November 2023 President’s Report
Organizing and Political Activism
ASA Negotiations –
Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out the ASA survey. We held a L665 Town Hall meeting on Thursday, November 9th regarding member priorities for the ASA negotiations. Nearly 60 members participated in the town hall. It’s imperative that we get member input on contract language for the areas of work that we cover. We met with International Vice President Mike Miller this past Friday to discuss the rough draft of the proposals based on the notes I took at the town hall meeting. Many of the proposals are a matter of swapping “this” for “that”. Other matters will require more attention – Ocean Work vs Pool work, Boomlift operators, etc. And we’ll be reaching out to members who have pertinent experience in these areas to help us craft the proposal language. The only major concern he had was the language we’re considering for Appendix B – Dues. Some of the issues will require a conversation with IA Legal. Again, not every proposal will make it through the process, but we’re gonna fight the good fight nonetheless.
Production Workers Guild –
The IA has organized the following crafts under the AICP – Production Assistants, Assistant Production Supervisors, Production Supervisors, Line Producers, and Bidding Producers working freelance in commercial production under the AICP. Their organizing drive offers a reduced initiation fee. If you know anyone that has worked in these crafts, please share the following information:
Website – https://www.pwg111.org
Online application for membership: https://web.miniextensions.com/FTYfA63H8t7QrlP7jQTX
Applications for this organizing drive are open until January 11th, 2024
I attended the legislative priorities meeting with the State Fed on November 7th at 10 am. The meeting summarized the legislative priorities of all affiliate unions. The vast majority of these priorities are industry-specific to the individual affiliate unions. Additionally, I attended the Democratic Party of Hawai’i’s Labor Caucus legislative priority meeting later that evening at 630 pm. This meeting was to discuss the ways in which we can support the working families of Hawai’i. The main priorities of the Labor Caucus in this next session is to fix the loopholes in Hawai’i’s minimum wage laws that prevent tipped wage workers from receiving a living wage and to remove the state income tax on unemployment insurance. If you know anyone that is or ever been in the restaurant industry, or if you’ve ever filed for unemployment, you know why these are priorities
As we head into the legislative session next January, both meetings were in consensus that much of the discussions regarding funding at the legislature will be about Maui relief. That being said, we need to ensure that the film tax incentive is, at worst, safeguarded and, at best, strengthened. We will not only advocate for our goals, but also the goals of the greater labor ‘ohana. It’s our duty to stand up for organized labor and for the working families of Hawai’i. The way we do that is by being active politically and legislatively. Start getting familiar with this process now so that you don’t have to scramble to figure it out when the clock starts ticking.
Political activism means participating in elections. There are a lot of folks that will say that elections don’t matter, that Hawaii only has 4 electoral college votes, so why bother. If elections weren’t important, there wouldn’t be groups spending millions upon millions of dollars trying to exclude people from voting. Your county councilmember, your state representative, and your state senator will be supporting, opposing, and voting on things that affect your daily life – from zoning, to speed limits, and much, much more. Register to vote today by going to: https://olvr.hawaii.gov/.
Your state legislators sit on committees where they discuss, revue, and vote on the bills that might eventually become laws. Get familiar with your legislators and start looking at the types of bills that they introduce and how they vote on issues. The letter next to their names means less than the issues that they support and oppose. To find your legislator, go to: https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/fyl/
Legislative activism means participating in the lawmaking process. We do this by actively submitting testimony in support or opposition to bills that are being considered by the county councils, the state house of representatives, the state senate, and federal representation.
If you have not already done so, create an account at capitol.hawaii.gov. You cannot submit testimony if you don’t have an account.
Each county has its own set of rules for submitting testimony. Get informed about your county council, its members, and their voting history by visiting their websites:
Hawaii County Council –
Maui County Council –
Honolulu City Council –
Kaua’i County Council –
Good Jobs Challenge –
November 1st – IA/UH CC program for GJC HI meeting with Carlos Cota, Dan’l Cook, and GJC staff on integrating “third party training” i.e. IA training into the UH CC curriculum system. This was the first meeting where we discussed how to incorporate IA training modules with the UH Community College (UHCC) curriculum system. We’re proposing baseline, foundational training modules to upskill new, current, and future members. Our goal is for this to be the pilot for an official apprenticeship program for Local 665 that can eventually be expanded to the Neighbor Islands.
Wednesday Nov 15th – Windward Community College/Paliku Theatre. I met with Nick Logue and Berkeley Spivey on Wednesday, Nov 15th. We toured the theatre and discussed gaps in their curriculum. Much of it consists of stage performance classes, but very little of it pertains to the technical side of live events. It’s a working theater and a prime candidate for an established training ground. It has a working fly system, LED lights, decent sound and light boards, a spot rail, grid, etc. They have been hungry for this type of training. As there are several members that live near there, there’s an opportunity to create the pilot training program (non-credit to start) where our new, current, and future members can acquire the skills necessary to operate efficiently in our industry by combining the skills and training courses we have access to with the infrastructure of the UH CC system. WCC is offering their infrastructure and their assistance in codifying our training into their system. There will be opportunities for our members to upskill themselves and still other opportunities for members to be the authorized trainers for these courses.
Thursday, Nov 16 – GJC Creative Industries Steering Committee Partnership – analyzing data report from SMS Consulting, a locally owned company specializing in spotting trends, pinpointing issues, and unlocking insights by combining the industry’s latest research and survey techniques with their insider knowledge of Hawai’i to give clients a comprehensive view of local issues. Here’s the meat of why showing up to these things matters – some of the talking points that I’ve made at these meetings have largely been new concepts that they haven’t considered. Now, those same talking points are woven into the fabric of their presentations. We are moving the needle more than we ever have in less time than ever before. Work in our industry hasn’t been cataloged officially in metrics that are used in workforce analysis. The county and the state are now monitoring the ways in which our work can positively affect the economy.
Nov 17th GJC followup -Conversation with Marshall Norman of GJC HI, Nicolas Logue and Maria-Elena Diaz of Paliku Theatre and WCC, Liz Campos of the IATSE TTF, Thomas Chock and Rick Manayan of DBEDT, Carlos Cota and Dan’l Cook of the IA, to finalize “Third-Party Training Proposal” elements and create partnership with Paliku Theatre. We’re currently formulating a 6-week non-credit course certificate program that will lead directly to paid internships in Live Events and Tradeshows, and eventually into membership (for those who are not yet members). A non-credit course certificate would remove the requirements that normally apply to new college applicants (high school transcripts, SAT scores, etc).
To create an effective training program, we need experienced trainers to teach the current and next generations of workers. To our senior members, I’d like to express thanks for all the things that you’ve taught me in my journey. I’d like to suggest that we develop our senior members who are no longer fully active in the workforce to become certified as trainers for IA craft and safety courses. In this way, we can keep our senior members involved and pass on the many years of experience and knowledge to those that are just starting out and those that wish to upskill themselves. Keep it in the family, so to speak. I ask that our senior members consider taking the IA’s Train the Trainer courses so that we may empower our Local to be the most skilled theatrical technicians in the state. Especially for the curriculum involved, if there are enough of our members that have time to teach these courses, we can schedule a Train the Trainer course to take place here. This will specifically be for people who can commit to teaching at WCC late next spring/early next summer.
Workforce Development Council –
Future of Work conference on October 27th at the Sheraton Waikiki –
More than 300 stakeholders – employers, council members, state reps and senators, and more – in the realm of workforce development met in the Kaua’i Ballroom of the Sheraton Waikiki. The 6 hour conference highlighted reports regarding unemployment levels, forecasted employment levels for the next 3 years, training needs, and more. This comprehensive conference is a necessary step in analyzing the needs and trends of established and emerging job markets in Hawaii. By utilizing this data, we can prepare Hawai’i’s workforce for the available work ahead.
October 31st – WDC Executive Committee meeting
WDC Chairs and Vice Chairs met to discuss the upcoming quarterly meeting, the various committee meetings, the agendas for all of them, and the mission and vision statement for the WDC, which is no small feat. I’m currently serving as the Vice Chair of the Sector Strategies and Career Pathways committee. I’m currently creating another presentation regarding “Tiger Teams” – deployable, rapid response support crews in times of emergencies, much like how our Maui members jumped in to help their community immediately after the fires. The focus will be on identifying county/state/federal certifications that will allow our members and their assets (i.e. tow plant generators, 4OT, spider boxes, PA systems, etc) to access disaster areas during an emergency as the community awaits aid and support from governmental and NGO agencies.
November 9th – Title I-IV huddle up for State Unified Plan
Each U.S. State and Territory submits a Unified or Combined State Plan to the U.S. Department of Labor and Department of Education that outlines its workforce development system’s four-year strategy, and updates the plan as required after two years. The deadline for finalizing the Hawaii State Unified Plan is March 4th, 2024. There are certain milestones that we need to meet along the timeline that are fast approaching and, to be honest, a little scary. But we have to get it done. Otherwise the state will lose out on $8 to $10 million in workforce development funds. The funds themselves originate from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which was signed into law on July 22, 2014. WIOA is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. It is administered through the Department of Labor to state governments and then to county governments and entities. There are four separate “titles” that WIOA is designed to support that specifically relate to communities in our islands, our neighbors, and our family.
WIOA Title I authorizes programs and activities that support job training and related services to unemployed and underemployed individuals
WIOA Title II seeks to ensure that state and local service providers offer adult education and skills development programs that accelerate achievement of diplomas and credentials among American workers, including immigrants and individuals with limited English language skills
WIOA Title III amends the Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933, which authorizes the Employment Service (ES), to make the ES an integral part of the One-Stop system amended by WIOA
Incorporated as Title IV of WIOA, the Rehabilitation Act authorizes the formula grant programs of vocational rehabilitation, supported employment, and client assistance
I was scheduled to present before the council in mid November to educate them on the entertainment industry in Hawaii. The meeting has been rescheduled to November 28th, where I will give the presentation that I’ve been working on since September. As the work continues, I look forward to reporting on this endeavor.
SAG-AFTRA Tentative Agreement – Congrats to SAG-AFTRA for negotiating their TA. The strike is technically not over, it’s been suspended. The MOA still needs to be ratified. That being said, I wish the best of luck to everyone that’s gearing up to get back to work. Savor the last bits of time off. I have a feeling that things are about to get very interesting.
RKW Civil Suit – Discovery phase and scheduling conference have been set. As the situation evolves, we will apprise the membership as appropriate.
Take free online training NOW LiL If you’ve got some free time on your hands and are looking for work, there’s no better time to sign up for your free LinkedIn Learning account. It’s never too late to pick up new skills that will help you find work in Live Events and Tradeshows & Conventions. Go to https://www.iatsetrainingtrust.org/lil and submit your application. You’ll have access to thousands of different courses that you can take at your own pace. The TTF AV series, Audiovisual Readiness Training for Tradeshows and much, much more are available for you for free right now. The beauty of belonging to a mixed Local is that if you have the skills and willingness, you don’t have to stick to just one craft. Take advantage of the available resources and sign up to learn new skills today!
For anyone that has worked under the Area Standards Agreement, take your MPTV training ASAP. Go to www.iatsetrainingtrust.org/asa. Skills and Safety training are one big facet that separates us from the competition. This free distance learning training can be taken at your own pace. If you’ve got 20 or 30 minutes here or there, take some time to invest in yourself and your union.
In-person OSHA 10 GES classes will be taking place at the Hall on December 14th and 15th. Space is limited, so don’t delay in signing up. The more people that take this class, the more likely it is that we can organize venues and employers. Mahalo nui to everyone who’s going to attend the course. It’s invaluable safety training for everyone in our union and in our industry regardless of craft and sector.
17th Annual LCSP Golf Tournament – On Friday November 3rd, Keoni Seabury, Sheldon Yamauchi, Willie Preston, Jon Iese, Zach Kim and I participated in the 17th Annual LCSP Golf Tournament fundraiser. It was a lively event where representatives from all across Hawai’i’s Organized Labor movement participated. Thank you to our members that signed up. We look forward to future involvement on initiatives. 100% of the proceeds from this fundraiser went to support the LCSP Hawai’i Employees Lifeline Program for Maui relief.
DEI – I attended a Land Acknowledgement Webinar Thursday, 11/08, which outlined when it is and is not appropriate to give land acknowledgement statements, common practices, and why they’re important. The webinar was led by DEI Co-Chair and International Representative Liz Pecos. At the DEI general committee meeting on Friday, 11/17, it was discussed that the IA census had more than 50% member participation across the International and roughly 50% of Local 665 members participated as well. Thank you to everyone who filled out the census. It’s the culmination of more than two years of work for the DEI committee. The aggregated and anonymous data is currently being analyzed and a report on the IA Census will be given at the January 2024 Midwinter GEB. Local Union reports will be sent out soon after that. The participation in this initiative is above and beyond the projected levels. Your participation will directly affect how the IA advocates for you, our Local, and our brothers, sisters, and kin across the Alliance.
CHEU – On November 2nd, I met with Jon LeBlanc (Musician’s Union) and Mericia Palma Elmore (SAG-AFTRA) to touch base and get updates on current initiatives with our entertainment union ‘ohana. On November 17th, the Hawaii Film and Entertainment Board (HFEB) met at the SAG-AFTRA offices downtown. In attendance were leaders of SAG-AFTRA, American Federation of Musicians, Honolulu Film Office, Hawaii County Film Office, Irish, and I. The majority of the meeting was to discuss the SAG-AFTRA MOA summary and how it will affect our industry and our union.
Taste of Waipahu – I was invited to this event by Michael Pacheco of IBEW 1186. It took place on Saturday, November 4th in the Waipahu Don Quixote parking lot. I got to link up with who we expect to be named the next Senate Labor Chair, state Senator Henry Aquino. For all intents and purposes, he seems to be amenable to working with Labor unions toward creating a brighter future for Hawai’i. Making these connections is a vital part of not only political, but community outreach as well. We look forward to seeing how he operates as a committee chair of a subject so near and dear to our hearts.
Sunday November 12th – Pacific Producer’s Roundtable – I was invited by Kenny Burke to present at the Pacific Producer’s Roundtable event on Sunday November 12th at the Entrepreneur’s Sandbox in Kaka’ako. 44 local producers and content creators that want to legitimize their projects attended the seminar. The two-day roundtable covered several subjects ranging from how to access the film tax incentive for smaller local projects, to equipment rentals, budgeting, and engaging in business with the unions that make everything happen. I spoke with them for about an hour to give them a baseline understanding of what the IATSE is and why they shouldn’t be afraid to reach out to us. Based on follow-up surveys and reports, the organizers shared that it was incredibly well received by the attendees. By showing up to events like these, we increase our standing with the local filmmaker community and increase the likelihood of working on these shows under an agreement.
Application for Annuity “Special Window” – Form Fillable pdf version of the application is available at iatse665.org in the “Documents” tab under “General Information”. Please make sure to read it carefully to understand the requirements and evaluate how this will affect your tax situation.
Entertainment Community Fund Emergency Financial Assistance- https://entertainmentcommunity.org/am-i-eligible-help
Motion Picture Television Fund – https://mptf.com/services/
For those under 65, please call the intake line at 323 634 3888.
For those 65 or over, please call 323 634 3866
It was incorrectly stated at the last meeting that MPTV fund grants are only available to residents of California. This is not the case. Please read these grant pages carefully to ensure that you’ve met all the necessary requirements prior to application.
Behind the Scenes Charity Grants – https://wp.behindthescenescharity.org/apply-for-a-grant-2/
Behind the Scenes Charity Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative –
For individuals and business owners seeking relief after the West Maui fires, for those of us in a position to donate, and for those of us that have space to help with volunteer needs, these websites may prove to be useful:
County of Maui – https://www.mauinuistrong.info/ – For volunteer efforts, donations to various on-the-ground charitable organizations, this is a hefty info hub.
Hawaii Community Fund – Maui Strong – https://www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/maui-strong – This organization is working with state/county entities, NGOs, Non-profits, and community members as the situation evolves.
Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement Kāko’o Maui Fund – https://www.hawaiiancouncil.org/helpmaui/kakoomauifund/
FEMA federal aid resources – https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4724
People’s Fund of Maui – adults who lost their primary residence in the Maui fires are eligible to receive up to $1200/month: https://www.eifoundation.org/peoples-fund-of-maui/