July 15, 2014
A Message From Bob
Contract Update: We Have A Tentative Agreement
The IAPE Bargaining Committee, which consisted of members of the Executive Council of the IAPE Board of Directors, has reached a tentative agreement with the company on a one-year extension of the current collective-bargaining agreement. The current contract expired on June 30 but was extended for 60 days by both parties, as called for in the contract.
The IAPE board has voted to recommend the contract to IAPE-represented employees. We now ask that you, our fellow union members, vote in favor of the agreement during the ratification process, which will begin later this month.
Under the one-year extension, salaries will be increased 2%, retroactive to July 1, the same as the increase in the second, third and fourth years of the current contract. For employees paid according to our introductory tiers and scales, all scales will increase 1%.
The absolute minimum salary increase for all full-time IAPE-represented employees will be $20 per week.
These salary increases likely will be reflected in paychecks in September.
All other terms of the contract remain in place until June 30, 2015.
The proposal for the one-year extension was made by the company's bargaining team, which explained that the one-year extension would help management move forward to achieve its corporate objectives, including reaching three million total circulation for The Wall Street Journal and WSJ.com without the distraction of pending contract negotiations.
If you are wondering why the IAPE bargaining team didn't reject the idea of an extension and bargain for a new multi-year agreement, it is because the team thought the extension was the better choice for IAPE at this point in time. If we had bargained for a new agreement, we likely would have been engaged in concessionary bargaining, with the company demanding substantial givebacks. The one-year extension preserves the current contract features and protections we have enjoyed. In addition, the one-year extension guarantees a wage increase for this year.
On the critical topic of healthcare costs, the contract extension will preserve the current plan choices and maintain the existing cap on premium increases, which limits the Company to increases not exceeding 1% of annual base pay. Any additional changes to the health plan for 2015 are also subject to the existing restrictions preventing a substantial reduction in benefit levels.
Prior to the ratification voting date - yet to be established by the IAPE Election Committee - we will be hosting membership update meetings in New York and South Brunswick, and hopefully in other locations if time and schedules permit. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this contract extension, please do not hesitate to contact me.
On behalf of the IAPE board, I ask that you please vote YES on this one-year extension. Thank you.
Independent Association of Publishers' Employees
TNG-CWA Local 1096
5 Schalks Crossing Road
Plainsboro, N.J. 08536