The News Media Guild and the Associated Press tentatively agreed Tuesday to new contract language that provides better job security for single-person correspondents, improved recall rights for laid-off employees and eliminates what the union viewed as a “double probationary” period for staffers being trained for new positions. It also establishes a new “diversity and inclusion” committee.
The tentative agreement in the editorial unit, combined with an earlier agreement with AP clarifying the use of stringers, came as talks continued with the assistance of a federal mediator.
“This is an important step forward in talks with AP,” said Martha Waggoner, the chair of the negotiating committee. “While many very difficult issues remain, we remain hopeful momentum will build toward a fair agreement,” she said.
The AP wanted to know if the Guild had changed its position on wages, pensions, and health insurance. The Guild said it had no proposed changes on health insurance and wages, adding that the economic package is fluid and that the outcome of pension discussions will affect the entire bargaining. The union told AP the company would have to wait until Wednesday, when CWA National President Larry Cohen and the Guild’s actuaries will join the bargaining team. Continue reading