December 1 Contract Improvements at AP

The News Media Guild’s contract with The Associated Press calls for several benefit improvements to take effect on Dec. 1, including a taxable $500 lump sum payment to Editorial and Technology unit full-time employees.

Employees must be actively employed, on a paid leave or on an approved unpaid leave of absence. Part-time employees will receive a pro-rata payment based upon time worked between Dec. 1, 2008, and Nov. 30, 2009.

It’s a one-time payment that is not added to employee’s base compensation. It is not included in any calculation of overtime or other premium pay or paid time off.

The payment will appear in the Dec. 11 paycheck.

In addition, the “Kentucky Derby” has ended, meaning Editorial Unit employees will now receive time and one-half overtime for out-of-town on presidential campaigns, conventions and trips; coverage of military maneuvers, actions and press pools; full-time coverage of major league baseball spring training, championship fights, national and international golf tournaments and, of course, the Kentucky Derby.

Previously, employees received straight time for overtime worked on those assignments.

The daily minimum rate for authorized use of a personal automobile while on company business increases from $12.50 to $15.00 for both the Editorial and Technology units.

The weekly car allowance for photographers, videojournalists and videographers increases from $90.00 to $102.50.

Please contact your regional representative, shop steward or the Guild office at 212-869-9290 or by e-mail at Guild@newsmediaguild.org if you have any questions regarding the contract or union membership. You will find ready assistance.