Members of Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare West voted on Friday to ratify a three-year agreement with the Motion Picture and Television Fund, ending a year-long dispute at the MPTF’s Wasserman Campus and other facilities. 80% of union members voted to approve the deal, which includes 1% annual pay increases and bonuses for some 500 staff members at the facilities, SEIU-UHW spokesman Sean Wherley said today. The agreement also addresses the issue of staffing levels at the facilities, which was a key issue during the negotiations. The contract enables “a joint labor-management committee to begin discussions on how to handle staffing, so as not to compromise safety and ensure the highest level of care for residents”, Wherley said.
Union members had been working without a contract for more than a year. The contentious dispute reached a peak last March when union officials had threatened a three-day strike after contract talks broke down. Both sides subsequently agreed to a 60-day “cooling off” period during which negotiations continued.
The SEIU-UHW represents around 500 nurses, their aides, medical-records workers and other caregivers at the MPTF’s Wasserman Campus hospital in Woodlands Hills and other venues. The contract takes effect retroactively from November 1, 2012, and runs through October 31, 2015.