Several Associated Press employees who have transferred jobs in the past three years incurred relocation expenses that are far higher than the maximum $11,000 that the AP is now proposing in its transfers proposal. That’s according to data requested by the News Media Guild after the AP introduced a proposal this week that would give relocating employees a lump sum, not reimbursement for actual expenses.
The company proposal calls for a $5,000 lump sum payment for an employee who is relocating. An employee could receive an additional $2,000 if he or she has a spouse who’s relocating, another $2,000 if he or she has a child or children and another $2,000 if the move is 2,000 miles or more. The maximum reimbursement would be $11,000.
The Guild has proposed leaving the transfers language unchanged so employees are reimbursed for the actual costs incurred while moving to a new location for the AP.
The AP provided the Guild information on 52 employee transfers from 2014 to 2017. Of those, 24 employees claimed zero relocation costs because the move was for personal reasons. For the 28 moves where costs were reported, AP reimbursed anywhere from $395 to more than $44,000.
Twelve of those employees reported relocation costs of $10,000 or higher, and five of those people had costs above $20,000. Those 12 all would have lost money had AP’s new transfers proposal been in place.
Guild bargainers return home this weekend and negotiations with the AP will resume the week of Sept. 18.
The Associated Press on Thursday proposed a new dead-end editorial unit classification that would turn over newsperson work to a group of people with little experience who would work for no more than two years.
The new class of workers, called news associates, would do Class A news work in all formats for the state news report, including pickups, daybooks, editorial roundups and other work, along with filing photos and videos and captioning photos. The company said it needs a fixed-cost way to meet increasing demands with fewer EU staffers.
The AP said it would hire no more than 16 news associates at one time. They would work on the four regional desks.
Top-scale Class A employees now performing those chores and other news duties are now paid $1,250.99 a week. Continue reading
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 bargaining team for Associated Press management proposed Thursday sweeping changes to health care, along with severance pay and transfers.
In addition to a more expensive plan for 2014, management proposed a plan beginning in 2015 called a consumer-driven health plan with a health savings account. The proposal for 2015 includes a “wellness surcharge” that requires employees to meet three of four health targets or face additional charges.
Those targets involve: body mass index, healthy cholesterol, glucose and blood pressure.
The Guild told the company that the health care proposal is more expensive for the employees, intrusive and punitive.
To see the health care proposal, click here. To see the other company proposals, click here: Continue reading