A labor union dedicated to quality journalism through fair working conditions for the men and women who provide the news.

The Guild represents workers at The Associated Press, United Press International, and employees of the Spanish EFE News Service

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Longtime AP special correspondent Linda Deutsch talks about the value of the Guild and what the EEOC settlement meant for women

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Nigel Duara

Nigel Duara

Talk about going above and beyond! Guild member Nigel Duara of the Portland bureau won this week's Best of the States award for handling a scoop he'd lined up _ even though the key tip came right before his Aug. 2 wedding ceremony began.

Duara received a text message -- “Settlement Monday” -- indicating he could run an exclusive story then that he'd been pursuing for a while: The Army Corps of Engineers and an environmental group were about to settle a lawsuit over oil spills at eight dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers in Oregon and Washington.

The deal called for a first involving those dams. The Army Corps would be required to disclose the level of pollutants its dams send into the rivers and to apply for Environmental Protection Agency pollution permits. It could have ramifications for hundreds of dams operated by the Corps, which for decades has rejected EPA orders to stop dumping toxic lubricants into waterways.

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Miami photographer Lynne Sladky, Little Rock BNS Jill Bleed, Rick Gentilo of APTN in DC and RA chairman/Minneapolis newsman Steve Karnowski brainstorm on future protests of AP's insulting contract offers.

Miami photographer Lynne Sladky, Little Rock BNS Jill Bleed, Rick Gentilo of APTN in DC and RA chairman/Minneapolis newsman Steve Karnowski brainstorm on future protests of AP's insulting contract offers.

News Media Guild officers discussed the latest developments in contract bargaining with The Associated Press and strategized on the Guild’s next steps during their annual meeting this past weekend.

Guild staff and nearly two dozen officers, representing each of the Guild’s geographic regions and job categories from technicians to broadcast staff, met in Washington, D.C., on Saturday and Sunday.

They discussed the tenure of bargaining, which is now in its 13th month, as well as the current main sticking points between the two sides and the key goals of the Guild’s bargaining team.

They also reviewed the status of mobilizing, followed by a brainstorming session that produced lots of great ideas for future mobilizations.

CWA staff chief Ron Collins, left, discusses labor movement news and strategies with NMG's administrator, Kevin Keane; President Martha Waggoner, 2nd vice president David Melendy and 1st vice president/mobilizer Linda Johnson.

CWA staff chief Ron Collins, left, discusses labor movement news and strategies with NMG's administrator, Kevin Keane; President Martha Waggoner, 2nd vice president David Melendy and 1st vice president/mobilizer Linda Johnson.

 

Other highlights of the meeting:

_approval by the Representative Assembly, the Guild’s legislature, of the budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. The budget, which had been unanimously endorsed by the Guild’s seven-member Executive Committee when it met separately on Friday, totaled just over $898,000. That was down slightly from the 2013-14 budget of about $940,000.

 

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NMG member Alan Scher Zagier not only won last week's AP Best of the States award, but his repeated scoops on questionable prosecutorial conduct and buried

Alan Scher Zagier after his team recently won the 40-plus national title in USA Ultimate's Grandmasters, a competition mixing Frisbee and football.

Alan Scher Zagier after his team recently won the 40-plus national title in USA Ultimate's Grandmasters, a competition mixing Frisbee and football.

evidence exonerated a Missouri man wrongly convicted of murder.

Since 2008, the St. Louis newsman had been probing and writing about Kenny Hulshof, a six-term congressman, former special state prosecutor and, at the time, GOP candidate for Missouri governor.

First Scher Zagier produced several stories about allegations Hulshof had withheld evidence and exaggerated in closing arguments in some of his cases. Then a source put him onto the case of prisoner Mark Woodworth, who’d been convicted and sentenced to life in prison in the fatal shooting of a neighbor when he was just 16. Hulshof had been the prosecutor.

Combing through the trial and appeals records, Scher Zagier suspected something was missing.

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To mark the one-year anniversary of difficult contract talks with The Associated Press, staffers covered by the News Media Guild will participate in multiple protests Tuesday.

The News Media Guild has pushed for affordable health care and job security during a year of bargaining that began July 22, 2013, while the company continues to demand major concessions. Bargaining is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, July 22 and 23.

Union-covered staffers in dozens of bureaus from Honolulu to Portland, Maine, will participate in various protests to support NMG bargainers.

Guild-covered staffers in the Chicago bureau mark the one-year anniversary of bargaining by blowing out a candle on one cupcake.

Guild-covered staffers in the Chicago bureau mark the one-year anniversary of bargaining by blowing out a candle on one cupcake.


 NMG activists Linda Johnson, Bruce Shipkowski and Geoff Mulvihill blow out a candle as bargaining with The Associated Press reaches its one-year anniversary.

NMG activists Linda Johnson, Bruce Shipkowski and Geoff Mulvihill blow out a candle as bargaining with The Associated Press reaches its one-year anniversary.

Highlights include:

_ Writers and photographers across the country will hold a four-day byline and credit boycott, from 12:01 a.m. EDT Tuesday through 12:01 a.m. EDT Saturday. They have the contractual right to withhold their name from their work, and doing so en masse for days is a sacrifice meant to show AP they oppose its giveback demands.

_In bureaus and departments nationwide, as well as AP’s sports and photography national verticals, staffers are signing Happy Anniversary cards to their bosses and top AP management, rejecting the worst of AP’s current proposals and saying “it's time for AP to start bargaining in good faith."

_In New York City, NMG will hold a rally outside AP’s headquarters at 450 W. 33rd St., from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
_Staffers will wear their bright red Guild T-shirts and lanyards all day on July 22.
_They’ll take group photos for our social media and web sites (www.facebook.com/supportAPworkers, @NMGAP, www.newsmediaguild.org), with protest signs and messages about the anniversary. (Note prior protest photos are available there.)
And staffers will send Tweets/Facebook updates noting that AP is financially strong again, so it's time to give staff a #fairAPcontract.

Staffers have done similar protests, with a couple of actions each time, every three weeks or so to coincide with bargaining sessions. They also sent Happy Labor Day cards to CEO Gary Pruitt, asking him for a fair deal, picketed outside AP’s New York headquarters in April, and sent petitions declaring the opposition to AP’s proposals.
AP’s proposals include shifting $8 million in health costs to employees, being able to force staffers to transfer to another location, halving severance pay for new hires, giving a below-inflation raise and creating a second-tier class of reporters called news associates.
The company is pushing hard for these cost-cutting measures even though it recently sold Stats Inc. for what sources have said was at least $100 million, all of which AP executives have said will go toward paying down the pension debt.
AP’s current offer would significantly reduce the living standard of its Guild-covered journalists, technicians and support staffers, who have all been working without a contract since the last one expired Nov. 30, 2013.
The News Media Guild represents more than 1,000 staffers at The Associated Press. NMG is part of The Newspaper Guild and Communications Workers of America.