August 3, 2016 

Trying To Read The Signals

There wasn't a lot of progress at the bargaining table yesterday, but we did receive an important piece of information, one which shows how we all need to respond to convince management we need a fair contract.

During a conceptual discussion of healthcare — IAPE trying to secure protections against cost increases, Dow Jones trying to achieve greater flexibility — we suggested, again, that healthcare and wages should be linked, that benefits are another source of compensation. An increase in healthcare costs should be offset by an increase in wages.

In return, Dow Jones suggested that we'll come to an agreement on wages eventually, and that — given our recent history — "we" probably all have an idea what that agreement will look like.

The signal from DJ reps: Don't expect more than 2% because business isn't much better now than it was last year, the year before that, or the year before that.

(That, of course, hasn't prevented the Company from spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on renovations to work spaces in New York, Washington, Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco, Los Angeles, South Br. . . um, Princeton — and on, and on, and on.)

So there you have it. Dow Jones is looking for the kinds of healthcare changes it has described to the Union, and it thinks it can get them in exchange for 2% annual raises.

That's what we're up against, and have to mobilize against.

That's why we're asking all IAPE members to take part in tomorrow's WSJ UNION MADE day. Remember, on Dow Jones pay days, wear your UNION MADE t-shirt (or something red or black of your own) in support of the IAPE bargaining committee. Continue to weigh in with your feedback, and keep displaying your support for IAPE at your workspace.

Do these actions matter? Yes. Yes they do. We?ve gone from facing a Company position of having no reference to healthcare and benefits in our contract to discussing ways to find appropriate contract protections against cost increases.

That only happens with your support.

But we need to keep moving management in our direction.

In other news from yesterday, management did provide the Union with its latest "Selected Issues" proposal. We have reached agreement with the Company on providing volunteer notices to employees whenever layoffs occur (a function the Union will take over from management) and we have an agreement on payout of unused vacation time when employees leave Dow Jones.

IAPE and Dow Jones reps will meet again today in a job title subcommittee to discuss non-Union titles (ones we believe should be in the Union) and pay tier adjustments.

DJ and IAPE will return to the main bargaining table next Tuesday.