Download the PDF: New Deal Winter 2016
In this issue:
Getting Involved / Ashokan Gathering / Upcoming Meetings / Emergency Relief Loan / Election Results / Letter from the President / P2 Visa Update / Proposed By-Laws Changes / NERFA Report / Chuck Pyle and John Jennings Remembrances / Membership Update
Registration includes meals and lodging (dormitory), use of the facility and the program costs. The deadline for registration is April 14th.
Who: Members-in-Good-Standing of Local 1000 + one guest.
When: 4pm Monday, May 2 through lunch on Wednesday, May 4, 2015
Pre-Gathering Worskhop on “Crowdfunding” at 1 pm on Monday, May 2.
Where: The Ashokan Center, 477 Beaverkill Rd, Olivebridge, NY 12461
[vimeo width=”400″ height=”300″]https://vimeo.com/157390425[/vimeo]
Join your Union Sisters & Brothers at the Local 1000 Gathering, May 2-4, 2016 at The Ashokan Center in Olivebridge, NY. As a non-geographic local, Local 1000 does not have the Union Hall where members can meet. The annual gathering is our chance to meet, discuss, organize, share meals and make music. As part of the gathering, Local 1000 will hold our Spring Membership Meeting.
The theme this year is “Mentoring.” We have asked three presenters to share their insights and skills and to inspire us, Local 1000 members Linda Tillery, Ken Whiteley and Hannah Shira Naiman. Our facilitator/registrar is Steve Eulberg.
The Ashokan Center is located in Olivebridge, New York about 2 hours north of New York City and 1 1/2 hours south of Albany. It consists of 374-acres of Catskill forests, streams and farmland is a special blend of geologic, natural and human history. Their mission is to teach, inspire and build community through shared experiences in nature, history, and the arts. The rustic elegance of their new campus along with the natural beauty of Ashokan’s forests, fields and streams help to create an unforgettable experience for visitors.
[vimeo width=”400″ height=”300″]https://vimeo.com/157387919[/vimeo]
In order to make the gathering affordable to Local 1000 members, we are implementing a “pay what you can afford” fee. The fee covers the program, housing, meals and snacks. Transportation is not included but we can assist in coordinating travel from the airport in Albany. The gathering is open to current Local 1000 members and an invited guest. Your guest may participate in all activities with the exception of the membership meeting. Local 1000 members may attend the membership meeting without registering for the gathering.
The full fee is $320 per person. We ask that all participants pay at least $200 (this is below our cost) and those of you who are able a fee of $450 (or more) to cover your registration plus help to subsidize those on a more limited economy.
If you are unable to attend, but would still like to support the membership gathering, please consider making a donation to our Joe Hill Scholarship Fund, to help other members attend and to support covering costs such as transportation fees, meals and lodging for presenters. For example: $300 helps to cover the transportation for one of our presenters; $180 helps to cover the lodging and meals for one of our presenters; $250 helps to cover the honorarium for one of our presenters.
The major delays for processing P2 Visas continue, and we have recently learned that processing times are even longer now than they were the last time we updated you. We are monitoring the situation and we have been in close contact with the Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) office. They are about to send out an official notice advising that applications need to be in the office at least 75 calendar days in advance of the first contracted gig. We will forward that notice as soon as it comes to us.
We are getting in touch immediately in order to make sure you have timely information and are prepared as best as possible. While the official word from the CFM is a 75 day lead time, our recommendation is for you to apply 90 calendar days in advance of your first gig if at all possible. We realize this is challenging, but given how quickly processing times have increased, it is impossible to predict what will happen over the next few months, and it is far better to be too early than to be caught in an even longer processing delay.
We know that there are a number of you with P2 Visas applications in process. The CFM office is working overtime and has hired extra staff to help with the huge number of calls and emails they are fielding right now. They are doing the best they can to keep on top of the situation, but they are completely in the hands of the US Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS), and they are limited in what they can do.
Note that under normal conditions, Visa applicants can try to get a “congressional expedite” to speed up processing of a P2 Visa that has not come through. However, at the moment the Vermont Processing Center is advising congressional/senate aides that the only option to help speed up approvals is to pay an extra US$1225 for premium processing.
Please DO NOT attempt to contact the USCIS about your case — the only person USCIS agents are authorized to speak to about your case is the petitioner (the staff person at the CFM who has prepared and signed your application) and any other communication could flag your case as potentially fraudulent and could jeopardize your approval.
CFM is working on a policy level to try to reduce processing times — when we have more information about those efforts we will certainly let you know.
Needless to say, we are not happy with this situation, and at Local 1000 we are committed to working as best as we can to assist our members who have P2 applications in process. If you have an application in and you have questions or concerns, please get in touch with Canadian Vice President Eve Goldberg at firstname.lastname@example.org Again, we are limited in what we can do but we are available to advise and we can sometimes clarify questions or point to helpful resources.
We have been advised that there are currently major delays in processing P2 Visas, which may potentially affect many of our Canadian members. We have received official word that the Vermont Service Center is approximately 26 days behind in processing petitions. Please see the following note from CFM Executive Director Liana White:
“What this 26 day processing time delay specifically means to P2’s is that we will need at least the full 45 calendar days otherwise we will need to recommend premium processing [being an additional $1,225 USD], unless the musicians or their representatives have a US senator or congressional office secured in advance, and on standby for when the file is issued a receipt number enabling them to act upon the petition.
“It is still USCIS policy that all artist/entertainer petitions should be processed within 14-days of receipt by the service centers, but there is nothing legally binding the centers to adhere to their own policy. In the background, the AFM continues to work with the Performing Artist Visa Task Force/Working Group [an ad-hoc collation of US non-profit, arts organizations formed in 2001] which has recently resubmitted the ARTS Act in hopes of having the 14-day processing guarantee legislated.
“Please ensure that any members inquiring about P2’s with your offices are aware of the present filing times/backlog – and further, that IF we should agree to process a petition which does not allow 45 calendar days to process, they will be filing at their own risk, again, unless they have a senator/congressional aid secured.”
Download the PDF: New Deal Summer-Fall 2015
In this issue:
Selma and Beyond / Ashokan Gathering / Us Plus Them / Upcoming Meetings / Great Labor Arts Exchange / Elisee Will Wins Creative Arts Award / Upcoming Local 1000 Election and Candidate Bios / In Defense of Applying / WoodyFest Caper / Letter from the President / Secretary Treasurers Notes / Membership Update
There will not be a Cyber Union Hall gathering in August. But if you are dyeing to be inspired this month check our Cyber Union Hall Archies here.
Thanks to all of you who have taken our Cyber Union Hall survey. Your responses help shape the future of these calls. If you have not taken the survey please take a couple minutes and complete our short on line survey and give us some feed back that will make these calls a valuable resource to our members.
The survey link is here. (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FM7WBQ2). It will only take a couple minute and the board would greatly appreciate your input.
Thanks and keep the music alive.
Aaron Fowler, US Vice President
Don’t miss out! The Local 1000 Member Gathering is a fantastic opportunity to connect with your fellow union members and help shape the direction of our Local. It all takes place in the beautiful surroundings of the Ashokan Center in Olivebridge, NY, which borders on the Ashokan Reservoir and features hiking trails, streams and waterfalls, and spectacular Catskill Mountain views. Members may bring one guest who can participate in all activities except the membership meeting.
Stay tuned for more details.