Bargaining with AP resumes amid protests of forced transfers

Bargaining with The Associated Press resumes Wednesday in New York, with a second session scheduled for Thursday.

Indianapolis staffers reject proposed forced transfers.

Indianapolis staffers reject AP’s proposal to let it force transfers onto workers or cut their job.

At the same time, staff around the country are focusing their protests this week on the company’s forced transfers proposal, a thinly veiled attempt to gut job security. It would allow AP to make employees move to any domestic bureau it chooses. Employees refusing would be out of a job.

Chicago staffers oppose forced transfer proposal.

Chicago staffers oppose AP’s forced transfers proposal.

Staffers have been posting on their Twitter and Facebook accounts messages rejecting the proposal. Some have gathered for photos, giving a big thumbs-down amid piles of luggage.

Staffers in Columbia, S.C. -- Susanne Schafer, Meg Kinnard and Jeffrey Collins -- have their luggage packed since AP wants to forcibly transfer staffers.

Staffers in Columbia, S.C. — Susanne Schafer, Meg Kinnard and Jeffrey Collins — have their luggage packed since AP wants to forcibly transfer staffers.


The News Media Guild is pushing for an affordable increase in health care premiums and out-of-pocket costs, as well as keeping spouses on the plan and not penalizing staffers who can’t meet stringent health quotas. The union also wants increased job security and protection against outsourcing, workload limits, a good raise, better shift differentials and increased life insurance, among other unresolved issues.

AP’s latest health care offer still would shift onto the staff about $8.7 million in additional health care costs over three years, via higher monthly premiums, deductibles, copayments and major bills for hospitalization and expensive treatments. That’s roughly $8,000 per Guild-covered employee, on average.

AP still has on the table proposals to allow forced transfers, to slash severance payments and to reduce mileage minimums, all of which the Guild is fighting. Amid those giveback demands, the company is offering raises slightly below inflation, while NMG has proposed 6 percent annual raises that would be retroactive.

Bargaining began last July.