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      RETIREE "PURPLE PENSION FORMS"

      Effective immediately and until further notice the annual "purple pension forms" have been suspended due to the increase in COVID-19 cases. As you know we are in a state of emergency and this situation can change at any time.  Thank you for your cooperation, understanding and support during this critical time for our Local, our families and our Nation. Stay safe.
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      The Union Hall is closed Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

      AEP IN MI Power is shutting down the power in our sector of South Bend on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, to install utility poles. The Union Hall will be closed, but should you need anything, please contact Mike Leda via his cell phone at 574-485-7623. We should be back up and operational on Thursday, April 2, 2020.
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      Retiree, Don Ingle, has passed away.

      We are sorry to announce the passing of retiree, Donald Ingle.  Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers. Follow this link for his obituary:  https://www.palmerfuneralhomes.com/obituary/Donald-Ingle
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      Why you are paying to use your credit or debit cards.

      Why the Member Pays the Credit Card Convenience Fees as Voted on by the Body Member 1: pays with Cash, Check or Money Order $39.00 Goes to International Office 1.00 Stays in LU 153 $40.
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      NO IN PERSON DUES PAYMENTS ALLOWED.

      Please remember, because of COVID-19, we are not allowing anyone into the Union Hall. If you need to speak with someone, call the Hall at 287-8655 or 800-986-1054. We are here to answer your calls.
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      LU 153 Union Hall and COVID-19 Plan

      The health and safety of our IBEW Local 153 members, our staff and our families are our number onepriority. With the increases in the COVID-19 cases, the following precautions are effective Monday March 23, 2020 through Friday, April 3rd, 2020.

      Dues payments will continue to be accepted online, as well as, by check via US Mail.

      Our office will be in full operation.  However, the building will be closed to everyone but staff. We strongly encourage all IBEW Local 153 members to conduct their business online and/or by e-mail or phone. If you absolutely must come to the Hall, please call ahead and make an appointment. Staff will work with members on an individual basis only. Members can contact the Union Hall by phone at
      574-287-8655 or email at
      ibew@ibew153.com to schedule individual appointments.

      Temporary Changes to Out of Work List procedures through Friday, April 3, 2020.

      If you are furloughing for a Contractor, you will NOT be allowed to sign the Books. However, you can collect unemployment during the COVID-19 crisis only.

      If you choose to take a Reduction in Force from your Contractor (this means you will not return to said Contractor after the Stay at Home Order is lifted), you can email Marisa at mhan@ibew153.com or call Mike Leda’s cell phone at 574-485-7623. You will be required to send a copy of your termination slip. We will then sign you to the Books. Do not come to the Union Hall to sign the Books in person.

      I want to thank everyone for their patience in these uncertain times. On a personal note, I never thought I would be mandated by the IO to enforce changes in the referral procedure (especially to say it’s okay to furlough); but I am sure you can understand. The health and safety of all local members during these unprecedented times is critical and of the upmost importance.

      We will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation and provide updates via our website and e-mail and provide all the information that we can to you.

      Again, I appreciate your patience.  If you are not sure or comfortable with any situation, please don’t hesitate to call the Union Hall.

      INDIANA UNEMPLOYMENT

      INDIANAPOLIS (March 21, 2020)  – The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is striving to provide employers and agents with the most up-to-date information during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are temporarily closing or reducing worker hours, please encourage your employees to file for unemployment insurance benefits. DWD has updated its COVID-19 UI Frequently Asked Questions with important information, which can be found at www.unemployment.in.gov.  

      Please share the below information with your impacted employees:

      • Claimants can only file for unemployment insurance benefits online with a computer, tablet, or smart phone.  
      • For questions related to unemployment insurance, please visit www.unemployment.in.gov, which includes an updated FAQ, tutorial and other helpful information. 
      • We have scheduled several webinars next week for individuals and employers to learn more about our current unemployment insurance system.  

      If you have the means to assist your employees by allowing them to file from your business, please assist as you can. DWD does have available equipment at our WorkOne locations and the Indiana Government Center, but we are also practicing social distancing which creates a barrier to quickly serving large groups of workers.  Any assistance you can provide in getting these important benefits to your employees while preventing the spread of this disease is greatly appreciated.

      If your employees must go to a WorkOne to use a computer, please have them contact the center ahead of time as some hours of operations have been changed and appointments are required. 

      MICHIGAN UNEMPLOYMENT
      Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today announced new programs for workers affected by COVID-19. The governor, under the federal CARES Act, signed an agreement between Michigan and the U.S. Dept. of Labor to implement Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Compensation programs that grant benefits to workers who do not already qualify for state unemployment benefits. Workers include self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig, and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of the pandemic. The agreement also increases weekly benefits for all unemployed workers by $600 a week for up to four months and extends benefit payments from 26 to 39 weeks.  

      The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) will provide additional guidance regarding eligibility and application details in the coming days as it implements these new programs.

      Benefits Extended to Self-Employed, Low-Wage, and Other Workers Affected by COVID-19 

      Under the CARES Act, individuals who are not already eligible for Michigan’s unemployment programs will now be provided a set amount of $600 a week for up to four months on top of the state benefit. Benefits are available for up to 39 weeks. These newly eligible individuals include self-employed workers, independent contractors, low-wage workers and those with a limited work history. 

      Benefits Increased for All Unemployed Workers 

      Under the CARES Act, weekly benefits for all unemployed workers will be increased by a set amount of $600 a week for up to four months. This applies to workers already in the unemployment system and eligible employees about to apply. These workers do not need to reapply and those about to apply do not need to take additional steps and should file as usual. If a worker’s application has previously been denied by the UIA in the past three weeks there is no need for them to reapply at this time. They will be notified by the agency with any additional action that may need to be taken. 

      The day or time of day in which a claim is filed will not impact whether a worker receives benefits or their benefit amount. Additionally, claims will be back-dated to reflect the date in which a claimant was laid-off or let go from their job due to COVID-19. The eligibility window to apply has also been increased from 14 to 28 days from the date of their work stoppage. 

      New Filing Schedule: 

      Online Filing Schedule - Michigan.gov/UIA. Workers are encouraged to go online during off-peak times between 8PM-8AM

      • Last names beginning with letters A-L are asked to file claims on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays.
      • Last names beginning with letters M-Z are asked to file claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.
      • Saturdays will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window. 

      Call Center Filing Schedule - 866-500-0017:

      • Last names beginning with letters A-L are asked to call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 8:00am – 5:00pm.
      • Last names beginning with letters M-Z are asked to call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8:00am – 5:00pm.
      • Fridays (8:00am – 5:00pm) will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window. 

      For more information visit Michigan.gov/UIA

      Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

      UPDATE: COVID-19 Agreement & Temporary Suspension of Random Drug Testing

      /COVID_19%20Update%2003-24-2020.pdf

      /NIDERA%20Agreement%20between%20IBEW%20153-531-697%20and%20NECA%20-%20March%2023%202020%20-%20FINAL.pdf

      /Temp%20Suspension%20of%20Drug%20Testing.pdf

      Families First Coronavirus Response Act

      We know there is a lot of information flooding us out there regarding the Coronavirus.  We are trying to keep everyone up-to-date on changes and ask for your patience if it feels as though there is too much being thrown at you.  

      Following are links to important information:

      The Employer sheet is the most informational along with FAQ page. 

      Employee Fact Sheet
      https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave

      Employer Fact Sheet
      https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave

      FAQs
      https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions

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    South Bend IN, 46619
    574.287.8655
    1-800-986-1054

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    3371 W Cleveland Road, Suite 120
    South Bend, IN 46628

    Phone: (574) 218-6700
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