Bargainers with the News Media Guild and The Associated Press opened talks Thursday on a new contract for the Guild’s editorial and technology units. The current contract expires June 30.
The Guild and the AP agreed to leave some items in the contract unchanged, including articles on Arbitration (Article 5), Individual Bargaining (Article 14), Military Service (Article 24) and Severability (Article 32) for both units, and General Wage Provisions (Article 13, concerning credit for classifications and experience) for the editorial unit.
The Guild suggested language cleanup on payroll information and grievance procedure, and advanced proposals on coverage, union security, normal work and advancement opportunities.
The AP rejected the proposal on coverage that modified current language that prevents farming out of bargaining unit work to result in the numerical reductions of the unit overall and tying it to business locations. The company said it has no goal or objective to reduce staff or the type of work that is to be performed.
The AP also rejected the proposal on union security to require employees to pay union dues or representation fees to the guild as a condition of employment.
The AP said it will discuss the proposal on normal work that says when new duties are added there must be a corresponding reduction of existing work or a prioritization specified upon request. The AP also did not respond to the proposal on advancement opportunities concerning career development.
Representing the Guild at were Vin Cherwoo of New York Sports; Michelle Monroe, a newsperson on the West Desk; John Braunreiter, a customer support specialist in Milwaukee; Guild administrative officer Kevin Keane; and Guild staff representative Luis Espinosa-Organista.
Representing the AP were attorney, Steve Macri; Teresita Seeberger, senior director of global human resources; David Scott, vice president of news strategy and operations; Keisa Caesar, human resources manager; and Jean Maye, human resources director.
Talks will resume June 13.