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      WASHINGTON — The House on Friday passed the $2 trillion coronavirus economic stimulus bill, and President Donald Trump is expected to sign it quickly.

      The legislation, which was passed unanimously by the Senate on Wednesday, provides relief for workers and businesses that have been devastated by the outbreak.

      This includes stimulus payments to individuals, expanded unemployment coverage, student loan changes and different retirement account rules.

      Click here to view the 9 page Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet for the CARES-ACT or download from below.  A link to the article containing this information is also provided at the bottom of the FAQ sheet.

      UPDATE:  Click here to be directed to the COVID-19 Resources page found under the "Member Resources" tab.  Due to the amount of information and how quickly it is changing, there is a new page that will be your "one stop" source for all COVID-19 related information.  It can be found at www.ibewlocal531.org/COVID-19resourcesThis is not available on the App as of yet, but will be in the immediate future for easier access

      Download: Covid-19 CARES Act - FAQ.pdf

      The Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs has instituted a Military Family Relief Fund COVID-19 Emergency Assistance program.  It is designed to assist military families that are experiencing financial hardhsip due to the Coronavirus.  Please click here for more information on how to apply or download the full document below. Download: mfrf_covid_19_app-outline.pdf

      Good morning Brothers and Sisters.  I hope you and your family's are all safe and doing well.  Information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic is constantly changing.  We are constantly monitoring the situation and will do our best to make any new information that comes out available to you.  

      As you all probably have heard, Governor Holcomb announced a "Stay at Home" Executive Order yesterday.  With the increase of the COVID-19 cases and the Executive Order by Gov. Holcomb, the hall will remain closed to everyone except the office staff.  We will remain closed until April 7th at 7 am or until the order is lifted. We are asking that if you need anything please call the office during normal business hours at 219-362-2119 or send an email to info@ibewlocal531.org.  For issues that can not be taken care of over the phone or by email we are asking that you schedule an appointment. While things may change from day to day please check our website at ibewlocal531.org for the most up to date information. You can also download our app to get notifications to the latest info as it’s uploaded.  If you are looking to try and pay dues, we ask that you mail a check or visit our website to pay by Credit Card online.  The link to the online dues pay is www.ibewlocal531.org/paymydues.

      Governor Holcomb's "Stay at Home" order is from March 24th to April 6th.  In this Executive Order, it does have exclusions for the Building Trades.  These exclusions are stated in Section 11, Section 14j and Section 14v.  Click here to view the entire Executive Order.  You can also download a copy at the bottom of this message. 

      I have received multiple phone calls from the membership regarding safety on the jobsite.  Each and every one of you have a decision to make whether you go to work if your job is open or stay home because of the possibility of contracting and/or passing “COVID-19” to you and/or your family.  There shall be NO adverse action taken against an employee who refuses to be present at the jobsite so long as the employee genuinely believes there is imminent danger and a reasonable person would agree there is a real danger of contracting coronavirus at the jobsite, NOR shall any adverse action be taken against an employee who has been quarantined, or advised to self-quarantine, due to possible exposure to coronavirus.

      Most of you heard that our International along with NECA - National came up with an agreement (NDERA) to address many issues that are arising due to the spread of COVID-19.  In that agreement, it allows Local Unions to come up with an agreement between the local union and the local NECA chapter specifically identifying how we will be dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. We felt most of this agreement was good but just "tweaked" a couple things in order to better suit our market, our membership and our culture.  This agreement is called NIDERA - Northern Indiana Disease Emergency Response Agreement and supercedes the NDERA.  A full copy of the newly signed agreement can be downloaded from below, or by clicking here,  and will remain in effect until further notice.  Some of the most commonly asked questions are answered below and can also be found, in more detail, in the full agreement   

      A question that has arisen is whether any members who lose their jobs due to coronavirus and takes a temporary furlough, can sign the "Out of Work" List.  The answer to this is NO.  The only way to sign the "Out of Work" list is with a termination slip.  

      Another question that has arisen, is whether members can collect unemployment while on furlough.  The answer to this is YES.  The employer shall not contest any unemployment claims filed by employees temporarily furloughed as a result of a restricted or closed jobsite due to the coronavirus or similar disease, or who have refused to be present at the jobsite out of a genuine belief that being present would place them in imminent danger of contracting coronavirus.  

      Again, just a reminder, all communications will be posted via the website as they come available.  If you have not already, download the app via the website to receive instant notifications of when new information is available.

      As always, if you have any questions, please call the hall.  

      In Solidarity

      Jim

      Download: Executive Orders 20-08 through 20-11.pdf , NIDERA Agreement between IBEW 153-531-697 and NECA - March 23 2020 - FINAL.pdf

      Brothers and Sisters,

      New information has been made available regarding unemployment benefits for the State of Indiana.  If you find yourself laid off or furloughed, please click here to be directed to Indiana Unemployment Insurance Claimant Self Service (CSS) System for filing for UI Benefits.  Some of you may have not filed for Unemployment benefits in quite some time.  In order to help you navigate this process,  click here to be directed to the FAQ section of the website.  A downloadable version is also available below 

      Recently, Governor Holcomb held a news conference to outline two executive orders.  These orders were put in place to help Hoosiers in this critical time.  The key takeaways can be found by clicking here.

      The Center for Construction Research and Training has also published some information regarding the impact on the construction industry and how to protect our workers on the job.  Click here to be directed to their website.  A downloadable PDF of the information is also available below.  

      As a reminder, the IBEW Local 531 Business office continues to be open as well.  We are here 7 am to 4:30 pm, Monday - Friday.  We are asking everyone to call or email any business they need to discuss.  Any business that cannot be effectively done in this manner, we are aksing you to call ahead before coming in.  We are trying to keep a safe working environment by limiting the amount of persons within the building.  

      I hope you all have a very safe weekend

      In Solidarity,

      Jim

      Download: CPWR EXTRA.pdf , Indiana UI FAQ.pdf

      Brothers and Sisters, I wanted to reach out to you and share some updated information that may be helpful.  First, let me say that i hope everyone and their family's are safe and well.  Things are a bit upide down right now but we will get thru this.  There have been a few calls regarding the Coronavirus and how it is being handled by our Health and Welfare (Decatur).
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      Download: Decatur info on COVID-10.pdf

      UPDATE: 3/17/2020 Brothers and Sisters, As expected, there have been numerous questions in regards to COVID-19 and how it may affect our jobsites, our jobs and our unemployment.  The IBEW has released an Emergency Agreement to help us, along with our NECA partners, navigate these uncertain times.  Click here to read the agreement.
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      Unfortunately, the scheduled Adopt a Highway clean up day is cancelled.  We will continue to assess the current COVID-19 situation and let the IBEW 531 membership know of any and all changes.  We appreciate your understanding and patience in this unprecedented situation.
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    • Upcoming Events
      Union Meeting
      Apr 03, 2020
      RENEW Meeting
      Apr 10, 2020
      JATC Training Center 301 E. 8th St. Michigan City
      CPR & First Aid
      Apr 16, 2020
      NECA/IBEW Training Center 301 E. 8th St. Michigan City
      Union Meeting
      May 01, 2020
      RENEW Meeting
      May 08, 2020
      JATC Training Center 301 E. 8th St. Michigan City
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