Session 23: Holding Firm

IAPE understands that negotiations require give and take, but the company’s proposal to keep raises at 2% for well into a decade was unacceptable to our members. And yesterday we made sure the company received the message on and off the bargaining table. 

We told the company again that 4% annual raises were the right place to start the conversation. In the interest of pushing talks forward, IAPE’s bargaining committee presented Dow Jones a package of our top priorities that we think would settle the contract. These include:

  • Set limits to increases on deductibles, co-insurance, co-pay, specialist visits and out-of-pocket maximums for term of the next contract 

  • Eliminating the need to reapply for a job in a restructuring when jobs functions will be the same

  • A 12-month limit on temporary workers hired through staffing agencies, with an extension to 18 months in limited cases for projects with notice to the Union

  • Preserving current 401(k) fixed and matching contributions

  • Enhanced protections if Dow Jones is sold in whole or in part

  • Increases to stand-by pay and shift differential rates 

  • More time for telecommuters to make the decision to move if required by the company to relocate to exercise seniority 

IAPE started with a comprehensive proposal and we have reached tentative agreement or are near tentative agreement on the majority of the items we presented. 

We have agreed to a simplified process for submitting and cashing out comp time. The company has agreed to a union proposal for additional notice in advance of disciplinary meetings, and to clearly inform members in advance if they are being disciplined. 

Employees who receive promotions after May 1st in any contract year will still be entitled to our annual negotiated pay raises. We have secured additional advance notice of permanent schedule changes for employees, and we rejected a company proposal to make self-evaluations a mandatory component of the annual performance evaluation process. 

Starting next year, employees will be able to receive an extra day’s pay instead of an extra day off when working on the July 4th holiday in the U.S. or the August Civic Day holiday for members in Canada. (Our current contract allows automatic cash out for holidays worked after Sept. 1.) And members who become disabled while on an unpaid leave will be eligible for short term and long term disability. For our members in sales, the company has agreed to provide a written explanation of changes to incentive plans. 

We vow after ratification to keep pushing certain other items such as lost vacation time because of workload, access to job openings for qualified candidates, better training and maintaining vigilance on claiming employees who are improperly classified outside of the Union. 

The company will provide IAPE with a response next Tuesday at our bargaining session in Princeton. Members in South Brunswick are invited to a chai break at 10 a.m. that morning to help the bargaining committee fuel up for another round of negotiations. 

Your visible support has helped the bargaining committee mount a solid campaign to ensure that IAPE members have a contract that recognizes your hard work and contributions to the company’s success. 

There are now several ways for you to show the company that you deserve a quality contract. 

Stay tuned for more. And thank you to the members who have already participated in these actions!