May 9, 2023
The News Media Guild’s bargaining team met with The Associated Press this week to discuss the technological unit. Here’s what we talked about:
* After the company refused to include the SAFE program inside the Social Media Policy proposal, the Guild submitted a proposal to include important portions and references of the SAFE program inside the editorial contract. The proposal is attached below. The company said they would review our policy.
* At the same time, the Guild sent the company several questions related to the SAFE program, ranging from training to DeleteMe services to who has reported incidents of online harassment. While the company responded quickly to our questions (which are attached), they did not immediately hand over information on how many people have taken advantage of the DeleteMe service and how many people have reported online harassment incidents. The Guild is pressing the company for more information to better understand how our journalists of color, women and LGBTQ colleagues are being targeted.
* KEY TAKEAWAY: The company maintains that is providing DeleteMe services at no cot to the employee and it has not rejected requests for this service. This means, employees who would like this service should request it from the company and immediately report to the Guild if your request is denied.
* On NFTs: The Guild asked the company for an update on how/if the company selling NFTs several weeks ago (perhaps longer), and the company this week finally said they are not currently doing anything with NFTs but said they may want to at some unknown * On News Associates: The Guild has proposed doing away with News Associates since the company doesn’t really use or hire them anymore, the company said that they are still not ready to give the Guild an answer.
* Finally, the next bargaining date is May 23, where we’re discussing the technology unit.
The guild was represented by Vin Cherwoo, a sports writer from New York; John Braunreiter, a customer support specialist from Milwaukee; Kim Kruesi, a newsperson from Nashville, Tenn.; Bobby Caina Calvan, a newsperson from New York; Mike Warren, an editor from Atlanta; and administrator Kevin Keane.
Add to Health and Safety:
AP will continue its SAFE Program to create a culture of safety and protects the integrity and well-being of employees. The SAFE Team will document all cases to analyze the scope and trends of the harassment, including its impact on journalists of color, women and LGBTQ+, meeting with the Guild twice annually to discuss its findings.
Employees in immediate danger should promptly seek assistance from local law enforcement officials, contact the VP for Global Security and Safety; the Senior Director for Information Security; Deputy Director for Information Security, employee’s manager or supervisor and the Nerve Center (email@example.com).
Employees should not respond to or engage with the person who sent the threat.
The SAFE program will continue to hold regular, in-person (via Zoom) training for staffers on digital hygiene and protection and introduce SAFE to new hires during the onboarding process. The Employer will continue to support the mental well-being of its employees as a critical part of the SAFE Program. The AP will work with CIC Wellbeing, or another organization of its choosing, that specializes in stress and trauma counseling for journalists and has a network of counselors available to any AP journalist.
The AP is committed to providing a work environment where employees can feel confident that their dignity and reputation will be supported by the company and its leadership. This includes publicly defending the reputations of AP employees whose AP work makes them targets for significant or sustained.
Add to Expenses:
The Employer will pay for DeleteMe or similar digital information protection services for an employee who is impacted, or may be impacted, by online harassment and is concerned about the availability of the employee’s personal data online.