New Year, New Paperwork

Isn’t paperwork fun? Obviously it’s a necessary evil in order to get paid, but none of us really enjoy doing it. Luckily the new paperwork only affects new hires or we’d be chasing each and every one of you down to fill it out, so at least the majority of you have dodged a bullet.

What’s new? There is a new I-9 (the citizenship form) and a new W-4 (federal withholding). Thus far, none of the other forms have been updated, but it would be neither a shock nor a surprise if at some point in the near future they are.

The new I-9 doesn’t look all that much different from the old one, with a couple of exceptions. First, you MUST check one of the two boxes that indicate whether or not you used a preparer or translator. Second, you MUST use the following format for date: mm/dd/yyyy, or 02/24/2020. If any other date format is used the forms cannot be accepted and you’ll have to fill them out again. The other thing that is different with the I-9 is on the employer’s end… the person who physically sees your proof of citizenship has to fill out the second page, sign, and date it.

The documents required remain the same: A valid US passport or several other documents that establish both identity and employment authorization (the list is still included in the paperwork). If you don’t have one of those, then you’ll need a document that establishes identity and one that establishes employment authorization. The easiest of those are a Driver’s License (or State ID) and either a Social Security Card or Birth Certificate. Again, there are a few more documents that can be used, which are on the list.

The new W-4 at first glance looks like something that makes unemployment look attractive. Do not be alarmed! You only have to fill out Steps One and Five. The other sections dealing with multiple employers you can safely ignore unless you’re really, really into filling out income tax paperwork. Essentially it’s the exact same information you’ve provided in the past, just on a new form.

Most employers (and also at the IA26 office for UTP paperwork) should have replaced the old forms with new ones in their new hire packets by now. However, it can’t hurt for you to double check so your check doesn’t get delayed. Your I-9 should show an Expiration Date of 10/21/2022. If it shows anything else you have the wrong form. Your W-4 should have 2020 in the upper right corner. Again, if it shows anything else you have the wrong form. Yes, it’s the employer’s responsibility to give you the right paperwork, but they’re only human and mistakes are sometimes made. If your packet has old forms, please point that out so you can be given the right ones. If you fill out the wrong forms, your check will most likely be delayed until you do the right ones.

The most important takeaway here isn’t even that there are new forms,  however. The important thing is the date format. I cannot stress this enough… If you do not use mm/dd/yyyy (02/24/2020) the I-9 cannot be accepted.

Below are images of the new forms.

Yellow Card Shows: What are they and what do those numbers mean?

Yellow Card Shows are, simply, shows that carry an all-IATSE crew and are a union tour. The first shows to travel under this arrangement were covered under District 1 (Northwest USA), and a bond was posted with the International to guarantee transportation home and two weeks’ pay for suddenly closed shows. The system was initially started so shows could send ahead the size and length of time local crews would be needed to assure there would be enough people to staff each theatre. It also helped ensure those were union crews, especially in venues that were not under an IA contract.

This system worked so well the International adopted it as an official policy a few years later, and the Yellow Card System is still in use today with very few changes to its original format. In today’s world, however, the Yellow Card does not ensure Local union workers; it only covers the road crew. When a show does play a union venue, a representative of the Local is supposed to check the show personnel’s travel cards to ensure they are travelling under proper documentation.

So what information does a Yellow Card contain?

It starts with general production information including who the General Manager and Company Managers are for the show. It also lists the IA traveling heads of department (Carpenter, Electrician, Props, Wardrobe, Hair/Makeup) and to which Locals they belong. You’ll also find the show’s website and an itinerary for the tour.

From there, you’ll see a list of departments, along with how many people the tour travels, and how many locals are required for Load In, Performance, and Load Out. Those numbers can change at the beginning of a tour as they determine how many people are actually needed, but the Yellow Card is supposed to be set after the show plays its third city on the tour. This can take more time than you’d think, as some shows sit in a city for several weeks or even months.

The departments listed are: Carpenters, Electrics, Props, Wardrobe, and Hair/Makeup. There is a separate section for Truck Loaders, both load in and load out. You may be thinking, “But what about audio, video, and riggers?” Audio and video are considered part of the electrics department, and riggers are considered part of the carpenters. There is a section for “Additional Remarks”, which is where the Head Carpenter on the tour will note how many of each are needed. This is also where extra positions such as pushers, fork lift operators, etc. will be listed, as well as anything they feel requires clarification.

Sometimes, but certainly not always, a show will also have a White Card filed with the International. The White Card contains information specifically for the wardrobe department, as often those positions require special skills and have work calls outside the normal load in, performance(s) and load out.

The last item on the Yellow Card is what tier contract the show is under with the International. That determines the conditions and minimum rates the road crew work under.

This is one that trips people up fairly often:

The Yellow Card contains the MINIMUM number of local workers a show requires in order to function. Local conditions always prevail. For example, if a Local’s contract requires non-working department heads, then the number of people in each department will increase by one. Or if a show does not call for an electrician for performances but the Local contract (as some of ours do) requires a department head if any equipment is used, then there will be an electrician for each performance. Usually the show’s head carpenter will include possible extra workers “based on venue conditions” or some wording to that effect.

All of the shows currently travelling under a Yellow Card with the International can be found on the IA’s website at The particular shows that are scheduled to stop at one of our venues can be found on the Local’s events calendar at

Local 26 Holiday Giving

The holidays are a time of year when we are more inclined toward giving, especially to those less fortunate than ourselves. Local 26 has “adopted” four foster kids at DA Blodgett for the season, and we’re collecting donations to make their Christmas a little brighter. Foster kids often have nothing of their own, and while we can’t change the world for everyone, we can change it for a few children at a time. Collections were taken at the Lion King and Trans-Siberian Orchestra loadouts, and the Local 26 family did us proud. If you weren’t there or didn’t get a chance, donations can still be made at the Local 26 office (open Monday through Friday 9-2) and at DeVos Place during Farm Bureau (see Jess Westra).

Best part? Local 26 will MATCH the amount of money donated, and the extra funds will go toward buying a new refrigerator for the DeVos Performance Hall scene shop.

Thank you to those who have already given so generously! We truly appreciate your willingness to brighten the lives of children you’ve never met. And if you’re interested in doing something further for DA Blodgett, the details on how to go about it can be found at Holiday Giving.



In the first two days of this endeavor, Local 26 knocked it out of the park! With total donations of something like $400 (and matched by the Local), we were able to sponsor a DOZEN children! And the new DeVos Hall refrigerator will arrive on Friday. Thank you so much for your incredible generosity! Things like this are what make me proud to be a member of Local 26.

Below is the thank you note we received from the DA Blodgett coordinator, who at the last minute had a sponsor pull out and found herself wondering how she was going to make Christmas happen for these kids. Our contributions covered half the kids on her list, providing each one of them with a necessity and something fun to call their own.

Dear IATSE Local 26,
On behalf of the children supported by DA Blodgett we would like thank each of you for making this Christmas one of hope and joy. Your generosity supported 12 boys and girls ages 6 months – 18 years old. Your kindness purchased basic needs (sheets, underwear, etc) as well as toys and books. Many of the children you supported do not have items that belong to them, and your gift will not only stay with them when they move to their next “home” but will surely live on in their hearts forever.

Wishing you a joyful Christmas and New Year,

Amanda Sekelsky
EverGreen Carpet Cleaning



New Payroll System at WMU – Miller Auditorium

You are receiving this communication because you may be a participant in the paycard program at Western Michigan University for your work at Miller Auditorium.  The current vendor for the paycard is Money Network Services.  This notification is to inform  you that Western is transitioning from Money Network Services to the PNC paycard program.  This conversion is being scheduled for the first payroll in Oct. 2019.  You can anticipate your new card arriving the week prior to the first pay in October to allow time for card activation.

If you are a current cardholder, a new PNC card has been requested for you and will be mailed to your permanent address as listed in the database.   Please contact Payroll and Disbursements if your new card has not arrived by October 1, 2019.  The phone number is 269 387-2935.    If you have converted from the paycard to direct deposit, please discard this notice.  Please be advised that in many circumstances it is to your advantage to have direct deposit rather than a paycard due to the fees associated with paycards.

Please see the schedule of fees as noted below.  The fee schedule will also be enclosed within your new card.

Important Information Regarding UTP Direct Deposit

According to an email from UTP Group:

Just so you are aware we are changing systems for direct deposit, it will not effect anyone that has been getting it already but we are not entering new ones until the new system is up and running (supposed to be Monday but you never know). So anyone new, within the last week or so, will get a check until it is up and running (or postponed).


And while I have you here… There are still several people who have yet to fill out their new hire paperwork (or provide us with copies of their supporting documents). You cannot be paid for a job you’ve worked until that paperwork is complete, and I honestly cannot fathom why you would drag your feet on this. If you worked a job in a venue other than VanAndel Arena, Devos Place/Hall, DeltaPlex, or Miller Auditorium and have not yet been paid, please call or stop by the Local 26 office to find out if you’re on the list and get your paperwork completed. Some of these paychecks have been held since last summer, and everyone who needs to do paperwork has been contacted multiple times (in person on the call by their Head Carpenter, via email from the office, and/or by phone).  Under Michigan law, uncashed payroll checks are considered abandoned after they have been dormant for one year. I am unsure if that applies only to checks that have been issued and not cashed, or if it also applies to checks for which the funds are being held until paperwork is on file, but it doesn’t seem like letting your money get sent to the state unclaimed property division is the way to go.


Reminder: The office is open Monday through Friday 9am to 2pm and closed on all major holidays. Planned changes to the hours will be posted on our website on the Contact page. It’s always a good idea to call before you stop by just in case something unexpected happened and we have had to close on short notice.

Downtown Grand Rapids Parking

As we all know, parking downtown can be expensive and sometimes almost impossible to find, especially on weekend nights. As we also know, a great deal of our work happens on weekend nights. We’ve received a letter at the office from Grand Rapids Parking Services offering a solution that might work for some of you!


First, there’s always the DASH bus, which is free to ride from various parking lots around downtown. It runs Monday through Wednesday from 6:30 am to 10:30 pm. Thursday and Friday from 6:30 am to 1:00 am, Saturday from 10:00 am to 1:00 am, and Sunday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. You still have to pay for parking, but it allows you to park further away for a lesser cost.


Second option is to purchase an Evening Monthly Parking Permit. This is considerably cheaper than purchasing a regular Monthly Parking Permit at just $49 per month, although it only allows you to park from 4:30 pm to 8:00 am. The ramps for which you can purchase a permit are: Pearl-Ionia, Monroe Center, Weston Commerce, and Cherry Commerce. The Pearl-Ionia ramp Evening Permit allows 24-hour access on Saturday and Sunday.


Finally, they wanted to point out the services they offer when you park in a city lot or ramp. They have Parking Service Officers available 24/7/365 in case you need help changing a tire, need a jump start, are locked out of your vehicle, transporting you to your vehicle (when parked in one of their facilities) outside of DASH hours if you feel unsafe walking, troubleshooting any issues with automated parking machines, and they’ll even sell you up to 5 gallons of fuel if you’re out of gas!


If you’d like to apply for one of the Evening Monthly Parking Permits, please visit the link below to be placed on the waiting list.

Grand Rapids Parking Permits is now LinkedIn Learning

Be sure to follow the instructions in the email from LinkedIn Learning

On June 20th your account was upgraded to a LinkedIn Learning account. You should have received an email with instructions on registering with LIL. Just follow the instructions in the email to gain access to all the great learning opportunities LIL has to offer.

Didn’t get the email?

That’s okay. If you didn’t receive the email just log into like you normally do and you will be redirected to the registration page of LIL. Once there, just follow the instructions to gain access.

You don’t need a LinkedIn profile to access LinkedIn Learning. You can connect your LinkedIn profile if you like but it is not necessary. If you would like to learn more about registering your account for the upgrade, visit our website at Once there, you can look through instructions, step by step or you can reference the at-a-glance flow chart of the procedure.

We are excited to bring you this valuable learning resource and hope you enjoy advancing your skills with LinkedIn Learning.

*Please note: You do not have to have a LinkedIn profile, nor do you have to link to an existing LinkedIn profile, to use LinkedIn Learning. Your certificates will not be published to your profile unless you choose to do so when given the option for each class completed.

Rigger Advisory Panel


At the May 24, 2019 Rigging Meeting, a group of 20 or so riggers elected Josh Roskamp, Randy Sturgis, and Tony Del Barrio to the Inaugural Panel of the Rigging Advisory Committee. The rigging department was asked by the Business Agent and Executive Board to form this panel to better enable communication regarding all rigging-related issues whether good or bad. This panel will also be responsible for scheduling, running, and keeping records of discussion at all Rigging Department meetings.

The initial topics this committee was asked to discuss included (but were certainly not limited to): Rigging Safety Issues, Rigging List Restructuring, Recruiting New Riggers, and Conduct and Duties of Riggers on Calls.

This inaugural panel has made a commitment of one year of service, after which nominations and an election will be held within the committee again. This group is an ad hoc committee of Local 26, which means they serve at the discretion of the President. Any Committee or Panel member who is not performing as directed or fails to work collaboratively with the department will be removed and a new person appointed to take his/her place.

Local 26 eagerly anticipates moving forward with the Rigging Department and its newly-elected Panel to solve issues and create new opportunities for advancement. Congratulations to you all!

Workers Memorial Day


On April 28, working people around the world observe Workers Memorial Day, known as National Day of Mourning or Jour de Deuil in Canada, to remember those who have suffered and died on the job and to renew the fight for safe jobs.

Since this commemoration takes place on a Sunday this year, the IATSE asks that all members across North America pause to reflect with a moment of silence on Monday, April 29th at 10am PDT/1:00pm EDT.

For more information about Workers Memorial Day in general, visit the AFL-CIO’s website.

For more information on how our sisters and brothers to the north observe this somber day, please visit the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.

Find Us Online!

Local 26 has added Instagram to our online presence! Follow us and keep up with what’s happening at work, with training, and at play.

Don’t forget we’re on Twitter as well!