Contract talks with AP resume today, Wednesday

The News Media Guild resumes bargaining with The Associated Press in New York today. A second session is set for tomorrow.

Talks today are expected to cover a variety of unresolved issues, including AP’s onerous proposals to reduce mileage reimbursements for covering the news _ the focus of this week’s mobilization.

For photographers and videographers who currently receive a $103.25 weekly car allowance, AP wants to cut that to a weekly, taxable stipend of $33. The company wants them to sign affidavits that they’ll make their personal vehicle available for business any time the company wishes for at least a year.

For other staffers, AP wants to eliminate the $15 daily minimum and instead pay the IRS business mileage rate, which is 56 cents for 2014.

On Wednesday, talks are to focus on health care costs. The two sides are about $3 million apart on how much of AP’s costs will be shifted onto staffers. The company’s latest proposal would shift more than $2,300 on average onto each staffer this year alone.