COVID-19: Important Reminders, Updates and Last Week In Review (07.12.2020)
We are slowly starting to see some of our Members return to work as we continue to engage in discussions with the other Guilds and Unions and the AMPTP to develop Industry-wide safety standards. At this time, the Business Agents are dealing with returning productions on a case-by-case basis. It is important that if you get called to work and you have any issues, questions or concerns, you make your Union Representative your first call. We will be sending out an email tomorrow highlighting more information for Members that are returning to work and the role we all play in protecting the safety of each other in and out of the workplace. We will be continuing discussions with the AMPTP this coming week and as soon as we have more information, we will update the Membership.
Obviously, our two biggest concerns in this process are:
1. Protecting our Members at work.
2. Protecting the work of our Members as we navigate this new reality.
Stay tuned for more information.
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.
UNION HALL OFFICE HOURS:
Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County, we have postponed the return to office for all staff to early August. Should this change again, we will let you know. I do want to remind you all that at this time, all Local Union staff members are working. Business Agents are available around the clock via phone or email and the Union Hall office hours are as follows:
• Union Hall Front Office Staff is available by PHONE or EMAIL: 9AM – 5PM (Monday – Friday)
• Call Board Staff is available by PHONE or EMAIL: 5AM – 10PM (Monday – Friday)
• Weekend On-Call Agent Phone Number: 818-397-2131
Business Agent Contact information can be found on our website
or in your Local 399 App.
LOCAL 399 MASK & SAFETY HOTLINES:
This week Members should have started to receive a Local 399 mask and safety card that highlights two new safety hotlines that we have started to help protect our Members. Please note, additional masks will be made available for sale at the Union Hall when we open back up to our Members and the general public. As soon as we have a date to reopen, we will let the Membership know.
SAFETY HOTLINE: (818) 436-0239
Safety in the workplace should always be our number one priority. In this new reality that we are currently operating in, it’s important to report unsafe practices in the workplace in order to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace and learn from our shared experiences. There are still many unknowns regarding this global pandemic and we feel it is of the utmost importance to create a safe working environment for all. Any Employers potentially putting individuals in harm’s way should be reported. Please note, you can also utilize the Studio Safety Hotline Numbers on the back of your Call Sheet or in your 399 App
HARASSMENT OR DISCRIMINATION: HOTLINE: (818) 432-3301
Workplace safety also includes the well-being of those you are working alongside. As we have stated before, Local 399 has a ZERO tolerance policy for racist and/or discriminatory behavior or harassment of any kind. This hotline is intended for Members to get the support they need if they have experienced this behavior, as well as allowing the Union the opportunity to investigate. As mentioned at our last Town Hall, we are starting our Local 399 Diversity and Inclusion Task Force in the coming month and we will be working with this group to help further outline and develop ways to better protect our Members from this sort of unacceptable behavior. Actions and words have consequences. We expect our Members to be professional and supportive of all Union Brothers and Sisters. That is what it means to be a Teamster family.
These calls will be recorded to an Office voicemail that will be checked daily by our Union Representatives. You can report anonymously or you can leave your name and contact information in order to be followed up with by a Local 399 Union Representative.
DMV NOTICE EXPIRING COMMERCIAL LICENSES EXTENDED THROUGH SEPTEMBER:
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. A previous extension had been set to expire at the end of June.
The DMV has alerted California law enforcement of the new extensions.
Commercial drivers age 70 and older will receive a paper extension in the mail. 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.The DMV is temporarily permitting approved Employer Testing Program participants, who already conduct commercial drive tests for their employees, to also administer commercial knowledge tests for their employees. This change has created an additional option for processing new commercial driver licenses. The DMV will also no longer require drivers with an out-of-state commercial license to take a knowledge or skills test when transferring to a California commercial license with the same class and endorsements.
CAST & CREW WEBINAR: CREATING A DIGITAL PRODUCTION OFFICE:
REMINDER: Cast and Crew has shared the details of an upcoming webinar with us and they have extended the invitation to any of our Members that may be interested. This webinar is FREE to attend. Please see the details and registration information below.
TOPIC: Creating the Digital Production Office® – MyCast&Crew, Start+ and Hours+ for the Crew
DATE: July 15th, 2020
Join the webinar to:
• Set up your digital profile in MyCastandCrew
• Access and store inventory lists and other documents in MyFiles
• Accept offers digitally
• Complete your timecards on your mobile phone or laptop
• Access completed start work and timecards and more!
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 their 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.
We continue to see Local 399 Members recommit to the Teamster Oath. We want to thank all of our Members that have recommitted and taken the time to share your own personal response to the reasons behind your recommitment. We have been inspired by the words of our Members. We have been 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.
TAKE ACTION: YES ON HEROES NO ON GROW:
We want to thank all of our Local 399 Members that took the time to submit a video opposing the Grow Act this week. This was an important action and we are grateful to Joint Council 42 and Senator Bernie Sanders for taking up this fight.
There is still time to take action! IATSE Cares has put together a form letter to be sent directly to your elected officials that outlines the support for subsequent COVID-19 legislation. Simply add your name and address, take a second to review the form letter and add a personal statement regarding the need to remove the GROW Act from any federal legislation intended to support working people in our Industry.
Example text to add to form letter:
“Protect the healthy pension plans and earned pension checks of entertainment workers by allowing multi employer plans to implement policies that safeguarded pensions after the Great Recession, such as freezing zone status, smoothing investment losses, and doing no harm to healthy pension plans. The GROW Act that has been proposed in the next Federal stimulus package would hurt hard working families that are relying on their Pension plans to retire with dignity. Employers should be required to ensure the strength of pension plans, Pension reform should not be balanced on the backs of middle-class Americans.”
If you have questions about the ‘HEROES’ federal stimulus bill that is currently in the Senate or the ‘GROW Act’, please reach out to me at: email@example.com.
We want to thank all of our Local 399 Members’ children that applied for the Leo T. Reed Scholarship Fund. We will be announcing the 2020 recipients of this scholarship next week.
We have been informed by our Joint Council 42 that their Scholarship deadline has been extended. If you child is interested in applying please click here. The new deadline has not yet been announced however, we would encourage anyone interested in applying to do so soon.
3RD QUARTER GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING:
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has outlined how we are able to host an official digital General Membership Meeting. Please save the date for Sunday, July 26th at 9AM.
More details and registration information will be shared next week.
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 months. Please let us know if there is anything more we can be doing to support you and your family at this time.