Category Archives: President

News from the office of the President.

April Membership Meeting via Zoom the 27th

Brothers and Sisters,

To allow us to conduct business safely during the Covid-19 pandemic, International President Loeb has granted Local 205 permission to conduct membership meetings by video conference while social distancing mandates remain in effect.

Therefore, please join me for our first ever virtual membership meeting,
WHEN: MONDAY, APRIL 27, 2020 AT 7:30 PM

This meeting will be conducted via Zoom. Please familiarize yourself with this platform. You may have received an invitation from Zoom to sign up for a user account. This is optional; you do not need a user account to participate in a meeting you are invited to, you can simply click the links provided to you. 

Note only a phone is required to join the meeting. Computer, zoom app and webcam etc are all optional. If you do dial into the meeting, Zoom also has two over-the-phone codes:
*6 to mute or un-mute
*9 to raise your hand.

To ensure security, you will need to register in advance for this meeting, check your email for an announce message containing the registration link. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. When you join the meeting, expect to be held in a virtual waiting room to be admitted, so join a few minutes before 7:30 PM. Also, the meeting will be recorded for the purpose of obtaining accurate minutes. Once the minutes of the meeting are drafted, the recording will be disposed of.

As this will be our first virtual meeting, please be patient and expect challenges. I will post a meeting agenda in due course. I intend to keep it light, but if you have a particular item of business you wish to discuss, please email Secretary Twenter or myself ASAP to have it added to the agenda.

We will not hold the election for Vice-President or nominations for Treasurer at this meeting. These items are on hold until I have received advice from International. I suspect that we will be able to hold nominations virtually with proper notice, but that elections will have to wait until we can meet in person.

In Solidarity,
Rachel Magee, 

Tutorial for joining a meeting:

Tutorial for joining and configuring your audio/video sources:

Announce: Shelter-in-place extended to May 8

The following was sent to the membership via the announce mechanism on April 13th 2020 via the office of the president:

Brothers and Sisters,

The City of Austin and Travis County have extended the shelter-in-place order until May 8. The new ordinance also calls on residents to wear facial coverings when out in public. <>

Continue to stay home, safe and well.

In Solidarity,

Rachel Magee,

Announce: Keep in touch, share resources and don’t forget to file…

The following was sent to the membership via the announce mechanism on Mar. 25th 2020 from the office of the president:

Brothers and Sisters.

During the City of Austin’s mandatory shelter in place order <>, please do the following 4 things,

Join IATSE Local 205’s Mutual Aid FaceBook Group <> to converse with members and coworkers, share resources, and coordinate help.

Sign up for free with Zoom <> to keep in touch with each other via video conferencing.

File for unemployment insurance <>. TIP: file online at night. Demand is high during the day, expect the phones to be busy and the website to crash. But, be patient and keep trying. We don’t know how long we are going to be out of work.

Be prepared to provide,
Last day of work
Name and address of last employer
First day of work with last of employer
Rate of pay for with last employer
Hours of work for last employer
Sign up for disaster assistance <>
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) provides unemployment benefits for individuals who lost their jobs or self-employment or who are no longer working as a direct result of a major disaster for which a disaster assistance period is declared, and who applied but are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits. See the Eligibility section for details.

Day 1 down, 19 more to go.

Stay safe, keep well,

Rachel Magee,

Announce: City Council Resolution Re. Event Cancellations

The following was sent to the membership via the announce mechanism on Mar. 24th via the office of the president:

Brothers and Sisters,

The City of Austin meeting agenda for Wednesday, March 25 includes item 55, a resolution to assist those impacted by COVID-19 related cancellations <> of major events, including SXSW:

55. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to develop programs to support the small and local businesses and workers in the creative, hospitality, service, music, and film industries and other associated industries impacted by the cancellation of the 2020 South By Southwest (SXSW) Festival.


Council Member Jimmy Flannigan, Mayor Steve Adler, Council Member Gregorio Casar, Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison, and Council Member Paige Ellis

Public comment will be allowed by telephone only. All speakers must register in advance <> by noon on Wednesday, March 25.

I will prepare a statement of support. I will aim to highlight not only our immediate needs, but also the long term effects that need to be considered, such as the impact of reduced HOT revenue on Cultural Arts funding. I am open to collaborating on this item or any other actions that will help our industry recover. I anticipate this item will pass with ease. My primary concern is to make sure entertainment workers are not left out.

Rachel Magee,
IATSE Local 205 President

Announce: COVID-19: Sharing Our Story

The following was sent to the membership via the announce mechanism on Mar. 23rd 2020 via the office of the president:

Brothers and Sisters,

Sharing our story can help us leverage support and resources during these trying times.

The collective effort to get Congress to recognize our plight is showing signs of success. So far, IATSE members and supporters have sent over 105,000 letters demanding that entertainment workers be included in government relief efforts <>. This surpassed the original goal, which has since been increased. Please continue to encourage your friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family members to email a letter.

The campaign has caught the attention not only of Congress <>, but also the press <>. In response, charities <> are rallying resources, some of the industry’s employers <> are stepping up, and coalitions <> are being formed to help push the agenda further.

Prior to launching this campaign, International President Loeb called on members to lobby local, state, and federal governments for policies to provide relief for our workforce. Last week, Local 205 and Unite Here <> sent a joint letter to the City of Austin. On Thursday, I spoke with Congressman Lloyd Doggett’s office about our situation. In the coming weeks, I plan to contact state legislators, and to follow up with our local employers, to whom I sent a memo last week <>.

Press coverage amplifies public issues. On March 10, I participated in a press conference hosted by Texas AFL-CIO <> highlighting concerns working people have about COVID-19, including the financial impact on our community <>. Tomorrow, I will be responding to a request from the Austin Chronicle to comment on unemployment related to COVID-19.

To be an effective advocate for our local, it is important that I understand the impact COVID-19 is having on each and every one of you. In the absence of being able to meet as a group, please use this form to share your story <> with me. Also, to help me analyze the impact to our membership as a whole, please take a couple of minutes to answer these questions <>.

In Solidarity,
Rachel Magee,

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,

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. 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. Austin Energy has suspended utility shutoffs 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 for more information.

Travis County has suspended eviction proceedings to keep people from losing their homes during this time.

Although AISD schools are closed, 14 campuses are distributing breakfasts and lunches for AISD kids.

For assistance with groceries, visit the Central Texas Food Bank

Health insurance companies to waive coronavirus costs for Texans 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 IATSE National Benefits Fund 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 National Benefits Fund 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

Search for free or reduced-cost services like medical care, food, job training, and more by visiting the Aunt Bertha website

Post on I Lost My 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 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 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
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)