Bargaining: Guild seeks help countering ‘unacceptable’ AI response, maintains differential objection

After a one-month break due to scheduling conflicts, the News Media Guild will meet with The Associated Press last Thursday to discuss the editorial contract.

Here are the highlights of what was discussed:

  • The meeting primarily focused on catching both parties up on where we’re at in bargaining, primarily on information requests.
  • The company provided its response to our lengthy AI information request. Our team feels the response is unacceptable, and will review it with our attorney. Mike Warren is currently working on a proposed response and is looking for help. Please reach out to him if you are interested in assisting in this important issue.
  • The company alluded that the Guild’s public criticism of AP’s proposal to remove the differential was incorrect. It said that the weekend and overnight differential would not be “removed” but instead rolled into people’s pay. We remain steadfast in our objection to this change. Employees wanting the differentials for additional income helps stabilize scheduling, while the AP proposal will leave new employees working those same shifts for nothing.
  • The Guild asked the company why it was only offering $10,000 to assist with surrogacy care when the average cost of surrogacy is around $125,000. The company responded that it currently does not offer this benefit and that’s the number it wants to offer to both guild and non-guild employees.
  •  The Guild then asked why the company is still having employees do wellness checks to avoid paying an extra $50 a month for health insurance. The company agreed to provide a list of employees who are currently paying the extra money because they did not do the wellness check.

The next bargaining meeting will take place on Thursday, Oct. 12.