As we begin another week navigating this pandemic, I want you to know that we are here to support you to the best of our ability. The Local 399 Staff is working normal business hours and I encourage you to make us your first call if you have questions or concerns.
As mentioned last week, we have been meeting with our Local 399 Steering Committees and will be looking to organize another digital town hall in the coming weeks to provide another update to our Members about the efforts going on behind the scenes to get our Members back to work. If you have any questions in the meantime, please reach out to your Business Agent.
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.
MPI UPDATE: HOURS CREDIT EXTENDS ELIGIBILITY FOR HEALTHCARE COVERAGE
As the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic continues to evolve, the following is a message from the Board of Directors of the Motion Picture Industry Pension & Health Plans (“Plans” or “MPI”) about the current crisis: “MPI is aware that many Participants are experiencing an unexpected reduction in hours due to Coronavirus-related production shutdowns that may impact future health plan eligibility. MPI staff and the Board of Directors continue to review options to minimize benefit disruptions to the extent possible. We are keenly sensitive to the importance of this issue and will notify all Participants as quickly as possible of any further actions taken by the Board of Directors. Please continue to check the MPI website for the most up-to-date information.”
Should you have any questions about any of the included updates and changes from MPIPHP, please contact Secretary-Treasurer Steve Dayan, President Kenny Farnell or Business Agent Joshua Staheli who all serve as Directors on the Board of the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans.
LOCAL 399 EMERGENCY RECOVERY FUND:
I’d like to again thank all of our eligible Members who participated in this vote and took the time to thoroughly review the details of the Emergency Recovery Fund. We had 43% of eligible voters consider this expenditure, and many raised very important questions and valid concerns. Whether you voted to accept or reject this use of Local Union treasury funds, we are grateful for your participation in YOUR Union.
Since the Local 399 Recovery Fund was APPROVED by the Membership, I would like to remind Members where they can access the details of this fund. Click on the link below to learn more about the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ surrounding this fund and the process and eligibility requirements to apply.
NO ON THE GROW ACT:
If you have yet to sign, please complete this petition to let your Representatives know that the GROW Act would be harmful to hard working families throughout the Nation. The GROW Act is opposed by numerous Unions, pension plan participants and retirees, AARP, and the Pension Rights Center. What all of these worker and retiree representatives and experts understand is that the GROW Act hurts workers and retirees and should not become law and should be removed from the ‘HEROES Act’.
The GROW Act would allow multi-employer plan trustees to “refinance ” their obligations to workers and retirees in the existing plan over 25 years instead of 15 years, the trustees must then divert that money to start a new composite plan. In this way, composite plans rob Peter to pay Paul. This leaves neither plan-the existing plan nor the composite plan-with enough money to pay promised benefits.
CLICK HERE: Our representatives in the US House and Senate need to hear from us NOW! Help us flood congressional offices with emails demanding action to protect pensions and remove the “GROW Act” from the ‘HEROES Act”.
LOCAL 399 SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES:
The deadline is quickly approaching for the 2020 Scholarship Opportunities. If you have a graduating High School Senior we highly encourage them to take advantage of these great scholarship opportunities.
The Local 399 Leo T. Reed Scholarship Fund will be awarding $5,000 to 10 Recipients. The deadline to apply is May 29th, 2020. We are grateful to the Local 399 Membership for approving this Scholarship Program to support the Children of our Members. For those of you with graduating High School Seniors, don’t miss out on this great opportunity for additional financial support.
PERSONAL FINANCIAL FITNESS WEBINAR:
Thank you to the over 100 Members that joined us on the personal financial fitness webinar this past week. We are grateful to Jason Friedman for taking the time to help educate our Members about the road to retirement. We will be looking to host more of these classes on a regular basis tackling a variety of topics. Some of the suggested topics for future classes include: Budgeting Growing and Protecting your Assets, the 5 P’s of Successful Investing, Understanding your Pension and IAP, Debt Reduction, Investments, Balancing and Re-Balancing Portfolios, Life Insurance and Estate Planning. If you have ideas for classes you would like to see, please email Business Agent Joshua Staheli. We will be looking to host these classes more regularly for a smaller audience. Stay tuned for more information.
The Los Angeles Federation of Labor has shared another volunteer opportunity for those interested in giving back to their community. Organizers with Our Lady of Guadalupe are seeing a rise in the need for meal deliveries in their community. They’re looking for a handful of volunteers to assist them with the delivery of free meals to those who can not/should not leave their homes at this time.
If you’re interested in helping out, please fill out this form to let us know your availability and an organizer will reach out to you on an as needed basis to join them in dropping off meals to elderly and immunocompromised community members in the El Sereno/Lincoln Heights area.
IMMEDIATE FINANCIAL RELIEF:
If you and your family are in need of immediate financial assistance, don’t wait. Call the Motion Television Fund or the Actors Fund Today.
MOTION PICTURE TELEVISION FUND:
MPTF Intake Line: 323-634-3888
Call today. You will be assigned a MPTF case manager to walk through your specific and immediate needs. MPTF has been serving workers in the Motion Picture Industry since 1921. Take time to reach out if you need immediate financial help.
THE ACTORS FUND:
Actors Fund Today: 888.825.0911.
Call today. The Actors Fund, established in 1882, is for all workers in the Entertainment Industry. Take time to reach out if you need immediate financial help or services.
Learn more about the services and programs here: actorsfund.org/am-i-eligible-help
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.