Wage Proposal From DJ; Contract Expires Friday
Bargaining Update — Still A Gap
While there was plenty of discussion during Tuesday's bargaining session, the Union came away from that meeting with only two items to report: Dow Jones has modified its wage proposal — though not in a way that would guarantee larger pay increases — and the IAPE/DJ contract expires on Friday.
IAPE and Dow Jones representatives moved off-the-record for a significant portion of Tuesday's meeting, in an attempt to bridge the gap in respective pay proposals.
While the Union has remained at wage increase proposals of 3.5%, 4.5% and 4.5% since August 30th, the reality of this bargaining situation is IAPE reps have been focused on getting management to move off its 2% position — and have hardly discussed the Union's proposal at all.
After off-record talks Tuesday, Dow Jones returned to the bargaining table with a new proposal on wages — though one without any change in guaranteed percentage increases in any year of the next contract.
This new proposal from management sticks to 2% compensatory increases for 2016, 2017 and 2018, but offers to match any pay raise granted to non-Union Dow Jones staff in 2017 and 2018 if "guidance" for those years exceeds 2%.
In other words, if management decides to give non-Union staff more than 2% in '17 or '18, Union raises will match that amount.
DJ reps said non-Union guidance has been 2% each year for the last four years.
Union and management reps will return to South Brunswick next Tuesday to resume negotiations. In the meantime, the current contract will expire on Friday. IAPE members will recall the contract originally "expired" on June 30th, but an automatic 60-day extension of that agreement kicked in at that time. IAPE and Dow Jones agreed to extend the contract by an additional 30 days at the end of August.
Neither IAPE nor Dow Jones has requested another extension of the contract at this time.
*CORRECTION* — in a Tuesday email to members, IAPE shared a link to a document showing merit increases paid to IAPE-represented employees over the last four years. The document listed the value of 2014 merit increases, $523,600, as 0.54% of total IAPE-represented payroll. That percentage should have been recorded as 0.44% of payroll. Dow Jones has provided the Union with a corrected spreadsheet, and the linked document has been updated.