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BARGAINING: Guild, AP reach agreement in principle on news associates

The News Media Guild and The Associated Press agreed in principle Thursday on parameters for the news associate program that make a handful of changes but largely leave the current contract language unchanged.

Both sides gave preliminary approval to keeping existing contract language that says the company may only employ 16 news associates at a time for two-year stints. Both sides also agreed to keep the contract language that limits news associates to only doing member pickups, daybooks, calendars, member exchanges, editorial roundups and transmitting member photos. No bylines, tag lines or credit lines are permitted under the contract language.

The Guild and the AP agreed in principle to the following changes:

_The current contract language now says that news associates cannot apply for any AP jobs during their two-year stints. The AP and Guild gave the preliminary OK on Thursday to lifting that prohibition.

_ News associates would be permitted to search for, prepare and process for publication user-generated content, such as images or videos posted on Facebook or Twitter

_ News associates would be allowed to prepare and process existing content on the AP News app, such as rearranging headlines or preparing stacks packages.

Also Thursday, both sides continued to discuss AP’s proposed social media and ethics policy.

Representing the Guild were Jill Bleed of Little Rock, Vin Cherwoo of New York Sports, technician Dave Herron of Seattle 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; Jessica Bruce, senior vice president for human resources and corporate communications; David Scott, deputy managing editor and AP Standards Editor John Daniszewski.

Bargaining resumes Tuesday.