The News Media Guild proposed Wednesday three pay raises of 3 percent each for workers at The Associated Press, with the first to take effect on the date a tentative agreement is reached.
The next raise would be effective the same date in 2015, and the third, the same date in 2016. The contract would expire three years after a tentative agreement is reached, the Guild proposed. The AP has proposed increases of 2 percent, 1.75 percent and 1.5 percent with a ratification bonus of $500.
The Guild also proposed changes to health insurance to bring the Guild proposal and the company proposal closer. Among the changes the Guild proposed: a 10 percent increase in premiums in 2014; 10 percent in 2015; and 8 percent in 2016.
AP has proposed an average increase of 19 percent in 2014, with the actual amount depending on the tier.
The Guild also proposed specialist copays of $40. That would be an increase from the current $30 and less than the AP’s proposal of $45. Continue reading
While the chief executive officer of the Associated Press is presenting an upbeat picture of finances, the company’s bargainers say News Media Guild staffers must make sacrifices in health insurance and job protections for AP to stay competitive.
Just last Wednesday, AP CEO Gary Pruitt held a town hall, telling staffers that the company is strong financially with no risk of failure or bankruptcy. Pension payments and the transformation in the media landscape were described as challenges, he said, adding that all departments performed well in 2013.
At the bargaining table Tuesday, however, AP negotiators indicated that Guild-covered staffers work only for the traditional newspaper market, which is in decline. ” … I am sure that you also heard Gary say that revenues from the traditional newspaper market, served by employees in the News Media Guild, remain in decline,” AP said. “There is no way out of it — in the interest of responsible leadership, we must continue to find additional ways to manage prudently going forward. It is the only way we can keep AP strong for our customers, for our employees and for our journalistic mission.” Continue reading