After months of discussions with members, careful reflection on the shortcomings of our current contract and an assessment of changes in the industry, IAPE’s bargaining committee yesterday presented Dow Jones representatives with a comprehensive proposal for our next collective bargaining agreement.
We’ve told you the union’s proposals offer a balanced solution to many concerns raised by IAPE members through the course of our preparation that gives the company flexibility in managing the business. But one that recognizes the critical role of employees in making Dow Jones great and helping it weather some of the media industry’s most turbulent periods.
We were disappointed in the company’s presentation—both for its lack of detail and because of changes to benefits, seniority and layoff procedure that would be detrimental for our members. But we realize this is the start of a discussion, and we remain focused on pushing for a productive dialogue to reach a tentative agreement by the end of August, when an automatic extension of our current contract expires.
Here is an overview of our proposals. Our next negotiating session is planned for Tuesday, June 11. Please stay tuned to our bargaining page for post-session updates and information about location meetings. Please reach out to your location director with any questions.
Healthcare and Benefits
The union has proposed a return to cost sharing and premium structures at 2018 rates.
In the last round of negotiations, we reluctantly agreed to the so-called glide path that allowed for yearly increases to cost sharing in response to the company’s insistence that the Cadillac Tax would be implemented. It was not. According to our analysis, the company’s costs for healthcare have been effectively flat and we think our proposal is a more-than-fair response to the increases our members have already faced since 2016.
We’re also asking for:
A wider network of covered mental health providers
Kaier Health option for members in California and Maryland
Maintaining a reimbursement for fitness and wellness activities
Parental Leave (Article XIV)
Codify the 20 weeks provided by the company
Remove distinction between primary and secondary caregiver
Preserve the ability to take unpaid leave for six added weeks
Retirement Plans (Article XVIII)
Protection of existing retirement contributions
Adding Roth 401(k) option
The bargaining committee is working hard to calculate the annual compensatory increases we’ll seek for the term of the next contract. We will provide more details on our wage proposals as we finalize the numbers.
Among our requests:
Increases to Shift Differential and Stand By pay rates
Better alignment of salaries to our tier structure and a clearer progression towards pay raises
More balance between annual raises for IAPE members and compensation received by non-union employees
Greater opportunities for added compensation
Better parameters for compensation for work outside of regular schedules
Limitations on the company’s ability to remove work out of the bargaining unit in favor of temporary workers, freelancers and contract workers
Greater job protection when the company shifts work or if the company is sold in whole or in part
Enhanced severance pay
Transparency surrounding the hiring process and job transfers
Increased protections for remote workers
Return to previous thresholds for expense reports
Guarantees on employees’ rights to a desk
Added requirements for diversity hiring
Greater privacy protections while communicating on or with company networks