OLD Media Moves

Union reaches tentative agreement with Dow Jones

November 4, 2019

Posted by Chris Roush

IAPE 1096, the union that represents business journalists at The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch.com and Barron’s, sent out the following to its members on Monday:

IAPE’s board of directors has approved a tentative agreement for a new contract that was hammered out Thursday night between Dow Jones representatives and our bargaining committee. Now the majority of our nearly 1,300 members will have to approve the deal, and we ask you to vote “yes.”

Hundreds of members signed our open letter, displayed their “Quality News” shirts, changed their desktop and social icons, and most importantly showed up for their union by participating in breaks, meetings and other activities. Your support was crucial during negotiations and we thank you for it.

The end result of nearly five months of negotiations is a hard-fought compromise. Breaking the mold on 2% guaranteed raises and winning a bonus consideration in the out years are major achievements for IAPE. The committee is disappointed we weren’t able to push the company off of 2% for 2019, but we are pleased to have agreed on a ratification bonus that will be equitably distributed among our members.

Dow Jones has rewarded managers when the company is performing well and now union members will also have the opportunity to see more in their paychecks when times are good. While we are not satisfied that we weren’t able to prevail in our fight to have a higher portion of our compensation package count as compounding raises, we think increases of up to 2.75% and 3% including bonus potential in the final two years of our agreement are clear victories. We will build on these wins in future rounds of negotiations.

The company started negotiations seeking to eliminate the cost of living adjustment provision in our contract. We successfully held them back and have allowed slight adjustments to account for the bonus lump sums. Ensuring our members are earning wages that keep pace with the cost of living while working in the world’s most expensive cities will demand vigilance, and your engagement, in every contract cycle.

Health care is another significant part of compensation and we achieved a cost freeze for next year for U.S. members. We made significant gains with job security, limiting the company’s use of temporary workers and for enhanced guarantees when work is transferred between departments or locations. The company agreed to advise members of their right to union representation prior to disciplinary meetings. And we forced the company to withdraw its proposal to end our fitness reimbursement benefit in favor of the intrusive Virgin Pulse program.

We had to offer concessions and compromises along the way, and when pulling back on the added protections we were seeking for retirement benefits and in the event Dow Jones is sold, we assured the company it will hear from us if there are changes in these areas. We failed in our second attempt to get photo editors classified as union employees though are glad to clarify in our contract that columnists working in news should be included in the union. We will continue to hold the company to our agreement that job functions, and not titles, determine union status.

Overall, we think this represents the best deal possible before our contract extension expired on October 31. We have made important strides in a number of areas that will make a real difference for members. There is more work to be done, and IAPE is on the right path for stronger negotiations and even better contracts in the future. We plan on getting started right away and will make sure you know how you can help the union advocate for your concerns well ahead of the next bargaining cycle through our regular monthly meetings with the company.

Read more here.

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