Dow Jones union: Should we negotiate a new contract or agree to an extension?

The union representing Wall Street Journal and other Dow Jones employees is asking members if they want a new contract or extend the current contract, with a small raise. The memo:

From: IAPE TNG/CWA Local 1096
To: [Union members]
Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 8:13 AM
Subject: ONE QUESTION: 2015 IAPE Contract Survey

IAPE members – this morning, we’re asking you to answer one question: would you rather have the Union engage in full negotiations for a new contract with Dow Jones, or agree to an extension for one more year? Weigh in here: [Survey link]

Late last month, Dow Jones negotiators approached IAPE representatives with an offer to extend our contract for another year, just as we did in 2014. The IAPE Board of Directors has been wrestling with the choice: take the extension and a guaranteed raise for all (knowing that the Company will have the same flexibility to modify healthcare as they did in January of this year) or demand negotiations for a new contract (knowing that anything we take from Dow Jones – in cost-cutting mode – will only be achieved by membership action and visible support in every workplace)./CONTINUES

Our anonymous survey has just one question: which would you prefer? Please take two minutes to click the link and submit your answer.

Once you’ve completed our survey, if you have any questions or want to offer any opinions about contract negotiations or any other IAPE or Dow Jones topic, please feel free to reply.

Thanks in advance for your input.

IAPE TNG/CWA Local 1096

The survey question:

1. Dow Jones management has approached the Union with an offer to extend our contract for another year. This would preserve all terms and conditions of our agreement — similar to the agreement we reached in 2014 — in exchange for a 2% raise and 1% increase in introductory scales. But the Company would have “flexibility” to make changes to healthcare plans as they did in January of this year.

Alternatively, we could enter into full negotiations toward a new contract, but with no guarantee that a raise (if any) would take effect until we eventually reach agreement with the Company — or that we’ll be any more successful in fending off changes to healthcare in full negotiations than we would be under a one-year extension. Whatever we can take from the Company will depend on our level of visible membership support in all our IAPE-represented locations.

Which would you prefer?

* Roll the dice. I’m ready for full-blown negotiations
* Keep what we have. Extend the contract. Process my raise
* I just can’t decide