Tag Archives: benefits

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BARGAINING: AP revises health insurance proposal

The Associated Press introduced a revised health insurance proposal Thursday that would hit News Media Guild members with hefty premium increases through 2021.

The company said it made a “major economic revision” by phasing in the increases over three years, and by agreeing to no increases in 2018 and no retroactive increases for 2017. But Guild negotiators believe proposed increases are far too high, especially considering the paltry pay raises offered by the AP.

Click here to see the company’s new proposal.

Bargaining unit employees can figure out their own premium increases by using the calculator linked below. (A hearty thanks to Guild member Justin Myers in Chicago, who created it.)  Members are encouraged to share the link to the calculator on social media.


For many employees, the premium increase alone would exceed the pay increases offered by the company. That’s before you factor in the increased deductible, out of pocket maximum and decrease in coinsurance that the company wants to implement.

Under the AP proposal, insurance premiums would stay unchanged in 2018. In 2019, they would increase by 30 percent, followed by another 25 percent increase in 2020 and another 15 percent increase in 2021.

That means an employee plus family premium medical plan would go from $409 per month in 2018 to $764 per month in 2021 _ an increase of $355 per month.

AP said that management employees already pay 20 percent of their overall health costs, but Guild members currently pay 13 percent. The AP said that health care costs are rising and that Guild members need to pay a greater share of their health costs.

Representing the Guild were Jill Bleed of Little Rock, Vin Cherwoo of New York Sports, technician Dave Herron of Seattle and Guild administrator Kevin Keane.

Representing the AP were: Hilda Auguste, human resources manager; Sue Gilkey, global director of employee benefits; Steve Macri, AP’s attorney; David Scott, deputy managing editor; Jean Maye, human resources director; and Ellen Fegan, vice president for internal audit.

Bargaining resumes Friday.

Can my boss cancel my vacation?

Can my boss cancel my vacation after approving it?nix europe

The short answer is “yes” in a non-union workplace. In a union workplace, the answer is generally “no,” unless the rationale for doing so meets some strict criteria.

When no union represents their interests, supervisors can cancel already-approved time off, leaving workers on their own trying to get that money back for non-refundable payments for airfare and accommodations.

U.S. employers are not required to provide vacation to workers under federal law or in most states. And while employers are technically obligated to honor vacation that is promised as part of hiring terms or in an employee handbook, things don’t always work out that way in practice.

What can you do if your boss won’t let you take vacation time? Most employees have few options beyond threatening to quit.


But union workers have a contract that protects them and their time off.

Airplane at takeoff seen from the bottom in the airport landing strip at sunset.In fact, the News Media Guild contracts with the Associated Press spell out in detail how much vacation employees are entitled to – up to five weeks for long-term staffers – how it must be scheduled, and when it might be canceled.

The only time an approved vacation may be taken off the calendar or cut short, for example, is “to meet bona fide news or staffing emergencies resulting from unforeseeable and extraordinary news developments.” And in those cases, lost deposits or payments resulting from those cancellations are covered by the company.

The contract also protects other time off, such as holidays. And staffers who must work on one of the eight holidays listed in the contract automatically get holiday pay – time and a half – for their shift.

Protecting important and hard-won benefits like vacation and holiday time is just one of the things that the News Media Guild does for our members.

Join today, and help make the Guild even stronger!

Guild Scholarship Winners 2010

The News Media Guild is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Patrick J. Sherlock Scholarship awards. This year’s winners are Casey Detrow, Julie Mazziotta, and Emilie Benick. The awards are made each year in memory of Sherlock, a former president of the Wire Service Guild, the forerunner of the News Media Guild. The winners are chosen by lottery.  Join us in congratulating the winners! Continue reading

‘Consumer Reports’ Discount

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