Board Meeting: President's Report
IAPE Board of Directors Meeting
November 11, 2006
There's still much work to be done, but I believe we've also made some significant progress in the past year.
IAPE has established a much more transparent procedure for union finances. Detailed income and expenses are reported weekly to the Finance Committee and the Executive Council, monthly to the full board and posted on the website for the membership quarterly.
IAPE has adopted new spending restraints, erasing a projected deficit and ending the past fiscal year with an operating income surplus of better than $100,000 while projecting a surplus of $90,000 for the current fiscal year.
We've improved the level of communications within the union, giving the rank and file a greater sense of "ownership" of IAPE.
The union website has been redesigned. There's been a much more aggressive effort to update information and make the site a source for answering questions and solving problems.
In the past year the union has sent out nearly 300 membership e-mail blasts and handled more than 3,000 individual membership email questions along with hundreds of face-to-face meetings.
A revamped Communications Committee has reviewed and edited more than 100 separate union statements, fine-tuning the IAPE message and ensuring that the union speaks with a clear and consistent voice.
IAPE has completed the first phase of the MarketWatch organizing effort with mixed results.
Majorities signed IAPE representation cards in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington. We fell short in New York City and Minneapolis, but I believe that’ll be a temporary disappointment.
Dow Jones is continuing to fold MarketWatch into DJ operations, contradicting its own argument that MarketWatch is a separate company. We can revisit MarketWatch in September 2007 and we will.
We've begun an organizing drive at Harborside and have collected more than half the union cards we need to claim the location. We are now building clusters inside Harborside with the “converted” now taking a more active role in signing up their colleagues.
We've held membership meetings in practically every location across the country (yet to come: Denver, Palo Alto, Highland, Indiana and Federal Way, Washington) The meetings have been well attended and have sparked a new interest among members, as demonstrated by the fact that after a visit the office routinely starts getting questions from members who previously had no contact with the union at all.
IAPE has recruited 150 new union stewards across the country and has built "mobilization clusters" of 8-to-10 employees each in every Location.
Of the 30 seats on the Board of Directors, 28 are filled.
Of the three new seats the Executive Council is recommending, activists have stepped forward for all three.
We've also negotiated two new contracts: one at the printing plant in Bowling Green and one at Factiva. The Factiva deal broke some new ground with gains in wages, benefits and working conditions.
All of that is a nice start— but the fact is, all of that is just a nice start— prelude to the real business: contract bargaining.
The financial changes, the website, the emails, the membership meetings, the mobilization, the organizing campaigns— all of that had to be done so that when we take our seats at the bargaining table, management knows we represent an involved, connected and motivated membership.
There's going to be a lot more this afternoon on bargaining and mobilization— but suffice it to say that management has made it clear that its again coming after health care— and we've made it clear we're committed to winning a quality contract: more money, better benefits, stronger job security and improved working conditions.
There's going to be a lot of hard bargaining ahead— and we're going to have to continue the effort to mobilize and motivate the membership. We have to always remember why we're here.
IAPE exists solely to protect the membership and advance their cause. This is not about individual gain or advantage— this about those two thousand members who have entrusted us to look after their best interest.
November 11, 2006