Keeping our members and staff notified is a top priority. Below is the latest information regarding the District Council and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-2019). Please keep checking back for updates.

International Training Center Closure – Updated Information

The CITF has extended the CITF qualification and certification credentials of all members for 180 days (originally 90 days) because of these highly unusual circumstances. Please note that some qualifications/certifications such as Kirby Morgan Hat Technician, OSHA, and other third-party credentialing agencies are not controlled by the CITF and can only be extended by those agencies.

As of today, all CITF classes at the ITC have been cancelled through the end of June 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you updated. Please contact CITF technical coordinators for any needs that you may have.

Read the full memo here.

Coronavirus-Related Distributions & Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance

Some questions have arisen regarding whether taking a COVID-19-related distribution from the Annuity Fund per the special rules of the CARES Act can affect one’s ability to receive unemployment benefits. In response to this inquiry, the Fund Office has put together the following Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”). Please click here to read the FAQ.

Steps to Follow to Remain Safe on Job Site in Post-COVID Construction Environment

We all have to be cautious as we think about re-opening the job sites and returning to work. There will be a “new normal” safety protocol to adhere to moving forward. Be smart and follow the following rules on this important infographic to keep yourself and your co-workers healthy.

A Special Video Message on Re-Opening Job Sites from EST Joe Geiger

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I want to start by saying thank you for your continued support and hard work throughout this crisis. Everyone at the District Council has been working hard to ensure you feel supported during this time. As always, we encourage you to reach out to your Business Agents, the Out of Work List, or the Benefit Funds with any questions or concerns you my have.

As job sites begin to reopen, please understand that we will be working with a “new normal.” We have been working with contractors and health professionals to institute new safety guidelines on job sites. We understand that each job site is different in terms of its size and complexity, which is why these new guidelines will allow for flexibility while still adhering to safety standards.The health and wellness of our membership and their families are of the utmost priorities during these unprecedented times. We look forward to working with everyone as we enter this “new normal.”

The video below is the first in a series of videos where I will explain the new rules and regulations. Please what the video below and remember we are in this together. Your union stands with you.

Fraternally,
Joseph Geiger
Executive Secretary-Treasurer

U.S. DOL Issues Safety Measures to Protect Construction Workers during the COVID-19 crisis

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an alert listing safety tips employers can follow to help protect construction workers from exposure to COVID-19. More info  including protective actions can be found here.

COVID-19 Preparedness Qualification Available in Multiple Languages

We are pleased to announce that the COVID-19 Preparedness Qualification Program is now available in Spanish and French-Canadian languages. Please note that although each version will be listed separately on the LMS site, once completed the only entry that will be seen on the member’s Training Verification Card and Contractor view will be LMS COVID-19 Preparedness Qualification {CITF}To access the tests, please visit and sign into Carpenters.org here.

Issues with Incorrect Annuity Account Balances on Prudential’s Website to be Addressed

The Fund Office is aware that some members may be experiencing issues with their annuity account balances. We are in communication with Prudential, who has reported to us that there was an issue which occurred during the nightly update to their system. They are currently working to resolve the issue and member accounts will be updated as soon as possible. Members have no reason to be concerned that their account balances have actually been reduced to the levels they may be seeing.

If you have any additional questions, please call Prudential at (877) 778-2100.

Empire BlueCross BlueShield Provides Link to Help Participants Find Local COVID-19 Testing Facilities

Empire BlueCross BlueShield, through a partnership with Castlight Health, provided us a link to help you find COVID-19 testing facilities in your area. If you feel that you, or a dependent of yours, is in need of a test, all you have to do is click the link below and either enter your address, or enter your state, county, and zip code, to quickly locate testing facilities near you.

Find a COVID-19 Testing Facility

*Provider information – Please check with your provider before scheduling your appointment or receiving services to confirm participation.

Important Information Concerning DOL Unemployment Insurance Call Backs and Potential Scams

Attention members applying for unemployment insurance:

According to the New York State DOL, “To prevent fraud, anyone calling from the Department of Labor will verify their identity by providing the date you filed your Unemployment Insurance application and the type of claim you filed.”

Additionally, the New York State DOL asserted that it will NOT ask the claimant for his/her mother’s maiden name or his/her Social Security Number. Therefore, if a caller does ask for this information, it may in fact be a scam. If you are confronted with this scenario, you should NOT provide your information, hang up immediately, and attempt to call back the New York State Unemployment Insurance office using the official phone number at (888) 209-8124.

Governor Cuomo Announces Mandatory Masks in Public Effective April 17, 2020

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued an Executive Order requiring all people in New York to wear a mask or a face covering when out in public and in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained, such as on public transportation. Read the Executive Order here.

NYCDCC Members Transformed the Javits Center into an Unconventional Hospital during COVID-19 Pandemic

Dues Relief Eligibility

On Friday, April 10, 2020, the District Council Carpenters and the Board of Directors of the Carpenter Contractor Alliance of Metropolitan New York announced a relief measure that absorbs second quarter dues for all active members in good standing as of April 1, 2020. Those members who have already paid their dues in advance will receive a credit for three (3) months of union dues.

Please be advised that the following criteria will be used to identify members who are eligible for dues relief:

  • Must have an active status of GOODSTANDING as of April 1, 2020.
  • Must have worked in the private construction industry.
  • Civil Service members will not be eligible as they have continued to work throughout the crisis and have not been unemployed.
  • Must NOT have a status of Early Retired, Retired, 50Disabled, or Honorary.
  • All retired statuses have continued to collect their Pension checks

This measure comes at a great expense to the Council. We are working to provide dues relief to those who are most affected by the COVID-19 crisis. As always, we are here for all our members. If you have any questions about eligibility, please reach out to your local. Stay safe and stand strong.

Update to OWL for Members

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic members can now freeze their names on the OWL until May 31, 2020 without medical documentation.

Second Quarter Dues Waived

All active members in good standing as of April 1, 2020 will have their second quarter dues waived! Members who have already paid their dues will receive a credit for three (3) months of union dues. Please contact your local for any questions and concerns. To read the full announcement, please click here.

REMINDER: Financial Relief Available Through the CARES Act

Mortgage, Student Debt, and Consumer Credit Relief available now. Read about it here.

June Vacation Payments to be Released One Month Early to Help Those Financially Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic

The Benefit Funds is pleased to announce that June vacation payments will be released one month early to help alleviate the financial strain that many have suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of this decision, members eligible to receive vacation payments this quarter can expect to have their payments transmitted on approximately Friday, May 1st. It is important to note that members DO NOT have to take any action or fill out any hardship forms to receive their vacation payments early. All eligible members will automatically receive an early payout.

All other standard vacation payment rules will apply. Members will continue to receive their payments via either ACH or rapid! PayCard. Members can check their balances by end-of-day on May 1st to confirm receipt of their payments. They can do so in the following ways:

  • rapid! PayCard– Call (877) 380-0980, or create/log into rapid! PayCard account online at www.rapidfs.com.
  • Direct Deposit– Contact your banking institution by phone or through its website/app.

Please note that if you are currently receiving your vacation payments via rapid! PayCard and would like to switch, or you are newly eligible to receive vacation payments, you can sign up for direct deposit through our Member PortalThe deadline for sign up this quarter is Sunday, April 12th. Check i-Site for sign up availability.

If you have any general questions about your vacation payment, you can contact our Member Services Department at (800) 529-FUND (3863) or (212) 366-7373. For questions or concerns directly related to rapid! PayCard, you can reach them via phone at (877) 380-0980 or by visiting their website at www.rapidfs.com.

Update Concerning COVID-19 Related Amendments to NYCDCC Annuity Fund

Last week, the NYCDCC Benefit Funds announced that the Board of Trustees made changes to the Annuity Fund to allow members easier access to their individual retirement savings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although these changes were made effective immediately, the Fund Office noted that Prudential needed some time to implement these changes in its system. As a follow up to that note, we can now confirm that Prudential has advised us that its system will be ready to enact these changes on Friday, April 10th. Consequently, we ask that members please wait until April 10th to inquire about individual plan loans and/or withdrawals related to COVID-19.

All questions and/or requests should be directed to Prudential directly at (877) PRU-2100 or www.prudential.com/nycdccbf.

COVID-19 Preparedness Qualification (CITF) Online Course

The Carpenters International Training Fund (CITF), in partnership with Robert Smith, Supervisor of Instruction for the Northeast Carpenters Training Fund; developed a new qualification to educate our members on methods to better protect themselves while on the job site. You may access the CITF Online Learning Center here.

To read the full memo, please click here.

District Council Update to Membership from EST Joseph Geiger

Please read EST Joseph Geiger’s update to the membership regarding the state of the union, the construction industry, and for additional member resources here.

Annuity Fund Amends Plan to Help Members Access Retirement Savings During COVID-19 Pandemic

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, the New York City District Council of Carpenters Annuity Fund is pleased to announce that the Trustees have amended the Annuity Plan effective immediately to permit Coronavirus-Related Distributions up to $100,000 and Coronavirus-Related Loans up to $100,000. Further, if you have an outstanding loan on or after March 27, 2020 and you have a repayment due date between March 27, 2020 and December 31, 2020, you may be eligible for a one-year extension in the due date.

To view the full original document, please click here.

Para leerlo en español haga clic aqui.

Coronavirus-Related Distributions

1. What is a Coronavirus-Related Distribution?
As you know, the Fund allows certain types of distributions, such as distributions for Hardship Withdrawals, Once-in-a-Lifetime Withdrawals after 60 months of Participation, and Distributions after you stop working in Covered Employment.

The CARES Act adds a new distribution – called a “Coronavirus-Related Distribution” – which will be available for a limited time. It differs in important ways from the other types of distributions available under the Fund.

2. What is the maximum amount I can take for a Coronavirus-Related Distribution?
$100,000 in total, regardless of the number of Coronavirus-Related Distributions you take.

3. What is the deadline for applying for a Coronavirus-Related Distribution?
You must apply for a Coronavirus-Related Distribution before December 31, 2020.

4. Is there a limit on the number of Coronavirus-Related Distributions I may take?
No. Although you may not take more than $100,000 in total withdrawals for Coronavirus-Related Distributions, you may take as many Coronavirus-Related Distributions as you choose. We recognize that this is a time of great uncertainty and that it may be difficult to determine the extent of your financial need at this time. By not limiting the number of Coronavirus-Related Distributions available to you through the end of 2020, you may apply to take out the smallest amount possible to meet your initial needs while knowing that you can take additional distributions if necessary.

5. What are the eligibility requirements for a Coronavirus-Related Distribution?
In order to be eligible for a Coronavirus-Related Distribution, you must be an individual:
a) who is diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 by a test approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”);
b) whose spouse or dependent is diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 by a test approved by the CDC; or
c) who experiences adverse financial consequences as a result of:
i. being quarantined,
ii. being furloughed, or laid off or having hours reduced due to such virus or disease, or
iii. being unable to work due to lack of child care due to such virus or disease, closing or reducing hours of a business owned or operated by the individual due to such virus or disease, or other factors as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury.

6. What are the documentation requirements for a Coronavirus-Related Distribution?
Contact Prudential at (877) PRU-2100 or www.prudential.com/nycdccbf to obtain an application for a Coronavirus-Related Distribution. Although the CARES Act allows the Fund to rely on a participant’s certification that he/she satisfies the above-listed conditions for a Coronavirus-Related Distribution, please keep in mind that the Annuity Plan requires that all information provided in connection with an application for benefits must be accurate and states that the provision of false information is a basis for denial of an application as well as for recovery of benefit payments made in reliance on such false information.

7. Is a Coronavirus-Related Distribution subject to an additional 10% penalty if I am younger than age 59½?
No.

8. Is a Coronavirus-Related Distribution subject to a mandatory 20% withholding?
No.

9. Is a Coronavirus-Related Distribution subject to any taxes?
Yes. The amount of taxes you owe will be based on your income. Under a special rule, you may spread the amount of the Distribution over three taxable years, rather than having to include the entire Distribution in your income for 2020. You are not required to spread your income over three years but the option to do so may help you to manage the taxes associated with a Coronavirus-Related Distribution.

10. Am I required to repay a Coronavirus-Related Distribution?
No.

11. Am I permitted to repay a Coronavirus-Related Distribution?
Yes. You may reimburse your Annuity Fund account via one or more payments in a total amount not to exceed the amount of your total Coronavirus-Related Distributions. You may make such reimbursement at any time during the three-year period after you receive your Coronavirus-Related Distribution.

12. What should I consider before applying for a Coronavirus-Related Distribution?
The CARES Act recognizes that it is important for workers to have access to their assets during this crisis. However, any withdrawal from your Annuity Fund account prior to retirement will negatively affect your ability to adequately prepare for retirement. This is especially true at times like this where the market has experienced such a severe decline. Pulling your money out of the market will lock in your losses, and you will not have the opportunity to recoup those losses unless your money is invested when the market starts to rebound. If you find yourself considering applying for a Coronavirus-Related Distribution, we recommend that you consider taking advantage of the investment education tools provided by Prudential Retirement and investment advice services provided by Morningstar® Retirement Manager℠. Log in to www.prudential.com/nycdccbf for additional information. You may also want to consult with a financial advisor to discuss whether there are better alternatives for you than a Coronavirus-Related Distribution. We understand, however, that this crisis requires that you have the ability to access your account balance if needed.

13. I have decided to apply for a Coronavirus-Related Distribution. Who should I contact?
Contact Prudential at (877) PRU-2100 or www.prudential.com/nycdccbf.

Coronavirus-Related Loans

1. What is a Coronavirus-Related Loan?
As you know, the Fund allows loans, subject to certain limitations. The CARES Act adds a new type of loan – called a “Coronavirus-Related Loan” – which will be available for a limited time. It differs in important ways from the loans currently available under the Fund.

2. What is the maximum amount I can take for a Coronavirus-Related Loan?
$100,000 or, if lower, the amount of your account balance. (The maximum amount allowed for other loans under the Fund is the lower of (a) $50,000 or (b) one-half of your account balance.)

3. What is the deadline for applying for a Coronavirus-Related Loan?
September 22, 2020.

4. Is there a limit on the number of Coronavirus-Related Loans I may take?
No. Although you may not take more than $100,000 in total Coronavirus-Related Loans, you may take as many Coronavirus-Related Loans as you choose.

5. What are the eligibility requirements for a Coronavirus-Related Distribution?
In order to be eligible for a Coronavirus-Related Loan, you must be an individual:
a) who is diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 by a test approved by the CDC;
b) whose spouse or dependent is diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 by a test approved by the CDC; or
c) who experiences adverse financial consequences as a result of:
i. being quarantined,
ii. being furloughed, or laid off or having hours reduced due to such virus or disease, or
iii. being unable to work due to lack of child care due to such virus or disease, closing or reducing hours of a business owned or operated by the individual due to such virus or disease, or other factors as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury.

6. I already have three outstanding loans. Am I eligible for a Coronavirus-Related Loan?
Yes.

7. I previously defaulted on a loan. Am I eligible for a Coronavirus-Related Loan?
Yes.

8. What are the documentation requirements for a Coronavirus-Related Loan?
Contract Prudential at (877) PRU-2100 or www.prudential.com/nycdccbf to obtain an application for a Coronavirus-Related Loan.

9. Is a Coronavirus-Related Loan subject to taxes?
No. However, if you default on the loan and incur a deemed distribution, you will be responsible for taxes. Review the Annuity Fund’s Summary Plan Description for more information on loans (available at https://nyccbf.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/NYCDCC-Annuity-Fund-SPD-Bargained-Design-Final_-October-2017.pdf).

10. What are the advantages of taking a Coronavirus-Related Loan rather than a Coronavirus-Related Distribution?
As long as you make your quarterly payments on your loan, you will not have any tax consequences. In addition, loans are repaid over five years so you will have a longer period of time to repay the loan than the three-years permitted to repay the Coronavirus-Related Distribution.

11. I have decided to apply for a Coronavirus-Related Loam. Who should I contact?
Contact Prudential at (877) PRU-2100 or www.prudential.com/nycdccbf.

12. May a qualified participant take both a Coronavirus-Related Distribution and a Coronavirus-Related Loan?
Yes.

Extension of Certain Loan Repayments

1. Is there any relief available on loan repayments that are coming due?
Yes. If you are an eligible participant with an outstanding loan on or after March 27, 2020 and you have a due date for a loan repayment between March 27, 2020 and December 31, 2020, the due date shall be delayed for one year.

2. Is there additional interest charged during this one-year period?
Yes. The CARES Act requires that subsequent repayments be adjusted to reflect the delay in the due date and interest accruing during the delay. Remember, though, that you are paying the additional interest to your account.

3. What are the eligibility requirements for this loan extension?
In order to be eligible for an extension of your loan, you must be an individual:
a) who is diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 by a test approved by the CDC;
b) whose spouse or dependent is diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 by a test approved by the CDC; or
c) who experiences adverse financial consequences as a result of:
i. being quarantined,
ii. being furloughed, or laid off or having hours reduced due to such virus or disease, or
iii. being unable to work due to lack of child care due to such virus or disease, closing or reducing hours of a business owned or operated by the individual due to such virus or disease, or other factors as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury.

4. I want to apply for an extension of my loan repayment. Who should I contact?
Contact Prudential at (877) PRU-2100 or www.prudential.com/nycdccbf.

Temporary Waiver of Required Minimum Distribution Rules

1. Based on my age, I am required by law to receive a Minimum Required Distribution from my account. I do not want to withdraw any money from my account until the market has a chance to recover. Is there any relief for me?
Yes. The CARES Act provides for a waiver of any Required Minimum Distributions required to be paid from the Fund in 2020 as well as any 2019 Required Minimum Distributions that are required to be made by April 1, 2020. If you have any questions about this waiver, contact Prudential at (877) PRU-2100 or www.prudential.com/nycdccbf.

For additional information on these Plan changes, you can read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below, visiting the Benefit Funds, or by contacting Prudential at (877) PRU-2100 or www.prudential.com/nycdccbf.

*NOTE: We ask that you please be patient as Prudential undertakes the large task of updating its system to include these changes. Some requested transactions may take time to process. Please check our website often for further updates.

Statement from EST Joseph Geiger on Safety and Members’ Eligibility for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

During this unprecedented pandemic, our number one priority is your safety. We just received clarification on rules for unemployment insurance for members that have been directly impacted by COVID-19. Please read these documents carefully because you are now eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provides payment to workers not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits (self-employed, independent contractors, workers with limited work history, and others), who are unable to work as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

As we have said before, if you ever feel unsafe, go home. If your employer is not taking the proper safety precautions, go home. If you do not want to work during this pandemic, stay at home. Further, if you are ever on a job site that is not abiding by the proper safety protocols, please document it with pictures and video and share the evidence with your Shop Steward and Business Agent.

The District Council is here for you. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

View official statement here.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Documents

Members can find our more information about their eligibility for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance by reading these documents: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

Update to OWL Regarding Adding a New Skill

Please be aware that only essential construction work is permitted at this time. Anyone who wishes to be dispatched now needs to add the skill of Emergency/Essential Work by calling the OWL Mon-Fri 8AM-6PM at: 212-366-3330.

Please note: Once the construction restrictions have been removed and regular work returns, members who were dispatched with this skill will regain their original position back on the OWL as of March 29th.

To ensure that members are aware of this update, phone and text messages have been sent.

 

Additional Financial Assistance Available for Members and Staff during the COVID-19 Crisis

Continued relief during the COVID-19 pandemic is now available for members. In addition to previous assistance and resources, members can now access the following:

  •  90-day moratorium on evictions for renters in New York State.
  • Mortgage relief up to 90 days and car loan relief in New York and New Jersey. For more information, members and staff are advised to call your mortgage and/or auto loan company.
  • Certain student loan holders to stop payments from now to September 30, 2020 under the CARES Act.

Please continue to monitor the COVID-19 Info Hub on the District Council website for further updates.

Update on Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act)

The UBC has issued an update of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act), which was passed into law Friday, March 27th. Read the update to find out how the CARES Act can impact you and your family by clicking here.

NYS Unemployment Insurance FAQ

Please refer to this document which contains information regarding NYS Unemployment Insurance and how it is related to COVID-19.

Statement from EST Joseph Geiger on Governor Cuomo’s Decision to Shutdown Non-Essential Construction during COVID-19 Crisis

Please read the official statement here.

Gov. Cuomo Issues Executive Order Temporarily Shutting Down Non-Essential Construction

On Friday, March 27th, Governor Cuomo announced that all non-essential construction will be shut down. Only essential construction projects, such as patient care facilities, infrastructure, and transit facilities, will continue. For guidance on which businesses and services are deemed essential, please click here.

Statement from EST Joseph Geiger on Essential Construction during COVID-19 Pandemic

Please read the official statement from NYCDCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Joseph A. Geiger urging leaders to define essential construction during the worsening COVID-19 crisis.

Summary from the UBC on the Families First Act

The U.S. Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and we summarized what that means for our U.S. members. Click here to read the UBC summary about the bill.

National COVID-19 Financial Stimulus Package

The US Senate and House are close to finalizing a stimulus package that is expected to provide both direct financial support to Americans and supplemental unemployment. The package, which has been heatedly and hurriedly negotiated, is expected to also include loans for businesses and other financial support that could bring the total package cost to $2 trillion or more. As soon as legislation is passed and details on implementation finalized, the union will share more information.

COVID-19 FAQ for Members

For frequently asked questions, please refer to the COVID-19 FAQ sheet for answers. You can also find it in Spanish here.

Factual Information during COVID-19 Crisis

Please remember that things are changing rapidly and there is a lot of information being circulated on a number of topics right now. Be wary of rumors, honest mistakes or misinformation. Seek reliable and multiple sources to confirm what you are hearing. Understand that while we are able to share general information, your situation may include unique circumstances which change how something applies to you.

Follow CDC Guidelines

Members and contractors on active sites should follow CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of the virus. Members who have concerns about their health and safety should talk to the carpenter steward on the job and/or their local union.

New OWL Hours

The District Council is constantly evaluating our operation and listening to member feedback. As a result, the hours at the Out of Work List have been adjusted. The new hours are:

  • Electronic Reporting Unit for Shop Stewards: 8AM to 6PM
  • Dispatch and Call Back Line: 8AM to 6PM
  • OWL/Job Manning Line will remain 8AM to 4PM

Update to the NYCDCC OWL

Letter of Support from a Union Brother during the COVID-19 Crisis

The global COVID-19 pandemic we are navigating as a society is unprecedented. Even the most well-prepared entities with the most detailed emergency plan encounter challenges. It is the nature of the ever-evolving crisis and the millions of interlaced parts.

We swiftly took action to implement our contingency plan with success, seamlessly streamlining our operations and keeping members informed without delay. There are difficult discussions and decisions, but our members are always our top priority. We continue to work for our members so they are provided for for the duration of the crisis.

We would would like to thank a union brother who so articulately shared his support of our efforts during this extremely trying time. We have made adjustments to the OWL and we continue to talk with contractors who have jobs up and running about safety precautions to keep our members healthy. You can read his letter here.

CITF Qualification/Certification Expiration Date Extension

The Carpenters International Training Fund (CITF) is extending the qualification and certification credentials run through the CITF for up to 90 days for those that are set to expire during the closures. This extension will include Rigging and Building Envelope Certifications.

 **Note: The Kirby Morgan Hat Technician is not controlled by the CITF and cannot be extended.

Should you have any questions or concerns about these extensions, please contact Royce Peters at 702-938-1111 Ext. 2028.

To view the original memo from CITF, click here.

COVID-19 and Mental Health

When outbreaks such as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) occur, it is normal to experience both fear and anxiety. Outbreaks like the one we are currently experiencing can trigger a feeling of powerlessness.

The following are considerations that were developed by the World Health Organization (“WHO”) as support for mental and psychological well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • Avoid watching, reading, or listening to news that causes you to feel anxious or distressed; seek information mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones.
  • Protect yourself and be supportive to others. Assisting others in their time of need can benefit the person receiving support as well as the helper.
  • Stay connected and maintain your social networks via e-mail, social media, video conference, and telephone. Even in situations of isolation, try as much as possible to keep your daily personal routines.
  • Social isolation and stress can be triggers for substance use. Focus on maintaining sobriety during this challenging time by continuing to engage in recovery meetings through virtual AA and NA meetings hosted by Zoom at https://www.nyintergroup.org.
  • Help children find positive ways to express feelings such as fear and sadness. Every child has their own way to express emotions. Sometimes, engaging in creative activities such as playing and drawing can facilitate this process. Children feel relieved if they can express and communicate their feelings in a safe and supportive environment.
  • During times of stress and crisis, it is common for children to seek more attachment and be more demanding on parents. Discuss COVID-19 with your children in an honest and age-appropriate manner. If your children have concerns, addressing those concerns together may ease their anxiety. Children will observe adults’ behaviors and emotions for cues on how to manage their own emotions during difficult times.
  • Participate in healthy activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Exercise regularly, keep regular sleep routines, and eat healthy food.
  • Engage in relaxation exercises to help you connect to your mind and body during this outbreak.If you are struggling to manage substance use, anxiety, or fear caused by this outbreak, reach out for support! You are not alone. MEND is here to provide help during this time and can be reached at (212) 366-7590 or MEND@NYCCBF.org.

You may also contact Empire LiveHealth Online Psychology at www.livehealthonline.com or call (844) 784-8409 7 am- 11 pm. Under the NYCDCC Welfare Fund your co-payment, which is normally $10, has been waived due to COVID-19. *Please note that visits with a psychiatrist are still subject to a $10 co-payment.

Benefit Funds FAQ

We have been working diligently with the NYCDCC Benefit Funds to respond to your important COVID-19 benefit questions. For answers about health coverage, testing, short-term disability, annuities, and pensions, please visit the FAQ sheet on the Benefit Funds site. 

NYCDCC Statement on Construction Industry Work

Many members have raised questions about working. Here are the facts as we know them at this time. Governor Cuomo by executive order has designated construction work as essential work. That means that construction work is being treated the same as health care, police, fire, sanitation, transport, food, pharmacies, and similar essential work. The full list of essential work can be found here.

Construction jobs are up and working, employing many members. The District Council supports opportunities for our members to work. Nevertheless, if a member feels uncomfortable about going to work because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that is up to the member and not the District Council, although the District Council would support a member making such a voluntary decision that should not be held against the member.

The District Council has no control over and cannot predict how the Unemployment Insurance division of the NYS Department of Labor (NYS DOL) would treat such a voluntary decision not to work doing what the government has determined is essential work. The District Council is continuing its discussions with the NYS DOL about whether or not those voluntarily leaving jobs would be eligible for Unemployment Insurance.

COVID-19 Safety Measures and Guidelines

On March 19, 2020, NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order deeming construction essential during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. This also includes healthcare workers, police officers, and fire fighters. Then, on March 20, 2020, Governor Cuomo also signed the ‘New York State on Pause’, which required all non-essential to work from home. Still, construction was deemed essential. During this time, please take every precaution to follow the COVID-19 Safety Measures and Guidelines below:

COVID-19 Safety Guidelines:

-Before coming into work take your temperature
-If there is a fever don’t come in
-If you feel ill at work, take your temperature
-If your temperature spikes while at work, go home

COVID-19 Safety Measures:

-Limit contact and socially distance
-Wear gloves while working
-Wash hands and sanitize frequently
-Do not share tools

Be aware of COVID-19 symptoms:

-Fever
-Cough
-Shortness of Breath

Notify the GC Supervisor on site if you have or you notice another tradesperson with symptoms. When in doubt, always refer to the Center for Disease Control COVID-19 guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-aresick/steps-when-sick.html

Video Message from EST Joseph Geiger to NYCDCC Union Brothers and Sisters Pertaining to the Union and COVID-19 Response

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As this is an unprecedented time in our country and I wanted to address you directly regarding some of the initiatives that the Council, the Benefit Funds, and your union representatives are doing on behalf of you, the membership. Please watch the video below and remember we are in this together. Your union stands with you.

Fraternally,
Joseph Geiger
Executive Secretary-Treasurer

Click the image above to watch.

Executive Order – Construction Remains Essential

The construction industry throughout New York State—including New York City—is an essential activity explicitly exempt from Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order shutting down all non-essential businesses (requiring remote work from home).

The District Council is complying with all health agencies and city and state government protocols and mandates. We are closely monitoring developments as the situation evolves. The livelihood and well-being of every member of the union is important.  If a carpenter has COVID19 symptoms or they feel they may be susceptible to the COVID19 virus, they do not have to go to the jobsite. There will be NO repercussions.

Any worker that loses employment due to COVID-19 can call Unemployment directly. The 7- day wait for unemployment has been waived. To apply for unemployment insurance, visit: https://labor.ny.gov/ui/how_to_file_claim.shtm

Governor Cuomo Requires 90-Day Mortgage Relief and Additional Hardship Measures

The State will require 90-day mortgage relief, waiving payments based on financial hardship. There will be:

  • No negative impacts on credit scores.
  • A grace period for loan modifications – waived payments will be addressed “on the back end.”
  • No late-payment or online-payment fees.
  • The postponement/suspension of foreclosures.
  • The State will suspend fees for overdrafts, ATMs, and credit cards.

NYS Governor Cuomo Issues Executive Order Making Construction Essential

In order to facilitate the most timely and effective response to the COVID 19 emergency disaster in New York State, Governor Cuomo deemed certain businesses essential, construction being one of them.

Effective on March 20 at 8 p.m.: All businesses and not-for-profit entities in the state shall utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely utilize. Each employer shall reduce the in-person workforce at any work locations by 50% no later than March 20 at 8 p.m. Any essential business or entity providing essential services or functions shall not be subject to the in-person restrictions. This includes essential health care operations including research and laboratory services; essential infrastructure including utilities, telecommunication, airports and transportation infrastructure; essential manufacturing, including food processing and pharmaceuticals; essential retail including grocery stores and pharmacies; essential services including trash collection, mail, and shipping services; news media; banks and related financial institutions; providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations; construction; vendors of essential services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses; vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public.

Read the original Executive Order: Governor Cuomo Executive Order.

NYCDCC Welfare Fund Update – Cost Share Waivers for Testing and Related Coverage for (COVID-19)

Since the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic first began to surface, the NYCDCC Welfare Fund has been providing you information concerning how your providers (Empire BlueCross BlueShield for active participants/dependents and UnitedHealthcare for Medicare-Eligible Retirees) would cover COVID-19 related visits, testing, and other associated costs. We are now pleased to announce that we have further updates to COVID-19 related coverage that are beneficial to you and your families in this time of need.

Testing Care and Benefits

The NYCDCC Welfare Fund has officially waived all member cost share, including co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles, for diagnostic testing related to COVID-19, as well as for the in-network visit associated with COVID-19 testing, whether it takes place at a doctor’s office, urgent care center, or hospital. If an in-network provider is not available, your provider will work with you to make sure you are covered.

Telehealth

The NYCDCC Welfare Fund has officially waived the $10 co-payment associated with a telehealth visit through LiveHealth Online. This waiver will last for a period of 90 days (June 14, 2020) so that you and your dependents can keep yourselves safe from infection during times of required isolation.

The Fund Office will continue to update you regarding your COVID-19 related coverage as more information becomes available. If you have questions concerning the process by which you can be tested for the COVID-19, or your coverage related to COVID-19, please contact Empire BlueCross BlueShield at (844) 416-6387 or UnitedHealthcare at (888) 736-7441.

*Please note that similar coverage waivers will apply to Medicare-Eligible Retirees covered under UnitedHealthcare. However, telehealth service utilization may differ. Please contact UnitedHealthcare directly for more information.

NYS Governor Cuomo Issues Executive Order Making Construction Essential

In order to facilitate the most timely and effective response to the COVID 19 emergency disaster in New York State, Governor Cuomo deemed certain businesses essential, construction being one of them. Read the official Executive Order here.

COVID-19 Financial Assistance for Members

We continue to secure opportunities to assist our members during the COVID-19 crisis. Additional measures are evolving. Currently, the following steps have been taken to help our members navigate this challenging time:

  • Pension checks are being mailed out on normal timeline.
  • March vacation checks have been mailed.
  • Discussions are underway to provide members with relief from annuity interest and penalties.
  • Co-pays for the COVID-19 testing have been waived for members, their families, and retirees.

Important District Council Phone Numbers

Helping our membership navigate this time with ease is one of our top priorities. Here are some key District Council numbers for your use:

District Council Main Line 8 AM-5 PM
212-366-7500

OWL Center: 8 AM-4 PM
Manning: 212-366-3320
Main OWL Line: 212-366-3330
Electronic Reporting Line: 212-366-3331
Job Tracking (ID): 212-366-7509
Call Back: 212-366-3328

Rep Centers:
Queens: 7 AM-3 PM
718-468-4056 (checked periodically)
Manhattan 7 AM-5 PM
212-366-7345

Assessments: 8 AM-5 PM
212-366-7375
–Pay by credit card – Call assessment line
–Mail check to NYCDCC in the business reply envelope provided

Agreements: 7 AM-4 PM
212-366-7448

Inspector General’s Office: 7 AM-5PM
212-366-3354

 Potential Changes to Annuity Fund Rules to Help Participants

The health and livelihood of our union brothers and sisters is the primary concern of the NYC District Council (NYCDCC). In order to help you with the financial hardships caused by work outages resulting from this pandemic, the NYCDCC and Benefit Funds are working hard to get you the much- needed relief you need.

The NYCDCC Board of Trustees and Fund Counsel have been discussing potential solutions. Many of the rules that govern the NYCDCC Annuity Fund through Prudential come from the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), which is regulated by the United States Federal Government. The Federal Government is reported to be considering making temporary modifications to the IRC in order to provide some relief to participants of funds like ours to cope with financial hardships that may arise from the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis.

One change under consideration is waiving the 10% early withdrawal penalty for distributions. Another change is the temporary suspension of loan payments.

At the same time, and to the extent allowable under the IRC, the Trustees of the NYCDCC Annuity Fund are looking for ways to give participants more liberal access to their account balances.

As we have updates on these potential changes, we will be adding updates to our COVID-19 Information Hub on the District Council website: www.nycdistrictcouncil.org. For benefit related updates, please be sure to visit: www.nyccbf.org.

Letter from EST Geiger about District Council Closure and COVID-19 Measures

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

During this time of extreme caution and uncertainty, The New York City and Vicinity District Council of Carpenters is taking every step necessary to act in the best interest of our membership and keep them and their families, staff, and the general public safe, while sharing updates as they progress.

As a life-long resident of the tri-state region, I have never experienced anything quite like this. Furthermore, our country and the world has never seen anything like this. We’re all working at a quick clip to ensure stability in times of upheaval. It is daunting, yet, we are Union Strong, and we will prevail.

Since the escalation of the virus, we initiated a contingency plan, which is currently in effect. While we do not have answers for every question or concern at this point, we will work our best to respond and alleviate concerns during this stressful time.

As of today, here are some important updates we would like to share with you:

Job Sites

  • Currently, there have been relatively few job site closures throughout New York City, but we anticipate that as the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and local health authorities, as well as our elected officials, instate additional precautions to contain and prevent the rapid spread COVID-19, more projects may be shut be down.
  • We are working with contractors to maintain continued work at our job sites. ** Should it be needed, please be advised that New York State is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantine. **

Union Operations

  • The District Council offices at 395 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014, is suspending normal office operations effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020 for the duration of 10 business days (until Wednesday, April 1, 2020). However, while our physical office is closed, please be assured that we will continue to service the membership through remote operations and functions. Following the 2-week time period, the District Council will evaluate the situation to see how to most effectively and efficiently move forward, while adhering to public health mandates.
  • The Out of Work List (212-366-3330) will be operating remotely between the hours of 8am – 4 pm. Please be mindful that we will be operating under extraordinary conditions and depending on call volume, wait times may be longer than normal.
  • The District Council phone line (212-366 -7500) will remain open during regular business hours for members, however please contact your Business Agent with specific questions.
  • The District Council created a COVID-19 information page for updates. Please click the COVID-19 UPDATES link at the top of the website. It can also be found here.
  • Currently, only Locals 45, 157, and 2287 have cancelled their upcoming meetings. Please contact your Business Agent, your Local, or check the District Council website for updates about other meetings.

The Benefit Funds

  • The New York City District Council Benefit Funds office will be suspending normal operations at 395 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014, effective March 18, 2020 for two weeks. However, while the physical office is closed, please be assured that the Funds will continue to service the membership through remote operations and functions. For more information from the Benefit Funds about the closure, please contact the Benefit Funds here.
  • The Welfare Fund is waiving co-payments for COVID-19 testing for current members and their families, as well as retirees. For more info, click here.

Civil Service Carpenters

  • All Civil Service Carpenters are deemed essential employees and should report to work. Please follow your respective city agency for updated guidance regarding COVID-19.
  • The General Civil Service Meeting for all Civil Service Carpenters, Dockbuilders, Ship Carpenters, and Riggers scheduled.

Training

  • The International Training Center cancelled all programs, training, and conferences scheduled at the International Training Center for the next 30-days.
  • New York City District Council of Carpenters Training Center (CTC) postponed all class schedules for 2-weeks, effective March 16, 2020. Members may take classes online with recognized accredited organizations during the time of school closure and will be reimbursed by the Carpenters Training Center with original receipts of course completion reflecting the dates between March 16 – 29, 2020. Only courses on the CTC website will be reimbursed. Please refer to the CTC website here.
  • The CTC has postponed the 51st Annual Graduating Apprentice Exhibits and Open-House scheduled for April 7, 2020.

Looking Forward

  • The events of the past few weeks have been unprecedented. It is important that everyone continues to act with compassion toward one another and work together to help each other through times of need. The NYC District Council is here to continue to support and serve the membership in the best way possible. Together, we have weathered greater storms. We rebuilt this city after 9/11 and I am confident we will rebuild again.
  • We also want to encourage any members who are experiencing symptoms or are exposed, to please consider the health and safety of your fellow brothers and sisters and those who are more at risk and stay home from work. As carpenters, we tend to pride ourselves on working through everything – rain, snow, illness – but this is not the time to do so. Take precaution, stay healthy, and stay safe. Your families and your union need you.
  • For more information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to keep yourself and your family safe from infection, you can get the latest from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

View Official Letter

Fraternally,

Joseph A. Geiger
Executive Secretary-Treasurer

Notice Regarding Phone and Text Delays

Providing critical COVID-19 information to our union brothers and sisters, as well as District Council staff, is paramount during this unprecedented crisis. Due to phone carrier limitations, you may receive calls and texts during off hours. We are working to resolve this issue and we ask for your understanding and patience during this critical time. Thank you!

NYC Construction Industry COVID-19 Protocol

1. All Owners, Developers Construction Managers and Contractors should develop health and safety plans that are COVID-19 specific. Engage with collective bargaining partners on COVID-19 plans.
a. Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan
i. Protection of Workers from common sources of infection
1. Handwashing stations
2. Alcohol based hand sanitizer
3. Maintain and sanitize Changing rooms
4. Limit numbers of workers in confined areas around hoists, shanties entrances and exits when scanning in and out of jobsites.
5. Limit the sharing of tools and equipment absent sanitizing
6. Sanitize all common areas in accordance with highest industry standards for infectious disease control
7. Educate workers with CDC guidance for infection control and self-monitoring of symptoms
8. Restrict visitors, other than union representatives and others present to protect workers and the public (i.e. DOH, DOL, DOB, etc.)
ii. Provide all Employers, Unions and Workers engaged on the worksite with Notice of affirmative measures taken by Owners, Developers, Construction    Managers, General Contractors and Contractors to safeguard employees and sanitize workplaces
1. Including name of cleaning subcontractors where applicable
2. Name of disinfecting agents and cleaning protocol followed
iii. Engage collective bargaining partners in best practices for disinfecting
b. Prompt Identification and Isolation of Symptomatic Workers
i. Provide all Employers, Unions and Workers on a job site with notification of a positive COVID-19 case, including
1. Name of worker if permitted by law under public health exception and/or other identifying information including
2. Work times of the involved worker
3. Work location and other known contacts with involved worker
ii. Provide Contact names and phone numbers, and protocol to unions and workers for shop steward use and employee self-identifying and reporting of illness
iii. Develop and communicate procedure for isolation of sick employees away from others
iv. Communicate with collective bargaining partners when identifying and/or isolating individual workers
v. On job sites with medical and/or nursing facilities provide training to health care staff on infection control, equip such facilities with appropriate PPE and training.
vi. Communicate regarding access to medical personnel and or testing in your local area

2. Develop and communicate protocol for the appropriate identification and mitigation of hazards
a. known positive COVID-19 tests of job site employees, job site closure and mitigation policy
b. known potential exposure from international or domestic hotspots
c. known suspected infections, hospitalizations and quarantined workers from the job site
d. all other known potential exposures from visitors, vendors, supervision etc.
e. NYS or NYC Department of Health notifications to be cross shared across trades engaged on site, and not limited to individual’s contractor or crew

3. Develop industry-wide, uniform Emergency Action and Communication Plan to deal with jobsite outbreak, positive tests, and other COVID-19 related issues

4. Engage collective bargaining partners in best practices, job site flexibilities, administrative controls, business decisions and effects bargaining over business decisions.

Out of Work List Hours

During the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the District Council Out of Work List will continue to operate remotely.  Office hours will be Monday through Friday from 8AM to 4PM.  There will be no OWL staff at the office located at 395 Hudson Street New York, NY.

Certification Extension

Due to the suspension of certification classes at the Carpenters Training Center all certifications will be extended for 60 days.

NYCDCC Welfare Fund to Waive Co-payments for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing

New York City District Council of Carpenters Welfare Fund is pleased to report that all Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing under the Empire BlueCross BlueShield plan will have related co-payments waived for eligible participants and dependents. Although a mandate from the federal government to waive co-payments for Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing technically did not apply to self-insured plans such as the NYCDCC Welfare Fund, the Board of Trustees, with the best interests of the membership in mind, made a decision to move forward with the waiver nonetheless.

Additionally, for all NYCDCC Welfare Fund Medicare-Eligible Retirees covered under the UnitedHealthcare (UHC) Plan, Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing costs will be waived as well.

Please visit the NYCDCC Welfare Fund for more details.

Statement from EST Geiger on COVID-19 

“We have been closely monitoring developments with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). In this global pandemic of unprecedented magnitude, the safety of our members and staff is our highest priority and first responsibility. With growing concerns surrounding COVID-19, we want you to know your union stands with you.”

Read the full letter from EST Joseph Geiger

International Training Center Closure

From General President McCarron:

“Given the current state of affairs with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and out of an abundance of caution, the General Executive Board has decided to cancel the Concrete Industry Leadership Conference (March 16-18) and all programs scheduled at the International Training Center for the next 30-days.

We will continue to closely monitor the situation and evaluate the schedule beyond that and keep you informed. The safety and health of our visitors, employees, members and participants is our top priority.

The leadership of the UBC has been in conversation with many of our business partners and we know that many companies are also having to adjust their business practices, including policies on travel and meetings. And we have heard from you that many of our member participants have expressed concern about traveling, being in public spaces and away from home during these uncertain times.

Given that, we felt it best to be pro-active and cancel the conference and suspend our other programs. I know this raises a lot of questions for our affiliates. My staff will be in touch with you in order to communicate information and help address issues that arise due to this decision.”

View original letter.

Carpenters Training Center Closure

Given the current state of affairs with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and out of an abundance of caution, the New York City District Council of Carpenters Training Center has decided to postpone all class schedules for two weeks effective March 16, 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and notify members when classes will be rescheduled.

Members may take classes online with recognized accredited organizations during the time of school closure and be reimbursed by the Carpenters training Center with original receipts of course completion reflecting the dates between March 16th through March 29th, 2020.

We will only recognize and reimburse accredited organizations and courses listed on our website.

Postponed: 51st Annual Apprentice Open House

As a precautionary prevention measure, the New York City District Council of Carpenters Training Center (CTC) has postponed the 51st Annual Graduating Apprentice Exhibits and Open-House scheduled for April 7th. The situation will be monitored and the event may be rescheduled. Read the full letter from CTC.

Tips from the CDC to Remain Healthy in the Age of Coronavirus

There are simple steps you can take to remain healthy and prevent the spread of germs. Please be diligent about washing your hands and following the below steps. For further information, please refer to the Center for Disease Control (CDC): www.cdc.gov/COVID19.