Yesterday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy made an Executive Order to shut down all “nonessential construction” in the State of New Jersey. Enforcement of this order will take effect at 8:00 PM Friday, April 10. This is just the latest development affecting our members since the beginning of the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) pandemic began in our country. Through it all, the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters has committed to working in the best interest of our membership and informing the members of the assistance they can receive for their union families during this unprecedented time.
The Governor’s Executive Order will largely focus on the closure of commercial and residential construction work. As of right now the following construction projects are deemed ESSENTIAL:
- Projects necessary for the delivery of health care services, including but not limited to hospitals, other health care facilities, and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities.
- Transportation projects, including roads, bridges, and mass transit facilities or physical infrastructure, including work done at airports or seaports.
- Utility projects, including those necessary for energy and electricity production and transmission, and any decommissioning of facilities used for electricity generation.
- Residential projects that are exclusively designated as affordable housing.
- Projects involving pre-K-12 schools, including but not limited to projects in Schools Development Authority districts, and projects involving higher education facilities.
- Projects already underway involving individual single-family homes, or an individual apartment unit where an individual already resides, with a construction crew of 5 or fewer individuals. This includes additions to single-family homes such as solar panels.
- Projects already underway involving a residential unit for which a tenant or buyer has already entered into a legally binding agreement to occupy the unit by a certain date, and construction is necessary to ensure the unit’s availability by that date.
- Projects involving facilities at which any one or more of the following takes place: the manufacture, distribution, storage, or servicing of goods or products that are sold by online retail businesses or essential retail businesses
- Projects involving data centers or facilities that are critical to a business’s ability to function.
- Projects necessary for the delivery of essential social services, including homeless shelters.
- Any project necessary to support law enforcement agencies or first responder units in their response to the COVID-19 emergency.
- Any project that is ordered or contracted for by Federal, State, county, or municipal government, or any project that must be completed to meet a deadline established by the Federal government.
- Any work on a non-essential construction project that is required to physically secure the site of the project, ensure the structural integrity of any buildings on the site, abate any hazards that would exist on the site if the construction were to remain in its current condition, remediate a site, or otherwise ensure that the site and any buildings therein are appropriately protected and safe during the suspension of the project.
- Any emergency repairs necessary to ensure the health and safety of residents.
Many members have read and/or heard the news about Funds across our council who have finalized plans for participants to utilize their Annuity to help lessen the burden our union families are facing. As of today there is no formal plan that we can share for the New Jersey members who participate in the Northeast Carpenters Funds, but we hope to have some news soon, as Trustees, Executive Committee Members, Funds professionals, and myself finish the process necessary to make access to funds a little easier. All active members that have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic can also apply for assistance through the “Covid-19 Members Assistance Program”.
It is also recommended that our members utilize the “COVID-19 Updates” page on our website, eascarpenters.org. There you will find up to date information on government assistance programs including unemployment, job safety suggestions, and local meeting updates. Some of those links for New Jersey have been listed below for your convenience.
As stated over and over, these are unprecedented times. I am so proud of the work our members are doing right now to help our communities. Please reach out to the Council with any questions. Stay safe and best wishes for your families health.
HELPFUL LINKS FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY:
NJ Unemployment: https://myunemployment.nj.gov/
Council COVID-19- Page: https://eascarpenters.org/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-updates/
Council Member Assistance Program: https://eascarpenters.org/member-assistance-program/
Northeast Carpenters Funds: https://members.ncf.fund/
Local 252: https://carpenters252.org/
Local 253: https://local253carpenters.org/
Local 254: https://local254.org/
Local 255: http://ubclocal255.org/
Mix2020 Out of Work List: https://www.mix2020.com/member/eas/index.php
UBC COVID-19 Preparedness Qualification: https://ubc-citf.carpenters.org/