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Coronavirus Information for TMA149 Members – January 26, 2021


All 2021 Covid-19 Relief Motions passed at the December General meeting.  Regular dues of 4 or more quarters is now $49 per quarter or $196 per year as compared to $255 in 2020.  You can now log in and pay dues at the new rates.

A reminder: As part of our 2021 Covid-19 plan all receipts, membership cards, and newsletters will be delivered digitally and not in hard copy format.

We invite those who are able to provide a payment equivalent to the difference between discounted annual dues in 2021 as compared to 2020 ($39) in support of TMA149’s Member Assistance Fund using Interac E-Mail Money Transfer sent to epayments@tma149.ca with “MAF Donation” in the description.

CERB Eligibility Update

Please view the following regarding Canada Emergency Response Benefit eligibility issues:

Aside from the above, TMA149 is not aware of any other government updates to policies in this situation.  TMA149 understands that government’s current communication of policy will stand subject to any further amendments, but that the situation is still being discussed across a number of Departments in government.

Ontario Declaration of Emergency

A declaration of emergency was made on January 12, 2021 for all of Ontario.  As a result enhanced public health and workplace safety measures are anticipated to be in place until at least February 11, 2021.

The Province has released a guidance document: Enhancing Public Health and Workplace Safety Measures in the Provincewide Shutdown

In the guidance document businesses that are permitted to open:

  • Sound recording, production, publishing and distribution businesses
  • Film and television production, including all supporting activities such as hair, makeup and wardrobe:
    • No studio audiences permitted to be on the film or television set
    • No more than 10 performers may be permitted to be on the film or television set
    • Set must be configured and operated in such a way as to enable persons on the set to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from other persons, except where necessary for the filming of the film or television production
    • Persons who provide hair or makeup services must wear appropriate personal protective equipment
    • Singers and players of brass or wind instruments must be separated from any other performers by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier
  • Film and television postproduction, visual effects and animation studios

The following are not listed as businesses permitted to open:

  • Concert venues, theatres and cinemas for the purpose of rehearsing or performing a recorded or broadcasted concert, artistic event, theatrical performance or other performance.  Despite attempts to get further information, TMA149 has not received additional clarity on what differentiates this from film and television productions as stated above.
  • In person individual or group music lessons, other than those at a Post Secondary institution as per the rules in the guideline.

Learn About Ontario Second Career Grants

Some members may qualify for Second Career grants.

From direct member experience TMA149 has learned the following regarding Second Career grants:

  • For Second Career, the program you select must be from a specific list.  There are 3 categories:  Advanced Manufacturing, Life Sciences and Information/Communication Technology.
  • In order to qualify you must be laid off and have a ROE (record of employment) with the letter “A” on it which means you were laid off not that you resigned.   The date on your ROE is important.
  • Second Career is based on a matrix system and you must achieve 16 points to qualify:
  1. Active Job Search:  you need to be job searching from the time you were laid off for more than 26 weeks to get 3 points.  If it  has been less than 13 weeks it is 1 point.
  2. Duration of Unemployment:  You  must be unemployed for more than 26 weeks from the date on your ROE.  This will give you 3 points in the matrix.  If it is less than 13 weeks you will get 1 point.
  3. Education:  If you only have High School Education you will get 3 points, but if you have a University or College degree already you will only get 1 point.
  4. Work History:  if you have worked more than 7 years in the occupation you were let go of, you will get 3 points.  If it is less than 3 years you will only get 1 point.
  5. Labour Market Prospects:  If you choose an occupation from the Second Career list that requires a Licence such as a Skilled Trade, you will get 3 points.  Other occupations such as Web Designer will give you 2 points.
  6. Type of Training: If you choose a NOC (National Occupational Classification) B or C occupation, you will be given 3 points.  If you choose a NOC A occupation you will be given 2 points.
  7. Experience: If you have worked in a NOC D occupation, such as a server, you will achieve 3 points.  If you have worked in a NOC B or C occupation you will achieve 2 points.  A musician is a NOC A occupation which is 0 points.


Ontario Small Business Support Grant

Applications are open for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which helps small businesses that are required to close or significantly restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown effective December 26, 2020.

Starting at $10,000 for all eligible businesses, the grant provides businesses with funding to a maximum of $20,000 to help cover decreased revenue expected as a result of the Provincewide Shutdown.

Businesses will have to have a business number in order to be eligible. If a business does not have a business number, they will be directed to apply for a business number before they can proceed with their application.

Mental Health Supports

TMA149 wishes to remind our members of the mental health supports:

  • TMA149 Benevolent Funds – members who have mental health diagnosis may apply for support to the TMA149 Health Benefit and Member Assistance Fund, as well as the Federation’s Lester Petrillo Memorial Fund for Disabled Musicians. Log into the member side of the TMA149 website to find out more and access application materials.
  • Unison Benevolent Fund Counselling & Health Solutions – The Unison Benevolent Fund offers a toll-free number to connect Canadian music professionals with resources and support for personal and practical issues. This service is free, anonymous, confidential and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Before you make the call, please register with Unison. 1-855-986-4766.
  • ConnexOntario – ConnexOntario provides service information for people experiencing problems with gambling, drugs, alcohol, or mental health. Helpful, supportive system navigation specialists answer all calls, emails or web chat requests 24/7. Connex Ontario referral service is free and confidential. 1-866-531-2600 or Chat or Email.

P2 Visa Fee Changes

Back in April our Federation joined with partners across the United States to call for the relaxation of visa rules and fees to support response to and recovery from the Covid-19 Pandemic.  USCIS ignored this call and doubled down.  Currently the P2 Visa regular processing fee is $460 USD.  Beginning October 1, 2020 the processing fee was scheduled to increase to $695 USD.  As already reported by our Federation, due to the political action of immigration advocates in the state of California, the P2 Visa increase and various other changes to immigration into the United States have been put on pause pending legal action.

USCIS after receiving this decision did quickly move to increase premium processing fees.

We will keep you updated and our Federation has put together a committee to formulate an ask of both the Canadian and US governments to relieve the burden of border crossing fees and wait times.  TMA149 Executive Director Michael Murray is a member of this committee chaired by Federation  Vice-President from Canada Alan Willaert, and including Canadian Office Executive Director Liana White, Local 547 Calgary Secretary-Treasurer Doug Kuss and Local 161-710 Washington DC President Ed Malaga.

Next Town Hall – Monday Friday January 29, 2021 @ 10:00 AM

We are having our next Covid-19 Town Hall Friday January 29, 2021 @ 10:00 AM.  Please bring questions for fellow members and TMA149 staff.

Topic: TMA149 Town Hall
Time: Jan 29, 2021 10:00 AM America/Toronto

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Meeting ID: 825 2948 8885
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TMA149 and CFM Office

Our office is remaining physically closed for the time being and we are working from home.  Although we are still accepting phone calls, mail and courier delivery, we ask that you access services by email whenever possible. Those working please continue to send contracts, reports, dues and pension contributions electronically, by mail or by courier.  Please note the Canadian Office of the Federation is open for electronic services and accepting P2 applications by mail.

Covid-19 Update Archive

All Covid-19 Updates and other Covid-19 resources may be found here:

Always feel free to reach out to TMA149 Board or office staff with specific requests including regular business inquiries.

In Solidarity