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Coronavirus Information for TMA149 Members – June 10, 2020

To our Members,

Bill in the House regarding the CERB and other Measures

We have been working together collectively as a membership for the extension of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for musicians.

  • Both you and TMA149 represented by the Federation’s Vice President from Canada Alan Willaert, joined together with a coalition of performing arts workers in asking for an extension of the CERB until at least the end of 2020 in an April 21, 2020 letter to the Federal Government;
  • The Federation has been meeting regularly with the Department of Canadian Heritage represented by CFM Executive Director Liana White;
  • Our sister local, Local 406 in Quebec, under the leadership of President Luc Fortin has also been part of a similar coalition of French-language culture and media associations in regular discussions with the government with the same message;
  • Many of you have been in direct contact with your MP’s

Today a bill is being introduced in the House of Commons that will alter the CERB and consider the next stage of Covid-19 response and recovery.  We do not anticipate that the bill will meet our goals.  Please consider taking the following steps as we continue to apply pressure if this bill does not meet our goals:

  1. Review the bill and debate at the House of Commons website.
  2. Ensure you and your contacts visit SaveLiveArts.ca and consider signing the petition to support the extension and other considerations;
  3. Have your own conversation with your local MP about the importance of the extension. You may direct them to the April 21, 2020 letter for a comprehensive request.

Provincial Advocacy
Please also note that TMA149 followed up the April 21, 2020 letter to the Federal Government with its own May 13, 2020 letter to the Provincial Government with requests for support in the Province’s jurisdiction.  You may  wish to have follow-up conversations with your elected Provincial representative, your MPP, about this letter and feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions, comments or suggested additions.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

While the extension of the CERB is our focus, the extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy has already been announced.  After speaking to our audit accounting firm about the subsidy we do think that some members may be eligible.  The key consideration is whether members were employed or could be employed by an entity that had an existing CRA Payroll account, often referred to as a RP account, on March 15, 2020.  If you own or are associated with a company that has a payroll account and had that account on March 15, 2020 there may be a path to eligibility.  Please see the bulletin from our audit accounting firm Hogg, Shain, & Scheck for more information.

AFM Freelance Fund Fully Subscribed

Our Federation launched a Musicians’ Relief Fund dedicated to freelance musicians, but as many other Covid-19 funds, it is now fully subscribed and our Federation has suspended the receipt of applications.  Those who have submitted applications already are having their applications reviewed. We will let you know if our Federation is able to reopen the receipt of applications.

Musicians’ Performance Trust Fund Supports Streaming Concerts and Socially Distanced Live Concerts

The Music Performance Trust Fund, associated with our Federation and the major recording labels, has shown leadership and indicated they will be accepting applications for streaming concerts and socially distanced live concerts that respect social distance regulations.  They will be supporting a small number of these events through a grant equal to 100% of scale fees.  These could include performances from sidewalks or parking lots beside high rises or other socially distanced live performance ideas.  We are accepting applications through our local.  Please email Jay Boehmer, TMA149 MPTF Coordinator, with your ideas that consider social distance regulations and please discuss your existing relationships and resources that would help implement the idea.

Stage 1 and Stage 2 Openings

Please note as of May 19, 2020 Music Studios were included in the detailed list of businesses that can reopen under the Stage 1 Framework for Reopening our Province.

As of June 12, 2020 many other business can open outside of the Greater Toronto Area including the Simcoe Region in our local.  Please see the Stage 2 Framework for Reopening our Province.

Safe Return to Work

As different parts of the community reopen, we are publishing our own recommendations as well as guidelines from our colleague organizations on the safe return to work in the recording and live sectors.  Please visit this page for updates.

Mental Health Supports

As this crisis continues Mental Health is of greater and greater concern.  Let’s support each other the best we can and know the Provincial Government has listed some great resources here.

Next Covid-19 Town Hall – Friday June 19, 2020 @ 10:00 AM

We are having our next Covid-19 Town Hall Friday June 19, 2020.  We will discuss updates on government support.  Please bring questions for fellow members and TMA149 staff about next steps in response and recovery.

Topic: Covid-19 Town Hall for Members
Time: Jun 19, 2020 10:00 AM America/Toronto

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Meeting ID: 831 8874 2957
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Recording of May 8, 2020 Town Hall

The recording of the May 8, 2020 Town Hall may be found here.

Suspension of Dues Penalties and Reinstatement Fees, Extension of Life Member Dues Deadline

In response to economic needs all of us as a collective membership have passed a motion to to suspend all late fees, penalties and reinstatement fees found in Articles 14 1(c), (2), (3), (4) and (5) of the TMA149 By-Laws.  This means that if you fall behind on dues you will be able to bring your membership into good standing by simply paying for missing quarters. Further to provide relief for our longest standing and most senior members the Board of Directors has extended the deadline to pay for 2020 Life Membership from April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

TMA149 Health Benefits

Further, although no rule changes were required, the Board of Directors wishes to clarify that all members who have been diagnosed with, or tested positive for, Covid-19 may apply for support to the TMA149 Health Benefit and Extended Health Benefit, as well as the Federation’s Lester Petrillo Memorial Fund for Disabled Musicians.

TMA149 and CFM Office

Our office is physically closed 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 do continue to send contracts, reports, dues and pension contributions.  Please note the Canadian Office of the Federation is open for electronic services and accepting P2 applications by mail for those planning a post-Covid tour.

Covid-19 Update Archive

We are archiving these updates here, and there are other resources listed:

New Website, Member Login and Lost Work Form

We have launched our new website and you should have received an email from “tma@bellnet.ca” with login details.  Please check your junk mail from this past weekend if you cannot find the email. Once logged in you can update your instruments and other information for our directory and enter lost work due to Covid-19 in a form that will produce a form for your records.  The lost work forms and information can be retrieved at a later time by logging in again.  If you are having any trouble with login please contact Dennis Passley, Membership & Contracts Coordinator dpassley@tma149.ca.

Resource List

We also wanted to repeat and add to our list of additional resources:

Again feel free to reach out to myself or any of our office staff with specific requests including regular business inquiries.

In Solidarity,

Michael Murray, Executive Director