A noisy picket line on West Alameda Avenue in front of Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank yesterday drew stares from many and horn blasts of support from some motorists. The demonstrators marched, blew whistles, and waved picket signs for several hours. Paul Matakiewicz, chief negotiator for SEIU-UHW, says 80 members took part in the demonstration, which he characterized as an informational picket line.
Matakiewicz says these employees are service and tech professionals and they have been working without a contract for nine months. He says the two sides met at the negotiating table last month, but described the state of the contract talks as “stalled.” Still, he is optimistic they will resume soon.
Matakiewicz says the major sticking point is health benefits. The Service Employees International Union — United Healthcare Workers represents around 850 employees at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center.