BARGAINING: AP says it seeks cost certainty, increased opportunity in OT proposal

The Associated Press said Wednesday that more News Media Guild-covered employees would be sent to cover the Olympics and World Cup if the company’s proposal to eliminate overtime for some international events is adopted.

In bargaining Wednesday, the company said its proposal to eliminate overtime for international sporting events and military maneuvers was meant to create more opportunities for professional development for Guild-covered staff.

The AP told the union Wednesday that its proposal was not intended to be a cost-saving measure _ but one that could provide “cost certainty” that would allow more Guild-covered staff the ability to cover such events because the company would not be paying overtime.

The company said that the current setup discourages AP from sending Guild-covered staff to such events because of the overtime costs. The company said it instead relies on foreign staffers and managers to do the work.

Currently, a Guild-covered staffer receives premium overtime for the travel to and from the assignment, as well as overtime after working the normal work day and work week.

The Guild told the company that there was a poor reception from its members to the initial proposal.

The Guild requested a breakdown of who was sent to the most recent major sporting events overseas, and also asked that the company provide information on any complaints that the company has received from Guild-covered staff who were denied the opportunity to cover the events.

Guild bargainers also asked the company to provide a full list of international sporting events that would be excluded from overtime under the AP’s proposal, and to provide more information about what military maneuvers would be affected by the proposal.

Representing the Guild were Jill Bleed of Little Rock, Vin Cherwoo of New York Sports, technician Ed Morsett of Denver and Guild administrator Kevin Keane.

Representing the AP were: Alison Quan, director of human resources, technology and business operations;  Keisa Caesar, human resources generalist and project manager; Jean Maye, human resources director; AP’s attorney Steve Macri and Brian Carovillano, managing editor.

Bargaining resumes Thursday.