June 18, 2013

IAPE FAQs: 2013 Buyouts And Raises

Last week, we passed along (and clarified) news that Dow Jones had offered "buyouts" to certain employees. Since then, we have received a number of questions from IAPE members wondering about separation packages, and we have gone back to management with some questions of our own.

We have a little more news for you today regarding voluntary departures — including a brief explanation why the Company decided to make offers available at all. Here's the latest:

1) Buyout chatter began after a senior manager asked all bureau chiefs to inform their staffs that buyouts were available. Only a few location managers passed that information along to all employees, while others either ignored the news or only reached out to individuals they thought might be eligible.

2) Buyouts are being offered now because severance packages can be charged to the "old" company prior to the News Corp split, and are available for (maybe) two more weeks.

3) Nobody is being encouraged to accept a buyout — but anybody can request one. Similarly, there is no obligation on the Company's part to accept all requests — but if you want a buyout, you need to ask.

4) Buyouts are not limited to News departments — wherever you work at Dow Jones, if you have been thinking of leaving and would like to know if there is a separation package on the table, this is your chance to find out.

If you think you might be interested in a voluntary separation, with severance pay and other post-termination benefits, you can either reach out to your manager to find out if a buyout might be available for you, or you can contact IAPE and we'll reach out to management on your behalf. Simply email IAPE president Bob Kozma, grievance committee chairman Rob Johnson, or VCS/Organizer Tim Martell. Or contact a member of the IAPE Board of Directors near you, and that IAPE rep will pass your request on to the Union office.

"What About 2013 Pay Raises?"

While we're writing, we thought it best if we take this opportunity to address another frequently-asked question from IAPE-represented employees: when do we get our raise this year?

Under the terms of the IAPE contract, July 1 is the effective date for wage increases. Eligible employees must receive the larger of three possible pay hikes: a 2% compensatory increase, a $20 per week minimum-dollar increase (for employees currently paid less than $1,000 per week), or a scale increase for employees progressing through our introductory scales.

Of course, managers are always welcome to pay merit increases in excess of the raises required by our contract — there is absolutely nothing in the IAPE/DJ Collective Agreement that would limit any employee's rate of pay (no matter what some managers might suggest).