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BARGAINING: AP revises overseas OT proposal

The Associated Press on Wednesday introduced a revised proposal intended to curtail overtime costs at international events like the Olympics.

Last summer, the AP proposed eliminating all overtime for certain international sports events and military maneuvers. The revised proposal introduced Wednesday would remove military maneuvers from the proposal.

The company also said that it would limit its no-overtime proposal to the days when employees are traveling to the international event, such as the time spent flying to and from the United States to cover the event. On the travel days, employees would receive eight hours of pay. Under the proposal, employees would still receive overtime once they are in the country and covering the event.

For the most recent Olympics in South Korea, the AP paid about $147,000 in overtime, and the company said more than one-third of that was for travel to Asia. AP said that number could rise because some employees have not yet filed their hours from the Olympics.

Also Wednesday, News Media Guild bargainers presented AP with a petition that included signatures from more than 600 employees who oppose company proposals on wages, health insurance, job security and more.

The petition was signed by more than 70 percent of employees who are eligible for the bargaining unit. It said: “We want the AP to survive and thrive. Defeatist and misguided Management proposals that hollow out the company do not serve the best interest of AP’s members and our not-for-profit cooperative. We urge AP to promptly abandon its destructive proposals so that an agreement can be reached.”

AP is proposing massive increases in health insurance costs, coupled with raises that don’t keep up with those costs or inflation.

Bargaining will resume Thursday.

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 Brian Carovillano, managing editor; Jessica Bruce, senior vice president for human resources and corporate communications; and attorney Steve Macri.