We continue to receive a lot of questions about productions testing performers for COVID-19. We are working with the DGC-BC, IATSE 891, IATSE 669 and Teamsters 155 to sign Letters of Understanding (LOU) with productions that wish to conduct testing of both cast and crew.  The LOUs ensure that there is compliance with BC Human Rights and privacy legislation and address minimum calls for testing and up to ten (10) days sick pay.

There are essentially 2 versions of the LOU for higher budget productions that are signatory with UBCP/ACTRA and the other 4 unions noted above. For lower budget productions that wish to conduct testing, we are negotiating alternate agreements on a case-by-case basis.

LOU 1, limits the amount of testing to 2X a week for cast (with additional considerations given to performers involved in scenes that require intimacy) and 1X a week for crew in Zone A and provides for tiered sick pay depending on how many days you worked or were booked.

LOU 2 doesn’t specify the frequency of testing; only that it must be reasonable, and it provides everyone up to 10 days sick pay regardless how many days worked or booked on the production.
 
ProvisionLOU 1LOU 2
Sick Pay RateThe minimum call at the negotiated rate or the negotiated daily guarantee (as appropriate), with applicable fringes.
 
For those on a weekly guarantee, 1/5 the negotiated weekly rate, with fringes.
The minimum call at the negotiated rate or the negotiated daily guarantee (as appropriate), with applicable fringes.
 
For those on a weekly guarantee, 1/5 the negotiated weekly rate, with fringes.
Temporary COVID‐19 Paid Sick Leave
for those testing positive for COVID‐19 via an employer‐ordered test
For those who have worked or are booked 5 days or less (including the date of testing):
Paid sick leave at the COVID‐19 Sick Pay Rate until the earlier of:
(a) the date they are cleared to return to work by the applicable Health Authority; or
(b) the greater of: (i) the number of days booked; or (ii) the number of days worked to a maximum of five (5) days paid sick leave.
 
Note that this duration could exceed the end‐date of normally expected employment.
 
For those who have worked or are booked more than 5 days (including the date of testing):
Paid sick leave at the COVID‐19 Sick Pay Rate until they are cleared to return to work by the applicable Health Authority, to a maximum of ten (10) days paid sick leave.
 
Note that this duration could exceed the end‐date of normally expected employment.
Each employee shall receive temporary COVID‐19 paid sick leave for each day that the employee is absent from work due to an Eligible COVID‐19 Event until they are cleared to return to work by the applicable Health Authority, to a maximum of ten (10) days paid sick leave.
Temporary COVID‐19 Paid Sick Leave
Applicable under any of the following circumstances (each an “Eligible COVID‐19 Event”):
i. The employee has tested positive for COVID‐19 through a public test
ii. The employee has exhibited symptoms of COVID‐19 (taking into account disabilities and
pre‐existing conditions which manifest as COVID‐19 symptoms)
iii. The Employer has requested that the employee isolate or self‐quarantine because
another person with whom he or she has been in close contact has tested positive for
COVID‐19 or exhibited symptoms of COVID‐19.
iv. A member of the employee’s household has tested positive for COVID‐19 or exhibited
symptoms of COVID‐19.
v. A public official or healthcare provider has requested that the employee isolate or self quarantine due to COVID‐19.
For those who have worked or are booked 5 days or less:
 
Paid sick leave at the COVID‐19 Sick Pay Rate until the earlier of:
(a) the date the employee is cleared to return to work by the applicable Health Authority;
(b) the greater of: (i) the number of days booked; or (ii) the number of days worked to a maximum of five (5) days paid sick leave; or
(c) the employee’s normally expected end‐date of employment.
 
For those who have worked or are booked more than 5 days:
 
Paid sick leave at the COVID‐19 Sick Pay Rate until the earlier of:
(a) the date the employee is cleared to return to work by the applicable Health Authority;
(b) Ten (10) days paid sick leave; or
(c) the employee’s normally expected end‐day of employment
Each employee shall receive temporary COVID‐19 paid sick leave for each day that the employee is absent from work due to an Eligible COVID‐19 Event until they are cleared to return to work by the applicable Health Authority, to a maximum of ten (10) days paid sick leave.
Employer mandated COVID‐19 tests and temperature checks must only be required for actively employed workers and be in compliance with human rights and privacy legislation. All tests must be done on work time. 

All productions should be using the least invasive COVID-19 collection method approved by the accredited laboratory, currently the dual-nasal swab.
 
We understand that there is confusion about the minimum call for testing.  Those productions that have executed a LOU should be paying a minimum 8-hour call for COVID testing.  Some lower budget Canadian productions that the Union has reached individual agreements with may have alternative terms. 

The Union will be following up with any productions that are testing without a LOU in place and productions that are not adhering the terms of the applicable agreement.
 
We are maintaining a list of those productions that have signed a LOU in the documents section of the member online services area of our website. Please click here.

Don’t hesitate to contact the Union Rep for the show or email report.it@ubcpactra.ca if you have any questions.