Category Archives: E-Board News

Information coming from the elected offices.

Announce: SA Employee COVID-19 Test Result is Negative

The following was shared with the membership via the announce mechanism on Mar. 23rd via the office of the president:


Brothers and Sisters,

Stage Alliance has just released the following statement:


Attention all SA employees,

The results of the test for the Stage Alliance employee who worked on Aladdin has come back NEGITIVE for Covid -19. The person is still very sick (no fever) but NO Corona Virus.

I hope this eases any concerns about the transmission of this virus from this individual.

Please continue to follow all CDC health regulations in order to remain safe.

Hope to see you all sometime soon,
Don


In Solidarity,
Rachel Magee,

Announce: COVID-19: Resources for surviving closures and cancellations

The following was sent to members via the announce mechanism on Mar. 13th 2020 from the office of the president:


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This has been an unprecedented week and painful week for all of us. Unfortunately, it seems there are more event cancelations and venue closures to come. The financial impact is daunting. Therefore, we need to explore all viable options to help us get through this difficult time.

Firstly, if you haven’t already, file for unemployment insurance. https://twc.texas.gov/news/unemployment-news#ifYourEmploymentHasBeenAffectedByTheCoronavirusCovid1 We don’t know how long it will be before our industry returns to normal so file sooner rather than later.

Secondly, prioritize your spending. Again, we don’t know how long this situation is going to last. Listed below are some resources that might be of help.

https://www.statesman.com/news/20200313/eviction-hearings-utility-shutoffs-suspended-in-response-to-coronavirus Austin Energy has suspended utility shutoffs https://www.statesman.com/news/20200313/eviction-hearings-utility-shutoffs-suspended-in-response-to-coronavirus for any households unable to pay. Customers struggling with utility bills can be placed on a deferred payment plan, or receive assistance if eligible. Visit Austin Energy’s website https://austinenergy.com/ae/about/news/news-releases/2020/city-of-austin-suspends-utility-disconnects-amid-covid-19 for more information.

Travis County has suspended eviction proceedings https://www.kut.org/post/travis-county-evictions-put-hold-austin-energy-will-not-shutoff-utilities-amid-covid-19 to keep people from losing their homes during this time.

Although AISD schools are closed, 14 campuses are distributing breakfasts and lunches https://www.fox7austin.com/news/aisd-lunch-will-be-prepared-distributed-at-14-campuses-during-closures for AISD kids.

For assistance with groceries, visit the Central Texas Food Bank https://www.centraltexasfoodbank.org/.

Health insurance companies to waive coronavirus costs for Texans https://cbsaustin.com/news/coronavirus/list-insurance-companies-waiving-coronavirus-costs-for-texans-abbott-asks-more-to-follow including Blue Cross Blue, the insurance provider for IATSE Health and Welfare Plans. Also, the IATSE National Benefits Fund has waived all fees for COVID-19 testing https://www.iatsenbf.org/ IATSE National Benefits Fund https://www.iatsenbf.org/ has waived all fees for COVID-19 testing for all participants enrolled in Plan A, all Plan C options, and Triple S.

The IATSE National Benefits Fund has extended annuity hardship withdrawals https://www.iatsenbf.org/IATSE National Benefits Fund https://www.iatsenbf.org/has extended annuity hardship withdrawals to include a new category of hardship withdrawals to assist those of you who have been affected by COVID-19. If you have lost work, been laid off, or had other losses or expenses due to the virus, you are eligible for immediate withdrawal in the amount of your loss. To obtain a hardship application please email Annuity at iatsenbf.org https://www.iatsenbf.org/.

Search for free or reduced-cost services like medical care, food, job training, and more by visiting the Aunt Bertha website https://www.auntbertha.com/.

Post on I Lost My Gig.com https://www.ilostmygig.com/ to share your story and potentially receive a personal donation.

Although we are all suffering the ramifications that COVID-19 is wreaking on our industry, some of us enter this period of instability in a better position than others. If you need help, please do not be too proud to ask. If you’re in the position to help, please do not be too shy to offer. More than ever, this is the time for us to have each other’s back.

In Solidarity,

Rachel Magee,
IATSE Local 205 President

Announce: SXSW Cancellation News: Press Conference & Fundraisers

The following was sent to the membership via the announce mechanism on Mar. 9th 2020 from the office of the president:


Brothers and Sisters,

Tomorrow, Tuesday 10 March at 10AM the Texas AFL-CIO is holding a press conference at their offices to highlight the voice of labor following the cancellation of this year’s SXSW. If you have lost work and would like to be present, please arrive at 9:45 AM wearing our Local’s insignia.

There are some fundraising activities to be aware of. Austin Foundation Communities is collecting donations, "to assist individuals and small businesses most negatively impacted by the cancellation of SXSW and least able to recover on their own.” The fund is called the Stand With Austin Fund . I have been in touch with the fund’s directors to inquire how individuals may apply for assistance and how or when funds will be distributed. I have received a response that the foundation is working with their partners to work this out and a request to check back in the coming weeks.

The Red River Cultural District has launched a Go Fund Me account called Banding Together https://www.gofundme.com/f/bandingtogether2020 geared towards helping, “artists, hospitality and production workers, businesses and organizations” that rely on SXSW. They have set a goal of $100,000 and have raised $13,029. I do not currently have any information on how funds will be distributed.

Lastly, three Austin siblings, all of whom are freelance workers who have been adversely impacted by SXSW’s cancellation, have launched a website called I Lost My Gig https://www.ilostmygig.com/ where donors can donate directly to effected individuals. The website allows individuals to opt in, share their story, and potentially receive person to person donations. I spoke with one of the founders today who informed me they felt it was important not only to try to facilitate financial assistance, but also to humanize our situation by sharing our stories, show how many people have been impacted, and highlight how we contribute to the fabric of our society. They were also able to report that 275 people are currently posted on the site reporting a collective loss of $1.4 million income. Although they are not tracking donations, they have received feedback that donations are being received. It appears the website is getting a lot of traffic and they will be sending press releases to all the major news outlets to increase awareness.

In Solidarity,

Rachel Magee,
IATSE Local 205 President

Announce: SXSW Cancellations, Freeman 3/8-3/21

The following was sent to the membership via the announce mechanism on Mar. 6th 2020 from the office of the Business Agent:


Brothers and Sisters,

I am disheartened to report that SXSW was officially canceled today by the City of Austin.

All scheduled labor for TOMORROW Saturday 3/7 will remain as scheduled. I repeat if you are scheduled tomorrow 3/7, you will still go to work as scheduled. Freeman has had gear arriving at the Austin Convention Center and we will be loading out that gear.

All scheduled labor for all areas on Sunday 3/8 through 3/21 with FREEMAN has been cancelled.
We will update you as we find out more information from our various employers.
In Solidarity,

Nikki Combs
Business Agent

Boom Operation Training with Patrick Crowley

It’s not too late to register for the class tomorrow! Just email to register for the class. Space is limited.

If you miss this class, it’s not the end of the world. Patrick will be teaching these classes every quarter, so there will be more opportunities.

The class teaches safe operation of boom lifts, scissor lifts and aerial work platforms. In addition to the class for certification, Patrick holds a practice session in the afternoon for hands on practice. The classes are held at Briggs Equipment rental.

Training Seminar Monday Oct. 24th

IATSE Local 205 is starting an educational seminar program to help raise the skill levels for all workers in Austin. These are short seminars on basic crafts and skills, presented by IATSE Local 205 for any and all Austin stagehands.

The first educational seminar will be held on Monday, October 24th from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm at the IBEW Building, 3rd Floor meeting room, 4818 E. Ben White Blvd, Austin TX 78741.

The topic of October’s seminar is basic audio- connectors, equipment, signal flow and gain structure.

audio-cables

There is no cost to attend the seminar, however you must RSVP to so that we can plan for how many people will attend.

Todd Drga
IATSE Local 205 Vice President

DELL/EMC World 2016

DELL/EMC World (and lots of other work in October)

Brothers and Sisters,

Dell World is moving into Austin Convention Center on October 14th and out on October 20th under several clients including Production Support Services, Las Vegas, GES and Freeman AV to name the largest. We need approximately 200 technicians and hands to fill all the calls. Therefore, we are requesting ALL members who are available to work this October and November to please call in and support your union.

We have crew calls at Paramount theater for Austin Film Fest and several other small jobs that have been added this week as well.

Due to the busy nature of these two months, you may report your availability to work in three ways: call into the HH phone number or, email or, wishlist jobs that you are available to work on Call Steward. (Note, if you wishlist a job, you are reporting that you are available for any position and for the entire job as there is no mechanism in Call Steward to request certain positions or days.)  Set your vacation manager for days not available.

Whichever way you choose, report your availability for this specific time frame as soon as possible and we will endeavor to put you to work.

In Solidarity,
Nikki Combs
Business Agent
I.A.T.S.E. Local 205

Stage Alliance Pay It Right!

Union vs. Stage Alliance Wage Dispute Arbitration RESULT!

Dear Stage Alliance Employees:

I am pleased to announce that IATSE Local 205 won it’s grievance against Stage Alliance in regard to the dispute over Long Center wages. Additionally, the arbitrator granted the remedies we were seeking. The details are as follows:

Although the arbitrator ruled that Stage Alliance did not fail to bargain with the Union and dismissed our unfair labor practice charge, the arbitrator also ruled that Stage Alliance did violate the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) when it unilaterally altered the show classification system at the Long Center. Furthermore, the arbitrator has ordered Stage Alliance to reinstate the show classification system for the life of the CBA as it was prior to the change made in September 2015. In addition, Stage Alliance shall “make whole” (pay the missing wages and health and annuity benefits) all of the stagehands who were not paid the appropriate Class A wage rate for shows that they worked at the Long Center since September 10, 2015.

Per the arbitrator’s ruling, the Union will prepare a list of affected shows, as already detailed in Stage Alliance’s arbitration announcement. 

This positive result for Stage Alliance employees is the result of the hard work that Local 205 puts in to negotiating and enforcing our agreements. We could have gone to mediation or taken the compromise that was offered by Stage Alliance, but we listened when employees told us that they did not want to give up the wages that they were entitled to.

In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who showed solidarity on this issue. This win is great news for our Local and for Stage Alliance employees alike. We are here to serve Austin’s stage employees by negotiating agreements with fair wages and conditions, and then by protecting those agreements. This is why IATSE Local 205 exists!

In Solidarity,
President Magee

Stage Alliance Pay It Right!

Stage Alliance Inc. Update

Attention all Stage Alliance Inc. Employees.  Below is an update on the Stage Alliance Inc. wage dispute arbitration proceedings.  Additionally we’ve created a handy page in the news section to catch all the Stage Alliance Inc. updates moving forward.

The arbitration hearing between Stage Alliance and IATSE Local 205 took place on July 7, 2016. The arbitrator will issue her ruling within 30 days of the hearing date.

The hearing was in connection with Local 205’s grievance regarding the reduction of A rate shows and the expansion of B rate shows at the Long Center for Performing Arts initiated in September 2015.

Further to President Magee’s letter posted previously, please note that it has been determined that Frank Warren was a B rate show and is therefore not in dispute. Additionally, Local 205 is awaiting payroll information regarding Legend of Zelda and Mandy Patinkin to determine whether these shows will be included in the grievance.

(via Local 205 President, Rachel Magee)

Stage Alliance Pay It Right!

Stage Alliance Inc. Arbitration to Proceed July 7th

Dear Stage Alliance Employees:

I am writing to update you on the ongoing dispute over stagehand wages at the Long Center for Performing Arts between IATSE Local 205 and Stage Alliance, Inc. An arbitration hearing will take place July 7-8, 2016 to rule on this dispute. The following details the events thus far.

Since 2010, Stage Alliance has applied an A or B rate to shows performed at the Long Center. The A rate secured a wage of $17.00 p.h. and was typically applied to shows with ticket sales over a determined seating capacity. The B rate secured a wage of $15.75 p.h. It was applied to maintenance calls and shows that did not mean the A rate criteria. Each year, stagehands worked substantially more A rate hours than B rate hours.

In 2014, the Union secured our first multi-year Agreement with Stage Alliance and our first wage increase in four years; a 25 cent increase on both the A and B rates increasing them to $17.25 p.h. and $16.00 p.h. respectively. However, in September 2015, Stage Alliance informed Local 205 that due to the signing of a new contract between Stage Alliance and the Long Center, the classification system was to change. Effective immediately, all shows would now be classified as B rate with the A rate only applying to Broadway shows, of which the Long Center has perhaps two per year. Or, the we could accept an offer of one flat rate for all shows performed on the Dell Stage of $16.60 p.h. As this is not what the Union had bargained for, and with $16.60 p.h. being far below our area standard for stagehand wages, we sought legal counsel and filed a grievance against Stage Alliance disputing the wage cut, and an unfair labor practice charge for not providing Union requested information and for making a unilateral change without first bargaining with the Union.

Since my initial letter notifying you of this wage cut, there have been several meetings with Stage Alliance to try and resolve the dispute. During which time, it was revealed that the new contract between Stage Alliance and the Long Center, signed September 2015, no longer has A and B rates as originally presented to the Union. Rather, it has one mid point rate for all work on the Dell stage. As such, Stage Alliance has maintained it’s position that stagehands be paid one flat rate of $16.60 p.h. for all work performed on the Dell Stage. Local 205 has maintained the position that our Agreement, which was negotiated on the basis of past practice of the application of the A and B wage rates and the assurance that no future changes were anticipated, be honored. When a dispute remains unresolved, the grievance moves to arbitration. Arbitration is expensive. Stage Alliance asked if the Union would consider a cheaper, half day mediation prior to arbitration. Mediations are used to find solutions through compromise. A date was set last March for a mediation hearing and the Union held several meetings with Stage Alliance employees to determine what compromise, if any, stagehands would be willing to accept. Through these meetings, it became apparent that compromise was not palatable to the majority of affected stagehands and that what we all really want is for our wages to be reinstated as they were prior to September 2015. As such, mediation was put to one side and a date was set for arbitration.

In May 2016, National Labor Relations Board reviewed our unfair labor practice charge. The board agent ruled against the union’s charge regarding withheld information. Prior to the ULP hearing, Stage Alliance had provided the requested information, namely a copy of the contract between Stage Alliance and the Long Center. The part regarding the failure to bargain is being deferred to the arbitration hearing.

Below is list of what the union believes to be misclassified Long Center shows. If you worked as a stagehand on one of these shows, you were paid $1.25 less per hour than we believe you should have been, and not only were your wages reduced, but so were your health and annuity benefits, which are 8% and 4% respectively of your gross wages. To date, the shows in dispute are:

Frank Warren, Ballet Folklorico, MexNet Dinner, Screwtape Letters, UB40, Bollywood Masala, Neil Gaiman, Vietnamese Live, Hook movie, Les Ballets Trockadero, ASO Pops, Arlo Guthrie Peking Acrobats, Sweet Honey In the Rock, Vocalosity, Carol Burnett, Shen Yun, Star Trek Ultimate Voyage, Black Violin, Buick GMC Dealer Meeting, Legend of Zelda, and Mandy Patinkin.

The arbitration hearing will take place on July 7-8, 2016. At this hearing, both parties will argue their case in front of the arbitrator. Based on the arguments presented, the arbitrator will make a ruling on the dispute. The arbitrator’s ruling will be final and binding. Local 205 will be arguing for our wages to be reinstated until the expiration of our current Agreement in 2017. Additionally, our grievance asks for all affected stagehands to be made whole, meaning that hands be compensated for their loss in income since September 2015. There is no guarantee we will win this grievance, but despite the financial cost to the Local, we feel that we must do everything we can to get our wages back.

In Solidarity,

Rachel Magee,
IATSE Local 205 President.