due to the COVID-19 situation. If you are interested in applying, please contact their intake line at: 323-634-3888.
A couple notes to mention:
• Due to the high volume of calls, the intake line provides a window of 5-7 days to return your call to begin your case.
• The Motion Picture and Television Fund is a non-profit organization that is working around the clock to support Entertainment Industry Workers in need. We know this is an extremely difficult and challenging time, however, we ask that you treat MPTF case workers with the utmost respect and gratitude for the time and service they give to support those Members devastated by this pandemic.
• To Apply, call the MPTF INTAKE LINE: 323-634-3888
If there are any questions we can answer surrounding the fund, please do not hesitate to reach out.
RECOMMIT TO THE TEAMSTER OATH:
We have seen almost 1,000 of our Members recommit to the Teamster Oath. We have started sharing some of our Members words and photos on our social media channels and will continue to do so on Teamster Tuesdays. Head to our official Teamsters Local 399 Facebook or Instagram page to check it out.
Thank you to those Members that have made it a point to remember and recommit to what it means to be a Teamster.
If you haven’t add your name, click here.
REGISTER to join the Discussion. Local 399 Location Manager Alison Taylor will be serving as the moderator for a “Town Hall Discussion on the “Complexity of Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Film Industry.”
On the panel for this LMGI Webinar will be:
• Dr. Cheryl Grills, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Professor Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
• Local 399 Location Manager Kokayi Ampah
• Jon Johnson, Sr., Parking Coordinator
• Local 399 Key Assistant Location Manager Jason McCauley
• Leon Henriques, Unit Manager, Location Manager
DATE: Tuesday, June 30th
TIME: 10AM – 12PM
“This town hall aims to educate, empower, and enlighten members of the entertainment community. The keynote speaker will be renowned Clinical Psychologist Dr. Cheryl Grills, Ph.D. an expert in globally facilitating healing circles surrounding people of African ancestry. Dr. Grills will engage the panelists in dialogue about implicit bias and systemic racism in our industry.”
If you are interested in attending you must register prior to the event.
Click here or on the button below to do so.
We encourage our Members to participate in this important dialogue to continue to learn from each other’s experiences, in and outside of the workplace, to recognize and eradicate racism from our daily lives. We have a long way to go in our Industry and even within our own Union family. Dialogues such as this are a great step in our own education and awareness.
Thank you to Alison, Jason, and Kokayi for sharing the details of this Town Hall with the Union and for your leadership and participation in this important event.
If you are a Member on an Active Status that has yet to pay your dues for the 2nd Quarter OR has yet to take a Withdrawal, please make sure to do so prior to the end of day on Tuesday, June 30th to avoid Suspension. We have made every effort to get in touch with these Members and want to remind you all, that if you have ANY questions about your account or the Withdrawal process, please contact the Front Office at: 818-985-7374.
As Business Agent Chris Sell mentioned during our Local 399 Digital Town Hall last week, we want to remind Local 399 Drivers that being on a Withdrawal status from the Union has nothing to do with removing yourself from the drug and alcohol-testing consortium from CSATF. If you emailed CSATF and asked to be removed from the Drug and Alcohol Testing program, then you need to take a return to duty test required by CSATF, not the Union. Members should email or call CSATF well before going back to work to ensure you get back a negative drug test result before going back to work. Again, this is only if you removed yourself at CSATF, this has nothing to do with anything you did regarding your status at Local 399. If you have questions, please email Business Agent Chris Sell at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
OPTUM & KAISER CRISIS HOTLINES:
Your well-being matters MOST. As this difficult situation continues and no matter how isolated you may feel, you do not need to face these challenges alone. There is hope. Powerful health resources and personalized support services are available right now. Live and Work Well is here to help you and those you care about find the balance, support and care you need to live the healthiest life possible.
OPTUM CRISIS HOTLINE: 1-800-273-8255
KAISER EMOTIONAL SUPPORT HOTLINE: (800) 900-3277
If an emergency, or you think you may harm yourself, please call 911.
Thank you for your support over the past several weeks. Please let us know if there is anything more we can be doing to support you and your family at this time.