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Federal mediators join talks - Tuesday, Dec. 4
Boeing rejects SPEEA counterproposals, withholds data

With federal mediators watching, The Boeing Company rejected a number of key SPEEA proposals today (Dec. 4) even as it continues to withhold economic data necessary for productive progress in our negotiations.

Among the most serious items brought up today by Boeing corporate negotiators is the insistence the company maintain its ability to shield new employees from the retention rating process. In practice today, that ability allows Boeing to lay off more experienced, mid-career employees ahead of less experienced and lower-paid engineers and technical employees.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is taking testimony Wednesday and Thursday (Dec. 5 and 6) on an Unfair Labor Practice charge (ULP) SPEEA filed last month to compel Boeing to provide the information and stop the company from threatening employees with discipline for engaging in union activities.

 

Overview of negotiation issues

 SPEEA Contract Offer Calculator

During a frustrating and often confrontational session, Boeing negotiators rejected SPEEA proposals for:

  • Including the negotiated solution to the Learning Together Program (LTP) in the contracts.

  • Putting realistic restrictions on the use of contractors in SPEEA job classifications.

  • Limiting the use of mandatory overtime.

  • Adding provisions for maternity and paternity leave.

The rejections today are in addition to Boeing’s insistence on inadequate wage pools, increased medical cost-shifting, decreasing the value of our retirement and eliminating the pension for future hires and replacing it with a 401(k) plan valued at 40% less.

The litany of rejections came after SPEEA agreed to language regarding part-time employment and management rights.

“The company is not coming ready or willing to negotiate with our teams,” said Ray Goforth, SPEEA executive director. “The company is trying to force a confrontation and ultimately impose a bad offer on SPEEA. All this is happening while Boeing, today, announced to analysts that they can expect solid profits from the company for at least the next decade.”

Two mediators, one from Washington, D.C., and our assigned mediator from the Seattle regional office, attended today’s session which, at the request of Boeing, was held at the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle. Talks continue there Wednesday.

The data needed by our teams was requested in a number of information requests to Boeing. Among these are requests relating to Boeing’s costs for health-care plans, the scheduled dental plan used by 4,000 members and salary information related to our proposal for salary pools that move employees from the 50th percentile to the 75th percentile of the U.S. engineering and technical market. Other economic requests seek data regarding Boeing’s assertion that engineering work costs more in the Puget Sound region. Some of the economic data requests are merely updates of data provided to SPEEA during the 2008 contract negotiations.

“Boeing is withholding this information because they know it doesn’t support their own proposals,” said Goforth. “Withholding this information is slowing progress and is, in fact, illegal. We fully expect the NLRB to issue such a ruling.”

Filed Nov. 19 at the Seattle office of the NLRB, the charge reads: “Since on or about November 12, 2012, the Employer has refused to provide data necessary for bargaining for a successor collective bargaining agreement.”

The second part of the charge relates to management’s communication with employees and reads: “Since on or about November 15, the Employer has threatened employees in Everett with discipline for engaging in protected activity, specifically threatening them with discipline if they sent emails to the Charging party or others about layoffs and WARN notices.”

Our efforts remain focused on negotiating a contract that recognizes the contributions of engineers and technical workers to the overwhelming success that has allowed Boeing to amass an order backlog of more than 4,100 aircraft representing more than $307 billion of untapped revenue.

We are doing everything possible to avoid the need for a work stoppage. However, as it’s also important to be prepared, the SPEEA Bargaining Unit Negotiations Support (BUNS) committee is holding initial picket captain training sessions this week.  The Everett session on Wednesday is full to capacity. A few spots remain for Thursday’s session in Tukwila. See the online calendar for information.

Prof & Tech Negotiations Update - Monday, Dec. 3
Understanding the issues

The SPEEA Negotiation Teams are frustrated with the company’s lack of substantial movement on the major economic issues.  This document highlights the core economic issues and conveys how The Boeing Company’s proposals negatively impact you with:

  • Increased medical premiums.

  • Inadequate wage pools.

  • Substantial reductions in retirement income for future hires.

  • Insufficient pension growth and untenable risks for current participants.

  • The negotiation team feels the current proposals are unacceptable.

Wage Pools and Medical Premiums

At this stage in our negotiations, Boeing has proposed the following wage pools for the SPEEA-represented professional and technical contracts:

Profs:              4.5% in 2013, 4.0% in 2014, 4.5% in 2015 and 4.0% in 2016

Techs:             3.5% in 2013, 3.0% in 2014, 3.5% in 2015, and 3.0% in 2016

Boeing has also proposed medical plan premiums on all available medical plans.  The Traditional Medical Plan (TMP) is currently free from premium contributions, but the Boeing corporate offer increases premium contributions to 8%.  The annual impact of the 8% premium on the TMP will significantly offset the wage pools. See entire article

Prof & Tech Negotiation Update - Nov. 30
Boeing's request for federal mediation

The Boeing Company’s Negotiation Team has engaged in a series of bizarre and confusing actions this week.  On Thursday, Nov. 29, Boeing abruptly walked out of negotiations mid-topic saying that they wanted a mediator. SPEEA started speaking with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) mediator by Thursday afternoon making arrangements to fold him into our negotiations process.  The problem was that Boeing had not yet agreed as to when it would be willing to meet with SPEEA again.  

Friday (Nov. 30) morning at 10:30 a.m. SPEEA held a conference call with FMCS to discuss plans to bring them into our Prof and Tech negotiations with Boeing.  Despite the fact that Boeing had issued press releases saying they were calling for FMCS mediation, nobody at Boeing had been in contact with FMCS since prior to Boeing making this public declaration.  SPEEA informed FMCS that once Boeing agreed to further negotiations, we would welcome them into the process.  Since neither FMCS nor SPEEA knew what Boeing's plans were, it was agreed that SPEEA should reiterate our request that Boeing agree to further meeting dates.

After ending the conference call with FMCS, SPEEA emailed Boeing corporate lead negotiator Gene Woloshyn at 11:07 a.m. asking him to confirm when the company would be available to negotiate next week.

At 12:47 p.m., Gene Woloshyn responded that Boeing wanted to meet in Washington D.C. on Monday.

At 2:58 p.m. SPEEA responded to Gene Woloshyn expressing confusion as to why Boeing was attempting to unilaterally move our negotiations to the other side of the country.  SPEEA informed Boeing that we had already arranged for FMCS to join our negotiations and we were just waiting for Boeing to agree to meeting dates.

At 3:27 p.m. Boeing issued a press release to news reporters claiming that SPEEA declined to meet with FMCS in Washington D.C. and thus "Boeing is prepared to invite an FMCS official to meet with the parties at a location in the Seattle area away from either Boeing's or SPEEA's facilities...."

"This is an unfortunate and bizarre stunt that doesn't serve any positive purpose," said Ray Goforth, SPEEA executive director.  "SPEEA had already arranged for FMCS to join our negotiations.  We honestly don't understand what Boeing hopes to accomplish by first demanding that negotiations be moved to Washington D.C. and now demanding that they move to a Seattle location of Boeing’s choosing.”

 SPEEA remains ready to resume negotiations and will inform the membership once arrangements have been made.

Prof & Tech Negotiation Update - Nov. 28
Again, no response to SPEEA counterproposals,
Boeing still wants to cut training

The Boeing Company today (Nov. 28) again did not respond to our counterproposals and issues from last week, including our proposals on respectful wage pools, pension and pay disparity between the Professional and Technical employees.

Discussing the Ed Wells Partnership – our joint training program – the company’s proposed budget would result in the loss of 10,000 class seats during the next four years. The bulk of discussions revolved around the impact of these cuts on engineers and technical workers and a re-explanation of SPEEA’s funding proposal.

“The presentation included an example of a student who credited an Ed Wells class for his ideas that helped the company,” said John McLaren, Professional team member. “The idea resulted in a $6.3 million savings for Boeing each year, 1,200 gallons of fuel savings per airplane annually for customers and enabled Boeing to increase the 737 production rate.”

Link to Joint Ed Wells PowerPoint presentation

Link to SPEEA Ed Wells PowerPoint presentation

Our efforts remain focused on negotiating a contract that recognizes our contributions to the success of Boeing. We encourage members to continue workplace actions, including refusing to work voluntary overtime and other ‘work-to-rule’ actions to bring pressure on Boeing corporate.

We are doing everything possible to avoid the need for a work stoppage. However, as it’s also important to be prepared, the SPEEA Bargaining Unit Negotiations Support (BUNS) committee is holding two picket captain training sessions next week.  Interested members should look for the notice in the SPEEA online calendar or talk to their Council and Area representatives.

Prof & Tech Negotiation Update - Nov. 29
Boeing rejects SPEEA Prof & Tech counterproposals  

Discussions during negotiations today (Nov. 29) included medical benefits, SPEEA salary raise pools and the pension. In the middle of our pension discussion, The Boeing Company stopped negotiating and recommended a federal mediator be brought in to assist our talks. The Boeing team then packed up and left.

Employers often invoke federal mediation when they do not see a path to achieve their goals during negotiations.

Boeing rejected SPEEA wage proposals without providing a counterproposal. Using their flawed methodology, Boeing negotiators restated their belief that technical workers and engineers are overpaid and above “market.” The Boeing negotiators said SPEEA members do not deserve higher increases or higher guaranteed minimum raises than included in their Nov. 20 revised compensation offer.

SPEEA started talking to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) following Thursday's session with Boeing. Discussions continued Friday with SPEEA initiating plans to bring a mediator into our negotiations process.

Read the update on the negotiations page

“These below-inflation raise pools and medical plan takeaways mean techs will lose money during the life of the contract,” said Joel Funfar, technical team member.

SPEEA’s proposals are designed to align members’ compensation to the value we bring to Boeing.

Boeing third quarter earnings better than expected  – Boeing

Executive compensation up at Boeing

Increase to shareholders dividend

Our latest proposals included significant movement in regards to salary and pension growth. The company rejected our proposals on each and failed to provide a counterproposal.

See photos of Solidarity events on Facebook.

Negotiations webpage

Questions members are asking

Contract Offer Webpage

Contract Offer Impact Calculator page

Boeing contract offers allow canceling medical coverage for retiree

Letter of support from ILWU

Our Prof and Tech teams remain disappointed the company did not listen to members during the overwhelming rejection of the contract offer. The company continues to propose cuts to the compensation packages at a time when Boeing is experiencing unprecedented success in profits and orders.

Boeing corporate continues to not take our negotiations seriously. This is why SPEEA filed unfair labor practice (ULP) charges against the company on Nov. 19 for failing to fulfill information requests vital to these negotiations.

Members can see how Boeing’s contract offers impact your paycheck and personal situation by using the updated SPEEA Contract Offer Calculator. SPEEA recently revised the calculator to show how Boeing’s Sept. 13 offer and Nov. 20 changes compare to the terms in the 2008 - 2012 Puget Sound Prof & Tech contracts.

Members are encouraged to continue workplace actions, including refusing to work voluntary overtime and other ‘work-to-rule’ actions to bring pressure on Boeing corporate.

We are doing everything possible to avoid the need for a work stoppage. However, as it’s also important to be prepared, the SPEEA Bargaining Unit Negotiations Support (BUNS) committee is holding picket captain training sessions at the Everett Hall on Wednesday (Dec. 5) and at the Tukwila Hall on Thursday (Dec. 6).  Interested members should look for the notice in the SPEEA online calendar or talk to their Council and Area representatives.

Prof & Tech Negotiation Update - Nov. 27
Boeing silent on SPEEA counterproposals

In the first of three scheduled sessions this week, The Boeing Company did not respond to our counterproposals and provided only partial answers to some of our outstanding questions regarding medical benefits.

Among our counterproposals and issues were wage pools, pension and the pay disparity between the Professional and Technical employees.

Discussions today (Nov. 27) revolved around elements of the company’s medical proposals. The company proposal is predicated upon significant cost shifting onto employees. This raises a number of questions about plan design and the assumptions underlying the proposal. For example, when asked about the “adjusted premiums” – which drive paycheck deductions – the company was unable to answer questions regarding the methodology used.

Our efforts remain focused on negotiating a contract that recognizes our contributions to the success of Boeing. We encourage members to continue workplace actions, including refusing to work voluntary overtime and other ‘work-to-rule’ actions to bring pressure on Boeing corporate.

We are doing everything possible to avoid the need for a work stoppage. However, as it’s also important to be prepared, the SPEEA Bargaining Unit Negotiations Support (BUNS) committee is holding two picket captain training sessions next week.  Interested members should look for the notice in the SPEEA online calendar or talk to their Council and Area representatives.

Members are reminded to wear their red SPEEA T-shirts on Wednesday to show support for our negotiation teams. 

Prof & Tech Negotiation Update - Nov. 21
Talks continue, SPEEA makes counterproposals


Meeting with The Boeing Company today (Wednesday, Nov. 21), our teams made several counterproposals to the pay and benefits contract pieces the company presented this week. The company reiterated its intent to eliminate the defined benefit pension for future employees and lower the value of the retirement benefit for these new employees (SPEEA Spotlite, Sept. 2012, page 6).
 
In addition, for the first time Boeing articulated its intention to refuse to grant pension survivor benefits to same-sex married couples (Washington voter approved R-74).
 
As yet, we do not have a complete offer for members to vote.
 
The SPEEA team is measuring proposals based on our existing contracts. Boeing’s communications continue to misrepresent the proposed cuts as “improvements” by comparing their latest proposals to the offers rejected by a 96% vote last month. Many SPEEA members have written our team to express their dismay at the company’s intentional distortions.

Recognizing the contributions made by engineers and technical workers that helped create the record profits and $11 billion in cash Boeing has on hand, our teams made several counterproposals. SPEEA proposed wage pools of 6% for both Profs and Techs. Our teams also proposed setting the guaranteed portion of the pools at 4%, the VIP contribution at 75% of the first 10% and retaining and enhancing the pension for all. Each of these proposals reflects significant movement from the last SPEEA proposal.
 
We also reiterated our desire to establish a Retirement Security Task Force with the goal of creating a proposed set of solutions addressing retirement security that could be jointly recommended to both negotiation teams in 2015. We believe these issues are of a complexity and seriousness that they should be dealt with in a data-rich environment that includes significant member input outside the time constraints of the negotiation process.

Learn how Boeing’s latest offers impact your paycheck and pocketbook, by using the updated impact calculator on our website. Look for the calculator on the website by close of business Nov. 21. The calculator allows members to see how their individual base salary and paycheck deductions change from our existing contracts to both the company’s Sept. 13 offer and the economic pieces of the latest offer. The calculator allows members to insert their personal situation, including pay, dependents and medical coverage.

Access the Updated Contract Offer Impact Calculator page.


While the contracts expire at midnight Sunday, Nov. 25, the majority of contractual protections stay in place while negotiations continue. The only provisions that do not stay in place are the no strike / no lock-out clause, dues deduction, arbitration rights and the management rights clause. For the immediate future, SPEEA advises members to go to work and watch for updates from our negotiation teams.
 
The next negotiation session with Boeing is scheduled for Tuesday (Nov. 27).

With the holiday this week, we remind members that all overtime during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is voluntary. 

View the complete analysis of Boeing's latest proposals on the Puget Sound Negotiations page.

Prof & Tech Negotiation Update - Nov. 20
Message from SPEEA Negotiation Teams

We are disappointed in The Boeing Company’s language which deceptively describes cuts from our current contract as “improvements.” There is NOreason for cuts during periods of extreme profitability, production rate increases, increased shareholder dividends, increasing executive compensation and a 4,100 plane backlog.

Corporate negotiators are comparing their current proposal to the September offer that was overwhelmingly rejected by a 96% vote.

The analysis below compares Boeing's Nov. 20 offers,
to our existing Prof & Tech contracts:

Pay

  • Treats Professional and Technical units differently
    • Professional raise pools cut to 4.5%, 4.0%, 4.5%, 4.0%
      • Minimum increase reduced from 2.0% to 1.5%
    • Technical raise pools cut to 3.5%, 3.0%, 3.5%, 3.0%
      • Minimum increase reduced from 2.5% to 1.5%
  • Interns excluded from raise pools, may receive the minimum raise

Pension

  • Current employees
    • Standard Benefit – growth of 2.3 to 2.4% per year, lower than Puget Sound inflation and significantly lower than historical growth
    • Alternate Benefit – No protection from changes/eliminations  of Social Security wage base threshold
  • Future employees
    • No BCERP pension for future hires, only reduced benefit 401(k) plan
    • Creates two classes of employees, setting the stage to freeze the pension in the future
    • Shifts risk onto future employees and produces a 40% lower benefit at retirement significantly limits their ability to retire

Medical

  • Premiums on every plan, even the high deductible plan
    • Traditional Medical Plan - 8% premium, costing a family over $1,500+ more per year in 2014, increasing thereafter
    • Penalties for not completing the screening/biometric
  • Benefit reductions on every plan
    • Traditional Medical Plan
      • Higher deductibles ($225 to $250 x 1, 2, 3)
      • Additional, new out of network deductible ($500, $1,000 or $1,500)
      • Adds 10% coinsurance after deductible, more than quadrupling the cost of an average hospitalization to $1,000 - $2,000 from the current $225.
      • ER co-pays increase from $50 to $75
    • Select Network/HMOs
      • Office Co-pays increase from $10 to $15
      • ER co-pays increase from $50 to $75
    • PPO+/Advantage+
      • Double the coinsurance (5% to 10%)
      • Reductions in the company HSA contribution
    • Drugs
      • 12% Reduced benefit (co-pay only covers 30 days, not 34)
      • Increased brand name co-pays retail and mail order

Dental

  • Elimination of scheduled dental plan, a plan elected by thousands of current employees.

Ed Wells

  • Decreases funding each year of the contract
    • Funding needed to maintain current program levels reduced by 8% 2013 to 21% in 2016
    • Eliminates more than 10,000+ class seats during the next four years

Prof & Tech Negotiations Update - Nov. 19
Boeing expected to drop 2nd contract offer Tuesday

The Boeing Company is expected to drop its second contract offer Tuesday (Nov. 20) on our Professional and Technical negotiation teams. Indications are this offer is only marginally improved from the offer members overwhelmingly rejected last month.

Between 2008 and 2012, SPEEA members helped to pull the company back from financial collapse due to the 787 outsourcing fiasco. Now that the company is posting record profits, company leadership has developed amnesia. Company leaders have repeatedly asserted that it is an “urban legend” that outsourcing caused problems on the 787.

The proposed pay and benefit cuts for engineers and techs stand in sharp contrast to how Boeing is rewarding executives and shareholders. Executives just received double-digit raises and bonuses equivalent to one year’s salary. The shareholder dividend was increased 4.8% last December and Bloomberg reported today that Boeing intends to increase the shareholder dividend another 9.1%. When the SPEEA negotiating team asks the company to justify cutting pay and benefits for the engineers and techs, the answer is that the engineering can be done anywhere but executives exist in their own market.

While our efforts remain focused on negotiating a contract that recognizes your contributions, it is becoming clear Boeing corporate may need additional persuasion. Members should continue workplace actions, including refusing to work voluntary overtime and other ‘work-to-rule’ actions to bring pressure on Boeing corporate. Your efforts will make a difference at the negotiation table.

With the holiday this week, we remind members that all overtime during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is voluntary.

Prof & Tech Negotiation Update - Nov. 15
Prof and Tech Negotiations update

This “negotiations update” from Boeing deserves a special response because of its startling amount of dishonesty and disrespect. I’ll break this message down by subject.

Proposed meeting:

It’s simply false that we had a negotiation session scheduled for Thursday. SPEEA had told Boeing that we could be available to meet Thursday. However, Boeing’s OWN GROUND RULE for these negotiations was that any negotiation session was to be scheduled 48 hours in advance. We’ve honored this request from Boeing and assumed that they’d follow their own rules.

Because Boeing hadn’t scheduled anything with us, our medical subject matter experts were dispatched to California to help resolve the Palmdale arbitration win. When Boeing called late Wednesday asking to meet with our medical subject matter experts, we explained that they were out of state but asked Boeing to send us their proposals anyway (which they refused to do).

So here’s the Boeing corporate trick: Ask for a meeting with people you know aren’t available, and then send an email to SPEEA members blaming SPEEA for refusing to meet with you. The dishonesty of this is startling. 

Why would Boeing send the members a message saying that they had proposals available but simultaneously refuse to provide those proposals to SPEEA? The sole purpose was to sow dissension. For rest of this message

Call to Action!
Decline Voluntary Overtime

Although our negotiation teams continue to push for meaningful dialogue around core SPEEA issues, such as medical coverage, retirement, wages and vacation, no progress has been made. Boeing needs to see tangible metrics of members’ dissatisfaction to persuade them to be realistic and get this deal done.

Members from Portland to Everett are taking action in ‘work-to-rule’ activities such as boycotting voluntary OT. Many are attending solidarity events, such as walkabouts and lunchtime meetings, wearing red shirts on Wednesdays and/or creating SPEEA displays with desk tents and buttons at their desks. Some are writing polite and professional letters to company leaders to say why they love their jobs and express their disappointment in these negotiations. The key is to find what you can do right now.

SPEEA action goals:

1. Work with Council Representatives and coworkers to develop the best approach to relay dissatisfaction in a tangible and measurable way to management.

2. Share your ideas prior to implementation by contacting Carrie Blackwood at: carrieb@speea.org.

3. Take action!

Potential actions Work-To-Rule

• Follow all company and SPEEA contract rules, including operation and safety manuals for the equipment you use in your job.

• This does not mean you are to slow down the performance of your work or otherwise obstruct production.

• There are many forms work-to-rule can take. Get creative.

 

Click to download flier

Although our negotiation teams continue to push for meaningful dialogue around core SPEEA issues, such as medical coverage, retirement, wages and vacation, no progress has been made. Boeing needs to see tangible metrics of members’ dissatisfaction to persuade them to be realistic and get this deal done.

Members from Portland to Everett are taking action in ‘work-to-rule’ activities such as boycotting voluntary OT. Many are attending solidarity events, such as walkabouts and lunchtime meetings, wearing red shirts on Wednesdays and/or creating SPEEA displays with desk tents and buttons at their desks. Some are writing polite and professional letters to company leaders to say why they love their jobs and express their disappointment in these negotiations. The key is to find what you can do right now.

Steps to follow if your group chooses Voluntary OT Boycott:

1. When asked to work overtime, respond with: “My coworkers and I are refusing to work VOLUNTARY overtime.”

2. If management responds that they are ordering you to work overtime, respond with: “I am willing to comply with management direction and would like to clarify that you are directing me to work overtime, meaning that you have been unable to find sufficient volunteers. Is this correct? Who have you asked and when?”

3. Do comply with direct orders AND follow up with an email to management with a courtesy copy to: overtime@speea.org. The email should state: “I am complying with your order to work mandatory overtime after you were unable to find sufficient volunteers.” Then add whatever response you got to the question about who was asked and when.

Prof and Tech Negotiations Update, Nov. 14
3:30 p.m., Wednesday

In response to the earlier version of this message, The Boeing Company today (Nov. 14) indicated it has wage and medical proposals. SPEEA requested these proposals immediately so our Prof and Tech teams and subject matter experts can analyze them. Boeing refuses to provide them in advance of our next scheduled meeting.

SPEEA proposed and Boeing agreed to meet at 8 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 20, to discuss these new proposals. Early indications are that the company will once again propose across-the-board pay and benefit cuts.
_________

Original message 
No meaningful dialogue on core economic issues

Prof and Tech negotiators engaged the company in discussions regarding a variety of members’ issues today (Nov. 7) during talks at Boeing.

Meaningful dialogue – particularly on economic issues – remains absent from negotiations with The Boeing Company. This continues despite our efforts to engage the Boeing negotiating team in meaningful economic discussions about medical coverage, retirement and raise pools for Profs and Techs during the life of our next contracts. Without these discussions, it is impossible to negotiate new contracts.

Boeing needs to see tangible metrics of members’ dissatisfaction to persuade them to be realistic and get this deal done. To show dissatisfaction, members from Everett to Portland have started boycotting voluntary overtime. (Managers cannot mandate overtime during holidays.) Other members are participating in their own forms of “Work-to-Rule.” The Prof and Tech teams support these actions and encourage each member to Act Now! Send management the message that SPEEA members are united in our efforts to get a contract that respects the contributions of technical workers and engineers!

Contract expiration – Nothing significant happens when the contract expires at midnight, Nov. 25. All of our wages, benefits, holidays and working conditions remain unchanged while negotiations continue.

Open enrollment – Open enrollment is currently in process for the 2013 calendar year. The plan options and benefits have not changed. You are encouraged to complete the open enrollment process. 

Prof & Tech Negotiations Update - Nov. 7, 2012
Teams press Boeing for new comprehensive offer

Prof and Tech negotiators engaged the company in discussions regarding a variety of members’ issues today (Nov. 7) during talks at Boeing.

While the company has withdrawn some unacceptable pieces of its original offer, our teams continue to press for a comprehensive contract offer that respects the economic contribution of SPEEA members.

“It’s taking a lot of work to clean up the unacceptable elements of the company’s last full contract offer,” said Rebekah Hewitt, Prof team member. “The company’s messaging seeks to create the impression that significant progress is being made when that isn’t necessarily so.”

“Our contract is a package deal, and we can’t judge individual elements independent of the whole,” said Roger Pullman, Tech team member. “Our ability to make progress on putting together a comprehensive deal is directly related to member action in the workplace.”

Council Reps are receiving work-to-rule training Thursday, Nov. 8.  Instructions for how to boycott voluntary overtime are on the SPEEA web at: voluntary overtime.  Continue to support our teams by wearing your SPEEA red T-shirt on Wednesdays and attending solidarity events at your workplace.

Discussions, information exchanges and meetings with Boeing are scheduled through next week.

Prof & Tech Negotiations Update - Nov. 1, 2012
Negotiations continue 
In joint negotiations today (Nov. 1), SPEEA and The Boeing Company held discussions that addressed several articles in the contract. Topics included medical benefits, elements of priority recall, paid parental leave and performance management.

Joint sessions resume next Tuesday (Nov. 6) and are tentatively scheduled to continue for a total of three days next week.

The SPEEA Negotiation Teams caution many issues still need to be addressed.

The teams are grateful for members’ continued support and solidarity. For members who are boycotting voluntary overtime, click here for instructions or go to the Puget Soundnegotiations page. The latest handout and desk tent are also available at www.speea.org.

Prof & Tech Negotiations Update - Oct 31, 2012
Members vent frustration –
Negotiating teams continue work 

During today’s (Oct.31) meeting, a wide range of subjects were discussed. Agreement was reached to prevent the 22% cut in Ed Wells Partnership funding for classes in the first quarter of 2013. Discussion of funding for the remainder of the contract period is ongoing.

Today’s session followed two days of Solidarity Walk & Talks that drew thousands of SPEEA members to lunchtime meetings with negotiation team members. Sixteen meetings were held at Boeing worksites from Everett to Portland. Working to support their teams’ efforts with action, members at a number of work sites are starting to refuse voluntary overtime and encouraging their coworkers to join them.  Guidelines for refusing voluntary overtime are on the union website at voluntary overtime.

Following today’s session, our teams worked internally to prepare for what we hope are more substantive discussions on Thursday.

Prof & Tech Negotiations Update - Oct 30, 2012
Members show support at Prof & Tech
team Solidarity Walk & Talks

Frustration at The Boeing Company’s mixed signals to our negotiation teams spilled into the workplace today (Oct. 30) as hundreds of SPEEA members participated in Solidarity Walk & Talks to show support for our Prof & Tech Negotiation.

Prof & Tech Negotiation Teams work in Tukwila.

Negotiations are scheduled to resume Wednesday with SPEEA and Boeing meeting in Tukwila. Since meeting last Thursday, our Prof and Tech teams completed our agreed-upon action items. If Boeing has done the same, we should be able to continue the progress that started last week.Teams.

Members in seven locations from Harbor Point to Frederickson and Portland donned their SPEEA red T-shirts to walk their worksites and attend lunch meetings to hear updates from our Prof and Tech team members. Nine additional locations are planning events on Wednesday. Thousands are expected to attend. List of Wednesday Walk & Talk events.

The frustration was perhaps most apparent for the 150 SPEEA members participating in the Solidarity Walk & Talk that ended in the Duwamish site cafeteria. Many of the members had attended a hastily scheduled “third quarter review meeting” with Vice President of BCA Engineering Mike Delaney earlier in the morning.  The presentation ignored the company’s projections of growing profits, stock dividend increases and 4,100 airplane order backlog. 

Instead, the presentation was widely perceived as threatening SPEEA members with losing their jobs if they didn’t agree to pay and benefit cuts.  The members in Duwamish reacted by voting to start refusing to work voluntary overtime and encouraging SPEEA members elsewhere to follow their example.

Prof & Tech Negotiations Update - Oct 25, 2012
Productive discussions continue between SPEEA and Boeing

Productive discussions continued today (Oct. 25) between negotiators for SPEEA and Boeing on key issues, including the current 401k retirement program and how to encourage greater participation in the plan.  Among other topics discussed, the sides agreed to a plan that continues Ed Wells Partnership programs at the current level of funding until a new agreement is reached.

The sides agreed to forego a previously planned negotiating session on Friday, Oct. 26, and instead have subject matter experts from both sides share information and discuss a framework for continued progress. The next full negotiation session is planned for Wednesday, Oct. 31.

Prof & Tech Negotiations Update - October 24, 2012
Profits top estimates, pace of negotiations picks up
As corporate executives announced $1 billion in quarterly profits to Wall Street, Boeing negotiators today (Oct. 24) showed signs the company’s continued success, coupled with the overwhelming rejection of the original offer, is making movement possible.

Today’s negotiations were marked by a new spirit of collaborative problem solving.

The company and the union exchanged proposals on medical and pension issues.

“We had a good, productive discussion,” said Tom McCarty, SPEEA president and Prof Negotiation Team member. “Members’ activism and demonstrations of support are making a difference.”

Boeing’s announcement exceeded analysts’ expectations for the fifth consecutive quarter. With third quarter sales up 13% to $20 billion, the company now expects per-share profits to hit $4.95 for the year. The order backlog exceeds 4,100 aircraft.
SPEEA Prof Team member John McLaren listened to the Boeing earnings report before today’s negotiation session.

“I was pleased to hear the Boeing pension is so well funded the company does not need to make any contributions for the next year,” said McLaren.

After pressing Boeing to accelerate negotiation sessions last week, our teams spent the first part of this week preparing for the three days of scheduled talks. Members around the bargaining units are helping by showing their support with red shirts, visibility walks and attending information meetings.

Using every available strategy, our negotiating teams are confident we will achieve your goals in these negotiations. Members are encouraged to keep up their efforts.

Prof & Tech Negotiations Update - October 18, 2012
Negotiations continue, but wide gaps remain

Prof and Tech negotiation teams met with The Boeing Company today (Oct. 18). We are working our way toward a contract that reflects your contributions to Boeing.

The current pace of progress is frustrating to the team and the general membership. At our request, Boeing agreed to accelerate our negotiation sessions. Three meetings are now scheduled for next week, with the first session set for Wednesday afternoon.

The company today came prepared to answer some of our questions. However, many were only partially answered. The information Boeing did provide touched a wide range of issues. Included were medical coverage, use of contract labor, holidays, vacation and the amount of overtime worked by SPEEA engineers and technical workers. Among the information was data showing that the Boeing vacation schedule for early and mid-career employees is below its own benchmark companies.

The fundamental divide on the core issues is the different perceptions of the
value SPEEA members bring to the company.

Using every available strategy, our negotiating teams are confident we will achieve your goals in these negotiations.

October 15, 2012
Next Prof & Tech negotiations session is Thursday

The next negotiations session with Boeing is scheduled for Thursday (Oct. 18).

While little progress was made during sessions since the overwhelming contract rejection, we hope to make progress this week.

At the Oct. 10 meeting, SPEEA teams asked numerous questions about the reasoning underlying Boeing’s rejection of every item we proposed. Boeing did not answer most of these questions but committed to bringing answers to future meetings. As our questions are answered, we can work through the issues and negotiate new Prof and Tech contracts.

This week’s negotiation session is tentatively scheduled to take place at Boeing. Watch for an update after the meeting.

October 10, 2012
Prof & Tech negotiations continue - next meeting TBD

SPEEA Prof and Tech unit negotiation teams today (Oct. 10) held a full session with The Boeing Company as efforts to secure new contracts moved beyond last week’s overwhelming rejection of the company’s initial contract offers.

The session started the long process of working through issues and contract sections. Our teams reiterated concerns and restated our need for information in many areas covered by our Prof and Tech contracts. Among the areas needing additional information are questions regarding job titles, overtime and accrual rates, the Learning Together Program, medical layoff, holidays and vacation schedules.

The company agreed to continue exchanging information as we work to schedule the next meeting.

NEW - Questions members are asking after the vote

October 8, 2012
Boeing charged with ULPs

Prof and Tech negotiation teams scheduled the next meeting with Boeing for Wednesday (Oct. 10) as efforts continue to reach agreement on new contracts.

The meeting is scheduled as SPEEA filed two Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges against Boeing to protect members’ rights to engage in concerted activities to support our negotiation teams. The charges were filed Friday in the NLRB Seattle office after Boeing videotaped members during union activities. The company also seized a camera and deleted photos of the activities.

The National Labor Relation Act (NLRA) protects employees’ rights to engage in these concerted (union) activities and prohibits employers from interfering.

“Taking video of employees on a lunchtime march is nothing more than intimidation and harassment,” said Ray Goforth, SPEEA executive director. “The company has no legitimate reason to confiscate cameras and delete photos.”

Marches ranged from a few dozen employees to more than 2,500 at the Everett plant. SPEEA continues to gather information about the surveillance and photo seizing and is asking members to document and report incidents to SPEEA staffer Carrie Blackwood at: carrieb@speea.org.

Filed at the Seattle office of the NLRB, the first Unfair Labor Practice charge reads: “…the Employer has engaged in surveillance of protected concerted activity and has otherwise interfered with that activity by videotaping and photographing employees engaged in peaceful, protected concerted activity in Portland, OR.”

The second charge reads: “… the Employer has interfered with members engaging in protected concerted activity by confiscating photographs taken by employees of other employees engaging in protected concerted activity.”

Wednesday’s negotiations meeting is expected to be more extensive than the short meeting held last week after the overwhelming rejections of Boeing’s contract offers.

October 2, 2012
Prof & Tech negotiations resume with Boeing

SPEEA Prof and Tech unit negotiation teams met with The Boeing Company at Longacres today (Oct. 2), setting the stage for renewed negotiations. 

Discussions involved previously agreed to tentative agreements, outstanding information requests, and future scheduling.  SPEEA restated our interests in securing new contracts that respect the contributions of our members to the success of Boeing.

Boeing negotiators acknowledged the overwhelming rejection of their contract offers and modified their positions on a couple of members’ issues.

We agreed to use the remainder of this week to work logistics and adopt a negotiation schedule.

October 2, 2012
SPEEA members overwhelmingly
reject Boeing contract offers

Confirming what union negotiators have said for months - leadership at The Boeing Company is out of touch with its workforce – SPEEA engineers and technical workers today (Oct. 1) delivered a stunning and overwhelming rejection of the aerospace giant’s contract offers.

Votes show engineers in the Professional unit rejected the offer by 9,770 to 454. Workers in the Technical Unit rejected the offer by 5,327 to 154. Votes were a straight “Reject” or “Accept” of the offers with no strike authorization on the ballots. SPEEA and Boeing resume negotiations Tuesday (Oct. 2).

“We hope the vote results clear away the nonsense and allow us to begin substantive negotiations,” said Ray Goforth, executive director. “Until now, meaningful discussions have eluded us because the Boeing negotiating team was convinced they understood the members better than the SPEEA negotiating team. With this question resolved, our expectation is that everyone can focus upon getting a mutually acceptable agreement.”

Northwest Professional
and Technical Units
Contract vote results Count Percentage
NW Professional Unit    
Total ballots authorized 14,279  
Total valid ballots cast 10,224  
Accept 454  
Reject 9,770 95.56%
NW Technical Unit    
Total ballots authorized 7,563  
Total valid ballots cast 5,481  
Accept 154  
Reject 5,327 97.19%


SPEEA negotiation teams and the union’s governing councils unanimously recommended members reject Boeing’s offers. While the two contracts expire Oct. 6, all major provisions remain in place.

At Boeing’s request, negotiations started nearly one year ago. The company rejected SPEEA’s initial proposal to simply extend the existing contract. Formal weekly meetings started in April. SPEEA presented a full proposal to Boeing on June 15. Boeing finally presented its offers Sept. 13. The offers put raises at or below the rate of inflation, significantly increased employees’ share of medical costs, eliminated the pension for future employees and were sprinkled with language that allowed Boeing to change important provisions at any time.

“The offer Boeing tendered was unsalvageable,” said Goforth. “It represented management’s view that SPEEA didn’t actually speak for the membership. It amounted to an evisceration of the collective bargaining agreement.”

In stunning displays of unity, thousands of SPEEA members and retired members participated in lunch time marches, meetings and informational picketing at Boeing facilities around Puget Sound and in Portland last week. The spontaneous events ranged from 2,500 employees marching in the Everett factory to two dozen retirees picketing Boeing’s Seattle corporate headquarters in protest of contract language that allowed Boeing to cut medical coverage for retirees.

A friend of SPEEA since visiting members during the historic
40-day strike in 2000, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
called on Boeing to start respecting employees.

“The AFL-CIO stands with the engineers and technical workers of Boeing – the hard-working men and women who make Boeing work,” said Trumka. “It’s a shame that a company as successful as Boeing would offer its workers a contract that pads the pockets of those at the top, while imposing disastrous cutbacks on its employees. The SPEEA Professional and Technical workers have shown a lot of courage. They deserve better. We hope Boeing got that message and is prepared to negotiate seriously for a future that includes both profitable business success and hard work properly rewarded.”

Press Release

Boeing managers supporting SPEEA
We have received numerous contacts from Boeing managers pronouncing their support for SPEEA’s negotiation efforts, and inquiring about the status of negotiations. 

While we appreciate your support, please be advised your union support is not protected by federal law. Should you be discharged by The Boeing Company in retaliation for supporting SPEEA, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) does
 not protect your employment. While it is violative of the NLRA for an employer to discharge a manager for refusing to commit an unfair labor practice; the remedy is merely a notice posting, and does not include reinstatement or back pay for lost wages.

If you would like to support our negotiations or stay informed, keep checking our website for updates. You may also sign up for SPEEA negotiations updates to your personal email account by clicking the button on the left side of the screen. It is recommended that you do not call the SPEEA office from your Boeing telephone or through your Boeing email address.

We appreciate your continued silent support!

SPEEA Prof & Tech Negotiation Teams

Teams: Vote to REJECT the Boeing contract offers

Faced with contract offers that are nothing less than full-scale assaults on engineers and technical workers, your Professional and Technical Negotiation Teams unanimously and strongly recommend members vote to reject Boeing’s disrespectful contract offers.

Contract Offer explained

Contract Offer webpage

Team Recommendations

SPEEA Negotiations
Press Releases

 

During a special meeting today, the Professional and Technical Bargaining Unit Councils (BUCs) also cast unanimous votes recommending rejection. The Professional BUC voted 72 to 0 and the Technical BUC voted 48 to 0 to recommend rejection.

Ballots for members are now being prepared and are scheduled for mailing to members later this week. Votes will be counted after 5 p.m. on Oct. 1.

From wage pools that are the lowest since 1975, increased out-of-pocket costs for medical benefits and drastically changing retiree benefits, the Boeing offers cut away the purchasing power and contract rights of our 23,000 represented employees in the SPEEA Professional and Technical bargaining units. The company wants to strip disability and life insurance from those on military leave. Boeing even inserted language into its offers that would allow the company to cancel medical coverage for retirees and allow the layoff of experienced employees so that they can be replaced by future hires.For a company experiencing record profits, orders and financial success, these offers fail at every level to recognize our contributions or respect the professionalism and dedication we bring to work each day.

A strong rejection by members of these contract offers will send a loud message to Boeing corporate leaders that they must return to negotiations ready to actually negotiate a contract that respects our contributions.

This ballot is an up or down vote on the merits of the contract offer. A strike vote could come later. It is our hope that a strong rejection of these disrespectful contract offers will make it clear to Boeing that it must stop attacking its engineers and technical workers and negotiate an offer that respects our contributions to the company’s success. .

Prof & Tech Negotiations Update - Sept. 14
Teams continue to review Boeing counterproposals

Negotiation team members and SPEEA staff spent today (Friday, Sept. 14) and will work into the weekend to complete our analysis of The Boeing Company’s counterproposals for new contracts for the SPEEA Professional and Technical bargaining units.

The extensive and careful analysis is needed to ensure we find all of the changes in the Boeing counterproposals. We’ve already found a number of changes the company did not flag in their counterproposal redline.

Our teams will have another update for members Monday.

Prof & Tech Negotiations Update - Sept. 13
SPEEA teams reviewing Boeing counterproposals

The Boeing Company presented full counterproposals today (Sept. 13) for new Professional and Technical unit contracts in response to SPEEA’s proposal to Boeing on June 15.

Members of the Prof and Tech team are meeting Friday to review and analyze the proposals for new contracts for more than 23,000 employees in the bargaining units. As a result of the internal SPEEA meeting, lunch time meetings in the workplace scheduled for Friday are cancelled.

Additional information will be provided after the teams complete their review.

Prof & Tech Negotiations Update
Sept. 6: Boeing says ‘trust us – we know what’s best ’

During a meeting between SPEEA and Boeing today, the company rejected many union proposals and submitted a proposal for a contract that allows benefit take a ways and cuts without negotiations.

“The essence of the company’s proposals today was to convert contractual pay and benefit guarantees into options that can be revoked at any time and for any reason,” said Joel Funfar, SPEEA Technical Negotiations team member.

The company said “trust us,” but give us the power to do whatever we want.

Among the contractual rights management proposed to remove are:

  • Benefit coverage’s during leave of absence.
  • Medical plan
    • Coordination of Benefits.
    • Dependent eligibility.
    • Prescription drug specialty programs.
    • Eligibility and premium for part time employees.
    • Subrogation process (see page 6 Spotlite.)
  • All aspects of the 401K (VIP) plan other than the matching percentage.
  • SPEEA protections in the job posting and transfer system.

The company rejected SPEEA’s proposal to limit contractors’ employment to 18 months. Instead, the company wants the ability to hire an unlimited number of temporary workers without restrictions on duration.

“They brought nothing to the table that shows they’re negotiating,” said Ryan Rule, Professional Negotiations team member. “Instead, they’re demanding unprecedented takeaways during a period of record profits.”

The company again did not bring a complete proposal. The next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 13.

Contract Proposal Redline Guide

The redlines are based on our proposal to Boeing June 15. SPEEA’s contract proposals reflect our members’ contribution to Boeing’s record profits and backlog.

Major issues Contract Article
Vacation (increases accrual rate) 5
Maternity/paternity leave
(creates 12-week paid leave)
6.7
Holidays (adds floating holidays for MLK and Veterans Day) 7
Non-Boeing labor (contractors) 9.4(a)(3)
Rates of pay/work schedules
(sets pay at 75th percentile)
11
Voluntary Investment Plan (VIP) 15
Retirement Plan (including pension increase) 17
Duration (contract would expire in 2015) 23
LOU (limiting excess OT) LOU 23
LOU XX  (New) Learning Together Program LOU XX (new)
Health insurance (in more detail) Attachment A
Retiree medical (in more detail) Attachment B





SPEEA Proposal to Boeing
The complete Redline of the contract based on the full proposal SPEEA presented to Boeing on June 15.
Professional Unit
Contract Redline - pdf

Attachment A

Attachment B
Technical Unit
Contract Redline - pdf
Attachment A
Attachment B
Side Letters
Vacation Payout
OT Rate
Long Term Disability
On Call
TMP No Cost Plan
Prof & Tech Negotiations Update
Boeing wants to cut pensions of existing employees

The Boeing Company dropped another cut for SPEEA members onto the negotiations table today (Aug. 23), this time proposing to cut the growth of the pension basic benefit by 50%. Coupled with the company’s offer to eliminate the pension for all new employees hired into the Professional and Technical bargaining units, it is very clear the company has no intention of sharing its success with the engineers and technical workers who helped turn the disaster of outsourcing into record orders and profits.

The basic benefit is the primary calculation for the vast majority of employees in the Technical Unit and a portion of the employees in the Professional Unit.

Additional Information

Our teams opened the session at SPEEA headquarters by again asking for a full proposal from the company. We asked again during the meeting. The company only said additional portions will be presented during the coming weeks. It’s now been more than two months since our teams presented our full and complete proposal to Boeing on June 15. Full redlines showing our proposals in the existing contracts are now posted on the SPEEA website at www.speea.org.

Protecting your rights - August 22, 2012
Boeing violates labor law during orientation


Click image to enlarge
SPEEA filed Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges against The Boeing Company on Tuesday (Aug. 21) after a representative from Boeing Ethics, during new hire orientation on Friday (Aug. 17), told employees they are prohibited from saying “bad things” about their employment. Such discussions by union members are protected by the National Labor Relation Act (NLRA). Employers’ efforts to curb these discussions violate federal law.

In addition to this obvious violation of labor law, SPEEA has received numerous complaints from employees about managers telling them to remove and not display union material at their personal workstation. Employees also report finding union-related items removed from individual work areas when they arrive at work each day.

SPEEA asks members to document any such conversations with managers or the removal of items from their desks and then relay the information to union officials. Report questionable conversations with managers or when they find union material removed from work areas.

SPEEA Contract Administrator James Moreau is compiling the information. Send information to: jamesm@speea.org.

Prof & Tech Negotiations Update
August 30: One step backward
 
The Boeing Company took one step backward today by opening the meeting planned to discuss medical benefits by stating: “This is not a proposal.” The company instead spent nearly two hours presenting information pointing to higher employee costs for decreased benefits.
 
“Negotiations require both parties to state what they want and why they want it.  The exchange of proposals, supporting data and ideas that follow is the foundation of meaningful negotiations,” said Ray Goforth, SPEEA executive director.  “Boeing explicitly refuses to provide any proposal that SPEEA could analyze to engage in negotiations.”
 
SPEEA provided Boeing with a complete proposal on June 15 with corresponding rationale for every identified issue.  The Boeing corporate negotiator again today failed to commit to a time when the company will provide a complete proposal.
 
“Boeing keeps insisting that they are giving us context but their ‘context’ is meaningless without a proposal.  This is a frame without a picture,” said noted labor lawyer Ellen Kelman. “This is just free-floating data that is utterly useless in collective bargaining.”
 
The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 6.


August 16, 2012

Prof & Tech Negotiations update
Boeing corporate still withholding proposal

SPEEA and Boeing’s negotiation teams met Thursday (Aug. 16). Again, Boeing did not bring a contract proposal. More than two months have now passed since our negotiation teams presented proposals for contract changes. Boeing corporate would not commit to a timeline for providing a proposal.

SPEEA and Boeing meet again Aug. 23.


August 9, 2012

Prof & Tech Negotiation Team Update
Report out from Aug. 9 negotiations

July 31, 2012

SPEEA news on AFL-CIO blog: Boeing Basks in Profits but Targets Technical Employees who Engineer and Design the Products.

http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/Your-Turn/Boeing-Basks-in-Profits-but-Targets-Technical-Employees-Who-Engineer-and-Design-the-Products

During joint negotiations Thursday (Aug. 9), The Boeing Company reviewed SPEEA’s proposal on benefits and asked questions.

During the discussion, the company failed to agree to a single item SPEEA proposed. When asked when they would provide a proposal for the members to review, the company would only commit to providing an offer ‘sometime’ prior to the contract expiration (Oct. 6).

The Prof and Tech Negotiation Teams will brief the Council at its monthly meeting on the status of the negotiations. This meeting is open to members at both SPEEA offices at 4:30 p.m. tonight (Thursday, Aug. 9). For those unable to attend, please talk to your Council Rep to get the details of what they learned.



 

August 2, 2012

Prof & Tech Negotiation Team Update
Report out from Aug. 2 negotiations

During negotiations Thursday (Aug. 2), The Boeing Company discussed data related to salary reference tables and the process by which salary reference tables are created. The company failed to adequately explain why the 2012 salary reference tables were frozen for a majority of SPEEA-represented employees.

The company also formally rejected multiple items in SPEEA’s proposal, expressed interest in discussing one item, and made two new proposed cuts affecting a small number of employees.

Boeing rejected the following SPEEA proposals:
  • Cost of living adjustment considerations
  • Maternity / paternity leave beyond what is required by law
  • Preserving sick leave for those with small balances
  • Increases in vacation accrual rates
  • Immediate vacation accrual for new hires
  • Accruing vacation based on overtime
  • Two floating holidays to honor both Martin Luther King Jr and Veterans Day
SPEEA proposal that Boeing is willing to discuss:
  • Holiday pay for part-time employees
New proposals from Boeing
  • Elimination of salary increases for interns
  • Eliminating the guaranteed minimum promotional funds for employees promoted to a level they have previously held.
SPEEA requested and Boeing once again failed to provide a full and complete offer. Talks will continue on Aug. 9.

July 30, 2012
Message from your Prof & Tech Negotiations Teams

Dear members:

As The Boeing Company boasts to Wall Street about record sales and income, the message they are bringing to negotiations is that engineers and technical workers have had it too good. The company wants cuts in the new contract. New employees won’t have a pension. Salary pools will be smaller, maybe much smaller. And, get ready to pay a higher share of your family’s medical costs because a company goal is to shift more of those costs onto workers.

This is the message Boeing is delivering to our Professional and Technical Negotiation Teams at the bargaining table. We prefer to agree with new Boeing Commercial Airplanes President Ray Connor, who said in a recent message to employees: “Thank you for the passion and commitment you bring to the job every day. This is the best aerospace company in the world, and you make it all possible.” 

Boeing is flying high. A quick glance at the information Connor noted shows:

  • Net income rose 3% during the second quarter to $1 billion.

  • Commercial airplane revenue was up 34% to $11.8 billion.

  • Boeing won the 2011 Collier Trophy, the most prestigious award in aeronautics, for designing, building, certifying, delivering, and supporting the Boeing 787.

In addition to ending the pension for new employees, during our most recent session Boeing talked about shifting more costs onto employees. The company didn’t pull punches. Company negotiators came right out and said one of their goals is to shift costs onto employees. Cost-shifting isn’t a means to achieve a goal. Cost-shifting is the goal.

What’s shocking is that our proposal to Boeing included ways the company could lower medical costs without shifting them onto employees. Boeing did label our proposal for “medical bill auditing” as an item for further discussion. But, the company is not even interested in talking about our proposal for a $0 deductible medical plan. Boeing negotiators said even if such a plan cost the company nothing, it was not interested.

Again and again, we asked for a complete proposal. The company refused to provide one. 

We presented a full and complete proposal to Boeing on June 15. The presentation included an item-by-item list of contract changes and adjustments. Each item included the rationale and benefit of the change. At the time, Boeing negotiators said they appreciated the thoroughness of our proposal. The closest Boeing officials came to giving a date for presenting a complete offer to SPEEA was to say “September.”

Our contracts expire October 6.

We meet again with Boeing Thursday (Aug. 2), at union headquarters.

There is one other thing Boeing said to our negotiation teams: “You guys have a tremendous amount of leverage now - absolutely.”

Yes, we do.

Professional Team

Technical Team

Rebekah Hewitt

Rick Hoffman

Tom McCarty

John McLaren

Ryan Rule

Joel Funfar

Sandra Hastings

Brent McFarlane

Roger Pullman

Ron Shoemaker 

What you can do

Negotiation team members are providing more details to members during lunchtime meetings. Meetings are scheduled by Council Representatives around Puget Sound locations.  A schedule of meetings is posted on the negotiations page and the online calendar. If one is not scheduled for your area, talk to your Council Rep.

Remember to wear your red shirt each Wednesday to support our negotiation teams. Show your support throughout the week by displaying desk tents and other SPEEA visibility items at your workstation. (All SPEEA visibility items are permissible to display in your personal work area.) New items are regularly available from Council Reps or at the SPEEA halls.


July 26, 2012


Prof & Tech Negotiations Update
Boeing: No pension for new hires, existing employees next

During negotiations Thursday (July 26), The Boeing Company came with only one piece of its proposal – eliminate the pension for future employees hired into SPEEA bargaining units and replace it with a 401(k) providing approximately 40% less retirement benefit than members currently receive.

With that, Boeing negotiators rejected repeated requests by SPEEA to present full and complete contract offers for the 22,550 employees in the Professional and Technical bargaining units. Instead, Boeing said it planned to “assemble over time” the pieces of its offer.

Cutting the pension for new employees is a first step companies use when the goal is freezing the pension contributions for all employees. Boeing’s proposal targeting new hires is a mirror image of the one rejected by SPEEA in 2008.

Boeing’s proposal to cut retirement benefits was made just days after the company reported second-quarter net income soaring to $967 million, up $26 million from the first quarter. Beating financial analysts’ estimates, the company also raised its forecast for future profits.

SPEEA negotiators presented a full and complete proposal to Boeing on June 15. The presentation at that time included an item-by-item list of contract changes and adjustments. Each item included the rationale and benefit of the change.

SPEEA and Boeing will meet again Aug. 2 at union headquarters. However, the company has already rejected requests to bring a full proposal to the session.

Negotiation team members are providing more details to members during lunchtime meetings. Meetings are scheduled by Council Representatives around Puget Sound locations.  A schedule of meetings is posted on the negotiations page and the online calendar. If one is not scheduled for your area, talk to your Council Rep.

Remember to wear your red shirt each Wednesday to support our negotiation teams. Show your support throughout the week by displaying desk tents and other SPEEA visibility items at your workstation. (All SPEEA visibility items are permissible to display in your personal work area.) New items are regularly available from Council Reps or at the SPEEA halls.


July 12, 2012
SPEEA asks again: Boeing, give us your proposal
As Boeing basked in the limelight of securing a record $37 billion in new orders at the Farnborough Airshow this week, our Professional and Technical negotiation teams asked Boeing again to make a proposal for compensation and benefits to the 22,550 employees in the Puget Sound bargaining units.

The SPEEA teams provided our proposal to the company during two days of meetings in April. Since then, Boeing has alluded to its intentions,
but stopped short of actual proposals.

 

SPEEA proposal

 

Boeing indications

Salary

Wage pools increased from 50th to 75th percent of market to reflect our contribution to Boeing’s success.

 

Dropping wage pools 40%,
from current contract’s 5% to
3% (or less).

Retirement

Items that increase efficiency protect members’ retirement and respect their dedication to the company.

 

Eliminating the pension for new hires and
instead providing a 401(k) match valued at 40% less than the current pension.

Medical

No-cost and cost-saving proposals, including medical bill auditing to indentify billing errors and potentially save Boeing
$ millions.

 

Higher medical premiums and out of
pocket costs, increasing employees’
out-of-pocket costs by 18%.

Discussions Thursday (July 12) revolved heavily around the company’s use of contract labor, attrition and recruitment. Several requests for additional data prompted negotiators to request continuing the discussion at a future meeting. Both sides agreed that with contract labor approaching 8% in SPEEA jobs, more needs to be done to limit the reliance on contractors.

During other discussions, SPEEA proposed and Boeing agreed, to tentative agreement on six contract articles that will remain unchanged in the next contract. They are Articles 1, 3, 10, 14, 18 and 19. The two sides also agreed to continue without change Letters of Understanding 9, 12, 13, 16, 20, 24, 25 and 28.

Members are encouraged to attend a lunch time meeting now being held around worksites by the Negotiation teams. A schedule of meetings is posted on the negotiations page and the online calendar. If one is not scheduled for your area, talk to your Council Rep.

Remember to wear your red shirt each Wednesday to support our negotiation teams. Show your support throughout the week by displaying desk tents and other SPEEA visibility items at your workstation. (All SPEEA visibility items are permissible to display in your personal work area.) New items are regularly available from Council Reps or at the SPEEA halls.

Full negotiation sessions are being held about once a week at SPEEA headquarters or occasionally at Boeing facilities. The next full negotiations session is scheduled for Thursday, July 26.


June 28, 2012

Prof & Tech Negotiations Update
Productive session starts addressing workforce issues

Substantive and productive discussions took place Thursday (June 28) during this week’s Prof and Tech negotiation session with The Boeing Company.

The teams spent about five hours reviewing and discussing a variety of workforce issues. Among them were areas of the contract dealing with
performance management, priority recall and employment stabilization and outsourcing.

A smaller, joint working group is scheduled to meet during the July 4 holiday week. The next full session is scheduled for July 12.

Members of the SPEEA Negotiation Teams started holding lunchtime meetings in the workplace this week. At the meetings, team members and staff experts provide an overview of the process, update members on the talks and answer questions. A list of meetings is posted on the website. New meetings are added daily. If one is not scheduled for your area, talk to your Council Rep.

With the next red shirt Wednesday falling on the July 4 holiday, members are asked to show their support for our teams by displaying desk tents, wearing buttons and using all their SPEEA visibility items. Items are available from Council Reps or at the SPEEA halls.


June 21, 2012
SPEEA Prof and Tech negotiations
with Boeing continue

Members of the SPEEA Prof and Tech Negotiations Teams are shown with negotiators for The Boeing Company at SPEEA headquarters June 21. The session was scheduled following a meeting held at SPEEA June 15. Talks continue to be productive. Lunchtime meetings with members of the SPEEA Prof and Tech Negotiation Teams kick off June 26. Click here to see the schedule. If you don’t see a meeting in scheduled in your area, talk to your Council Rep.


June 15, 2012

SPEEA and Boeing continue Prof & Tech negotiations 

SEATTLEPuget Sound Professional and Technical Negotiation Teams walked negotiators for The Boeing Company through a complete list of contract issues Friday (June 15) during a full-day session at SPEEA headquarters.

Discussions remained respectful and established a base for continuing talks late next week.

SPEEA tendered proposals that reflected the company’s market-leading position. Among them was a proposal to find and eliminate medical billing errors which has the potential to save Boeing several million dollars each year. Additional proposals in workforce and employee relations addressed ongoing issues raised by union members and management.

While common ground was found on many issues, differences exist in the rate of salary growth, retirement benefit and the composition of the medical plans. Both sides agreed to continue to work diligently to negotiate contracts that meet the needs of all stakeholders.

Existing contracts for the 15,100 engineers in the Professional unit and 7,500 employees in the Technical unit expire at midnight, Oct. 6.

Negotiation team members are beginning to hold lunchtime meetings in the workplace. Look for the schedule on the SPEEA online calendar and ask your Council Rep when a meeting is scheduled for your area.

Members are asked to wear their SPEEA red T-shirts or any red shirt on Wednesdays to support our teams!


Updated April 19
SPEEA – Boeing Joint Negotiations Update

SEATTLE, Wash., April 20, 2012 -- Negotiation teams for Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) and The Boeing Company completed two days of formal discussions Friday as work begins to replace contracts for the Puget Sound Professional and Technical bargaining units. The contracts, covering more than 22,000 employees, expire Oct. 6.

Boeing and SPEEA teams will continue to meet in the coming weeks and months to pursue a tentative agreement that meets the needs of the company as well as the engineers and technical workers covered by the two contracts.


Updated April 18
Puget Sound Prof & Tech negotiations update

SPEEA Professional and Technical Negotiation teams are scheduled to meet with The Boeing Company this week. The meetings allow team members to meet their counterparts and discuss the overall format for negotiations.

SPEEA teams have been meeting internally each week since being elected by the Northwest Council in February. The meetings have allowed team members to review contract issues, member comments, concerns and plan for Main Table negotiations.

Sign-up to receive negotiations updates