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Beyond the Weekend -
How labor unions benefit everyone



Daniel Peters will fill Executive Board vacancy

The SPEEA Northwest Council on Thursday (July 12) elected Daniel Peters, Council Rep at the Boeing Developmental Center in Seattle to Northwest Vice President on the Executive Board.

The election required multiple ballots of the Northwest Council to narrow the original field of seven candidates until one candidate was able to receive a majority of votes from the representatives.

The vacancy was created in May when Shannon Deacon took a voluntary layoff from The Boeing Company.

The term runs into March, 2019 when all regional vice president seats on the Executive Board will be up for election.

SPEEA Member Paul Shearon elected IFPTE President
SPEEA President Joel Funfar joins IFPTE President Paul Shearon and IFPTE Secretary-Treasurer Matt Biggs at the 59th Triennial Convention. Shearon and Biggs were seated at the convention June 27.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – SPEEA member Paul Shearon is slated to become the next president of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineer (IFPTE) on Thursday.

Shearon, previously the Secretary-Treasurer of the IFPTE, accepted the nomination for the highest office in the union, June 27 at the 59th Triennial Convention.  Shearon takes the place of Greg Junemann who announced his retirement earlier. IFPTE Legislative Director Matt Biggs is slated to become Secretary-Treasurer. The two were the only nominations for the union's highest offices. They will be seated in the new positions on June 28

“It is a great honor and privilege to accept your nomination and vote,” Shearon told the more than 127 delegates from across the United States and Canada attending the convention. “We, and all labor, certainly have challenges ahead. It’s nothing we can’t handle if we just stand up, fight back and organize!”

Shearon is a former NC Programmer at Boeing. He held a number of positions in SPEEA, including Council Rep, Council chair and a Technical Unit SPEEA Negotiation Team member. He then joined SPEEA staff as the organizer where he was instrumental with the effort that brought the Wichita Technical and Professional Unit (WTPU) into SPEEA.

He served 12 years as IFPTE Secretary-Treasurer helping locals in the United States and Canada organize new bargaining units and expand the ranks of the IFPTE.

SPEEA President Joel Funfar was one of several union leaders who stood before the convention to nominate Shearon.

“We know the great work Paul did for our local and Secretary-Treasurer,” Funfar said. “It’s an honor for SPEEA to see one of our own rise to the top of our international union.”

Shearon, who has maintained his SPEEA membership since advancing to the IFPTE, will serve a three-year term along with Biggs.

No impact on SPEEA
Janus decision hits federal, state, city unions

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate mandatory union fees for government employees effectively makes all government jobs a “right-to-work” job – meaning employees must voluntarily decide to join the union and pay their fair share.

While potentially devastating to government unions, this decision has NO impact on any SPEEA member. The Boeing Company, Spirit AeroSystems and Triumph Composite Systems are private employers and are not covered by this Supreme Court decision.

It does, however, impact many of our fellow local unions in the IFPTE that represent employees in the public sector. 

“We stand with our fellow IFPTE Locals in our firm belief that this ruling is wrong,” said Joel Funfar, SPEEA president. “It is an attack on workers and labor unions.”

The decision also has no effect on the requirement that all government employees in a bargaining unit receive the same representation, regardless if they are full, dues-paying members or pay nothing to the union.

Supreme Court deals big setback to labor unions
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that government workers can't be forced to contribute to labor unions. AP Article

Joint Communications - June 22, 2018                                                                  
WEU Negotiations update

WICHITA – After meeting daily for the past two weeks, Negotiation teams for SPEEA-represented engineers and Spirit AeroSystems agreed to break for the first part of summer and plan for reconvening in August.

While much work remains, discussions continue to be open and productive. To date, no complete offer has passed between teams.

During the break, teams will be analyzing and reviewing options. Both sides remain committed to working the issues and are hopeful for a positive outcome.

Last negotiated in 2012, the current contract expires Dec. 1, 2018. Negotiations will determine the next contract for the approximately 980 engineers at Spirit AeroSystems in the WEU. In addition to the engineers, there are about 1,650 technical and professional workers at Spirit covered by a separate contract.

Washington is clear choice for NMA!
Richard Aboulafia explains explains the metrics used in the Aerospace Competitive Economics Study that ranked Washington as the best location to design and manufacture Boeing's new airplane.
TVW link top press conference - June 6, 2018

SEATTLE -- Washington state is the best location in the U.S. to design, manufacture and ensure a successful launch of Boeing’s next airplane, according to a study performed by respected aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group.

Announced by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and the Choose Washington New Mid-Market Airplane Council, the study used 41 common metrics to produce the most comprehensive, data-driven state-by-state aerospace competitiveness study ever done.

“Washington comes way out on top,” Aboulafia said during a press conference to release the study at South Seattle Community College. “People can look at the data themselves and get the same outcome.”

Inslee said the state is well-positioned for the new airplane because of the extreme depth of experience and expertise in the engineers from SPEEA and Machinists.

“If you look at the total scores, it is obvious we are way out in front of the others,” Inslee said. “It’s really not even close.
Though wages may be lower in other locations, the study used common data points to weigh productivity as a factor in the cost. Machinists 751 President Jon Holden explained:

“The Teal Report looks not just at the basic cost of the labor, but they also looked at the output of that labor,” Holden said. “What they found is that machinists and engineers (SPEEA) here in Washington are very efficient and productive.  We produce more aerospace output per dollar cost of labor than almost anywhere else.”

SPEEA President Joel Funfar emphasized the point: “It’s a lot cheaper when you do it right the first time,” he said. “It is very clear when you look at all the factors that Washington is the best place to ensure success for the NMA.”

While Washington came out on top of the overall rankings, Kansas had a strong showing in several areas, including first in aerospace supplier density.

“I’m not surprised that Kansas was fourth,” Aboulafia said. “Wichita is the air capital of the world, with the greatest concentration of business aircraft and general aviation production and the skilled engineers and machinists needed to keep the state a leader in those markets.”

The Choose Washington NMA Council is led by business, labor, education, economic development and elected leaders.

More information on the council and the NMA effort is available at:

Read the full Aerospace Competitive Economics Study (ACES) report.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
Apply for Northwest Council STEM grant

If you’re a member volunteer working with students on Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Math (STEM), apply for a Northwest Council STEM grant.

The NW Council STEM grants are for non-profit organizations or institutions, with at least one Northwest SPEEA member participating (as a coach, mentor or parent).

STEM education grant application (click here) – deadline Aug. 15

For more information about the program, see Northwest Policy VII: Subsection B.4.

Apply for STEM Grant Review Committee

SPEEA is looking for members to apply for the NW Council STEM grant review committee. The committee meets a few times to review grant applications and make funding recommendations to the NW Council, which votes on the grant allocations.

If you’re interested, email your name and school district to by July 2.

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Eligibility extended two years
Trade Act Assistance available for laid-off Boeing workers

Workers laid-off by The Boeing Company in Washington state through August 9, 2019, are eligible to apply for training, income support, and other benefits through the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program (TAA or "Trade Act").

The eligibility dates were recently extended an additional two years as a result of a petition to the U.S. Labor Department by the International Association of Machinists (IAM), District 751 in partnership with SPEEA, IFPTE Local 2001. 

Laid-off workers will receive a letter detailing the benefits steps to apply for assistance.

Since Washington state extended the aerospace tax preferences (tax breaks) in November, 2013 to Boeing and the aerospace industry with the agreed intent to “maintain and grow Washington’s aerospace workforce” more than 3,500 SPEEA-represented employees have been laid off by the company. The most recent figures from July show that overall Boeing has shed 15,828 jobs from its Washington state workforce since the tax breaks were extended.

Additional information to help members facing layoff is available on the following SPEEA web pages:

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Ed Wells Partnership - Contract benefit
Resume and job-search workshops available

Ed Wells Partnership (EWP) recently added a number of resume and job-search workshops to its list of offerings. The workshops provide information about how to be successful searching for new jobs within Boeing.

Complete information and registration is available on the Boeing intranet
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