Email to Membership: Monday, March 16, 2020 (4:34 PM)

During the COVID-19 outbreak, we are posting every all-member email regarding the crisis to the site to ensure all 802 members see these communications. Please note, to avoid redundancy, we stripped the parts of these emails that remind members to check this very page for updates.

Local 802 Executive Board to Set Up COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund to Help Freelance Musicians In Need

In response to the widespread cancellation of work caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, the Local 802 Executive Board is marshaling all of our union’s resources to help our musicians in need. The Local 802 Executive Board is working in conjunction with the 802 Emergency Relief Fund (the “ERF”) and Musicians Assistance Program (“MAP”) to get musicians this help as quickly as possible.

Effective immediately, Local 802’s Emergency Relief Fund is earmarking a significant portion of its cash reserves in response to the widespread cancellation of work caused by the COVID-19 epidemic. This fund is being set up to aid those 802 members in the freelance community who have received notice that single engagements filed under a local union agreement have been cancelled.

Working through the auspices of the Actors Fund of America (“AFA”), members can present a written notice or email from employers (or contractors) of such cancellation and receive payment to offset a portion of the loss. Please note that since AFA staff is currently operating remotely, any approved funds will be transferred via wire service. As Local 802 and the ERF are determined to assist as many members as possible, full replacement of lost wages is not possible but the goal is to spread the assistance as widely as we can to provide a modest measure of relief to those in need. As of now, the Fund will be able to distribute a flat amount of $150 to members who are approved for relief. Please see the criteria below to make an application for assistance.

While the ERF recognizes the major losses suffered by the Broadway community and those rostered orchestras receiving weekly salaries, we strongly believe that addressing the needs of our most at-risk freelancers should be the first stage of our relief effort. Should the epidemic continue beyond the initial “return to work” dates indicated by The Broadway League, Lincoln Center constituent orchestras, and others, the ERF will reassess the needs of the members impacted and apportion any remaining assets.

Note that the regular work of 802 ERF/MAP to rescue members in dire need due to career, medical, substance abuse, personal, relationship and family crises will continue. The AFA and MAP will follow standard procedures to assess such needs via its intake system and the ERF will participate as it has in the past by contributing to the relief packages AFA/MAP assembles.

Criteria for 802 COVID-19 ERF Grants for Cancelled Engagements

All applicants must be Members in “Active” status and, if requested, produce a Local 802 union card displaying membership paid up to date.

Applicants must have been engaged for per service, freelance work under a Local 802 Single Engagement Club Date (G) or Single Engagement Concert (W) Agreement that has been cancelled. A written cancellation notice sent to the member must be presented. This grant will be made one time during this initial month of shutdowns. If you were booked for a union recording session that has been cancelled please provide that cancellation notice. Grants will be available relating to one (1) cancelled session.

Also eligible are those members who were working a continuous job covered under a collective bargaining agreement that has now been permanently closed due to the COVID-19 epidemic, e.g., a Broadway show, an off-Broadway show, teaching artist faculty, rostered orchestras, 802 members of live TV bands, cancelled theatrical tours emanating from 802 jurisdiction, LS-1 private teaching or solo performance jobs, and Jazz engagements under member-leader agreements. These members should provide a shutdown or cancellation notice.

Updated 3/24/20: Due to the high volume of applications the Actors Fund is currently receiving and to prevent fraudulent claims, the process to file for aid through the Musicians’ Assistance Program has changed. It is also taking up to two weeks to process applications. Please see details below.

You must fill out this online application. To apply, you must have proof of Active Local 802 membership with current Paid Through date, a cancellation notice, and two documents verifying your identity. (Suggested documents include your most recent bank statement, a current lease, rent statement, or mortgage/maintenance statement.) Make sure you have digital copies or scans of the requested documents ready; at the end of the application, you will be asked to upload them. Visit this page to see the Actors Fund’s tips for making your application process easy.

For members who are able to make contributions to help their fellow musicians during this hard time, the Local 802 Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund is accepting donations. Click here to donate now – any amount helps, no matter how small!

It is all of our hopes that this epidemic passes swiftly and that our members, their families, and loved ones are spared from illness and long-term hardship. Until that day, your union and the Local 802 Emergency Relief Fund will stand behind each of you to its full capacity.

In solidarity,
The Local 802 Executive Board
The Local 802 Emergency Relief Fund