Tag Archives: AP Contract

BARGAINING: Guild, AP open talks for new contract

Bargainers with the News Media Guild and The Associated Press opened talks Thursday on a new contract for the Guild’s editorial and technology units. The current contract expires June 30.

The Guild and the AP agreed to leave some items in the contract unchanged, including articles on Arbitration (Article 5), Individual Bargaining (Article 14), Military Service (Article 24) and Severability (Article 32) for both units, and General Wage Provisions (Article 13, concerning credit for classifications and experience) for the editorial unit.

The Guild suggested language cleanup on payroll information and grievance procedure, and advanced proposals on coverage, union security, normal work and advancement opportunities.

The AP rejected the proposal on coverage that modified current language that prevents farming out of bargaining unit work to result in the numerical reductions of the unit overall and tying it to business locations. The company said it has no goal or objective to reduce staff or the type of work that is to be performed.

The AP also rejected the proposal on union security to require employees to pay union dues or representation fees to the guild as a condition of employment.

The AP said it will discuss the proposal on normal work that says when new duties are added there must be a corresponding reduction of existing work or a prioritization specified upon request. The AP also did not respond to the proposal on advancement opportunities concerning career development.

Representing the Guild at were Vin Cherwoo of New York Sports; Michelle Monroe, a newsperson on the West Desk; John Braunreiter, a customer support specialist in Milwaukee; Guild administrative officer Kevin Keane; and Guild staff representative Luis Espinosa-Organista.

Representing the AP were attorney, Steve Macri; Teresita Seeberger, senior director of global human resources; David Scott, vice president of news strategy and operations; Keisa Caesar, human resources manager; and Jean Maye, human resources director.

Talks will resume June 13.

Guild meets with AP over equipment and safety

Earlier this month, the Guild’s Health and Safety Committee met with AP to dig deeper into concerns about equipment and safety that have sprung up in light of nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd.

 

During that meeting, the Guild pressed for more press credentials, equipment and safety guidance and the company agreed.

 

For those interested, please contact your manager if you need protective equipment and/or an AP credential.

 

Reminder about backup care!

A reminder from TNG President Jill Zeman Bleed: AP employees are entitled to 20 days of backup care each year, at a cost of $20/day per child. Availability will vary by region, but check out this resource as we navigate the next few summer months.

Here is information provided by Bright Horizons on back-up care in a recent email:

Trying to figure out child care plans when your regular sitter’s unavailable? Or is the local summer camp you signed up for no longer an option? Rely on Bright Horizons Back-Up Care. Reserve care at a nearby center, with many in our network currently available for back-up care and more reopening throughout the summer. With health and safety being our top priority, we’ve developed best-practice COVID-19 protocols, including small group sizes and intensive hygiene and cleaning practices. Watch a video to learn more.

Individualized in-home care is also available from our extensive network of high-quality providers expected to comply with specific health and safety guidelines, including daily health checks. Learn more here.

REGISTER AND RESERVE CARE  >

To register, click on “Not signed up yet? Register Now.”

Employer Username: AP | Password:  APbackup

 

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS #1: HEALTH AND SAFETY

Did you know that you can request that the company bring in an ergonomics specialist, which includes its workers’ compensation insurance carrier, to evaluate your workstation to avoid or address repetitive strain injuries? You can also file a grievance if the company ignores your request for new equipment that is needed to address a medical condition?

 

Gary Pruitt told AP employees during the March Town Hall meeting, that furniture is generally evaluated when leases are up, or during moves, but that it would be done now “on a more regular basis.”

 

Employees are urged to let the union know when your office is being relocated. You want to make sure your furniture is evaluated at that time.

 

In the meantime, Pruitt said, if there’s an ergonomic issue, health issue or other problem, “That can’t wait.”  He urged people to contact their manager or HR. (Vicki Cogliano of AP Benefits vcogliano@ap.org . The Guild urges employees to copy Guild Administrator at kkeane@newsmediaguild.org too, so the union can assist as needed.

 

Your Guild Health and Safety Committee members agree “it can’t wait” and will assist you as needed. Its members are Stephanie Nano of New York, Sue Ogrocki of Oklahoma City and Dave Herron of Seattle.

 

Other important rights and protections in your union contract will be addressed in future releases.

We keep AP working

AP contracts ratified by Editorial Unit, Technology Unit

Members of the News Media Guild’s editorial and technology units have ratified a new, three-year contract with The Associated Press.

The secret-ballot votes were tallied Monday by the Guild’s elections committee. About 83 percent of ballots were in support of the tentative agreement, which was reached in late January after more than a year of bargaining.

The new contract, which replaces an agreement that expired in September 2017, includes three salary increases and three one-time payments. The new contract will quadruple the amount of paid parental leave for fathers and adoptive parents and also allow employees to use sick leave to care for ill family members, including children, spouses and parents.

The deal calls for a $750 lump sum payment upon ratification. It also calls for a 2 percent raise on July 1, 2019; a $250 lump sum on Jan. 1, 2020; a 1.75 percent raise on July 1, 2020; a $250 lump sum on Jan. 1, 2021; and a 1.75 percent raise on July 1, 2021.

The contract also calls for for annual 20 percent increases in monthly health insurance premiums for the top-tier health plan. It calls for annual 15 percent increases to the basic health plan and the introduction of an optional high deductible health plan next year.

AP also agreed to the Guild’s proposal to add insurance coverage for applied behavioral analysis therapy, a commonly prescribed treatment for children with autism.

Rank-and-file Guild negotiators met with the AP bargaining team more than 50 times in New York City over a nearly 18-month period. The Guild was represented at negotiations by Jill Bleed of Little Rock, Vin Cherwoo of New York Sports, technician Dave Herron of Seattle, technician Ed Morsett of Denver, and Guild administrator Kevin Keane.