IAPE @ Work: January 2019
Missing the Beat
When Dow Jones came to the union last year to ask us to sign off on switching our members to the new Virgin Pulse fitness benefit, our board’s response was unanimous—NO.
Citing major concerns over data privacy as well as the consistent move toward concierge-type benefits that are more complicated and time consuming to use, the union told the company we would rather stick to the less intrusive reimbursement program we’ve had for years. And that any further changes would have to be discussed at the contract bargaining table.
The outpouring of support from non-union colleagues for our decision has confirmed that we must continue to fight against the company’s rationale of commoditizing private health information, even if it saves money on a popular employee benefit.
We agree there is often a direct relationship between more money and an increased sense of wellbeing. We suggest management focus on improving pay practices rather than having workers re-earn a benefit they are entitled to as a result of being a Dow Jones employee.
Should my colleague be in the Union?
IAPE regularly works to help correct the classification and union status of employees who have been incorrectly excluded from our bargaining unit. We are in constant discussion with Dow Jones about what titles should be covered by the bargaining agreement and want to help those who are improperly excluded from union coverage. If you think a coworker in your department is performing duties in line with other union colleagues, please contact us.
Union membership comes with considerable benefits. Non-union staff are often denied holiday pay, comp time and the right to representation in disciplinary meetings, among other important protections. Ensuring people are properly classified -- and where appropriate, covered by the union agreement -- leads to better seniority protection and job security for all employees. It also helps the union’s effort toward securing fairer pay practices at Dow Jones.
Email IAPE Executive Director Tim Martell to see if your coworker might qualify for union protection.
Brown Bag Tier Lunch Group
With stagnating wages and increasing health care costs, we know that saving more money is a top priority for most of our members.
No matter where you fit into our negotiated tiers and pay scales, bringing a healthy homemade lunch to work is one of the best practices you can start in the new year. Join our Brown Bag tier lunch group the second Tuesday of every month at the Princeton office. You’ll have a chance to meet union representatives and fellow members while learning more about the union, our contract and the collective bargaining process.
Where: Building 1 Cafeteria
When: 12:30 p.m. -1:30 p.m. (starting Feb. 12)
Scholarship deadlines approaching
IAPE members and their families have access to scholarship opportunities through our affiliates. The deadline to apply for the UnionPlus scholarship for 2019-20 admissions is Jan. 31 and April 30 for CWA’s Joe Beirne scholarship.
IAPE @ Work: Fall 2018
Engage With IAPE
One of the major benefits of being part of IAPE is having a direct line to company leadership. Whether you want to share your ideas for improvement or bring light to workplace issues, IAPE offers an accessible path to effect real change at Dow Jones. Challenging the status quo doesn’t always require an adversarial approach, and through our regular meetings with company representatives we have pushed for greater focus on pay, diversity and opportunities for advancement.
Our collective bargaining agreement with Dow Jones provides important protections that govern your working life and invaluable benefits to help with everything else—gains won over decades of hard work by rank-and-file employees just like you.
Last weekend, your board of directors spent a day-and-a-half discussing IAPE’s finances, operations and plans for our contract negotiations next year. We also approved a budget for our new fiscal year presented by Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair Joe Walker, who has been taking a hard look at how IAPE spends money since taking office in December.
While your dues provide IAPE leadership the resources to hold the company accountable to the terms of our contract, equally important to our reserves are the countless volunteer hours from our dedicated officers, directors and stewards.
We are always adding to our steward ranks and are devoted to nurturing the next crop of IAPE leaders while making sure your contributions are manageable in your busy schedule. And there are a number of ways for each member to get involved, including sending a quick email to flag a problem in your department, attending one of our events or joining our remote Q&A sessions. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or email IAPE president Yogita Patel directly to learn more.
IAPE Board Update
Congratulations to two new directors for the Northeast location, reporter Tom Corrigan and sales executive Nicholas Leonardis, both in New York. The board also welcomed reporter Vipal Monga of Toronto, who is taking over the location director vacancy in Canada.
CVS Notice of Prescription Changes
On Tuesday, members received letters from CVS stating that, starting in January, they'll need to fill all of their reoccurring prescriptions thru CVS or Caremark, their mail server pharmacy, or be forced to pay the full cost of the medication. Dow Jones has explained to IAPE that, “the 90-day supply rule for maintenance drugs is already part of our prescription drug plan, but we have not been enforcing it.” Starting in January, Dow Jones plans on enforcing that component.
Company representatives have informed IAPE that the CVS/Caremark letter was sent to allow time for members to make adjustments to their prescriptions before the effective date, and that Dow Jones doesn’t expect the supply rule to “create any problems.”
We suspect many members have valid reasons why they choose to use pharmacies other than CVS. If you think this change will cause problems for you, please let us know.
Fall Spotlight Event in New York
IAPE’s Union Made event returns with Bonds: On Relationships columnist Elizabeth Bernstein, who will join Vice President Mike Wursthorn to discuss sourcing real people for all types of stories, including sensitive topics such as sexual harassment. Drinks and appetizers will be served at this members-only event and there will be an opportunity for networking after.
Where: 1211 AoA; Impact Room—Ninth Floor (Get your ID activated early)
When: Thursday Oct. 18 @ 6:30 p.m=
This Time We’re Asking the Questions
IAPE’s is bringing back our popular trivia contest to encourage members to learn more about our contract earn a chance to win some money in the process. The rules are simple: each Friday, we will email a contract question to the IAPE membership. Members in good standing* will have one week to find the answer within the current collective bargaining agreement between IAPE and Dow Jones (or our weekly Slack Q&A transcripts, and email that answer as a reply to the emailed trivia question. The following Friday, one winner will be selected at random from all the correct responses, and that winning member will receive a $50 gift card from IAPE.
The winner’s name will be announced upon delivery of the following week’s question.
And don’t forget to join us on Slack!
A reminder that our live Q&A session will take place at 1 p.m. EDT Friday on the IAPE Slack account (iape1096.slack.com). This week we’ll tackle “things managers say.” If you can’t make it, don’t worry! You can stop by the channel at your leisure to check out all our discussions on pay, performance evaluations and contract protections as well as crowd-sourced information on your Dow Jones benefits.
Important Note: This is a separate workspace from the Dow Jones Slack account. If you don’t already have access, send us a note with your personal email address and we’ll send you an invite.
*The IAPE contract trivia question is a weekly contest for members of IAPE/DJ bargaining units in the United States and Canada. IAPE officers, IAPE directors, IAPE staff, fee-paying non-members and non-members in right-to-work states (or new employees not yet paying dues to IAPE) are not eligible for prizes.
IAPE @ Work: Spring 2018
It's almost summer, and we wanted to give you an update of the hard work your officers and directors have been putting in to make sure your voice is heard at Dow Jones. Most important is that we hear from you! Check our upcoming events and training and reach out to your rep to see how you can get involved.
Exploring Newsroom Concerns
IAPE has a new committee to focus on issues and concerns specific to news-side members. Please contact the news committee at email@example.com to discuss any issues or ideas or if you want to get involved.
Keeping an Eye on Incentive-Plan Changes
IAPE members in sales, it's almost that time of year again. According to our contract, Dow Jones has to give the union 45 days before making any modifications. Directors Cinda Coldwell and Sal Ahmed are heading up the incentives committee and want to hear your concerns and questions about the new plans. Check your inbox for a survey about this year's changes that will guide our response to the company.
Another Dow Jones management perennial, annual performance evaluations, is upon us. Your boss may ask you to give a review of your own performance and the company knows where IAPE stands on this--the self assessments are optional and rating the performance of employees is a management function. We want to know how the reviews this round are going and what you think about these subjective appraisals.
IAPE's board has approved funding for new two pay-equity studies, with the goal of continuing to bring you tools to help to negotiate for fairer pay. The first study will follow up on our ground-breaking gender-based pay analysis from two years ago to evaluate whether Dow Jones has corrected for a pattern of unequal pay for unequal work, as it asserts.
Beyond conducting a follow-up survey, we have also agreed to conduct a study that will go beyond gender and incorporate a broader set of factors. We are developing a questionnaire and you should expect to receive this survey in coming months. Please let us know if you have any suggestions for which additional factors might be worth considering. Especially relevant for reporters: we plan to ask members whether they were originally hired through the newswires, The Wall Street Journal, or wsj.com—factors we believe may cause distortions when setting pay.
Important Developments for NewsTech Employees
The 50 or so IAPE-represented Dow Jones employees who will be transferred to a new company -- NewsTech -- are at risk of losing their union protections. This is because when the new entity is formed, union protections will transfer with Dow Jones employees only if half of the new unit’s employees come from union-protected jobs. Currently, Dow Jones employees will make up only 40% of the new company’s workforce, with the rest coming from other News Corp. businesses such as HarperCollins, Move Inc., and others.
At stake are your health-care benefit protections, your severance benefits, your seniority rights, and the protections you have against swift firings without due process. (While NewsTech healthcare benefits will match existing Dow Jones benefits for now, NewsTech employees won’t have contractual protections against extreme premium increases. NewsTech employees will also lose their contractual rights to severance.) If we organize, we can stop the worst from happening, but we need your help. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can work together to ensure you continue to have representation.
New IAPE Directors
Congratulations to Joe Palazzolo, a reporter in New York, and Rob Johnson, formerly an editor in New York, who have been named to fill two open Northeast location director positions, and Cinda Coldwell, an account executive, who has agreed to be the classification director for advertising and administration. Congratulations also to Cinda, along with Ali Berzon, a reporter in California, and Tricia Corley, project coordinator for Print-IT in South Brunswick, on being elected to the Executive Council. These elections fill out a seven-person council and help bring geographic and departmental diversity to IAPE's leadership team.
Speaking Of Directors . . .
We’d also like to extend our congratulations to Matt Murray on his promotion to Editor-In-Chief of The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires. While his WSJ career has been well-documented, you may not know Matt also has ties to IAPE as a supporter, steward, and member of the Union’s Board of Directors. In 2000, Matt Served as our News Classification Director
IAPE @ Work (Dec. 2017)
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 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!