AP, Guild Agree On Key Contract Provisions

On Monday, negotiations between the Associated Press and the News Media Guild resumed with the help of a federal mediator, who will be assisting with the talks for the rest of the week.

On Tuesday, the guild and the AP tentatively agreed to new contract language that provides better job security for correspondents and establishes a “diversity and inclusion” committee.

The new contract language, if officially approved, would require AP to provide the guild with a copy of any employee evaluation that scores the employee as below “meets expectations” as well as CC the guild on any written disciplinary actions sent to guild-covered employees.

The contract would also provide for better severance for single-person correspondents and give laid-off employees preference for 18 months at any AP location.

“This is an important step forward in talks with AP,” Martha Waggoner, the chair of the negotiating committee, said in a statement.

During Wednesday negotiations, the AP rejected a proposal from the guild for a new type of pension plan that would save the company $1.6 million a year; the company is pushing to do away with pensions in exchange for a 401(k) type plan.

Negotiations are ongoing.