Ross Lincoln is a Deadline contributor.
The recent war of words between the Motion Picture & Television Fund and the union representing caregivers employed at the fund’s various facilities has somewhat obscured what the MPTF actually does. In a slick PR move that also shines a light on the fund’s mission, the MPTF has launched a new documentary web series, Alive And Kicking, which follows Tony Lawrence and Larry Kelem, two residents living in the MPTF retirement facility in Woodland Hills, as they collaborate on an original musical. Lawrence is a writer whose credits include the original Hawaii Five-0 and The Twilight Zone. Kelem, who died December 18, 2012 at 91, was a music composer and arranger, agent, and manager. The eleven-episode series of shorts is available Wednesdays and Thursdays through March 21.
The Motion Picture & Television Fund and members of the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) are currently embroiled in a labor dispute over the proposed new contract for caregivers; the SEIU authorized a strike in February, however such action has not yet been taken. Union members are demanding in part that the MPTF guarantee a ratio of 1 caregiver for 8 patients, while the MPTF counters that they often exceed this ratio. Last week, the MPTF’s Woodland Hills facility was rated by US News as one of the best nursing homes in the state of California.