Session 13: Rude Health

Health care makes up a significant portion of our compensation and IAPE’s proposals this year are laser-focused on putting limits on the cost-shifting trend we’ve experienced in recent years.

In our third discussion of benefits with Dow Jones representatives, the bargaining committee presented the company with our revised proposal outlining up to 5% increases to each component of cost sharing throughout the term of our next contract. 

According to our analysis, the company’s overall health costs have been relatively flat, making the increases the company told us it was projecting earlier in negotiations especially unacceptable. 

We will continue to push for fair health costs that prevent Dow Jones from increasing the burden further. We are still waiting for a response to our wage proposal, which calls for a 4% raise for every year of the contract, and will continue to weigh these priority items in tandem to get the best agreement for our members. 

The bargaining committee also reiterated our position that we would allow the Virgin Pulse wellness benefit to be offered to our members as long as the company maintains a reimbursement option. The union’s opposition to Virgin Pulse has mainly been focused on the generally intrusive nature of a more difficult to use benefit. Yesterday we outlined concerns brought to us by employees who have access to the program, including that people of color and individuals with disabilities, among others, may not be able to make full use of the program.

A reminder that our 60-day extension period ends on Aug. 29, and we are recommending that members get in their fitness reimbursements by that date. In the past, the union and company have usually agreed to allow the terms of our contract to continue after the extension period while we work out a deal. 

Please continue to show your support for the bargaining committee on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. See your representative if you haven’t gotten your IAPE mug and stay tuned for information about meetings and activities in your location.