Latest Updates on the Coronavirus Situation

Telephone Visits Now Available for HTC-Represented workers covered by Industry-Wide Benefit Plan

April 3, 2020 2:51 PM

As you know, the Industry-Wide Benefit Plan canceled all non-emergent doctor appointments at the Health Centers. This safety measure was taken in order to limit healthy patients’ exposure to the novel coronavirus, and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

We are happy to announce that the Benefit Plan has set up the technology and infrastructure to schedule non-urgent primary care medical appointments as telephone visits. For any HTC represented workers, covered by the Industry-Wide Benefit plan—and your dependents— you can now schedule a telephone visit for any internal medicine, family practice, and pediatric providers. 

Counseling Services and Member Health Assistance Program Available Over the Phone

April 3, 2020 2:44 PM

Understandably, many people are feeling heightened anxiety and stress during this crisis. In an effort to meet the needs of those covered by the Industry-Wide Benefit Plan during this time, the Members Health Assistance Program (MHAP) is offering counseling services over the phone for existing patients as well as setting up new patients over the phone. All counseling sessions are totally confidential. To be connected with a counselor please call MHAP Monday thru Friday 7:30 AM– 7:00 PM at (212) 237-3037 or (888) 615-6427

NY State Announces It Will Backdate Unemployment Claims

April 3, 2020 8:00 AM

We have been hearing from many members about the difficulties you are having filing your unemployment claims due to the New York State Department of Labor's website and phone lines being overwhelmed. We have been monitoring this issue and want to inform you all that it has been announced that any claim you file will be backdated to the date you became unemployed. If you are eligible, you will be paid for all benefits due. 

Health Center Pharmacies Closed April 4th, 5th, 10th, and 12th (Easter Sunday)

April 2, 2020 9:00 AM

This weekend, April 4th and 5th, the Health Centers are closing all four pharmacies (Brooklyn, Harlem, Midtown, and Queens) for a thorough cleaning and sterilization. All four pharmacies will be closed again the following Friday, April 10th, for Good Friday, open that Saturday, April 11th, and closed again on Sunday, April 12th for the Easter holiday.   

Please plan accordingly for the weekend closure. You can limit the time you spend in Health Center waiting areas by requesting medication refills online and over the phone. Also, you may be able to limit your trips to the pharmacies as a number of medications for chronic conditions are now available to you as a 60 day prescription, that in the past were limited to a 30 day prescription. Please check with your pharmacist. Read More...

BREAKING NEWS: Union wins extended healthcare in Division A hotels

March 31, 2020 11:00 AM

On the evening of Monday, March 30th, the arbitrator ruled that his previous decision on the extension of health benefits for HTC-represented workers, does indeed apply to Division A hotels in the same way it applies to IWA shops.  As some of you may know, some Division A hotels have already recognized the fact that they need to, along with shops that fall under the IWA contract, extend health benefits for their unionized employees. The Union went back to the arbitrator with the position that the decision should cover all Division A hotels. The arbitrator agreed with the union’s position. Congratulations to HTC-represented workers at these hotels.

Resources for people who live or work in New Jersey

March 30, 2020 5:00 PM

The NJ AFL-CIO has also put together resources for working people who work or live in New Jersey. Check out their COVID-19 Toolbox here.

Update: Stimulus plan is signed into law

March 27, 2020 5:30 PM

The $2 trillion dollar stimulus was approved by the House unchanged and was signed into law by the President.

The law will send a $1,200 check to people earning up to $75,000 ($2,400 for joint filers earning up to than $150,000 combined) and an additional $500 per child. People earning between $75,000 and $99,000 would receive prorated checks. Click here to calculate how much money you may receive. Our understanding is that people who can receive direct deposits will get these checks much faster. We will look into details to see how more of you can try to get direct deposits. 

Update: Senate passes $2 trillion stimulus plan; bill moves to the House for a vote

March 25, 2020 7:30 PM

The $2 trillion dollar stimulus bill will now move to the House, which is expected to take up the bill and pass it on Friday. At that point it will be sent to the President for his signature. Once it is signed it will become law.

Currently, the legislation would send a $1,200 check to people earning up to $75,000 ($2,400 for joint filers earning up to than $150,000 combined) and an additional $500 per child. People earning between $75,000 and $99,000 would receive prorated checks.

Once it is law, the legislation will add 13 weeks of unemployment benefits. In NY and NJ the limit was 26 weeks, so unemployment benefits will be extended for up to 39 weeks. The legislation will also add $600 a week on top of the usual unemployment benefits for four months.

$2 Trillion Federal Coronavirus Stimulus Package

March 25, 2020 8:50 AM

Your union is closely watching the federal $2 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Bill. We want to thank all our members that called their senators in the last few days. The text of the bill is not yet final, but here you will find the details that the Senate Democrats just released, which outlines where things stand currently. The Senate still has not printed a bill or voted on it. It will then go to the House, to be voted on.

We will continue to post on our website if any of these items change.

We will continue to closely monitor the situation so we can provide you with details on how this law may help HTC-represented workers and their families, like for example, any potential extension of unemployment benefits, direct payments to workers and families with children, and more. Stay tuned.

New Health Center Hours 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

March 24, 2020 5:00 PM

In an effort to protect health center staff and to make sure that health care professionals are where they are needed most the Health Center's hours will be reduced. These reduced hours will allow for health center staff to rotate their schedules, which will help limit their chances of infection. The new hours will begin Wednesday, March 25th.

HTC Wins Important Arbitration Extending Healthcare to Laid-off Workers

March 19, 2020 8:00 PM

The Union won an important victory in arbitration yesterday, guaranteeing workers continued health care if they are laid off as a result of the Coronavirus crisis.

Union Negotiating Emergency Safety Protocols Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

March 20, 2020 4:30 PM

The Union is negotiating, company by company, a special emergency agreement with the hotel industry to address pressing concerns to our members caused by the Coronavirus Crisis. We are calling the agreement the “Coronavirus Hotel Safety Protocol,” and most of the major hotel operators have already signed on to it (see below for a current list). We are in urgent and energetic discussions with those companies who, as of yet, have not signed.

Changes to Health Center Weekend Pharmacy Hours

March 18, 2020 4:45 PM

This weekend the Health Centers are taking measures to ensure that the they have enough staff to screen and test for COVID(19). This means each pharmacy will be open ONE day this weekend.

During the emergency, members will access most union office services by phone

March 18 2020 7:30 AM

Due to the health threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the medical director of the Benefit Funds has advised the Union to reorganize our office operations so that members will be able to deal with all the departments of the Union without coming to our headquarters on 8th Avenue. The Union clerical, dues, technical, and other office staff will be doing their work via online links from their homes. So, members should not come to the office except with an appointment.

New York unemployment website and phone lines unavailable due to high demand

March 16, 2020 9:27 PM

New York’s unemployment website and phone lines were temporarily unavailable today due to high demand, as the Coronavirus has led to a major increase in layoffs. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you as up to date as possible.

Union Health centers cancelling non-urgent appointments

March 15, 2020 5:00 PM

As a preventative measure to reduce the possibility of transmitting the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Union Health Centers will be cancelling all non-urgent medical and dental appointments for the next two weeks.

Our Union Health Centers are doing Coronavirus testing

March 13, 2020 1:30 PM

As of Friday, March 13, all four of our Union Health Centers in New York City began Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing of HTC-represented workers covered by our Industry-Wide Health Benefit Plan and their eligible dependents, at no cost to participants and their dependents. However, the supply of test kits our health centers have is very limited at this stage due to the nation-wide shortage.

HEAT Department calling delegates regarding layoff-related contract provisions

March 11, 2020 2:48 PM

The HEAT Department has begun systematically phone banking union delegates to remind them of additional protections in the contract that kick in during layoffs. For immediate information, please call (212) 245-8100

A Message from Union President Peter Ward

March 9, 2020 12:37 PM

I have been informed by the Administrator of the Industry-Wide Health Benefit Fund that our Union Health Centers in New York City are expected to have the ability to do testing for the coronavirus by the end of this week.