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Dear Member,


On behalf of SAG-AFTRA Philadelphia National Board member Mike Kraycik and myself, we want you to know your union is working tirelessly for you during this crisis and provide you with these updates: 

SAG-AFTRA has announced a dues relief and deferment plan for members financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The program is here to offer relief to those experiencing financial hardship due to loss of work during this time. 

However, as productions have slowed or stopped across SAG-AFTRA entertainment, television and commercials contract areas, it is crucial that the union collect dues so that critical services/operations such as residuals processing and contract enforcement continue without disruption, as they have throughout this crisis. For that reason, those who are able to make their dues payments, please do so.

For those who declare financial hardship, your due date will be extended: you can pay half by July 1 and the second half by Oct. 1. Don't worry about late fees during this period; they will be waived, and your work eligibility and membership status will not be adversely affected.

Your May dues bills will be mailing in the coming weeks. Instructions for declaring financial hardship will be included in your dues bill and on the sagaftra.org website. There is nothing to do at this time. 

The SAG-AFTRA Health Plan is temporarily reducing premiums by 50% for the second quarter (April, May and June) only, for all eligible Plan I, Plan II and COBRA participants. Visit here for more info.  

In light of the urgent circumstances surrounding the pandemic, the SAG-AFTRA Executive Committee approved a resolution regarding resource conservation that focuses the union’s work around its core functions. Local office staff are working remotely from home and continue to manage the critical work of the union, along with added workload due to COVID-19 related requests and the need to provide essential pandemic-related information to members. Non-essential meetings and activities requiring SAG-AFTRA staff and resources are suspended until further notice to ensure that core functions and member service continue without disruption.

The CARES Act that passed in Washington D.C. on March 27 benefits SAG-AFTRA members. During the writing of the bill, SAG-AFTRA was in constant contact with legislators to be sure language included the unique work situations of many of our members that otherwise would have been excluded from the relief package. We thank all of those who assisted by contacting their legislators. 

SAG-AFTRA has put together a website – a “CV-19 Resource Hub” – where you can stay updated on the rapidly-changing situation. Please visit, bookmark/favorite and share.

At the hub, you’ll see a warning and info about the alarming increase in numbers of email and phone scams asking for personal information. The government does not call or email you for your financial account information. Your eligibility for CARES Act financial relief is only determined by your last tax return. If you received your last tax refund through direct deposit, that's how you'll get your CARES Act stimulus payment. All others will receive a check in the mail. 

You may also be eligible for financial assistance from the SAG-AFTRA Foundation and SAG-AFTRA Motion Picture Players Fund’s COVID-19 Relief Fund. Speaking of the Foundation, they continue to offer online educational webinars as well as a library of videos and past workshops. Please visit their website and register to be notified of future webinars.

Finally, but very importantly: get the SAG-AFTRA mobile app if you do not already have it. Everything you need will be at the palm of your hand, including constant updates and contact info to help you during this crisis.

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, concerns, suggestions or feedback. 

In unity, 
 
Sam Clover
SAG-AFTRA Philadelphia Local President
 

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