Technical Bargaining Unit Council (BUC) Tech BUC meeting Thursday – Agenda is contract revote
The challenges created by the COVID-19 have disrupted work. While the disruptions are sometimes challenging, the work of SPEEA is continuing.
Scheduling a revote of the Technical Unit Contract has been a priority for Tellers, Northwest Council officers and SPEEA staff. A necessary step for any contract vote – including a revote – is to convene and hold a meeting of the Council Reps serving the Technical Bargaining Unit. With social distancing eliminating a face-to-face meeting, SPEEA worked out a process to hold a virtual meeting Thursday (April 2) of the Bargaining Unit Council (BUC).
The revote process:
Technical Bargaining Unit Council meets and authorizes vote.
Ballot packages are sent to union printing house for preparing and mailing.
Ballots packages mailed to Technical Bargaining Unit members on Thursday, April 9.
Absentee and replacement ballot information available.
Members have until Monday, April 27, to return their ballot by mail to SPEEA.
Tellers begin counting ballots on Monday, April 27. Under existing social distancing and group gathering restrictions, the validation and counting process by the Tellers will likely take more than one and possibly several days.
Results of re-vote announced.
The need for a new vote
In the initial ballot package, a summary of the offer was included that did not reflect the 2% Individual Guaranteed Salary Increase for 2020. Following a member complaint, the Tellers ruled it reasonable for an individual to rely on the information sent with the ballots – which understated the minimum raise for 2020 – and that could have had a material impact on how members voted. As a result, the Technical Bargaining Unit is re-voting the 2020-2026 contract offer. The offer is the same with nothing changed. The summary sheet going in the revote ballot package is corrected.
Tellers locked up the Executive Board ballots without counting because three current officers – who served on the interim negotiation team for the Technical Unit – are seeking new offices. With members voting on the contract possibly impacted by the unclear summary sheet, the vote for officers could have been impacted. To avoid confusion, re-voting the Executive Board elections is delayed until after the Technical Unit Contract vote.
Concern and appreciation
We thank the members expressing concern about the contract votes and officer elections. It shows SPEEA members pay attention to details and value following established processes. It is this detailed approach and need to “get it right” that is now resulting in re-voting the Technical Unit Contract.
Coronavirus SPEEA offices temporarily close
All SPEEA offices are closed in response to state and health officials’ recommendations and directives to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The offices will remain closed until restrictions are lifted by local governments at the location of each office.
SPEEA staff are working from home and are accessible by email: email@example.com
SPEEA Tukwila – 206-433-0991
SPEEA Everett – 425-355-2883
SPEEA Wichita – 316-682-0262
Check the SPEEA calendars for meeting cancellations. Some continue via telephone or video conference.
Passage of the third COVID-19 relief package brings help for airlines, the aviation sector and provides important protections for impacted aerospace workers.
During the last two weeks, SPEEA worked closely with the IFPTE and allies in Congress to ensure our priorities of protecting jobs, collective bargaining agreements, and the safety of union members was included in the final version of the bill. Although we could not secure everything we wanted in the final version of the bill, SPEEA’s advocacy helped significantly improve the final bill to better protect workers and families.
As SPEEA continues to advocate for members through the COVID-19 pandemic, we maintain that taxpayer funded financial support flowing to large corporations should be used exclusively to maintain jobs, salary and benefits for their workforces. Here are some of the features SPEEA was able to help secure in the final COVID-19 stimulus bill, H.R. 748:
$17 billion in loans available for businesses critical to maintaining national security (written for Boeing)
Restrictions on the use of a $17 billion federal loan for one year past the life of the loan. Restrictions include:
Protections for collective bargaining agreements
Requires recipients to maintain March 24, 2020 employment levels, to the extent practical.
Restricts recipients from reducing current employment levels until September 30, 2020, thereafter, recipients cannot reduce current employment levels by more than 10 percent.
No stock buybacks or dividends.
Restrictions on any increases to executive compensation.
$1,200 payment to most individual adults/couples $2,400, and an additional $500 per child (with $99k/$150k income restrictions).
Unemployment insurance (UI) benefits are immediately available.
$600 increase to UI payments.
Federal incentives for states to eliminate UI waiting periods.
Federal student loan interest rates set to 0% for a period for six months and payments a deferred for the six-month period.
Incentivizes employer provided student loan repayments on behalf of employees.
Requires real-time public reporting of Treasury transactions under the Act, including terms of loans, investments or other assistance to corporations.
Creation of Treasury Department Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery to provide oversight of Treasury loans and investments and a Pandemic Response Accountability Committee to protect taxpayer dollars.
SPEEA available during work disruptions
In the face of the world COVID-19 pandemic, the suspension of work on Boeing programs at Spirit AeroSystems following the suspension of production operations in Washington state is another indication of the seriousness of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
SPEEA staff at all locations and your elected leaders are closely monitoring actions by our employers and working to ensure the terms and protections provided by our contracts are followed.
“Through these difficult times, SPEEA’s concern is for the safety and welfare of members, your families and co-workers,” said SPEEA President Joel Funfar. “First and foremost, we encourage everyone to listen to the advice of our healthcare professionals, practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently and spend quality time with your family.”
Following health care professionals and government recommendations, SPEEA offices in Seattle (Tukwila), Everett, Wichita and Seal Beach closed last week. However, while offices are closed, SPEEA contract administrators and union staff continue to work remotely to meet the needs of represented employees. Watch your email and the website for important updates.
With local and state officials advising workers to remain at home, the schedule for re-voting the Technical Unit contract and the Executive Board elections is pending. We are working with our union print and mailing company, as well as assessing the general situation in the public and will communicate a new timeline when possible.
We are currently working with our leaders at the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) as Congress works on assistance programs to keep the needs of workers in the decision-making process. IFPTE is pushing for any relief package from Congress to include support for workers, their health care plans and also for companies and workers in the aerospace supply chain.
Like you, we are concerned about the many workers who do not work for a large company with resources that allow it to weather adversity. These are also the times when the protections of a union contract and a professional staff to help with issues are most valuable. We will continue to have you in our thoughts and be working diligently to protect your rights as employees as we advocate on your behalf with Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems, Triumph Composite Systems and with local and government leaders at every level.
If you have questions or concerns about our efforts, workplace issues or your personal situation contact SPEEA. You may email your staff contacts through regular channels or send a note to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Telephones at SPEEA offices are also being forwarded to appropriate individuals. With staff using cell phones, remember the caller-ID on your phone may now show an individual name.
IFPTE authors letter supporting aerospace industry workforce
As the executive officers of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), representing upwards of 90,000 workers, we are writing to urge you to support the workers, the communities, and the jobs that have made the domestic aerospace industry the top export industry in the United States. The domestic aerospace workforce – including the 20,000 represented by The Society of Engineering Employees in Aerospace, IFPTE Local 2001 (SPEEA/IFPTE Local 2001) – and the industry they work in are facing a dire financial crisis as aerospace manufacturing and the associated supply chain is hampered by a confluence of cyclical factors, the 737 MAX groundings, and now the still-unfolding global impact of COVID-19.
Prof & Tech Units Retention-rating appeal guide/request form online
Managers at The Boeing Company are distributing retention-rating notices to Profs and Techs through April 2. The retention notices, assigned to employees within their work groups, determine the general order of layoffs if needed in the coming year.
How to request an appeal - The SPEEA Prof and Tech contracts include an appeal process (Article 8.4) for certain situations.
To request a retention-rating appeal, learn what’s required in theonline guide/request form, (drop-down menu: Member Tools/Retention). Employees have 30 days after receiving the retention rating notice to file a completed appeal request form. Remember to review the retention information online before making a request to appeal.
Tech Unit contract, Executive Board elections set for re-vote
SPEEA received complaints that the “Summary of Proposed Changes” included in the mail-out contract ballot packet contained an error that created confusion and understated the guaranteed minimum salary increases in the Technical Bargaining Unit contract offer. The test for evaluating these complaints is whether it could have reasonably changed the result of the vote. The Tellers reviewed these complaints and decided to re-vote the Technical Bargaining Unit contract offer.
The Tellers also determined the error could have impacted the Executive Board elections. Therefore, we are re-voting the Executive Board elections for SPEEA President, Treasurer and Secretary. The original ballots were impounded and not opened.
We apologize for the error and appreciate your patience. A timeline for re-voting will be communicated when finalized.
Midwest Council Officers
Northwest Council Officers
737 MAX impacts
Monitoring at Boeing - Spirit announces layoffs
SPEEA continues to monitor developments at The Boeing Company and Spirit AeroSystems regarding the planned shutdown of the 737 MAX line in Renton and the suspension of 737 MAX work and upcoming layoffs in Wichita.
The required 60-day WARN notice of layoffs at Spirit arrived in the SPEEA office on Jan. 10. Of the announced 2,800 layoffs in Wichita, company officials expect to cut 186 positions in the Wichita Technical and Professional Unit (WTPU) and 44 in the Wichita Engineering Unit. The layoffs could start as soon as Feb. 7. Recent negotiations added layoff benefits for SPEEA-represented employees in the WEU and WTPU.
Boeing maintains there are currently no plans for layoffs of SPEEA-represented employees. Boeing said during the shutdown, some employees will be temporarily reassigned but that everyone will have a job and work to perform.
SPEEA will continue to assess and monitor the situations at Boeing and Spirit for our represented employees to ensure all provisions of our collective bargaining unit agreements are followed.
Otniel Pavia, left, Randy Morgan, center, and John Williams are shown above at the newly opened office of California Region Engineers and Technical Employees in Seal Beach. They joined dozens of activists, community members and employees wanting to learn more about having a voice at the office’s open house Oct. 9.
SEAL BEACH, Calif. – Non-union employees in Southern California came together to celebrate their new office as efforts to build a union gain altitude.
Activists, community members and employees wanting to learn more about having a voice at work celebrated at the open house in Seal Beach, Oct. 9.
The new office coincides with growing momentum to organize professionals working at Boeing in Southern California.
Professionals at Boeing Seal Beach contacted SPEEA to help them form their union. The workers wanted to have a local identity and came up with CREATE (California Region Engineers and Technical Employees) to represent all technical and professional employees at the site.
SPEEA Treasurer Jimmie Mathis attended the open house along with staff, including Rich Plunkett, an experienced negotiator, and Matt Kempf, SPEEA’s senior director of compensation and retirement.
More labor support for CREATE
The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) international union representing more than 63,000 members in the industry wrote a letter in support of CREATE’s organizing efforts.
Another letter of support came from the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS) representing 11,000 employees at the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Defense.