Just days before a strike was set to start, management and the union representing healthcare workers at the Motion Picture and Television Fund’s hospital and facilities today agreed to step back from the brink. Instead of …
With a strike scheduled to start on Monday, the union representing healthcare workers at the Motion Picture and Television Fund’s hospital and facilities today took its case to the feds. The Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West filed a charge (read it here) of unfair labor practices and violation of the Labor Relations Act Friday against the MPTF with the National Labor Relations Board. This latest move comes one day after the union released 2011 tax forms revealing the big bucks CEO Bob Beitcher ($775,978) and other top officers received. Today it was a more formal approach. “Within the last six month preceding the filing of this charge the above-named employer, by and through its agents, violated Sections of 8(a)(1) and 8(a)(5) of the Act when it bargained in bad faith, refused to provide relevant and necessary bargaining information, and unlawfully and premature declared impasse,” said the SEIU’s filing. The SEIU-UHW represents around 500 nurses, their aides, medical-records workers and other caregivers at the MPTF’s Wasserman Camus hospital in Woodlands Hills and other venues.
Despite a looming strike next week, there was no last minute deal struck today in the last bargaining session between the Motion Picture and Television Fund and the union that represents the healthcare workers at the Wasserman …
Guests at Jeffrey Katzenberg’s 11th Annual ‘Night Before’ Oscars Fundraiser benefiting the Motion Picture and Television Fund tomorrow won’t have to worry about crossing a union picket line after all. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be able to ignore …
Ross Lincoln contributed to this report
The contract battle between union members and the Motion Picture and Television Fund spread today from the negotiating table to the streets. As I reported last week that they would, the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West set up protest lines Thursday in front of the MPTF’s hospital in Woodland Hills and other MPTF locations in protest of the tepid state of the talks. Chanting, “What is this about? Patient care!” and “We’re healthcare workers fighting back!”, about 25 demonstrators marched on the sidewalk in front of the facility. While not a formal strike action, the protest could be an opening act for union members showing up outside Jeffrey Katzenberg’s 11th Annual “Night Before” Oscars Fundraiser for the MPTF on February 23 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. A source told me last week SEIU is “seriously considering” going on the line outside the charity event.
Said MPTF CEO Bob Beitcher in a statement for Deadline: “MPTF continues to believe that the best place to negotiate with SEIU is around a table and not on the street or in the press. We know that industry members who encounter the informational pickets today fully understand that there are at least two sides to every negotiation and will be able to see through the rhetoric and trust that MPTF deals fairly and equitably with its labor force.”
A source told Deadline the hospital has increased workloads today to make scheduling breaks more difficult and make it harder for employees to attend the demonstration.
UPDATE, 8:34 AM: The union that represents healthcare workers at the Motion Picture and Television Fund’s care facility and hospital is planning picket lines this week but the organization’s CEO says “progress was made” in the last set of talks between the two sides. “We were encouraged by this past week’s bargaining session with SEIU and a federal mediator,” said the MPTF’s Bob Beitcher in a statement today. In the February 14 meeting, the MPTF offered to open up their books to provide the SEIU will a full sense of their negotiating position, says a source close to the situation. The union, who won a strike authorization vote from their members on January 30, is planning to picket MPTF offices and the Woodland Hills hospital on February 21. More visibly, the SEIU is considering a picket line at Jeffrey Katzenberg’s February 23 ‘Night Before’ charity event for the MPTF at the Beverly Hill Hotel. Read MPTF CEO Beitcher’s full statement here:
We were encouraged by this past week’s bargaining session with SEIU and a federal mediator. Progress was made in resolving a long list of open contract points and both parties were actively engaged in narrowing the discussions to a few key issues. To facilitate additional progress, MPTF and SEIU continue to comply with additional information requests and MPTF has agreed to provide an educational workshop for SEIU’s bargaining unit. We are hopeful that the next bargaining session on March 7th will take us even closer to achieving a mutually satisfactory 3-year agreement.
PREVIOUSLY, FEB. 15: Jeffrey Katzenberg’s 11th Annual ‘Night Before’ Oscars Fundraiser benefitting the Motion Picture and Television Fund on February 23rd could suffer a pre-strike union picket line. That’s because of a stalemated bargaining session Thursday between the MPTF and the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West. I have learned that the powerful union is “strongly considering” going out on the line at the charity event at the Beverly Hills Hotel. That would present guests with a dilemma because some notables also belong to unions — Hollywood guilds — and won’t want to cross the picket line. The gala has been protested before – but by families and concerned friends of the long-term care hospital and units when Katzenberg decided to close them. The guests in limousines simply whizzed past the demonstrators barely giving them a glance. But last year’s fundraiser went off without a hitch when a compromise was reached to keep the long-term care facilities open.
The growing labor action at the Motion Picture and Television Fund‘s care facility and hospital has nothing to do with staffing issues, the nonprofit’s CEO said today. “Staffing levels has not been a part of our negotiations with SEIU since September 2012. Rather, the issues are all economic — wages, share of health insurance costs, and pension benefits,” says Bob Beitcher. He was responding to Wednesday’s strike authorization vote by the employees at the facility and the ongoing negotiations between the union and management. The Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West have insisted that low staffing levels are what is “pushing” their actions. Click over for Beitcher’s full statement: