As we go through our third month of a complete shut down of our industry, I hope this message finds you and your families in good health and safe.
I am pleased today to report some positive news which in our world today, is a welcomed thing.
First, as many of you already are aware the Quebec government has allowed filmed productions to resume as of Monday, June 8, 2020. Of course, this does not mean we all go back to work immediately, but it does mean the resumption of activities in our industry and a light at the end of the tunnel.
Next on my list of positives is the arrival of the “White Paper” from the AMPTP which we received in our offices Monday June 1st. I have included a copy here in case you have not read it yet. We have also asked for a French language translation, which is being prepared and we will put it on our 514 website when it is available. This base document is an industry wide proposal for health and safety guidelines to resume production work in the film and television industry.
On Thursday, June 4, we held a Zoom meeting with department representatives of our local to address more specific protocols related to our reality here in Montreal. We have submitted these recommendations as well as the CNESST document to the International office in Toronto and in future discussions with the AMPTP a more inclusive document may be produced as a final guideline for all production work in North America. There may be changes to the collective agreement resulting from these discussions and we will keep you posted on developments.
In a nation-wide call with President Matthew Loeb and the IA locals on Thursday, June 11 he clearly stated that the intention of the White Paper is to have an industry wide document for everyone to use standardizing return to work protocols across North America. The goal is to have everyone use the same protocols thus making a return to work simpler.
On the monetary side, some welcome news is that the International has granted a credit for the 2nd quarter dues. If you have paid your dues for the whole year already, a credit will remain in your account for the 1st quarter of 2021, meaning you will only have to pay three quarters in 2021. If you have paid the 1st quarter (you must pay the 1st to obtain the credit for the 2nd), you are not obliged to pay the 2nd quarter and a credit will be applied to your account and it will show as paid. For the moment, the 3rd and fourth quarters will be due and collected normally. If you have questions, please get in touch with our 514 office for clarification.
As we slowly resume activities in our industry here in Montreal, it is important to understand that each of us have different levels of concern regarding COVID-19. Some people are very concerned with transmission possibilities and other people are not as concerned. We will need to all work in the same direction and respect social distancing rules in place, wearing of masks or shields when necessary and sanitization rules in place for hand washing, tool cleaning, vehicles / trucks, office and shop spaces, trailers in base camp and all equipment used on set. Patience and understanding in the work place will need to be a top priority as we all adjust to our departmental activities and the comprehension that each department has a different reality than your own possibly, and we all need to be very aware of our surroundings and our activities on a common ground to keep all of us safe and have successful projects moving forward.
Much of what we are seeing in so many protocol documents from here locally and other parts of the country and other centers all over the world, almost always is based on common sense theories and practices. Hand sanitizing & washing, social distancing, wearing of masks or visors when necessary because social distancing is not possible, and cleaning and sanitizing of items, spaces, and equipment.
The return to work will present daily adjustments in our routines and work methods. New challenges for space and time restraints. Challenges for working safely under new protocols that we need to adjust to. But I know from speaking with many of you, that you are up for the challenge. IA514 members will get the job done safely and on time, it is always that way here in Montreal.