Session 8: Job Protection and Raises

Job security is a top concern for our members and the union’s proposals this year aim to offer more certainty when the company needs to make changes to the workforce–including when roles need to change, when jobs are transferred and when the company decides that it needs to eliminate positions. 

We understand that the company needs flexibility and that sometimes positions end. 

But the approach used in recent reorganizations–forcing employees to reapply for their jobs–is unnecessarily disruptive and erodes confidence in the company. 

Our bargaining committee had a tense, but productive, exchange with company representatives at our negotiation on Thursday about why we are demanding a better way to handle this too-familiar routine at Dow Jones. 

Here are the highlights of how we’re trying to address this in our next collective bargaining agreement: 

--When work is transferred within the company an employee will have the right to the job (in seniority order) if they were performing similar work within 12 months prior to transfer; there is no requirement to reapply 

--Training is provided when new positions are accepted in a transfer 

--When positions are truly eliminated, if a similar job function or classification is created within 6 months, an employee who is laid off will have a right to that job 

--Employees will not suffer a reduction in pay when accepting a new job for work that is similar to a previous position

--Protections for IAPE members if the company is sold in whole or in part

--Limitations on the ability to move work from union members to contract, temporary workers and freelancers 

Annual Raises

The union also presented the company with our proposal for the annual raises guaranteed in our contract. We’ve asked the company for a 4% raise for the next three years, a 2% increase to introductory scales and a minimum weekly increase of $40 for all members. For eight years, the union-negotiated annual raise has been at 2%. When the company asked us to keep wage increases static in 2016, we were negotiating against the backdrop of a precipitous drop in ad revenue, consolidation of sections of The Wall Street Journal and layoffs. We think 4% is  an appropriate place to start the conversation given the company’s financial health and improved outlook, as cited by company executives. 

Dow Jones representatives told the bargaining committee on Thursday that they will need time to respond to our position, and will need to consider the costs of our other requests before they can come back with their offer.