AP: No plans for more layoffs among Guild technicians

The Associated Press assured News Media Guild technicians Wednesday that the company has no plans for further reductions in their ranks.

In response to a question from NMG bargainer John Braunreiter, a former technician who now works in customer support, the AP said the technical staff is “very stable at this point.” The AP said the company has kept the people with skill sets it needs and doesn’t want to lose.

About two years, the company told some technicians to expect layoffs in about 18 months. That time came and went with no further layoffs.

Several technicians moved to customer support jobs, and the AP said that helped eliminate the need for those layoffs.

The company also proposed eliminating two $35 certifications _ the A+ and Network+ _ as required terms of employment and retiring two certifications _ CIW and MCITP _ by rolling those into base pay.

The Guild proposed adding Security+ as a new certification. Technicians receive extra money for their certifications.

The Guild and the company also discussed differences in on-call payments for technicians compared to those who work in customer support.

Earlier in the day, the two sides discussed the AP’s proposed update of its policy on acceptable business use of computers, email and Internet access.

In addition to Braunreiter, others at the table for the Guild were: Martha Waggoner, Don Ryan and Kevin Keane.

At the table for AP were Sally Buzbee, Washington bureau chief; Howard Gros, director of global technology support; Mark House of information security; Keisa Caesar and Alison Quan of human resources and attorney Steve Macri.

The two sides meet again Thursday afternoon to discuss health insurance.