BARGAINING: Guild, AP discuss Dismissal Indemnity, Temporary Employees

June 18, 2022

Bargainers with the News Media Guild and The Associated Press met again on Friday to discuss a new contract for the Guild’s editorial and technology units, which expires on June 30.

The AP advanced a proposal on Dismissal Indemnity/Severance (Article 7) specifying that no severance would be due if an employee was terminated for “a violation of the Equal Employment Opportunity policy.” The term would replace current language that lists “gross misconduct” as condition for denial. The proposal is attached to this email.

The AP also presented a counterproposal on Temporary Employees (Article 18) in response to the Guild’s proposal earlier in the week. The AP’s proposal, also attached, seeks to allow grant-funded positions for up to 36 months. Employees remaining beyond 36 months would become permanent. However, while other temporaries would pass probation after nine months, those in grant-funded positions would not. When questioned on this, the company representatives said those in grant-funded jobs are not evaluated the same way as normal temporary staff. The AP proposal also stated that regular staff who go into a grant-funded job would not lose their permanent status.

The AP said it is proposing no changes to News Associates (Article 19) and is working on a counter to Outside Work (Article 29) concerning a specified approval time for requests.

When asked about the status of employees in business locations that close physical offices and result in all employees working remotely, the AP said it would not affect job security and if a business location closed the employees are still considered assigned to that location.

Representing the Guild 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; Jean Maye, human resources director; and Sue Gilkey, global director of employee benefits.

Talks will resume Tuesday, June 21.