BARGAINING: Guild, AP continue discussion of job security

Bargainers with the News Media Guild and The Associated Press met Wednesday for continued discussions on job security.

The AP presented a new counter proposal on job security in response to the Guild’s previously expressed concerns. The Guild bargaining team is still reviewing the counter proposal.

A significant change in the AP proposal deals with when an employee can bump a worker in a different organizational unit. Before, an employee would have to have past experience working in that unit to displace another worker during a staff reduction. Under the new proposal, the senior employee does not need past experience in the unit but does need to demonstrate that he or she has the qualifications and skills to do the work.

The AP proposal also adopts the Guild’s plan to offer enhanced severance pay if the company lays off the only member of an organizational unit in a bureau. That enhanced severance pay would mirror what is currently available to solo correspondents.

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

Representing the AP were: Jessica Bruce, senior vice president for human resources and corporate communications; David Scott, deputy managing editor; and Steve Macri, AP’s attorney.

Bargaining will resume June 20.