IAPE @ Work
IAPE's newly elected leadership took its first steps toward enacting a bold vision earlier this month. In one of its first actions at its biannual meeting, board members voted to establish a committee to lead IAPE's efforts of rooting out discrimination of any kind at Dow Jones. Led by directors Louise Radnofsky and Lillian Rizzo, the Human Rights/Diversity committee will continue work on the pay equity study. Dozens of employees have already had their salaries adjusted thanks to this groundbreaking analysis, but IAPE contends that inequities with compensation persist. Since this crucial issue requires the dedication of a group of employees that span news and business, IAPE revived the committee with that mandate in mind and is encouraging all members to get involved.
IAPE plans to use new initiatives like the Human Rights committee to create a more inclusive and effective union. If we're going to eliminate biases that cause some employees to receive less pay than their peers or investigate claims of editorial interference or keep health-care costs low, we're going to need the support of smart, committed individuals—an abundant resource at Dow Jones.
The board also discussed creating an appropriate travel reimbursement policy for the president. In an effort to offer more transparency on how IAPE spends members' money, President Yogi Patel agreed to submit and adhere to a monthly travel budget, which will be reviewed by IAPE's Treasurer, Joe Walker, and the incoming finance committee. Yogi has submitted the budget since the meeting and is pending the board's approval.
IAPE's Dec. 1 board meeting in New Jersey featured a mostly new slate of directors so considerable time was spent on digging through ongoing issues around restructurings in editorial and sales, updating the union's investment guidelines and mobilization efforts for the next contract.
Stay tuned for details in the coming months around how IAPE plans to better address these concerns and for further updates on our progress.
Mike Wursthorn, Vice President IAPE Local 1096
What we've been working on in December:
Filed a grievance over the employee share of insurance costs
The company can raise health-insurance costs for the 2018 and 2019 plan years, but there are limits. According to our contract, Dow Jones can't raise premiums by more than 0.5% of your annual salary in any plan year. Members with POS II Family Coverage, however, noticed that their costs will increase by as much as 0.75% next year. It appears that the company is ignoring the freeze to premiums that came out of our last round of talks. After filing the grievance with Dow Jones, IAPE held a few information sessions to help members better understand our health-benefits protections.
(For the back story on how we got to this point, see the IAPE letter to members after the bargaining committee reached a tentative agreement last year.)
Preparing a demand for bargaining
IAPE is demanding negotiations over the company's unilateral decision to eliminate the service-awards program. Service awards are granted to employees at every 10-year anniversary, starting with the first 10-year anniversary and continuing through the 20-, 30- and 40-year marks. (We're not aware of longer tenures.)
While this may seem like a small issue for IAPE to pursue, this is an employee benefit, which means the company is obligated to negotiate any changes with the union.
Assisted members who were disciplined
We all want to excel at our jobs and to get along with managers. There can come a time—even for colleagues whom we view as stars—when things get rocky. When you are part of a union, you are entitled to representation. During disciplinary meetings, your IAPE representative has the same standing as a manager, so that any conversation takes place between equals.
IAPE Needs Your Help!
Duties involve representing members during disciplinary meetings. This includes keeping detailed notes, reporting progress and making suggestions on potential resolutions to member and grievance chair. Will also help answer routine contract questions from members, assist location directors with engagement and mobilization activities and have access to location budget, with director approval for spending. (IAPE Executive Director Tim Martell is hosting steward training in late January at 1211 with remote options available. Anyone serving on a committee is considered a steward and should try to attend.)
Location Director—Northeast (2)
Two location directors are needed for the Northeast, the region with the largest IAPE presence. Both will work closely with New York-based location director Lillian Rizzo on building IAPE's engagement with members at 1211, the Bronx printing plant and those working in Boston. Directors keep their ears to the ground on the most important issues for union members and provide help, whether it's answering contract questions or assisting with workplace problems. The directors will work with stewards to lead information sessions and other informal events throughout the year, such as happy-hour mixers and pizza parties. No previous experience in the union necessary and directors are eligible to participate in IAPE-sponsored training. Please reach out to Yogi Patel and Lillian Rizzo if you're interested in learning more about the role.
Communications Committee—Chair, Siobhan Hughes
This is one of IAPE's most important committees and we are looking for members to help with ongoing and one-off projects so we can stay better connected. Here are a few ways you can get involved:
—Help guide outside design firm in IAPE website refresh
—Develop IAPE's presence on social media and video
—Assist with design of fliers, T-shirts, signs
—Help with monthly newsletter, office bulletin boards
IAPE members in sales, we need your help to ensure potential problems with incentive and bonus plans are brought to the union's attention in a timely manner. The incentives committee will also provide input on proposals during contract negotiation. (We are also seeking a chair for this committee.)
Human Rights/Diversity Committee—Co-Chairs, Louise Radnofsky and Lillian Rizzo
Members will help chairs on IAPE projects related to pay, promotion and diversity. Chairs will provide recommendations to labor-management and grievance committees for presentation to Dow Jones on any issues involving inequitable treatment of members based on gender, race, ethnic background, religion, sexual orientation or union activity. Contact Louise or Lillian to volunteer for this committee.
Please reach out to Siobhan or Yogi if you have any questions or are interested in helping out with any IAPE projects.
Talk to you all in the new year!