The proposal that company representatives presented at our first negotiating session offered little detail on the specific changes sought in our collective bargaining agreement, but gave an overview of significant modifications to important protections that have existed for union members for many years.
The proposal is nearly identical to those presented in previous bargaining years. IAPE will continue to fight for your benefits and push back on the company’s attempt to erode union protections.
Here is a summary:
Dow Jones is seeking to set plan terms—and to unilaterally modify plan design and premium structure—each year and to have employees contribute at “competitive levels.” The company is looking to discontinue the fitness reimbursement and move union-represented employees to the Virgin Pulse program.
The company said it expects that we will negotiate “appropriate” increases as part of the contract and is looking for flexibility in its overall wage package to, among other things, make sure there is a budget for merit increases and to address pay equity concerns.
The proposal also eliminates the automatic cost of living adjustment in our current contract.
Comp time and Premium Pay:
For overtime-exempt employees, the company is proposing to eliminate all premium pay and count all hours worked on a scheduled day off as comp time. Representatives have said they will provide details on a simplified process for tracking and cashing out comp time. They are also seeking to cap comp time at 10 hours in a single day.
Seniority in Layoffs:
The company is proposing to effectively end seniority protections by using merit—defined as skill, ability, and past job performance—as the first criteria during reductions in force.
The company’s proposal says union members “may be required” to provide self evaluations and suggested goals.
Dow Jones is seeking to eliminate the time off for union work guaranteed under our collective bargaining agreement, including the full-time release position held by the President.