August 15, 2013

A Message From Bob

The State Of The Union:

News Corp. is dead! Long live News Corp!

This year marks a momentous change for the company. As you know, DJ's parent — News Corp. — has split into two new entities. Our new parent is News Corp — but as far as we members of IAPE are concerned, nothing has changed.

Yes, the management teams of News Corp and Dow Jones & Co. are exploring new avenues of doing business, seeking new ways to generate revenue and to increase DJ's position in the news and information industry. As part of this process, management at DJ is mulling changes in the business model and discloses those changes periodically.

But Dow Jones & Co. still exists as a corporate entity and the collective-bargaining agreement that was negotiated by management and IAPE-represented employees — our contract — remains in place. The contract continues to govern the way we — IAPE-represented employees — and management work together for our mutual benefit. [By the way, the current contract expires at the end of June 2014, and we will embark upon negotiations for a new CBA a few months before then. More on that at a later date.]

Rest assured that we at IAPE remain vigilant that terms of the contract are applied consistently and evenly for all IAPE-represented employees. We monitor developments at the company and, in consultation with members, ensure that anything and everything that happens follow the dictates of the collective bargaining agreement, or CBA. We also continue to advise IAPE-represented employees and answer any questions that you may have, whether it is about mandated pay raises, moves through the pay scales and tiers, vacations and days off, or premium-pay issues, among others.

A note about mandated pay increases: The CBA calls for three types of raises in 2013: a 2% increase, a scale increase or a minimum dollar amount. These are the minimum increases that IAPE-represented employees receive under terms of the CBA. There is nothing in the contract that prevents your boss from giving you a bigger increase in pay if your boss feels you deserve more. If someone says to you, "Gee, I would like to give you more in salary but the union contract won’t let me," that person is wrong and either has been given bad information or misunderstands terms of the CBA.

This year also marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War battle at Gettysburg and President Abraham Lincoln's poignant address commemorating the events that took place on that Pennsylvania field. In his address, President Lincoln uttered his famous phrase "of the people, by the people, for the people" to describe the system of government in the U.S. That phrase can also be applied to our union, because our work is of the members, by the members, for the members.

We have one full-time employee at IAPE — Tim Martell, our communications specialist and organizer. The rest of the people who work at IAPE are, like you, employees of Dow Jones; they have full-time jobs that they fulfill and, on their own time, they work for the members of IAPE. They serve as directors, stewards, committee members. They work for IAPE because they realize — as I hope you do — the importance of having a union at Dow Jones to stand up for our rights and to level the playing field when it comes to dealing with management. Please take time to visit this website often to learn about the important work your fellow workers do on your behalf. You can learn more about the collective-bargaining agreement that we and the company negotiated. As I said, the contract governs all that we do at Dow Jones and it is our job, as union officials, to make sure that the company lives up to terms of the contract.

This is my first message to you as president of IAPE. As vice president, I took over the presidency on June 1, following the resignation, for health reasons, of my predecessor, Steve Yount. We all wish Steve the best and hope that he returns to full health as quickly as possible.

I joined the company almost 20 years ago, in November 1993, when I was hired as an editor at the former AP-Dow Jones joint venture [yes, I used to be in management]. I subsequently worked as an editor in various news departments, including as a copy editor on the former Enterprise desk at the Ticker, located at the time in Harborside, N.J. [which took me from management's ranks]. It was there that I met Steve Yount, in Marker's, a restaurant and bar within the Harborside complex. Steve was undertaking a campaign to get Dow Jones workers at Harborside to join IAPE. The campaign was successful. I was subsequently elected a location director at Harborside, then vice president of IAPE, and here I am now as president.

I plan to visit all Dow Jones departments and bureaus in the U.S. and Canada and hope to meet all of you. In the meantime, please call or send me an email if you have any questions or concerns about life at Dow Jones. If I don't know the answer, I’ll make sure to find out who does.

Please also consider taking on a more-active role within IAPE so that we can truly be of the members, by the members, for the members.



Bob Kozma
Independent Association of Publishers' Employees
TNG-CWA Local 1096
5 Schalks Crossing Road
Suite 220
Plainsboro, N.J. 08536