March 26, 2012

SPEEA – Boeing Effects Bargaining
SPEEA members approve Boeing plant closure agreement

WEU Contract Vote

Yes:     109
No:        2

SPEEA Attorney Tom Buescher, standing, confers with the WEU team. To his right is Midwest Director Bob Brewer, Executive Director Ray Goforth and SPEEA President Tom McCarty.

WICHITA, KS -- SPEEA members today approved a contract extension with The Boeing Company that spells out terms and conditions relative to the Wichita plant closure’s impact on union represented engineers.

Before casting votes, SPEEA-represented employees heard a presentation of the agreement from their SPEEA Wichita Engineering Unit (WEU) Negotiation Team. Union members then voted. The count showed 109 “Yes” votes and only 2 “No” votes.

“We sat down with the company and found the softest place for employees to land in a very difficult situation,” said Bob Brewer, SPEEA Midwest director.

The agreement covers 571 SPEEA-represented employees in the Wichita Engineering Unit at the Boeing Wichita site.

Closure Documents -New Docs 3/21/12

Agreement highlights

  • Two-year extension to the current contract. The new expiration is Dec. 2, 2015, upon ratification of this agreement by bargaining unit members.

  • Employees who receive an offer will have three weeks to consider and respond.

  • Employees who decline a transfer offer will eventually be laid off without loss of benefits and rights.

  • Employees who accept and later decline a transfer offer prior to relocation will eventually be laid off without loss of benefits and rights.

  • Employees will be paid for vacation time in excess of two years maximum accrual.

  • Overtime in excess of 144 hours in a quarter will be paid at straight time plus $15.

  • Reimbursement to the company for LTP (Learning Together Program) waived for laid-off employees.

  • Reimbursement to the company for previous relocation allowances waived for laid-off employees.

  • Employees staying until closure may be asked to do work outside of their skill code.

  • Letter of understanding related to workforce reductions.

    • Retention ratings are being replaced with Employee Estimated Separation Date.

    • WARN dates will not be extended without concurrence of employee.

    • All laid-off employees will be automatically placed on a recall list.

      • No required filing for recall through Total Access.

      • Temporary recall process will be used for recalls.

  • Employees declining recall will not forfeit benefits or rights under the terms and conditions of the agreement.

  • Employees who elect retirement or lump-sum severance may only be brought back as contractors.

  • Employees who elect income continuation may return as a direct or contractor.

  • Letter of understanding related to contract personnel.

    • Direct employees have preference over contractors.

    • Chief Engineer for the Wichita site will handle deviations.

    • Appeal process added for employees with a WARN notice.

 Clarification/Additional Information

Retiree medical

  • You can invoke your retiree medical and postpone your pension without changing your code from layoff to terminated. 

  • If you retire as SPEEA-represented under the SPEEA contract, you are eligible for the terms contained in the
    SPEEA contract for the duration of the SPEEA contract.

  • If you retire from a non-union position, depending on your heritage status, you may be eligible for the terms and
    conditions that Boeing currently gives non-union employees.

Voluntary layoff

  • Side letter not activated.

  • Accelerated layoff after a WARN is issued will be worked on a case-by-case basis.


  • If you invoke your pension, you will be coded as terminated-retired instead of laid off, and your benefits may change accordingly.

  • If vested, your current pension benefit should not be reduced and may increase depending on your future work location.

  • If you transfer to another location, you will be eligible for the pension plan at that location for similarly situated employees.

  • The 6-year bridge applies if rehired from layoff.

Sick Leave

  • Laid off employees age 55 and over – 50% of unused sick leave balance paid out at a maximum of $40 per hour.

  • Laid off employees under age 55 – unused sick leave will not be paid out.

Insurance at lay off

  • Medical and vision coverage continues for 90 days.

  • Dental coverage ends at the end of the month of lay off.

September 26, 2011

WEU members approve contract extension

- By a 93% majority, members of the Wichita Engineering Unit (WEU) at The Boeing Company voted Sept. 26 to extend their contract by two years.

"It was very clear SPEEA engineers at Boeing Wichita believed this was the right decision at this time," said Bob Brewer, SPEEA Midwest director and chief spokesperson for the team. "We expect a clearer picture of the business plan with the tanker, for example, when were turn to the table for contract negotiations in 2013."

WEU-Boeing contract vote

Eligible to vote: 236

Valid ballots cast: 134 (57%)

Accept: 125 (93%)

Reject: 9 (7%)

Contract extension highlights

The contract extension calls for some changes such as setting the minimum raise pools at 3% with a 0.5% guarantee, increasing the basic pension plan and creating a joint committee to work on problems in the retention/redeployment process. See the Letter of Agreement for details.

The WEU Negotiation Team and bargaining unit Council both recommended the agreement. The contract, with the amended changes, will expire Dec. 2, 2013.

The WEU Negotiation team includes Joe Newberry, Rick Ruhmann, Andy Stallard and Kent Weixelman along with Bob Brewer, SPEEA Midwest director, and Ray Goforth, SPEEA executive director.