Guild, AP agree to close 9 articles

The News Media Guild and The Associated Press agreed to close nine contract articles with few or no changes, including the one on severance pay.

The two sides also agreed Thursday to close eight other articles: payroll information, military service, severability, transfers, temporaries, advancement opportunities and individual bargaining.

The union also agreed to drop an ages old contract term in dismissal pay that has no application to existing staff.  That language said that in the event of death before retirement, the company would pay a designated beneficiary or the estate an amount equal to dismissal indemnity, not to exceed $7,500. The AP, however, could deduct from that amount the proceeds from any group, casualty or life insurance.

The union dropped its hiring proposal, which required the AP not to base hiring on discriminatory reasons and to provide the Guild with the opportunity to recommend candidates for hiring. The company cannot under law base hiring decisions on discriminatory reasons.

On payroll information, the company agreed to provide the union with vacation for new hires that’s more than what the contract requires. 

The Guild will bring its health insurance consultant to bargaining on Nov. 19. Bargaining resumes Friday, followed by bargaining Tuesday in Washington, where the two sides will discuss job security and other issues.

Representing the Guild were: Kevin Keane, Martha Waggoner, John Braunreiter, Vin Cherwoo and Don Ryan. Representing the AP were Steve Macri, Michelle Ehrlich, Sue Gilkey, Carole Feldman, Alison Quan and Hilda Auguste.