Bob Kozma For President
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Back in January, when I first thought seriously about seeking a second term as president, I asked a friend and co-worker if she thought anyone would run against me. She said: "Yes, and that's a good thing. It means you have succeeded in revitalizing the union. People are interested in the union again."
Revitalizing IAPE was one of my goals when I became president. That's why I try to spend so much time at 1211, the 'Princeton' campus and visiting bureaus across the U.S. I want members to be aware of what's going on within the company and our union. I want people to be engaged with, and participating in, union meetings and activities. I want members to know that IAPE isn't 'some people over there' but that IAPE is all of us, as we work together to make our voices heard at Dow Jones.
Transparency is, I feel, crucial to forging a stronger union. I keep location directors and classification directors informed of what is happening with regard to our members. I answer telephone calls from members seeking information or advice. I walk around 1211 when I am there [usually on Wednesdays] and the Princeton offices [usually on Thursdays], talking with members so I know what's going on in their lives at work. I sit with members if they are called in to disciplinary meetings, offering counsel to them if they are issued warning letters. Chairing the Labor-Management Committee helps me keep tabs on what issues concern our members and gives me the opportunity to seek change from the company. I have formed a good working relationship with DJ CEO Will Lewis which, I think, both raises IAPE's visibility within the company and aids in promoting the concerns of members with top management.
Pay inequity. I am proud to say that, during my time as president, IAPE came out with its key studies on pay inequity at Dow Jones. Armed with pay information, many IAPE members have received increases [and, for some, significant increases] in salary.
The paying field is still not level at Dow Jones. I pledge to do more to make sure all members receive the compensation they deserve.
Promotions. All IAPE members need to be considered by management for promotions. Too often, it seems, management brings in outsiders for key positions when the right people are already in place to take on new responsibilities. This is something I will pursue further with the company.
Service to members. I have often said a union is a group of individuals. Sometimes I work on behalf of the group, such as when I lead the bargaining team in negotiations for a new contract. But, more often, I work for the individuals within IAPE, helping to solve their problems, or answering their questions. I view the position of president as being one of serving our members. There are other things that a president can do, such as acting as a public advocate for our members, but primarily the job is one of service.
Workplace eyes and ears. What else needs doing? We need more stewards. Stewards are our eyes and ears in the workplace. Through stewards, we hear of problems that we can discuss with management and get solved. Stewards should also be the first union people to approach new members, to explain how IAPE operates and how we are all part of the solution. As you think about who should be IAPE's next president, please think about volunteering for this key role; it won't take much of your time.
Mobilization. Working with new, additional stewards and location directors, we will be able to mobilize better, to demonstrate to management that we are all one team and our voices must be heard.
Training. Just as I have taken advantage of key programs to educate myself about being the leader of a union, I will make sure that all officers and directors are afforded the same opportunities to learn so that we all know how best to serve you, our fellow IAPE members.
My background. I joined Dow Jones in November 1993 as a news editor at the AP-Dow Jones joint venture. AP-Dow provided the Associated Press with business stories from around the world, written by correspondents of DJ Newswires. [DJ ended the joint venture several years ago.] At AP-Dow, I edited stories from Latin and South America, Europe and Asia and helped train many of the correspondents who were sent overseas [including Paul Beckett, now WSJ bureau chief in DC].
I was then asked to form a Global Editing Desk in Harborside, with sister desks in London and Singapore.
After that, I moved to DJ Newswires' Energy Desk, working with, among other people, my good friend, the late David Bird. I then moved to what was called the Enterprise Desk, editing copy from DJ Newswires and Wall Street Journal correspondents around the U.S. and Canada. The Enterprise Desk subsequently was merged into the Real-Time Desk.
My union experience. When employees at Harborside [in Jersey City] voted to join IAPE, I was elected location director and then was elected vice president. Working as IAPE vice president helped me immensely in readying me to step up as president. I was able to take classes and seminars on bargaining, contract law, labor history, arbitrations, and dealing with management. In addition, I attended The NewsGuild's residential seminar for new union officers and CWA District One's Clara L. Allen Leadership School for new labor leaders.
My opponents. I know both of my opponents. I worked with both when I was on the Real-Time Desk. They are good people. Still, as Dow Jones continues to undergo significant change, now is not the time to have an inexperienced person in the union's top spot. That is why I ask that you please re-elect Bob Kozma as president of IAPE. Thank you!
IAPE TNG/CWA Local 1096