Monday, September 17, 2007

WSJ Guild reaches tentative contract agreement with Dow Jones *

The union's bargaining committee will send the deal to to the membership with a recommendation to ratify. The agreement includes annual wage increases of 3% through 2009, compensation for jobs lost to outsourcing, and health care changes including new caps on out-of-pocket medical expenses. AP

"Obviously, this contract is not everything that we wanted and the Board believes it is short of the Quality Contract that you deserve as the people who, day in and day out, create one of the most trusted and respected products in the world," said union president Steve Yount in a note to members posted on the union's website. "But the Board also believes – at this time, under these conditions — this is the best package available."

One of the many differences between a company where employees have union representation and a company where employees are without voice and vote, is in the application of periodic salary increases. WSJ journalists will ALL receive the same percentage wage increase regardless of merit. That's not to say an employee can't request and receive an increase over and above the contractual rate nor are managers prohibited from awarding an individual a merit increase in recognition of a job well done. A union contract sets the MINUMUM wage rates — not maximums — and through collective bargaining, guarantees wage increases will be applied to all employees covered by the labor agreement.

UPDATE: "This is not the best contract we could have gotten"— The New York Observer We are nothing if not a democratic union and dissenting views are common. At the end of the day, the decision to accept or reject the tentative agreement lies solely with the voting members at the Wall Street Journal. (end of post)

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