Revisit this page for updates and additional resources.
Last Updated 02/07
Brothers, Sisters, and Kin of Local 205 are working to collect the most complete and up-to-date information available on the COVID-19 Pandemic, and resources to help manage this time. Together, we will all get through this.
Austin area stagehands, technicians, 205 members or not, hiring hall subscribers or not, are all invited to our private Mutual Aid Facebook Group. Please take the time to fill out the questions when joining the group.
Take a moment to read the Joint Letter: A Message to the Professionals in the Entertainment Industry from our allied unions, associations, and guilds. Please also follow at the Local 205 Facebook Page for additional timely updates.
OSHA and Biden Administration
Within hours after he was sworn into office, President Joseph Biden issued an Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety. The President directed the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue revised guidance for employers concerning COVID-19 and urged OSHA to reconsider issuing emergency temporary standards for businesses to follow during the pandemic. He directed the Department of Labor to issue revised safety and health COVID-19 guidance for employers within two weeks.
On January 29, 2021—nine (9) days into the new Presidential Administration, OSHA issued guidelines entitled “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace”, which provide stronger workplace safety guidance on coronavirus to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace.
Local 205 Office & Meetings
Local 205 Officers are currently working from home due to social distancing guidelines from the City of Austin. Office hours are by appointment only.
Zoom links are sent out via the announce email mechanism prior to regular meetings.
- The March Reg. Meeting was cancelled
- The April Reg. Meeting was held via Zoom on the 27th.
- The May Reg. Meeting was held via Zoom on the 26th.
- The June Reg. Meeting was held via Zoom on the 22nd.
- The July Reg. Meeting was held via Zoom on the 27th.
- The Aug. Reg Meeting was held via Zoom on the 24th.
- The Sept. Reg Meeting was held via Zoom on the 28th.
- The Oct. Reg Meeting was held via Zoom on the 19th.
- The Nov. Reg Meeting was held via Zoom on the 23rd.
- The Dec. Reg Meeting was held via Zoom on the 28th.
- The Jan. Reg Meeting was held via Zoom on the 25th.
During this time of collaborating, working, and socializing remotely, it’s more important than ever to be a good net citizen. When interacting in a way that represents your union, please follow the good practices described on the IATSE Communications Guides. And more generally, be mindful of the core concepts of Netiquette.
- IATSE Communciatons Guides
- The Core Rules of Netiquette (Virginia Shea)
- 10 Rules for Netiquette (Colorodo State University Course Design)
COVID-19 Information Portals
- New York Times’ excellent COVID-19 FAQ (broad topics)
- City of Austin’s COVID-19 Page
- Austin/Travis County “COVID-19 Surveillance” Dashboard
- Austin/Travis County “Key Staging Indicators” Dashboard
- World Health Organization
- US Center for Disease Control (CDC)
- OSHA COVID-19 Guidance Website
- Texas Governor’s Office COVID-19 Portal
- Texas Department of State Health and Human Services (DSHS)
- University of Texas Coronavirus Response and Data Portal
- USPS Guidance on Avoiding COVID-19 Scams
The infographic below is generated by a member of the Austin public, but it does a good job presenting data, and hopefully it updates every page load. via https://austincovidcount.com/.
COVID-19 Testing in Austin
Prior to the end of April, getting tested for COVID-19 required a doctor’s referral or being extremely sick in the ER. If you have a primary care physician you can consult over the phone/online, that is still a valid way to get tested. But for those that do not, or lack insurance, Austin is now offering an online form to facilitate drive through and walk up testing too.
Austin Public Health has also released a map of testing sites.
Curative.com has several drive thru and walk up testing sites around Austin. They accept IATSE-NBF health insurance but will also test you if you are uninsured at no cost. Results are usually turned around in less than 36 hours.
IATSE and Other Resources
- Local 205 COVID Information Page (This Document)
- IATSE C.A.R.E.S. Mutual Aid Page
- IATSE National Benefits Funds COVID-19 News
- AFL-CIO COVID-19 Portal
- Texas AFL-CIO (COVID Resources in the top menu)
- Texas AFL-CIO (COVID Resources in the top menu)
- USPS Guidance on Avoiding COVID-19 Scams
- ETCP COVID-19 Resources
- ESTA COVID-19 Resources
- UT’s Guide Living Day to Day during COVID
- Texas Motion Picture Association (TXMPA) COVID Resources
- AFM American Federation of Musicians COVID Resources
- DGA Directors Guild of America COVID Resources
- International Brotherhood of Teamsters COVID Resources
- SAG/AFTRA COVID Resources
- Writers Guild of America East COVID Resources
Unemployment Benefits & Stimulus
The most pressing thing right now for our members, subscribers, and area stagehands is to apply for and start receiving the available financial benefits. These include the stimulus checks (no application required), Regular Unemployment Benefits, or Pandemic Unemployment Benefits, including the 24 week extension and federal enhanced unemployment benefits. Penalty free withdrawal from retirement plans is an option for some, but should be considered last.
Brother Grady from Local 51 has shared this helpful guide document for how to respond to most questions during initial TWC application for benefits. This is mostly applicable to IATSE members, non-members will have to respond differently in some areas.
Most important things to avoid issues with your protracted claim are:
- Never miss a bi-weekly payment request, even if there are unresolved issues.
- Never “re-apply” for a new claim during these federal extensions, even if your 52 week claim year has ended, even if a contractor on the phone is instructing you that is the next step!
- Correct any reporting errors over the phone system in a prompt manner, ask for call-back requests with detailed notes, or reach out to an agent.
If you have a blended income of W2s, 1099s, and/or self-employment, the online system *may* qualify you, but will only approve benefits based on your W2 income. You *may* get initially approved with a lower weekly benefit amount under regular benefits, rather than pandemic unemployment assistance (which starts at $208/week until you provide proof of income). It’s important to include your other income types and estimates when you apply, and then follow recommended steps for providing documentation at a later date. Some in our community with mixed incomes now have an active ‘regular claim’ that is paying less than 100$/week until they resolve with with TWC. Note, the Dec. 2020 Relief Bill is supposed to ‘fix’ this issue for mixed income earners by providing an extra 100$ benefit if you meet the income requirements and provide requested proof of that self-employment work.
Work search requirements were re-instated starting Nov. 1st 2020. If you are in good standing as a member of a union that operates a hiring hall, such as Local 205, this should not apply to you and you should continue to see ‘0’ for your search requirements.
If you are a member of Local 205 and see a requirement other than ‘0’ you should contact TWC and attempt to correct the error. Use the language “I am a union member and register with my local’s hiring hall weekly”. Attempt to get a TWC Agent, not a contractor to resolve this issue.
Besides the Local 205 Mutual Aid FB Group, there is also a very active Texas Unemployment Updates FB Group where the public shares their particular issues and gets advice and help from others who have resolved similar problems.
- Texas Workforce Commission for Unemployment Benefits
- TWC COVID FAQ
- TWC Application Guidance for 1099/gig workers
- Apply Online (W2s or exclusive 1099/gig workers)
- Apply by Phone (mixed W2s+1099 earners) by calling TWC’s Tele-Center at 800-939-6631 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., seven days a week: Sunday through Saturday, Central Time.
- TWC Login for Bi-Weekly Payment Requests
- Local 205 Mutual Aid on Facebook
- Texas Unemployment Updates on Facebook (unofficial)
As we reach the end of many people’s “regular benefits” schedule (26 weeks) or any extension applied after, it is important to keep reporting and requesting payments even as it lapses. Subsequent extensions should apply retroactively to you if you are still able to stay in the system.
The original Cares Act implemented a 13 week federal extension to the UI benefits as well as provided 600$/week enhanced UI benefit for a period of time, among other features. The original Cares Act provisions lapse on Dec. 26th 2020.
Dec. 2020 Cares Act Extension Bill
The bill provides for another 11 weeks of ‘enhanced’ unemployment benefit in the amount of 300$/week by extending the existing Cares Act unemployment extension and benefits. It also in theory corrects an issue for ‘mixed income’ earners where regular UI benefits were too low by augmenting 100$ per week extra. You will definitely have to communicate with TWC to qualify for the ‘mixed income’ bump.
If for some reason you were on EB (Extended Benefits) due to having a claim that started before covid. There is a chance your 2nd PUEC extension will last an additional 4 weeks through May 11th per provisions of the “phase out” period in the bill.
There may be a delay in seeing the extra benefits as TWC onboards the new funds and program, but TWC should back-pay them appropriately.
Once applied to you, the additional funds for the extension should appear in the 1st of your “Temporary Unemployment Benefits” (TUB) claims on the list of “other claims” in the UBS portal.
Texas “triggered” a seasonal federally subsidized extension based on unemployment rates. It in theory adds 7 weeks of eligibility to regular unemployment benefits and PUA while the trigger conditions remain true. Read about it on TWC’s site. Here is a decent article about how that program works.
June 3rd, Texas added it’s own 13 week extension to the coverage period for unemployment or pandemic benefits. This will trigger after the Federal 13 week extension. Bringing Texas’s total benefit period to 52 weeks (1 year). In the system this extension is known as “Extended Benefits” (EB) and appears as a 2nd “Temporary Unemployment Benefit” (TUB) in your list of “other claims”.
As with the federal extension, continue to do payment requests, the extension should be automatic. If the delay in processing payments is too long consider calling TWC to address your claim.
If you were below the income thresholds and single, you should have received the initial $1200 stimulus, plus another $600 that passed at the end of 2020. For families with dependents the math is different.
- IRS’s Portal for Updating/Tracking your Stimulus Check
- A list of common stimulus check glitches and what to do about them
- USPS video PSA about stimulus check delivery & scams.
- A Good Freelancer’s Guide to the CARES Act
- No-Fee Stimulus Check Cashing Services at H-E-B
- Stimulus Check may arrive as a VISA Pre-paid card.
Returning to the workforce…
Obviously if you are returning to the workforce, or still have an essential job, you should be provided adequate PPE. If you are not, bring your own but demand it be provided. If the client claims they are not the employer of record and not the responsible party, bring this issue to your steward.
The International has finalized it’s reopening plans guidelines document here:
Early guidance from ESA for the event and production industry, if you have encountered other guidance please share.
The individual’s decision to return to work amid staged re-opening is a difficult one. The governor’s office has offered this guidance to the TWC.
While the claims about “flexibility” in the TWC’s decisions is likely true, it also requires the employees or claimants make their own cases. If you or a household member are in a vulnerable population, arming yourself with things like a doctor’s note testifying that vulnerability is encouraged.
- Interview with TWC Executive Director Ed Serna about issues post-reopening
- Texas DSHS High Risk Individuals – List of Chronic Conditions & COVID-19 (cited by TWC)
Note, tobacco use (current or past) appears likely to be excluded at the time of that interview, unless accompanied by a diagnosis.
It seems unlikely at this time that the TWC will honor claims for people who quit or refused to return to their jobs due to “fear” alone, or even more justified concerns about inadequate protections in the workplace. If we hear otherwise we’ll update this article.
- IATSE C.A.R.E.S. Mutual Aid
- UT Health’s Call for Volunteer Contact Tracers
- Consider this Free Contact Tracing Course from John Hopkins
- List of volunteer Opportunities via Congressman Doggett
- Face Shield Project at the Austin Convention Center
- AustinFightingCovid PPE Production Effort
- Donate Blood and Plasma
- Foster an animal from Austin Pets Alive or Austin Animal Center
- Translators without Borders
- Donating or receiving Food Aid: See “Groceries” section.
Donating Blood or Convalescent Plasma
We Are Blood, A blood donation group with ongoing donor centers. All donors and staff are required to wear face masks or coverings at any of their centers. Every piece of equipment is wiped down and cleaned after each donor’s use. You can learn more about their safety measures during Shelter-In-Place here
- The North Lamar Location is located at 4300 N. Lamar Blvd.
- The Round Rock Location is located at 2132 N. Mays, Suite 900.
- The South Austin Location is located at 3100 W. Slaughter Lane.
They can all be reached at (512) 206-1266.
Additionally, they are collecting convalescent plasma donations from fully recovered COVID-19 individuals. This plasma is being used to treat patients currently fighting COVID-19. If you are a fully recovered COVID-19 patient and want to be considered as a convalescent plasma donor, learn more here.
Masks and PPE (yourself and others)
- IATSE Mask Crafting Portal
- Another popular cloth mask pattern (craftpassion)
- Another cloth mask pattern (aplat)
- AustinFightingCovid PPE Production Effort
- Austin Mask Exchange
- Face Shield Project at the Austin Convention Center
- Free Hand Sanitizer for Austin Community via Tito’s
- Bulk Hand Sanitizer, pivoted by “Froggy’s” atmospheric fog company
- ProServe Janitorial Supply in S. Austin is reported to have plenty of masks, sanitizer, cleaning products, gloves etc
- KN95 and many foreign standard masks are considered equivalent to N95 and are more readily available. Not rated for medical use in the US, so you are not taking them from healthcare workers (in theory).
Groceries, Meals, and Pharmacies
Specifically we are listing resources for essential workers, seniors, high risk individuals, and low-income situations.
- HEB Age 60+ Deliveries with Favor, and Hotline: 1–833–397–0080
- HEB Curbside Service
- HEB All Store Hours and info
- Central Market (HEB owned) Info
- FreshPlus curbside cervice (all 3 stores)
- FarmShareAustin Mobile Markets (Pickup or Delivery)
- ThriveMarket.com (like an online co-op for healthy dry/bulk goods)
- FarmBox Direct Delivery and COVID-19 Statement
- FarmHouse Delivery and COVID-19 FAQ (waitlist at the time of edit)
- Fiesta-Mart has senior and at-risk shopping hours
- Natural-Grocers has senior and at-risk hours
- Albertson’s (aka Randalls) update
- Walgreen’s COVID-19 info
- WholeFoods COVID-19 Response Info
- Walmart COVID-19 Statement
- Wheatsville Co-Op updated their senior/high-risk hours on May 8th:
Hours of Operation
Effective Monday, May 11, 2020
4001 S. LAMAR BLVD AUSTIN, TEXAS 78704
8:30 AM TO 10 PM 7 DAYS A WEEK
SENIOR AND HIGH RISK SHOPPING HOUR 7:30- 830 AM
DELI: 7:30AM TO 7 PM
3101 GUADALUPE ST AUSTIN, TEXAS 78705
8:30 AM TO 9 PM 7 DAYS A WEEK
SENIOR AND HIGH RISK SHOPPING HOUR 7:30- 830 AM
DELI: 7:30AM TO 3 PM
Donating Food (or receiving food)
- Central Texas Food Bank
6500 Metropolis Dr
Austin, TX 78744
- Round Rock Area Serving Center
1099 E Main St
Round Rock , TX 78664
- Bastrop County Emergency FP
806 Fayette St
Bastrop, TX 78602
- Caldwell County Food Pantry
901 Bois D’Arc
Lockhart, TX 78644
- The Caring Center
2000 Railroad Ave
Georgetown, TX 78626
- Fredericksburg Food Pantry
Fredericksburg, TX 78624
- The Helping Center
Marble Falls, TX 78654
507 W Bachanan Dr
Burnet, TX 78611
- San Antonio Food Bank
5200 Enrique Barrerra Parkway
San Antonio, TX 78227
- Austin/Travis County RISE2.0 Relief Grant (Sept 14th to 21st)
- Austin RENT Assistance program (ongoing)
- Austin’s Creative Worker Relief Grant (Aug 17th to 28th)
- UFCU’s COVID Page, highlights skipping consumer loan payments, applying for mortgage relief, and Member Relief Loans.
- Austin Creative Alliance Emergency Relief Fund
- Behind The Scenes Charity
- The Actors Fund – For Everyone in Entertainment
- Crew Nation Fund (via LiveNation)
- Will Rogers Motion Pictures Pioneers Foundation – Emergency Grant for Movie Theater Employees
- Union Plus Hardship Help
- Motion Picture and Television Fund (MPTF)
- Texas Music Office list of grants and relief for Texas Musicians
2019 Tax Filing (and prior)
Deadline to submit tax payments for individual returns to IRS has been extended from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. Taxpayers do not need to file any additional documents for this extension, as the IRS has automatically applied the extension to all taxpayers. Please visit the IRS’ website for more information.
- Austin Foundation Communities Prosper Centers are partnering with GetMyRefund.org to offer tax filing help for 2018 or 2019 taxes.
2020 Tax Filing
The agency will start accepting returns on Feb. 12, about two weeks later than usual. But you still have to file by April 15.
- You may qualify for the EIC (Earned Income Credit) in 2020 if your actual earned income was below the thresholds. $15,820 for single zero dependents. $21,710 for Married/Joint zero dependents. See this IRS chart for the rest of the categories. UI benefits do not count towards earned income, but they are taxable income. If you get the EIC you may get some of that money back.
- UI Income is taxable. If you have not done so yet be sure to log in and change your preferences for withholding with TWC.
- Form 1099-G is what TWC provides for doing your taxes. It is being mailed but is also available as a download or correspondence from the UBS portal.
- If you discover you have a tax burden for 2020, you can reduce that burden by making an annual contribution to a Traditional IRA by April 15th.
Housing, Rent, Mortgage Assistance
If you are facing eviction in Texas, be sure yourself and your landlord are both aware of the Texas Eviction Diversion Program. If you both opt into it and qualify it may pay back rent and offer assistance towards future rent, while expunging the eviction filing from your record. Here is a cheat-sheet on the program which applies to ALL Texas counties starting in January 2021 through March 15th (unless extended).
Feb 2021, Texas is rolling out a new renters relief program to replace/augment the eviction diversion program. This time it allows tenants to opt in directly, instead of waiting for eviction proceedings and cooperation from landlords. Check the TDHCA website for updates as the program comes online.
City of Austin and Travis County have separate eviction bans or eviction proceeding bans in place until March 15th 2021 on some residential and commercial tenants.
Need help paying your rent or utilities? Local programs are providing temporary, emergency financial assistance in the form of grants or loans for utilities and rental expenses.
Renters in Austin may qualify for rental assistance money in the lottery RENT program that is accepting applicants in an ongoing fashion, apply at atxrenthelp.org.
Homeowners who need help with mortgage assistance and property taxes, visit COA’s Avoiding Forclosure page. The Hope Preservation Foundation has a 24/7 HOPE hotline to provide personalized advice from housing counseling agencies. Call 888-995-HOPE (4673).
For utility bill relief information, visit Austin Energy’s bill relief page.
This information and more can also be found at AustinTexas.gov/COVID19.
- atxrenthelp.org (official HACA Rent Assistance program)
- Infosheet about Texas Eviction Diversion Program (via TexasLawHelp.org)
- Texas Renters Relief Program via TDHCA
- City of Austin Housing Resources during COVID-19
- City of Austin resource page for avoiding foreclosure
- NHCD Housing and Financial Resource COVID-19 Page
- Travis County has suspended eviction proceedings but that doesn’t mean that rent is not “due”, talk with your landlord ahead of time to discuss options. Avoid getting confrontational. Reaching compromises with your landlord is better than getting evicted and having your credit ruined when the courts reopen.
- Austin Energy suspends utility disconnects for non-payment
- Austin Energy Bill Relief
- Non-Federally backed mortgage holders may have the option to seek COVID-19 hardship forbearance from their loan servicer.
Eviction Defense Resources
Sheltering in place is a worst-case scenario for victims of domestic violence. If you or anyone you know is being abused, call the national domestic violence hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
- Survive 2 Thrive is working to connect victims with hotel rooms in Austin as shelters fill up. You can call them at 512-308-6028.
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
- Texas COVID-19 Mental Health Toll-Free Support Line: 1-833-986-1919
- Texas Health and Human Services
- 2-1-1: Dial 211 to be connected to Mental Health & Substance Abuse services in your area.
- Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. Text TX to 741741 from anywhere in the U.S. to text with a trained crisis counselor.
- Entertainment Industry Therapist Finder
- Behind the Scenes Charity Help Page
Health Insurance – Getting/Continuing Coverage
Remember, inpatient or ICU treatment for COVID-19 would be financially disastrous without coverage.
Cobra Coverage Option
Typically the MOST expensive approach. If you recently lost healthcare coverage, one option available is to extend your coverage using COBRA, this effectively continues whatever coverage you had previously for up to 18 months paying monthly, and you normally activate it retroactively up to 60 days after losing your original plan (COVID-19 has caused some additional deadline extensions). If you did not get a COBRA election notice from your provider contact them!
IATSE National Benefits Fund (NBF) Plans
Due to state and federal guidelines regarding the COVID-19 crisis, the Fund Office is following such guidelines and is currently closed. During the COVID-19 crisis, communicating with the Fund Office via the website or through email will temporarily be the only way that we can respond to you until such time that we reopen. Please check our the NBF website, for updates.
- For participant services assistance, the email is:
- For assistance with appeals, the email is:
- For assistance with Annuity Fund matters, the email is:
- For assistance with claims matters, the email is:
- For assistance with pension matters, the email is:
- For assistance with contract matters, the email is:
The IATSE NBF has continued coverage for 2020 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 2021 1st, and 2nd quarter for participants of Plan C2 through C4 that were slated to lose that coverage due to a out of pocket burden on their premiums. Visit their COVID-19 News.
- IATSE NBF COVID-19 Announcements=
- IATSE NBF Tele-health Services (LiveHealthOnline)
- IATSE NBF Statement about deadlines, COBRA, and more (April 2020)
Marketplace open enrollment was Nov 1st – Dec. 18th, but pay attention to the rules and windows for joining the marketplace for healthcare. “Life Changes” such as losing coverage, are often qualifying events for special enrollment periods. Additionally many states added an enrollment period for COVID-19 response (Not Texas yet).
- Enrollment Dates (including Special Enrollment Periods)
Other Healthcare Resources
One of the Visit Austin Foundation’s (VAF) objectives is to serve as a resource for the hospitality, music and tourism community in the greater Austin area. The industries and individuals we serve have been among the hardest hit by recent events, and we are listening to community needs to identify ways to offer support.
If you or a loved one find yourself in need of health insurance, we’ve collaborated with Velapoint, an independent insurance broker, to provide a one-stop insurance marketplace with expert agents on call to assist throughout the process. This tool allows you to evaluate a variety of plans to meet the unique needs of you and your family.
Austin’s HAAM (Health Alliance for Austin Musicians) has expanded their range of services during COVID-19. Working musicians, teachers, DJs and many affiliated roles all qualify for HAAM, see their documentation requirements.
Other Covid-19 Updates...
- RISE2 Financial Assistance Opportunity for Austin/Travis Co. Residents (9/15/2020) - City of Austin / Travis County has made available another relief program for households impacted by loss of work due to COVID-19. RISE 2.0 $2000 relief grants will be dispersed via a lottery to applicants who qualify.For more details visit the program page:https://www.austintexas.gov/article/covid-19-relief-state-emergency-rise-fund To qualify your monthly household income, including UI benefits, has to be… ...CONTINUE READING
- August Financial Aid Opportunities for Austin Residents (8/22/2020) - Two opportunities became available in August for Austin residents. August Funding of RENT Assistance Program, applications started again on August 19th.August applications for 'Creative Workers Relief Grant' up to $2000 (applications accepted Aug. 17th through 5pm on the 28th) RENT Assistance This program is being periodically funded by the COA, last round of funding and… ...CONTINUE READING
- TWC’s Lost Wage Assistance Program ($300 extra) (8/22/2020) - UPDATE: TWC Has reported that the last week that will pay the LWA $300 extra is the workweek ending Sept 5th. The Funds had to be requested weekly from FEMA and after 6 weeks FEMA denied Texas’s request. The following was sent via email to claimants 8/22 to clarify the Lost Wage Assistance Program benefit Texas… ...CONTINUE READING
- Stamp Out Hunger with NALC and AFL-CIO (7/1/2020) - The following is a message from our sisters and brothers at AFL-CIO and the National Association of Letter Carriers: Sisters, Brothers & Kin, The need for food relief has never been greater and neither is our determination to help. Throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, the labor movement has stepped up to help union members and struggling… ...CONTINUE READING
- Soundgirls of Austin and IATSE Local 205 to Mayor Adler (6/28/2020) - The City of Austin has taken measures during this unprecedented time to provide relief for both musicians and music venues via the Music Disaster Relief Fund. Sadly, this fund offers no support for the hardworking venue technicians whose behind-the-scenes efforts make live music events possible. Please sign this petition to let City Council know that… ...CONTINUE READING
- City of Austin adds new Key Indicators COVID-19 dashboard (6/9/2020) - Austin Public Health released a dashboard that illustrates the key indicators for moving between risk stages and is now live at AustinTexas.gov/COVID19. Stage 1 (Green): Zero (0) new COVID-19 hospital admissions in a 7-day periodStage 2 (Blue): Average of less than 5 new COVID-19 hospital admissions in the MSA in 7-day periodStage 3 (Yellow): Average… ...CONTINUE READING
- Texas enters Phase-2 Re-opening, for better or worse. (5/19/2020) - Yesterday, on May 18th Gov. Abbott issued the Executive Order moving Texas into Phase 2 of the staggered re-opening. Phase 1 re-opening had occurred almost precisely 3 weeks prior. The primary arguments used in favor of doing so revolve around restoring jobs, hospitalization rates remaining somewhat steady, and percentage positive confirmed tests. They provided state-wide… ...CONTINUE READING
- Deadlines, Claims, and COBRA from the IATSE-NBF (5/15/2020) - The following is from an email notice via the IATSE National Benefits Fund Office. Important Information Regarding Extensions of Deadlines Related to Benefit Claims and Appeals, Special Enrollment and COBRA Due to the various challenges that individuals are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue… ...CONTINUE READING
- Austin Rental Assistance, Apply May 4th-6th (5/1/2020) - Neighborhood Housing Department Issues $1.2M in Rental Assistance to Be Administered by Austin Housing AuthorityFri, 05/01/2020 - 09:56 Applicants must apply 9:00 a.m. May 4th through 11:59 p.m. May 6th The City of Austin Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department (NHCD) is providing $1.2 million in emergency rental assistance to Austinites affected by the COVID-19 outbreak to… ...CONTINUE READING
- Volunteer Opportunities (5/1/2020) - The following is from a communication from the office of Texas Congressman Lloyd Doggett: So many of our neighbors have sought ways to help others as we work together to reach the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic. Being a light for others is certainly a meaningful way to get through these difficult times. Understanding… ...CONTINUE READING
- 2020 Census (4/30/2020) - Good afternoon, If you’ve not yet filled out your 2020 CENSUS please do so today! You can find the census at by following this link: https://2020census.gov In Solidarity, Nikki CombsBusiness Agent ...CONTINUE READING
- Action: Top Priorities for Entertainment Workers in Subsequent COVID-19 Legislation (4/29/2020) - Letter writing campaign, contact your representatives now. Personalize your letter for better effect. The following goals are from the IATSE C.A.R.E.S. announcement. Congress has begun to pursue additional federal legislation in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The entertainment industry will continue to be disproportionately impacted by this health crisis and we need to ensure that… ...CONTINUE READING
- COVID-19 Public Testing in Austin! (4/28/2020) - Brothers and Sisters, Austin Public Health has launched an online Enrollment Form for COVID-19 testing. The new public testing form will allow people to take an assessment to determine eligibility and schedule testing without a referral from a healthcare provider. The enrollment form is available at AustinTexas.gov/COVID19. To access the form, click on the “Take Self-Assessment" button… ...CONTINUE READING
- PSA, Avoid Postal and Email Scams! (4/25/2020) - The following from a USPS PSA on the subject:Although most Americans are sheltering at home to avoid the Coronavirus, staying home won’t insulate them from being targets of scammers.Take some time to browse the USPS's list of common scams being seen in the wild amid the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 Relief Stimulus ScamsIndividuals and businesses selling… ...CONTINUE READING
- April Membership Meeting via Zoom the 27th (4/23/2020) - 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,WHAT: APRIL REGULAR MEETINGWHEN: MONDAY, APRIL 27, 2020 AT 7:30 PMWHERE:… ...CONTINUE READING
- Actors Fund Grant Process (4/21/2020) - As you may know, IATSE has partnered with the Actors Fund to assist members who find themselves in financial need due to being out of work during the pandemic. This morning I spoke with a very helpful contact named Barbara Davis over at the Actors Fund who walked me through the application process and documentation requirements.The… ...CONTINUE READING
- FREE Training Opportunities to consider during Self-Isolation (4/17/2020) - Brother Joe Martin writes, "I hope this finds everyone safe and well. During these trying times, the downtime we have recently acquired is shocking. With a lack of public places to go, Im sure a lot of us are going a little bit stir crazy. While this crisis is keeping the public at home, many… ...CONTINUE READING
- Join the IATSE 205 Mutual Aid Discord Channel! (4/17/2020) - Brother Liam Dolan-Henderson writes, "Hello, everyone! We now have a Discord! This will be more of a space for socializing and simply keeping each other company during this time of social distancing." The invite link is in the 205 Mutual Aid FB Group. If you do not have facebook you can request an invite via… ...CONTINUE READING
- Delivery available for Members In Need (4/17/2020) - From the IA: Sisters, Brothers, Kin— As you know, the COVID-19 virus poses a significant risk to many of our members who are older, disabled, or immunocompromised. Additionally, many of our members are caretakers of others who fall into the at-risk category, and they simply cannot risk going to the store to get what they… ...CONTINUE READING
- Provide payment information to the IRS to receive your stimulus faster (4/14/2020) - Want your stimulus check faster? Didn't have a refund or direct deposit setup for the IRS in 2018? Didn't file in some of the previous years? If you want your stimulus check faster you need to provide payment information to the IRS!! Use their new portal to enter your info, otherwise be stuck waiting for… ...CONTINUE READING
- Health Insurance and Healthcare Links (4/14/2020) - IATSE-NBF has waived out of pocket costs to keep participants covered for 2nd Q and 3rd Q 2020 in Plan C (read linked PDF file for more details)https://www.iatsenbf.org/assets/IMPROVEMENTS-TO-HEALTH-ELIGIBILITY-COVID-003.pdf IATSE NBF Statement about COVID-19 Response in a PDF filehttps://www.iatsenbf.org/assets/Uploads/2020Docs/IATSE-COVID19-EBCBS-.pdf IATSE NBF ‘in-network’ Tele-Health Provider ‘LiveHealth Online’ Sitehttps://livehealthonline.com/ Health Alliance for Austin Musicians has expanded its range… ...CONTINUE READING
- Texas Workforce Commission CARES Act Flowchart (4/14/2020) - This is a flow chart published by the Texas Workforce Commission to help navigate what types of benefits you should be applying for and receiving. Some new information from the TWC...1. Call in windows are implemented to attempt to relieve strain on the phone system:https://www.twc.texas.gov/twc-implement-staggered-access-unemployment-benefit-services-portal-ensure-more-texans-can-file-ui-claims 2. Some new information is posted regarding "non-traditional" applicants. It's… ...CONTINUE READING
- Changes made by the CARES Act for the IATSE Annuity Fund (4/14/2020) - The CARES Act has clarified the hardship provisions for hardship withdrawals from The I.A.T.S.E. Annuity Fund as well as the tax relief provisions. Please click here for a full description of the Act in PDF format. ...CONTINUE READING
- Announce: Shelter-in-place extended to May 8 (4/13/2020) - 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. <https://www.statesman.com/news/20200413/coronavirus-in-austin-facial-coverings-required-in-new-stay-at-home-orders?nocache=1&utm_source=SFMC&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Austin%20American-Statesman%20austin-breaking-news%202020-04-1322:25:27&utm_content=GCOX_AUS&utm_term=041320>… ...CONTINUE READING
- Announce: Secretary Treasurer (4/9/2020) - The following was sent to the membership via the announce mechanism April 9th 2020 from the office of the recording secretary: Dear 205 family, Brother Michael Danburg has resigned as Secretary-Treasurer. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has prompted the need for Brother Danburg to travel a different path from the one he originally planned. Although the… ...CONTINUE READING
- Announce: Message from IATSE Political Department (3/31/2020) - The following was sent to members via the announce mechanism on Mar. 31st 2020 via the office of the president: Dear Members, The following is a communication from our union’s Political Department: In this challenging time, the IATSE Political Department is pleased to highlight this press release regarding the successful passage of the Coronavirus Aid,… ...CONTINUE READING
- Announce: March Membership Meeting / VP Election (3/27/2020) - The following was sent to the membership via the announce mechanism on Mar. 27th 2020 via the office of the recording secretary: Dear 205 Family, I hope this message finds you well. Earlier this week, Mayor Adler signed a Stay Home - Work Safe Order <https://www.austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/Order%2020200324-007%20-%20Stay%20Home%20-%20Work%20Safe%20%28OCR%20v2%29.pdf> to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Because of this… ...CONTINUE READING
- Announce: Keep in touch, share resources and don’t forget to file… (3/25/2020) - 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 <http://www.mayoradler.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Order-20200324-007-Stay-Home-Work-Safe.pdf>, please do the following 4 things, Join IATSE Local 205’s Mutual Aid FaceBook Group <https://www.facebook.com/groups/3791903320850075/blocked/> to converse with members and… ...CONTINUE READING
- Announce: City Council Resolution Re. Event Cancellations (3/24/2020) - 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 <http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincouncilforum/81-20200319101401.pdf> of major events, including SXSW: 55. Approve a… ...CONTINUE READING
- Announce: COVID-19: Sharing Our Story (3/23/2020) - 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,… ...CONTINUE READING
- Announce: SA Employee COVID-19 Test Result is Negative (3/23/2020) - 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… ...CONTINUE READING
- Announce: COVID-19: Resources for surviving closures and cancellations (3/13/2020) - 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.… ...CONTINUE READING
- Announce: COVID-19 IATSE Update (3/11/2020) - The following was forwarded to the membership from the International via the announce mechanism on Mar. 11th 2020: > Sisters, Brothers, Kin— > > With regards to the COVID-19 virus, the safety and well-being of our members and their families is our number one priority. > > The International’s Disaster Response Committee is closely following… ...CONTINUE READING
- Announce: SXSW Cancellation News: Press Conference & Fundraisers (3/9/2020) - 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… ...CONTINUE READING
- Announce: SXSW Cancellations, Freeman 3/8-3/21 (3/6/2020) - 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… ...CONTINUE READING
- Announce: Support Working People During COVID-19! (3/1/2020) - The following was sent to the membership via the announce mechanism on Mar 31st 2020 from the office of the president: Brothers and Sisters, Please tune in to this Important message from TX AFL-CIO <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7MUzCsWov8&feature=youtu.be> and afterwards, please visit the TX AFL-CIO website <https://www.texasaflcio.org/> Thank you! Rachel Magee, President. ...CONTINUE READING
- Announce: Coronavirus Update (2/29/2020) - The following was sent to the membership via the announce mechanism on Feb. 28th 2020, forwarded from IATSE International. > Sisters, Brothers, Kin— > > As news coverage of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues, we want to update you with guidance and reassurance. > > While there is a potential public health threat posed by… ...CONTINUE READING