Bob Beitcher, president and CEO of the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF) announced that negotiations with the health care workers at its Woodland Hills long-term care facility reached an impasse on Wednesday, and that the facility was now preparing for a three-day strike, set to start Monday night and run until Thursday.
“MPTF will be ready to ensure a seamless continuity of services both on and off our campus in a secure environment,” said Beitcher in a statement. “We have completed the polling of our employees and have lined up qualified temporary staffing for a five-day period starting Monday night for those employees who have elected to walk out. Patient and resident safety is and will always be our primary concern and we are confident that our extensive strike preparation will ensure that.”
The Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) represents about 500 healthcare workers at the facility, ranging from nurses to dietary workers and housekeepers. Key issues include staffing levels, wages, health benefits and retirement packages.
“Our primary objective now and during the negotiations has been to establish an economic framework that will allow us to sustain the services of MPTF today and for future generations of industry members,” explained Beitcher. “We have been completely transparent with SEIU-UHW with regard to our financial condition. An organization like ours relies heavily on federal and state healthcare reimbursements, and these are shrinking by the moment. We need to size our costs to fit our anticipated revenues and in so doing we are asking all of our staff to join in a shared sacrifice.”
Beitcher argued that “our overall compensation practices are highly competitive.” In fact, the facility was recently honored as one of the best nursing homes in California in an annual ranking produced by US News & World Report.
No further negotiating sessions have been planned.