March 15, 2020 – To our Members,
Covid-19 has brought about unprecedented times in our world and our industry is experiencing the full negative economic effects of the pandemic.
Along with our Federation and its locals, as well as sister unions and engager partners we are doing our best to:
- Assess the damage;
- Minimize the damage on our members wherever we can;
- Develop an immediate ask of local, provincial and federal governments in supporting our sector and our members during the crisis and its recovery; and
- Direct our members to resources available during these times.
As of this morning all of our Major Collective Bargaining partners have ceased performances until April, and many single engagement contracts have been cancelled. We are seeing nearly the same magnitude of decline in electronic media reports and contracts. We have been in touch with all players committees and many leaders, contractors and engagers to help advocate for the best possible conditions for members in this circumstance. Anyone needing assistance with cancelled engagements please do not hesitate to contact Business Representative Scott Harrison or myself to give advice and to help reach a best possible resolution for you and the members on the engagement. We ask all leaders to keep and share documentation of lost wages and other hardships from cancelled engagements in order that we can appropriately record and respond to the crisis.
Regarding your union we are fighting through this for our members and at the same time have made a budget and plan that matches this new reality. Our office remains open as we have sufficient space for social distancing, but we ask that all those who have traveled to affected areas and those that have any cold or flu like symptoms to access services by phone or email.
For all members, and we realize this will be the majority of our membership, who are experiencing income interruption, the following are resources are available to help you through what we hope is a brief pause in our industry:
- Toronto Hydro , Ontario Energy Board, Toronto Utilities, Toronto Property Taxes, resources for bill assistance
- Bill Payment arrangements for Rogers (also Fido), Telus, Bell, Koodo, Freedom
- Financial Assistance from the AFC
- Financial Assistance from Unison Benevolent Fund
Our board is considering our own role in assistance this week and we will be in constant communication in order to help each other through this difficult time.
In Solidarity, Michael Murray, Executive Director