The News Media Guild and the Associated Press on Tuesday reached agreement on certifications for technicians and the miscellaneous article in contracts for both the technical and editorial units.
The company agreed to give technicians up to two years to upgrade from the MCSA certification to the new MCITP/server administrator. Failure to achieve the new certification will result in the loss of the weekly $35 differential. Technicians who do not now have the MCSA certification can get the MCITP/server administrator certification at any point and receive the differential.
The MCSE certification will cease and the weekly $60 differential will be rolled into salaries of staffers now receiving it.
The two sides agreed to add weekly $35 differentials for technicians who achieve either the Microsoft Office specialist/expert level or the MCITP enterprise desktop support certification.
Technicians can earn up to $175 a week for their certifications. The differentials capped at $130 weekly in the previous contract.
The agreement also means technicians are no longer limited to CBT training but can use other training as well.
On the miscellaneous article, the two sides agreed that Guild-covered staff can use the AP email system for contract-related issues. The deal acknowledges the practice that employees who share a job and work 15 or more hours a week are entitled to group health insurance as if they were full-timers.
Representing the Guild were: Tony Winton, Martha Waggoner, John Braunreiter, Don Ryan, Vin Cherwoo and Kevin Keane.
Representing the AP were: Michelle Ehrlich, Sue Gilkey, Carole Feldman, Hilda Auguste, Alison Quan and attorney Steve Macri.