The Associated Press paid more than $323,000 in overtime to News Media Guild-covered staffers who worked at the Rio Olympics last year, according to information provided by the AP to the Guild at bargaining on Thursday. The company now wants to eliminate overtime for future international sporting events and military maneuvers.
The company says its proposal to eliminate overtime is not a cost-savings measure but one that would allow the AP to send more Guild-covered staff to the events for professional development.
According to the data provided by the company, AP paid more than $146,000 in overtime to photo staff and more than $177,000 to newspersons. The numbers show that the 25 photographers and photo editors sent to the Games were paid an average of $5,840 in overtime, with the individual payment amounts ranging from $2,000 to $21,000.
The 31 newspersons sent to Rio were paid an average of $5,731 in overtime, with the individual payment amounts ranging from $600 to $11,000.
The AP also introduced a job security proposal that appears to make significant changes to how seniority is calculated for the purposes of staff reductions. The Guild received the proposal late in the day and is still reviewing it.
Also Thursday, the Guild and the AP reached tentative agreements to leave the advancement opportunities section of the editorial and technology contracts unchanged, and to leave the checkoff and health/safety articles of the technology contract unchanged. Both sides also agreed to a minor change in the miscellaneous article in both contracts.
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 Tuesday.