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BARGAINING: AP Proposes Revisions to Ethics Policy

Associated Press employees would be unable to make social media posts that cheer for any national team in sporting competitions under a proposed ethics policy introduced Tuesday by The Associated Press.

The AP’s proposal would prohibit all employees from making social media posts on sports and entertainment in which there is “trash-talking and over-the-top, fawning praise directed at teams, athletes and celebrities. In international competitions, AP staffers should not cheer for any national team.”

The AP and News Media Guild resumed bargaining in New York on Tuesday. AP’s proposal on ethics makes numerous additions on standards as well as social media postings.

The company’s ethics proposal also adds new sections on data journalism, offensive and gory content and updates AP’s policies on the use of obscenities, profanities, vulgarities, hate and propaganda.

The proposal includes the language: “The policies set forth in these pages are central to the AP’s mission. Any failure to abide by them could result in disciplinary action, up to including dismissal, depending on the gravity of the infraction.”

Meanwhile, the Guild introduced proposals Tuesday for its Technology Unit contract. The proposals largely mirror ones introduced last month for the Editorial Unit and include 5 percent annual raises for each of the next three years, 12 weeks paid parental leave upon the birth or adoption of a child and increased differentials for night and weekend work.

The Guild also pressed the company for more information about AP’s parking policy when a bureau moves from a location with free parking to one with paid parking.

Representing the News Media 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; Sue Gilkey; global director of employee benefits; Jean Maye, human resources director; AP’s attorney Steve Macri and David Scott, deputy managing editor.

Bargaining resumes Wednesday.