AP to Guild: Pay for your own contract improvements

The News Media Guild on Wednesday asked Associated Press to present its last, best and final offer to members of the union.

The company declined to do so.

The Guild told AP that its refusal to improve its economic and retirement proposals by adding additional money to the package is unacceptable. AP says impasse has not been reached, because it is willing to listen to proposals for contract modifications which could include:

                _ A self inflicted pay cut, such as giving up the proposed wage increases,
                _ A self inflicted benefit reduction, such as higher medical premiums,
                _ Any other reduction in the company’s costs.

“The company is attempting to box us in, where the only move is self-infliction of pain on the union and its members which we’re not prepared to do,” said Tony Winton, NMG President.

“This bargaining team is not prepared to have employees slit their wrists in front of the company,” added negotiator Don Ryan.

The union also demanded from AP a summary of all meeting its managers held today to discuss contract talks with staff in order to determine whether AP is unlawfully engaging in coercive tactics. 

Representing the Guild were Winton, Ryan, negotiators Martha Waggoner, John Braunreiter, Vin Cherwoo, and union’s administrator, Kevin Keane.

Representing AP were Michelle Ehrlich, Sue Gilkey, Carole Feldman, Hilda Auguste, Allison Quan, and attorney Steve Macri.

Also attending was federal mediator Kathy Murray-Cannon.