Guild seeks more RSI prevention enforcement

 The News Media Guild told the Associated Press on Monday that it’s disappointed with the company’s repetitive stress injury program because the program hasn’t been implemented well.

Bargainer Don Ryan, chairman of the Guild’s health and safety committee, told the AP that some staffers were unaware that RSI consultants were visiting bureaus and missed the opportunity to have their work stations reviewed. He also said that local managers have at times rejected requests for equipment that the consultants recommended.

The AP has told the Guild that RSI consultants visited 14 bureaus in 2010 and one in 2009.  

 “It’s a career-busting injury that can be prevented and we need stronger enforcement,” Ryan said.

The contract requires the company to continue its policy of striving to provide properly lighted, ventilated and heated/air-conditioned work areas wherever possible “within reasonable physical and financial limits.” AP proposed dropping the language about physical and financial limits.

The AP and the Guild agreed to changes in several other areas, including a reduction in the minimum amount of time required for a sabbatical to six months from nine months.

 Negotiations resume Tuesday. Bargaining will not be held again until Monday, Nov. 29.

Representing the Guild were: Kevin Keane, Martha Waggoner, John Braunreiter, Vin Cherwoo and Don Ryan.

Representing the AP were: Michelle Ehrlich, Sue Gilkey, Kristin Gazlay, Alison Quan, Hilda Auguste and attorney Steve Macri.