MPTF Strike Averted as Talks Resume

As part of agreement, union representing MPTF caregivers agrees to set aside bargaining position over nurse staffing levels

A strike by caregivers at the Motion  Picture and Television Fund's long-term care center that was scheduled for Monday has been called off, as both sides have agreed to negotiations during a 60-day "cooling off period." 

As part of the agreement, both sides have agreed to withdraw unfair labor practice claims that had been filed. The Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers West, which is representing the caregivers, has also agreed to withdraw its bargaining proposal over nurse staffing levels.

“I’m pleased we were able to reach this time out,” MPTF CEO Bob Beitcher said Friday. “After speaking at length with [SEIU-UHW president] Dave [Regan], I feel more optimistic that the two sides can figure a way to reach a mutually satisfactory conclusion."

“I am confident that we can reach an agreement that will continue to make MPTF a great place to receive and deliver care,” Regan added.

The SEIU-UHW had been attempted to get the MPTF to build up its staffing levels, and has expressed displeasure with the MPTF's efforts to raise healthcare premiums and implement a freeze in retirement contributions.

Also read: MPTF Caregivers Slam Bob Beitcher's $800K Compensation as Strike Looms

The MPTF has argued that the measures are necessary.

"We have been completely transparent with SEIU-UHW with regard to our financial condition," Beitcher said in a statement Thursday. "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."

In a seeming response to Beitcher's claims of austerity, a spokesman for the union circulated public filings to media outlets Thursday, indicating that the CEO made $775,998 in salary and other compensation last year.

The records circulated by the union spokesman indicate that the 10 best-compensated MPTF employees received more than $4 million in compensation.