Guild wins gains in new AFP contract

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Raise of 3.8 percent cumulative over two years, cash bonuses of $1,750

The Guild and AFP on December 17 reached a tentative agreement on a new two-year contract which provides significant improvements following a period of a salary freeze.
The contract, subject to ratification, calls for a wage hike of 2.0 percent in January 2015 and 1.75 percent in 2016. Guild-covered employees also would get one-time bonus payments of $1,750 spread over 18 months.

The contract largely preserves existing health care benefits. Some changes to the de- ductible system and premiums may increase employee costs by a few hundred dollars. This is more than offset by the wage and bonus payments. A new high-deductible option in 2016 will replace the current HMO and be compliant with federal rules for health savings accounts. AFP will contribute to the HSA — $850 for single coverage and $1,500 for families -– to offset the deductibles for those signing up for the new plan. The deductibles are $1,300 and $2,600.

Other benefits and contract language remain largely unchanged. There is a modest im- provement in the vacation schedule and personal days, allowing people to have more time off sooner. We also will see an increase in transit allowance to $80/month for DC residents and $130/month for others, and a rise in the night taxi allowance to $20.

AFP will now pay 100 percent of long-term disability insurance (up from 70 percent) which will also be a small boost for net pay.

Overall, the bargaining committee views this as a positive change for AFP employees and recommends ratification.

AFP Guild members will get full details and be able to vote on the contract by email or in person. A meeting will be scheduled for December 30.

The bargaining committee included guild chair Rob Lever, Paul Sherno, Lizabeth Menzies and Jim Slater. The WBNG bargainer was Paul Reilly.

-Rob Lever, unit chair

Units in this article: Agence France-Presse