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Employees of Motion Picture & Television Fund ratify contract

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The Motion Picture & Television Fund and the union representing its nursing staff have agreed to a new contract, ending a year-long labor dispute at the Woodland Hillls-based retirement community.

On Friday, members of SEIU-UHW overwhelmingly voted in favor of a new three-year contract that provides 1% annual pay increases for about 500 custodial staff, nursing staff and other employees of the fund, according to two people close to the negotiations who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to comment.

The MPTF operates various healthcare clinics and a retirement community for active and retired entertainment industry workers and their families.

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The agreement marks a compromise on both sides, with the union agreeing to replace its defined pension plan with a 401(k), and fund management agreeing not to increase health insurance premiums, which had been a key sticking point in the dispute, the sources said.

Additionally, a committee comprising union and management representatives will meet to discuss changes to staffing levels at the facility, which recently partnered with UCLA Health System to operate its health clinics. In October, UCLA Health System signed a letter of intent to assume the leases of six health clinics.

The pact resolves a bitter dispute that erupted last spring, when SEIU-UHW officials had threatened to stage a three-day strike after contract talks broke down and MPTF officials had planned to hire replacement workers.

The union subsequently agreed to a 60-day "cooling off" period and brought in a new negotiator to head the talks, setting the stage for the agreement.

Union members had been working without a contract for more than a year. The contract takes effect retroactively from Nov. 1, 2012, and runs through October 2015.

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