The Independent Association of Publishers’ Employees, Local 1096 of The Newspaper Guild – Communications Workers of America, has reached a tentative agreement with Dow Jones & Co. on a new one-year collective bargaining agreement covering more than 1,300 employees across the United States and in Canada.
The deal, agreed to by representatives of the union and the company, has been approved by the board of directors of Local 1096, and will be presented to IAPE members for a ratification vote later this month.
The IAPE board recommends a “yes” vote.
The new agreement, covering the period from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023, provides a salary increase of 4% for all IAPE-represented employees retroactive to July 1, with a minimum raise of $40 per week, as well as a lump-sum payment equal to 1% of pay as of June 30, 2022, with a minimum of $1,000 USD. Wages will again be increased by 0.5% effective January 1, 2023.
The pay increases won’t fully offset the effects of inflation for all employees covered by the IAPE contract. They also fall short of initial Union proposals drafted in response to members’ contribution to the Company’s recent stellar financial results. However, the compensation agreement will provide a greater benefit for lower-wage earners.
Additional introductory pay scale adjustments will result in immediate pay increases in excess of 8% for some, with total compensation—pay increases and lump sum amounts—equaling as much as 11.5% of 2022 pay.
The tentative contract includes an extension of the company’s 2022 health insurance plans and a freeze of health insurance premium rates and other out-of-pocket costs for all members of the bargaining unit for 2023.
The union also proposed language surrounding cost for travel for reproductive medical procedures, including abortion. While that language is not included in the CBA, it is important to note that the company confirmed that current medical plans cover travel for procedures over 100 miles away from an employee’s residence.
IAPE and Dow Jones also settled remaining return-to-office issues, with the company agreeing to provide the union 45 days’ advance notice of any intention to increase in-office working days and 30 days’ notice of changes to the existing COVID vaccination policy.
Other contract changes tentatively agreed to include: an increase in the physical fitness reimbursement program to $700 per year, up from $600, as well as an agreement to make contract language gender neutral and the inclusion of Juneteenth and Truth and Reconciliation Day holidays for employees in the United States and Canada, respectively.