NMG backers mobilize against AP proposals, contract talks resume

Seattle staffers weigh in on AP's contract proposals: Mike Baker, Donna Blankinship, Manuel Valdes, Gene Johnson, Ted Warren, Elaine Thompson and Dave Herron.

Seattle staffers weigh in on AP’s contract proposals: Mike Baker, Donna Blankinship, Manuel Valdes, Gene Johnson, Ted Warren, Elaine Thompson and Dave Herron.

Associated Press staffers across the country wore Guild-red shirts, lanyards

Newark, NJ, staffers demanding a fair contract: Julio Cortez, Samantha Henry, Dave Porter and Katie Zezima.

Newark, NJ, staffers demanding a fair contract: Julio Cortez, Samantha Henry, Dave Porter and Katie Zezima.

and “We Keep AP Working” buttons to show support for the News Media Guild as contract talks resumed Tuesday.

Many took photos of their group — with arms crossed, thumbs down and other signs of their united opposition to AP’s awful contract proposals — to share via NMG’s social media and web sites.

Meanwhile, staffers tweeted out from their accounts: “Dedicated, talented staffers deserve a #fairAPcontract — not big cuts to income, benefits & job security.”

Numerous followers retweeted the message.

At bargaining Tuesday afternoon, in response to a question from NMG’s team, AP said none of the 67 Guild-covered staffers who work in the technology unit will lose their jobs to outsourcing.

AP recently said it’s investigating outsourcing some technology services but said it didn’t know which work, how much or where.

Also at bargaining:

_AP revised its proposal on the weekly mileage allowance for photographers, videographers and video journalists, offering to give them a weekly, taxable stipend of $33. The company said that’s the difference between the current mileage allowance and the $70.62 those staffers get when paid the IRS minimum of 56.5 cents a mile for the minimum of 125 miles each week. AP also wants to eliminate the $15 daily minimum other staffers get and instead pay the IRS business mileage rate. The company said its proposal is not a money-saving effort.

_The union presented to AP negotiators a petition signed by 21 South desk and Atlanta staffers, presented earlier to local managers. It calls AP’s proposed health care plan atrocious and criticizes the AP’s forced transfer proposal. One of several staffers there who submitted personal comments wrote, “AP staff keeps AP working by going above and beyond every day to get it right and to be FAIR! We are asking that AP do the same.”