Organizing and Political Activism
Insinuations were made at the last meeting regarding what I may have supposedly said, though the person speaking acknowledged that they had not read the report, though they were physically present at the meetings where the report was given, and though they had several opportunities to read the report of the past meeting prior to speaking about it at last month’s GMM. A very vocal minority has expressed interest in what I do with my time. This president’s report is where I tell the membership what I’m doing on a month to month basis. I encourage you to listen while I share it or, at the very least, read this report later prior to jumping to any conclusions.
I attended a HI AFL-CIO talk-story session with Sen. Mazie Hirono on Thursday, October 12th. I asked about her commitment to arts funding and thoughts on creating stricter penalties or a more stringent code of ethics for the Supreme Court. She reaffirmed her commitment to funding for arts and cultural programs for all the affiliates that were present. There is appetite amongst Senate democrats for expanding the Supreme Court, but with the House of Reps in disarray, there are more emergent needs in DC at the moment.
Good Jobs Challenge – The Steering committee met on Thursday, September 24th for phase 2 of its mission, which involves codifying the methods with which training partnerships are established. As the training funds are federal, the channel through which they flow is the UH community college system. A few of the classes offered at UH CC are relevant to our industry, but many of our industry-standard training courses are bespoke – they were made just for entertainment technicians. So we are working on formalizing the paperwork requirements for bridging the gap between UH CC and the IATSE TTF. The program is not only designed to bring in new members of the workforce, but also to upskill current members as well. My goal is to have the GJC provide us with training space at the convention center. Once the space is secure, the training regimen that I want to establish is made up of five classes: OSHA-10 GES, Boom/Scissor/Forklift & MEWP certification, Audiovisual Readiness Training, Rigging 101, and Steward training. Members who take these courses will be hired as an “intern” for participating tradeshow companies. And the GJC will pay for the first $2000 of your wages. The next meeting of the steering committee is this Thursday, October 26th.
Workforce Development Council – I was asked by WDC Exec Director Bennette Misalucha to attend a visit to Maui on Wednesday, October 18th to meet with Maui Mayor Bissen. We had an opportunity to speak with Luana Mahi, Maui Economic Development Director, Leslie Wilkins, President and CEO, Maui Economic Development Board, and Chentelle Rowland, Executive Director of Maui County Workforce Development. The meeting was to discuss state and county workforce development resources that are and can be available to the people of Maui, especially those that were displaced by the wildfires. I had the opportunity to highlight the contributions of our members who contributed to the initial relief effort. I also had the opportunity to discuss with Mayor Bissen the potential for not only Film/TV work but also A/V and Live Event work for Maui, if it’s scaffolded properly. We look forward to working with Mayor Bissen and the County of Maui to support the working families of Maui in finding stable employment.
Additionally, I was asked to participate in a small group of WDC members to craft the mission and vision statements for the council. It’s still in development, but it’s a more significant task than I initially realized. Once the final version is approved, it will be the “hokupa’a” for this state council for the foreseeable future.
Last, but not least, I’m scheduled to present before the council in mid November to educate them on the entertainment industry in Hawaii. The powerpoint that I’ve been working on for the last month is about to see the light of day. Wish me luck. As the work continues, I look forward to reporting on this endeavor.
ASA Negotiations – I took an ASA Bargaining committee class on October 12th. I learned there that we need to do a lot more to include our members in this process. BA Barber will be sending out a survey soon to identify what priorities that members have for this round of bargaining. After receiving responses, I’d like to call a town hall in early November to discuss items for proposals. Personally, I’ve always found it galling that companies don’t have to pay for travel, housing, and per diem for 665 members. Ultimately, it’s important that proposals are aligned with members’ priorities. And we can’t do that without you. Proposals are due at the end of the year. I know that with a little bit of time and effort, we stagehands can do anything. Stay on the lookout for info regarding the town hall and other ASA negotiation related comms.
Employment opportunities – SAG-AFTRA strike is ongoing, which has drastically affected our employment levels. We are, however, a true mixed Local. Live Events and Tradeshows are still part of our wheelhouse. Encore Hawaii has several openings across the islands looking for skilled A/V technicians. If you’re looking for work in our industry, visit https://jobs.encoreglobal.com/en/location/hawaii-jobs/6228/6252001-5855797/3.
If you’re looking for work, apply to Encore asap.
RKW and IRS – I have been diligently compiling documents for the civil suit that was filed against us by Robin Wong. It is difficult to have to relive the trauma of this wild journey over and over again. And with every new phase, there are new requirements, hurdles, and pitfalls. Because this is a civil suit, and not a county/state/federal entity like we’ve previously dealt with, there is much more nuance involved. Compiling the miles of documents necessary to adequately defend our Local from this onslaught is much easier said than done. As time consuming as diving through our archives can be, it’s worth it. Our legal counsel, Bob Giolito, and our litigator, Leighton Hara, have been amazing to work with. We’re lucky to have them on our side.
Our litigator submitted a formal response to the civil suit on Friday, September 29th. Coincidentally, we received a request to review documents from the IRS to confirm our non-profit status on Monday, October 2nd. When it rains it pours. I want to take a moment to thank Shawn Christesen and Kim Tripp for their diligent work. Without them, we would be staring at a nearly insurmountable chasm. We’re on track for deadlines for both situations and will report back to members as updates emerge.
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. The training is free. If you’re out of work, take some time to invest in yourself and your union.
In-person OSHA 10 GES classes will be taking place at the Hall in mid-November and mid-December. 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.
Waipahu High SchoolOutreach – Thank you to Lukas Seno and Tiffany Tavares for attending on October 6th at Waipahu HS. As you can imagine, the experience was very different from the Waialua Elementary outreach opportunity. At Waialua, smaller groups of students visited our “booth” in our isolated area, whereas at Waipahu HS, there were 4 large rotations of students in a free flowing career fair. I brought my own monitor, sound bar, and laptop to show the students pertinent IA and industry videos (like the 125th anniversary vid). In the future, we should consider having a kit in a road box ready to go for events like these – monitor, audio, 665 table cloth, pens, water bottles, literature, etc – as well as a how-to guide so that anyone who wishes to can host one of these events. The next outreach opportunity is on October 25th at Kamehameha Schools Kapālama.
DEI – IATSE Census – The last update that we received regarding the IA Member Census is that Local 665 had more than 48% participation. Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate. We look forward to receiving and utilizing the aggregated and anonymized data to better inform us on how to represent you.
Interview with Local 695 – I was asked for an interview with Local 695’s quarterly magazine. We discussed, among other things, the support we received from Local 695 (a la satellite radios) for our response to the Maui wildfires. The building of inter-local solidarity is paramount to providing and receiving support in times of need. We look forward to continuing the relationships we’ve built with Locals across the Alliance.
Strike Resources –
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/