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:

Patient safety is the primary concern of MPTF in its approach to providing health care and support of daily living activities to our industry members in the skilled nursing (long term care) facility on our campus.  While staffing levels mandated by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on a daily basis is 1 caregiver for every 10 residents, MPTF maintains a staffing level of 1 caregiver for every 7 residents, better than both the CDPH requirement and the SEIU proposal.  Additionally, MPTF surrounds this core health care staff, which improves on CDPH mandate, with higher levels of ancillary staff (care coordinators, activities, social workers) than any comparable facility.  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.  We have made our position clear on all these points.

MPTF is a great place to be a long term care or dementia care resident and a great place to work.  We experience very low employee turnover, far better than industry benchmark.  Last Friday night, we honored 126 employees with over 1,600 years of employment at MPTF at our 46th annual Employee Service Awards dinner.  It is our objective to maintain these strong ties to all of our employees, to continue to treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve, and to compensate them fairly and equitably consistent with the marketplace and our own challenging financial condition.