The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees are requesting that congress prioritize the following in subsequent COVID-19 relief packages:
Protect those performing essential work in news media and converting facilities into field hospitals
Require the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard to protect workers from occupational exposure to infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
Protect the healthy pension plans and earned pension checks of entertainment workers
Allow multiemployer pension plans to:
Freeze zone status for at least one year, based on provisions similar to the Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008.
Smooth investment and contribution base unit (“CBU”) losses in the funding standard account, and investment losses in the development of the actuarial value of assets, following provisions similar to the Pension Relief Act of 2010.
Institute a special partition program at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) to deal with critically endangered multiemployer plans without increasing burdens on healthy pension plans.
Shore up the PBGC through government funding, not the robbing of healthy pension plans.
Provide fair access to government economic support for all nonprofits
Allow all nonprofits, including labor unions, access to the Paycheck Protection Program, not just 501(c)(3) organizations.
Preserve access to affordable, quality healthcare
Subsidize 100% of a person’s COBRA costs for one year and extend COBRA eligibility to 36 months.
Provide economic support for multiemployer plans that are waiving cost-sharing or keeping ineligible members on their plans for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ensure tax fairness for middle class creative professionals
Pass H.R. 3121, the Performing Artist Tax Parity Act, bipartisan legislation that would update the Qualified Performing Artist tax deduction, allowing middle class creative professionals to keep more of their hard-earned money by deducting necessary business expenses from their taxes, now due in July.
Extend and expand existing COVID-19 economic support programs to sustain entertainment workers until they can safely return to work
Extend the CARES Act’s unemployment insurance provisions, including the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, through December 31, 2020.
Provide economic support for organizations in the arts, entertainment, and media industries to get people back to work
Appropriate $4 billion in emergency supplemental funding – administered by the NEA, NEH, and CPB – to ensure nonprofit arts organizations and public broadcasting stations can continue operations, keep people employed, and be ready to immediately resume productions when it is safe to do so.
For employers unable to receive federal arts funding, ensure access to low-interest loans for the purpose of operational continuity, continued employment, and to resume productions when it is safe.
Any organization accessing supplemental federal arts funding or a low-interest loan must attest that it will adhere to conditions no less stringent than Sec. 4003(c)(3)(D)(i) of the CARES Act. (e.g. minimum employment requirements, layoff prohibitions, outsource/offshore prohibitions, non-abrogation of collective bargaining agreements, union neutrality, etc.)
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