Tandem. No, Thanks
The questions continue:
"Steve, I had a very disconcerting meeting with HR in Harborside, where I was told since I am a tandem employee HR and Dow Jones do not have to abide strictly by the IAPE contract and that they can deviate from it when it best suits them. What's the deal? The company made it sound like tandem was simply "IAPE without the dues."
"Tandem" is a creation of the company. You are an "at will" employee. You will receive the same wage scales, salary increases and benefits negotiated by the union ONLY if the company wants to give them to you.
For your colleague who asked the above question, HR told you the unvarnished truth: "HR and Dow Jones do not have to abide strictly by the IAPE contract and that they can deviate from it when it best suits them."
Movie producer Sam Goldwyn said it best, "A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on." You've got a verbal contract. IAPE-represented employees have a written one.
Can the union stop the company from making bone-headed decisions? No. All IAPE can do is enforce the contract (and a stronger union means a better contract.) And from a practical point of view, do you really want to sit down — alone — and challenge your boss in front of his boss? IAPE is exactly the "buffer" you need. The union and the company have a written procedure to deal with the problems you and your boss can't resolve as "colleagues."
I mentioned it in an earlier e-mail, but it's worth repeating here: A Dow Jones benefits manager said in a recent arbitration hearing that, "Outside the world of IAPE, there's nothing that's guaranteed."
That is a cold, hard fact.
IAPE CWA 1096