BARGAINING: Guild asks AP about reorganization

July 1, 2022

Bargaining between the News Media Guild and The Associated Press continued Thursday to discuss a new contract for the Guild’s editorial and technology units.

The Guild asked the AP about the company’s plan for reorganization that involves going from four regional desks to one national editing desk. The plan has been announced to some staff and the Guild said it is causing causing concern due to the uncertainty of how it will affect job security, seniority and vacation scheduling and how it fits into the organizational unit structure.
The AP’s representatives said they will look into it and provide answers at a future meeting.

With some language cleanup, the Guild and AP reached agreements on Payroll Information (Article 3) and Grievance Procedure (Article 4) for both editorial and technology units. There was also an agreement on Dismissal Indemnity/Severance (Article 7) that states an employee terminated for just cause does not get severance if they violated the EEO policy.

On Temporary Employees (Article 18), the Guild said it did not understand why a temporary employee fulfills a trial period requirement after nine months but someone on a grant-funded position does not over the same or longer duration. The AP said it will respond later.

The Guild also asked for information on how payments under the NFT program are calculated and how the AP arrived at the calculation formula.

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; and Jean Maye, human resources director.

Talks will resume Thursday, July 7.