Our Response to COVID-19 ~ Resources & News

March 27, 2020

Holiday Pay Fund COVID-19 Distribution Request Available

Local 2 and the Trustees of the Holiday Funds are pleased to announce that the participants of the Brick, Cement and TMT Holiday Pay Funds can request a withdrawal of the Holiday Pay funds that you have in your accounts for work hours reported from October, 2019 through the end of January, 2020. 

If the Chapter where you work makes contributions to one these Holiday Pay funds, you will be mailed a form so that you can request a one time withdrawal.  Look for the mailing or can download the appropriate form and return it to the fund office listed on the form today.  Click the links below to read the letters for exact details of these distrubtions that start next week.

Bricklayers Holiday Fund - Special Vacation Distribution Mailing - March 2020

Tile, Terrazzo & Marble Fund - Special Vacation Distribution Mailing - March 2020

Cement Masons Holiday Fund - Special Vacation Distribution Mailing - March 2020

If you have any quesitons call BAC Local 2 or yuor Field Representative.

Trustees of the Brick, Cement and TMT Holiday Pay Funds

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Effective yesterday, March 24, based on Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-21, BAC Local 2 MI has transitioned our staff to a rotating skeleton crew at both our Warren and Lansing offices.  The health and well‐being of our employees and continuity of service to our members and their families is our highest priority.  In response to the evolving COVID‐19 pandemic, both Local 2 Training Centers are closed to our members until the Stay Home Order is lifted.  We have also decided to cancel all Chapter Union Meetings for the Month of April as well.

You should know that Critical BAC Operations Will Continue
The IUBAC and Local 2, MI will keep our critical operations going during this crisis.  We are here to answer questions and assist our members in any way.  We take the COVID‐19 outbreak seriously and recognize the importance of minimizing the spread of the virus. So, while we continue to provide services to our members, we will not be able to let anyone into our buildings during the 3 week period based on the Governor’s Executive Order.

Our staff who are not in our offices will be working remotely and we will remain responsive and available via cell phones, text messages and email, and you should not hesitate to reach out to contact anyone on our staff as usual.   

While providing services to our members remains our primary consideration, there may be some temporary delays, but we do not anticipate significant disruption to critical services. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office has provided 2 documents for this Executive Order which are attached below on this page:

  • Executive Order 2020-21, Stay Home, Stay Safe
  • Bureau of Construction Codes Statement Regarding Construction Under EO 2020-21

The following Guidance from the CPWR, Center for Construction Research and Training, are attached below on this page:

  • CPWR_Guidance_on_COVID
  • CPWR_Guidance_on_COVID_SPANISH

CPWR - The Center For Construction Research and Training - has developed guidance on COVID-19 in that can be downloaded by clicking this bold text for the English and Spanish versions plus they are attached below as well.  They are also maintaining the best collection of resources for construction tradespeople right here. It's updated on a daily basis, and it's targeted at union craftworkers. 

For more information on the coronavirus, you can visit the CDC, Public Health Agency of CanadaWorld Health Organization, and Johns Hopkins UniversityMichigan Statistics, and World Statistics.

We will continue monitoring the situation and will update you as necessary to ensure we all get through these events with as little disruption of service to BAC members as prudently possible.

We are going through unsettling times as we head into a three-week shutdown. The whole country is being asked to make sacrifices that we have never made in the past.  This situation is changing quickly and we urge you to remember the health of your families and loved ones.  Please focus on being positive for the sake of our children because they watch how we respond to this crisis.  

Our IUBAC Membership Assistance Program is available to take your calls and help talk through situations that you may be facing at this time.  This free and confidential service connects you to our BAC Licensed Professional Counselors by calling (888)880-8222

Local 2's D&V and MI Health Fund's will be mailing a notice to participants to let them know that there is no charge for COVID-19 testing for our participants. 

We are also in the process of offering an early Vacation Pay distribution for our members who request it.  This was approved today for our Brick, Cement and TMT Vacation Funds and notice will be mailed & posted on this website when available. 

In closing, Local 2’s staff is committed to providing you with the support, services and representation that BAC members deserve.  

As Tim Driscoll, the President of the IUBAC, has told us: “I have no doubt that, as with past crises, we will match this moment with the dedication and determination that has characterized BAC’s Membership and Leadership for over 150 years.” 

In Solidarity,

Chuck Kukawka
President,
Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Local 2 MI

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Here is an important update from the MI Unemployment Office

UIA Offers Update on Unemployment System, Provides Tips
                       to Get Help as Soon as Possible 

LANSING, MICH. The State of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) today provided updated information for workers affected by COVID-19. Workers are encouraged to apply online at Michigan.gov/UIA or over the phone at 866-500-0017, but due to the tremendous call volume, certain callers may receive a busy signal.  

“The UIA is working hard and fast to handle the influx of applications for unemployment benefits as we deal with the COVID-19 crisis. While an unprecedented number of calls and clicks has challenged the system, particularly during peak hours, we want to assure Michiganders that the system is providing emergency financial relief,” said UIA Director Steve Gray. "Our website may be operating a little slower, and phone queues are full resulting in busy signals for some callers, so the UIA is urging patience and recommending that workers go first to the online system at Michigan.gov/UIA.” 

In addition, applying online in off-peak hours will expedite the process. The 24-hour website operates faster when there are fewer people on the site at any given time. The UIA also urges Michiganders using the website to expect longer load times. It may take several minutes for a page to load at this time. Users are asked to be patient and not click more than once to reload a page. Filing online remains the fastest way for Michiganders to apply for unemployment benefits. 

Off-peak hours: 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.  

Applicants with questions can also access information on the website Michigan.gov/UIA, including frequently asked questions about the process and current challenges due to COVID-19.  Checking the website for answers may help alleviate pressure on the phone line. A downloadable handout on the filing process can be found here.

“Though it is best to file your claim as efficiently as possible, and we understand residents are eager to receive their checks quickly, the UIA wants to remind Michiganders that the eligibility window to apply has been increased from 14 to 28 days from the date of their work stoppage,” added Gray. “The UIA is shifting as many resources as possible to handle the increase in applications and is exploring further solutions to help Michiganders get the assistance they need as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience during this unprecedented time.”

Gov. Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-10 on March 16, 2020 to expand unemployment benefits to eligible workers: 

  • Sick Workers: Workers who are sick, quarantined, or immunocompromised and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off. 
  • Workers Caring for Loved Ones: Workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, including those who have childcare responsibilities due to school closures, or those who are forced to care for loved ones who become ill and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave.

The governor’s order also extends access to benefits for unemployed workers:

  • Increased Weeks: Benefits will be increased from 20 to up to 26 weeks. 
  • Longer Application Time: The application eligibility period will be increased from 14 to 28 days. 
  • Fewer Requirements: The in-person registration and work search requirements will be suspended.

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

JIC News Release 068_UIA Offers Update on Unemployment System, Provides Tips to Get Help as Soon as Possible.pdf

Please check regularly for further updates, and stay safe.