COVID-19 Announcement

Most of us have been laid off indefinitely as a result of the current public health crisis.  This is good.  Please stay home.  We must all do our part to “flatten the curve.” (
Our health is more important than money.
But still, money is tight all around.  If you anticipate having trouble paying your dues for the second quarter (or third or fourth even), you can delay payment without penalty.  We are asking that your dues be paid in full by December 31st of this year.  You will not be charged any late fees.
This policy could change as the situation changes, i.e. if layoffs continue much longer than we anticipate.
Also, I’d like to remind you that the Actors’ Fund of Canada is a great resource for emergency funds.  They are, understandably, much busier than usual right now, but they are still operating and still helping people in need in the entertainment industry.  The IATSE recently made a substantial donation to the AFC just to help out during this difficult time.  Don’t be afraid to use it if you are having trouble paying your rent or buying groceries.  The AFC can:
  • The AFC can provide financial or other problem-solving practical support when an unforeseen emergency causes urgent financial need.
  • The AFC can provide short-term charitable assistance with expenses like basic living costs, rent/housing, medical costs, etc that cannot otherwise be met. Note: The AFC does not provide income replacement.
  • The AFC can help people in need to identify and access appropriate resources (EI, health insurance, community and government services). Note: The AFC does not provide crisis services or assist with emergency travel planning/repatriation.
  • If you are in need of problem-solving or financial support, start by phoning or emailing The AFC. We will connect with you to find out more about your situation and advise on how we can best help you.
All the info you need is here:
You may be tempted to take funds from your RRSP.  CEIRP is prepared for hardship withdrawals but warns that this is not a good idea.  Please consider this a last resort.
Most of us will be applying for EI benefits right about now.  The Federal Government has announced it’s economic response plan to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Ernie Schirru, counsel for the IATSE in Canada, has provided an initial analysis of the governments plan.   If you’re unsure which EI benefits to apply for, this document should answer your questions.
Don’t forget that we also offer an Employee and Family Assistance Program.  Find out all about it on the Health Plan page on this site under the Member Services tab.  It’s there to help you in stressful times.  It’s completely confidential, and it’s paid for.
This pandemic situation is new to all of us, but we, your executive, have resources through the IA Canadian Office and the International Office to help us out when we don’t know what to do, so don’t be afraid to ask us questions.  There’s a chance we might be able to find an answer.
Meanwhile, the IATSE is lobbying the Federal government for relief for our industry.  If anything happens with that it will be longer term, but let us hope.
Stay safe, and stay away from each other.
Local 828 Executive