NMG presses concerns about job security

The Associated Press explained its job transfer proposal further Wednesday, saying it wants to be able to move someone who’s not necessarily the least senior person in a bureau to a vacant position.

The News Media Guild asked the company what its job transfer proposal would allow managers to do that they can’t do now since the company can offer vacancies or lay off least senior staffers in a reduction. The company, using state house vacancies as an example, said the least senior person may not have the qualifications needed for a vacant position.

When that occurs, the company wants to be able to move the least senior person with the best skill set to the vacant position. The Guild responded that the proposal is similar to a forced transfers proposal that the Guild successfully fought back several years ago.

For a list of jobs that attracted no internal candidates, click here.

The company said it has had openings that attracted no internal candidates and that training people from the outside is costly, time-consuming and contributes to speedups because jobs go unfilled. The company said its proposal is partially in response to Guild concerns about work overloads.

The company also said it’s not interested in language that requires managers to tell staffers they have the right to union representation during investigatory interviews.

The Guild wants managers to be required to tell staffers of these rights, known as Weingarten rights because employees often are caught off guard with meetings that often involve several managers, including a professional human resources representative.

The union is proposing changing the terms of the separation agreement/general release that employees sign after losing their jobs in a staff reduction or by termination in order to receive dismissal indemnity or severance pay. The union said the release limits its ability to communicate with members about contract issues.

The two teams will meet again Thursday afternoon, when the Guild’s consultant will question the company about its health insurance proposal.