By Richard Verrier
6:34 PM PDT, March 15, 2013
The union representing healthcare workers at the Motion Picture & Television Fund has called off its strike for next week.SEIU-UHW officials had planned to stage a three-day walkout on Monday after contract talks with the fund broke down in a dispute over pay rates, changes to the union's pension plan and staffing levels.
But after consulting with the SEIU-UHW members, the union agreed to a 60-day "cooling off" period during which the two organizations will continue to negotiate in good faith toward a collective bargaining agreement, according to a statement from the union and the motion picture fund.
“I’m pleased we were able to reach this timeout,” Bob Beitcher, the MPTF's chief executive, said in a statement. “After speaking at length with Dave [Regan, president of SEIU-UHW], I feel more optimistic that the two sides can figure a way to reach a mutually satisfactory conclusion.”
Beitcher had predicted the strike would have a minimal impact on the daily operations of the facility and several care clinics that cater to entertainment industry workers. The MPTF had already contracted with a company to replace any workers who go on strike next week.
“I am confident that we can reach an agreement that will continue to make MPTF a great place to receive and deliver care,” said Regan, whose union had previously blasted pay raises given to Beitcher and other managers at the fund.
SEIU-UHW represents about 500 workers at the Woodland Hills-based retirement community.ALSO:
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