July 29, 2016

Who's To Blame For DJ Healthcare Cuts?

Yesterday, we talked some more with Dow Jones representatives about healthcare. And we asked them, is this desire to pass additional costs along to employees a Company need or a Company goal?

Hint: It's This Guy

"It's a goal," they told us, "of News Corp and Mr. Murdoch."

Well, now we know who to blame.

Since 2012, Dow Jones has aggressively shifted healthcare costs from itself to you, nearly doubling the employee share of healthcare premiums to a planned 25% from 13%. What's more important to Mr. Murdoch than maintaining health benefits for employees whose hard work and industry-leading achievements Dow Jones leaders regularly extol? Things like a yacht for News Corp executives in Cannes, or a $40 million severance payment to an executive who resigned in disgrace.

Dow Jones notes that their plans (which aren't proposals — because management's current position is to eliminate contract references to healthcare) would still keep an employee's share of premiums at the lower end of current industry standards. But the DJ argument still ignores the traditional bargain in which IAPE members have accepted lower wages in exchange for stronger health benefits at affordable prices.

But everybody needs a goal, even Mr. Murdoch. Still, we have some of our own.

It is our goal to have IAPE-represented employees fairly compensated for the work they perform and receive quality benefits at a reasonable price. It should not cost employees more from one year to the next to work for Dow Jones.

It is our goal to maintain contract guarantees for healthcare and other benefits, job security and severance protection against layoffs. A Union-represented employee should not have to worry about terms and conditions of employment or benefit packages changing year after year — a contract is a contract, its terms should be defined and binding on both parties.

It is our goal to ensure IAPE-represented employees are treated fairly by their bosses and that all employees receive fair consideration for promotions and pay increases above contractual minimums, regardless of their gender or ethnicity.

It is our goal to reach agreement with Dow Jones on a new contract that our members can be proud to accept.

To that end, we offered a new proposal yesterday — again, addressing only "selected issues" — in response to the last document we received from Dow Jones on July 14th. There was limited discussion of our latest proposal, and we agreed to meet again next Tuesday.

Until then, we'd like to hear from you. What do you think of Rupert's goal? About ours? Check out our Contract Comments page, and send us your own.