Professional and Technical Bargaining Units Negotiations member survey is now online!
SPEEA members in the Professional and Technical Bargaining Units are asked to take a few minutes to complete the initial survey for the 2016 contract negotiations.
While existing contracts remain in place until Oct. 6, 2016, the survey is the first of several designed to gather information and begin the process of determining member priorities. Additional surveys will follow in the months ahead.
Members are encouraged to visit the website regularly, read SPEEA publications and sign-up for SPEEA non-work email to ensure they receive all the updates regarding these important contract talks. Your input and participation is essential to securing the best contracts for members, our families, our communities and Boeing.
After heavy scrutiny, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) determined workers in Washington laid off by Boeing are eligible to apply for federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA or “Trade Act”).
Machinists, District Lodge 751, in partnership with SPEEA and the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, petitioned for TAA benefits in May in anticipation of the certificate expiring on June 12. The new certification is retroactive to June 12 and covers union and non-union layoffs from, or supporting, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Triumph Composites (Spokane) and Spirit AeroSystems (Wichita) are currently certified by separate petitions filed by IAM and SPEEA.
TAA helps industries and workers adversely impacted by international trade. Often difficult to access, our unions overcame the biggest hurdle by securing USDOL certification. If determined eligible on an individual basis, workers using TAA may receive extended income support, paid tuition, relocation assistance and other benefits otherwise not available.
“TAA rarely makes someone whole after losing a good job but it is the best possible reemployment support available in what can be a devastating time,” said Chelsea Orvella, SPEEA legislative director. “Every laid off member should seek out the program immediately after their last day on the job – whether they think they will use the benefits or not. There are important deadlines they don’t want to miss.”
In our contracts – holiday weekend overtime is voluntary
SPEEA contracts at The Boeing Company and Spirit AeroSystems have language stating overtime must be voluntary
on a holiday or the weekend which precedes or follows a holiday.
See your contract at www.speea.org or ask your Council Rep for a print copy. The language is in the following:
SPEEA Prof and Tech contracts: Letter of Understanding (LOU) 22
SPEEA Wichita Engineering Unit and Wichita Technical and Professional Unit contracts: Article 10.8(a)
SPEEA collecting snack donations for wildland firefighters
Firefighters on the front lines in Okanagan and Chelan counties can use donations of snack foods to supplement their meals as they burn calories fighting the worst wildfires in Washington state's history.
SPEEA has collection boxes available at both SPEEA halls. We are only collecting food and other items (no cash or checks). The list includes items the firefighters requested.
Suggested items to donate include:
Chips (snack sizes)
Socks (laundry access limited)
Gallon-size Ziploc bags
Donated items will be delivered directly to the firefighters’ camps. Drop off what you can as often as you’d like – before Sept. 10!
Existing Unfair Labor Practice Charge Boeing’s Pension Value Plan (PVP) change
The Boeing Company recently announced that effective Jan. 1, 2016, the non-union Pension Value Plan (PVP) minimum conversion factor will increase to $95. Boeing is not including SPEEA-represented employees in the Professional and Technical units who have a PVP benefit in this increase because of pending charges filed by SPEEA against Boeing regarding other retirement plan changes.
SPEEA filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in 2014. The NLRB has since issued a charge against Boeing – meaning the NLRB sees reason enough for the charge to proceed to a hearing. The hearing is set for the first week in September at the NLRB’s Seattle Regional office. Read the complete explanation.
Work continues Members’ outreach adds up to historic effort for tax incentive accountability
Washington legislators wrapped up business in the state’s capitol in July but proposed legislation to bring accountability to Washington’s tax incentives will continue into the next legislative session.
While HB 2147 and HB 1786 stalled in the House Finance Committee this year, the bills will resume in 2016.
Machinists District Lodge 751 (IAM 751) and SPEEA members made history in Olympia this year by calling for the largest corporate tax break in U.S. history to be tied to specific job numbers and living wages. In that effort, the two largest Boeing unions furthered a partnership that extends from the workplace to the legislature and into our communities.
Changing the conversation
The introduction of HB 1786, sponsored by Rep. Mia Gregerson (33rd district), brought the issue of low wages in aerospace to the legislature for the first time. Stories of large and profitable aerospace suppliers paying more than the majority of their production workers between $10-15 dispelled the myth that all jobs in the aerospace industry pay premier wages. In reality, thousands of aerospace workers struggle to get by while their employer benefits from Washington subsidies. HB 1786 makes the tax incentive available only to companies that pay state median wage ($19.67) for employees with three or more years of service.
HB 2147, introduced by Rep. June Robinson (38th district), captured the deep frustration of the legislature and the public when thousands of Boeing jobs started leaving Washington after $8.7 billion worth of state tax incentives were granted to maintain and grow jobs in the state.
Union member difference
Rank-and-file SPEEA and IAM 751 members made the difference in Olympia by:
Meeting in person with more than 60 legislators
Sending more than 6,300 emails to Olympia
Making more than 300 phone calls to fellow IAM/SPEEA members, asking them to call their representatives
Visiting with 30 Democrat and Republican legislators at an Olympia open house
Participating in town halls
Testifying at the hearing for HB 1786 and HB 2147
Momentum grew in support of HB 2147, tying the full tax incentives to a specific number of jobs staying in Washington, as other states held Boeing accountable and required jobs for their tax incentives. Into the extended special sessions, HB 2147 was one of the few bills still being considered and garnering bipartisan support.
With public support solidly behind these initiatives – two-thirds of likely November 2016 voters, according to an independent poll – the momentum continues to hold aerospace firms accountable.
When the legislature reconvenes, HB 1786 and HB 2147 will resume in the House Finance Committee. The bill numbers and sponsors from the 2015 session remain.
While we wait for the 2016 session, members should continue to voice their concerns legislators, local officials, family, friends and co-workers. Bringing accountability to Washington’s aerospace tax incentive cannot just be something we do during the legislative session. The state suffers when tax incentives fail to require jobs stay in Washington and workers earn a living wage at subsidized companies.
Boeing illegally withheld plans from SPEEA
members' work moving out of Washington state
SEATTLE – The Boeing Company violated federal labor law when it refused to provide information regarding plans to move thousands of engineering and technical workers’ jobs out of Washington to other states and countries, according to a decision this week by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Acting on an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge filed in March 2014 by the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001, NLRB Administrative Law Judge Dickie Montemayor on Tuesday (July 14) ordered Boeing to fulfill the request and provide the union the information regarding work moving from facilities around Puget Sound to other states and facilities around the world.
“The union was entitled to all of the presumptively relevant information,” Montemayor wrote. “The refusal of an employer to provide a bargaining agent with information relevant to the union’s task of representing its constituency is a per se violation of the act.”
First hearing of Boeing plans in late 2013 of possible work movements out of Washington, SPEEA officials asked Boeing for information about the plans. When the company continued to refuse verbal requests, SPEEA filed a formal written information request. The company’s refusal to honor the written request resulted in filing charges with the NLRB.
The time frame of the initial requests regarding work movement coincides with Boeing’s multi-state competition to determine where the new 777X would be built. With intense pressure on Washington officials to win the competition, a special legislative session was held in November 2013. Legislators used the session to pass the $8.7 billion aerospace tax preference bill, the largest corporate tax break package in the history of the United States. Within weeks of the legislative action, Boeing started moving jobs out of Washington. Thus far, Boeing has announced 6,000 will move. Overall Boeing’s Washington employment is down by more than 3,100 since the special legislative session, with engineers and technical workers represented by SPEEA being hit hard.
“The judge found Boeing broke the law but what’s important is the content of the reports that Boeing was willing to break the law to hide,” said Ray Goforth, SPEEA executive director. “We believe that these documents will show that Boeing was simultaneously lobbying state officials to extend aerospace tax incentives and planning to move thousands of jobs out of Washington to other states. We urge The Boeing Company to come clean and obey the orders of the judge.”
Together with Machinists Lodge 751, SPEEA worked with key lawmakers to push for legislation that required Boeing to maintain jobs in Washington as a requirement to use the tax breaks. A second effort, sought requirements that aerospace suppliers pay a living wage to workers. Intense pressure from Boeing and industry representatives stalled the proposed legislation.
SPEEA joined the nationwide effort to oppose the Trade Promotion Authority (Fast Track). The Fast Track legislation failed to address currency manipulation, which has caused the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs. With Fast Track, secret trade deals could be rushed through Congress.
Contract benefit Resume and job-search workshops available at Ed Wells Partnership
Ed Wells Partnership (EWP) recently added a number of resume and job-search workshops to its list of offerings. The workshops provide information about how to be successful searching for new jobs within Boeing.