More than 5,600 SPEEA-represented employees received upgrades and salary increases as a result of conversion to the Salaried Job Classification (SJC) system, according to recent information released by the Company.
A total pool of $20,860,800 was spent on salary increases, to accompany management-approved level upgrades. This figure represents about 1.7% of total salaries in the Professional and Technical bargaining units.
The total salary increases exceeded original estimates for all bargaining units. In all, about 28% of SPEEA-represented employees received upgrades under SJC. Promotional raises were included in employees' November 22nd paychecks. Increases are retroactive to October 6th.
About 39% of engineers in the Puget Sound Professional Unit received raises under SJC. More than $16.8 million was distributed (2.22% of current salaries). In all, 4,224 engineers received upgrades.
The $16.8 million distributed was more than double the $7.5 million originally earmarked by the Company for SJC promotional raises in the PS Prof unit.
The percentage of increases was similar in the Wichita Professional Unit where 35% of engineers received upgrades. The breakdown shows 440 employees received upgrades, resulting in a total distribution of $1,387,600 (1.65% of current salaries).
The Wichita contract also called for 1%, or $775,000, to be spent funding SJC promotional activity during the conversion.
The Puget Sound Tech Unit was already based on levels and, as such, conversion to the SJC system produced fewer upgrades. Total SJC increases in the Tech Unit totaled $2.6 million (0.68% of the current salary pool).
A total of 1,005 Tech employees (or 12.5%) received upgrades. The Tech contract called for a minimum of 0.5%, or $1,950,530, to be spent funding SJC promotional activity during the conversion.
The table below illustrates these figures:
SPEEA has produced a brochure "How to pursue your SJC upgrade" outlining how members can challenge their classification.
WICHITA - SPEEA's newest bargaining unit has a name and a negotiation team.
Recent balloting of the 4,200 employees in the bargaining unit resulted in the name SPEEA "Wichita Technical & Professional Unit." The balloting occurred as part of the member survey that was mailed to pay code 2 and 6 employees this fall.
The new bargaining unit also has a negotiation team. The Midwest Regional Council confirmed the team on December 14th.
Selected for the team were, Bob Brewer, Charles Coleman, Teresa Coleman, Steve Smith and Eldon Troutman.
Bob Brewer is an Acquisition Planner in Facilities at Boeing and a current Area Representative for SPEEA. Not a stranger to labor or negotiations, Brewer spent six years as an IAM member and has also served on the Company's side during some previous negotiations.
Charles Coleman has been an active member of the legal community for more than 15 years. He is currently a Material Management Analyst at Boeing.
Teresa Coleman (no relation to Charles), is an office administrator for Boeing. She has been an active member of the Survey Team and is currently an Area Rep for SPEEA.
Stephen Smith, a technical writer, served as an Area Rep and was recently elected as Council Rep for SPEEA.
Eldon Troutman, a 20-year employee at the Wichita plant, is a Technical Designer 3.
Our salaries are too low. Even factoring in the final installment of our settlement fee, and the upcoming selective pools (part guaranteed!), our salaries are too low.
For Engineers, this is widely acknowledged, up to and including the highest levels. Management has expressed frustration over their inability to "work the problem" under the current system. I am confident that this will be addressed, though I do not know when and by how much.
Objective data for Techs are more difficult to come by, but evidence suggests Tech salaries also are too low. We hear from many sources that graduates of local technical colleges consider Boeing the employer of last resort. Techs who leave Boeing, both voluntarily and through layoff, generally find new jobs at higher salaries. Workers themselves strongly believe their salaries are below market.
SJC should allow the Company to make a more accurate market comparison of Technical Unit jobs. I am confident we already know the answer. Tech salaries are too low.
From the management and shareholder perspective, paying low wages may seem like a bargain. They view it as a strategy for increasing profit. This is, of course, flawed thinking. Long-term underpayment will create a resentful workforce with the concomitant (and expensive) symptoms of high attrition, low morale, challenging recruitment and scarcity of "best and brightest" in the workplace.
Alternatively, when the Company establishes pay principles and practices that we in the workplace feel are fair, reasonable and appropriate, our energy shifts to providing value to our organization. We focus on products and processes, confident that appropriate salary adjustments will follow, and confident that we will be in an environment full of excellent workers.
Boeing management talks about solving problems of attrition, recruiting, and morale in general. They talk about re-establishing Boeing as "the preferred place to have a career." We share these goals. We can think of many possible ways to improve the career environment from the current hire/fire mentality.
There are many ways to attack these problems and concerns. Boeing could work to offset training and process improvement cycles with boom business cycles. The Company could improve lateral movement possibilities across global Boeing and better match skills with worker assignments.. Boeing could establish a sabbatical program and create lend-lease arrangements with other industries and academia. SPEEA would be happy to work with the Company to investigate and develop these and other options through the Partnership, Ed Wells Initiative and existing Joint Discussion Groups.
Money is not the most important ingredient when a system is functioning right; but when the overall People policy is dysfunctional, money feels to many like the only thing. There are many ways SPEEA can work with Boeing management to create a more functional People environment. We are committed to doing so. But step one is clear - raise our pay.
SPEEA selects Delegates to local Labor Councils
SPEEA "made history" several times in the past few years. Following our strike, we made history again by joining various local labor councils where our members reside. Our Executive Board has appointed the following representatives to serve as SPEEA delegates on their respective labor councils:
Joining these labor councils was an important step for SPEEA. Not only have we been accepted into the greater labor community, we have been received with great enthusiasm. We look forward to building on this new opportunity to demonstrate our Solidarity with organized labor.
Members appointed to Joint Committees
Several joint committees were set up (or renewed) in recent negotiations. Volunteers were sought earlier this year to staff SPEEA's side of these joint contractual committees, and the following appointments have been made by SPEEA's Executive Board. These members and Staff focals have begun meeting on a regular basis with management representatives to review related issues:
Wichita SPEEA to hold Open House January 24
WICHITA - Meet the new staff members and visit your expanded office as we open the doors to SPEEA's new office for an Open House from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday, January 24.
All members are invited and encouraged to stop by and see the new facilities. Contract Administrator Jim Singletary will introduce Shelvy Brown, recently hired as a contract administrator. We also hope to have a secretary on staff during January.
The new expanded Wichita SPEEA office (973 S. Glendale) is right down the walkway from our old office (949 S. Glendale). Stop by, enjoy some snacks and refreshments and meet your SPEEA staff.
What a year it was!
Stalled negotiations...mass walkout...40 day strike...community support...successful conclusion and "walk back in"...new 4200 member bargaining unit organized in Wichita..."yes" vote on Agency Fee...huge increase in membership..."yes" vote on restructuring SPEEA
SPEEA contracts expired in early December 1999. Negotiations continued following an overwhelming rejection of the Company's first contract offer (by 98% and 99%) in December. A second offer was lifted from the table on January 13th and mailed out to members for a vote.
On February 2nd, ballots were counted on the second contract offer with another rejection (Profs voted 51% NO, and Techs voted 62% NO). Members clamored for a strike. In consideration of a rare request of the highest officer of the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service (FMCS), SPEEA agreed to postpone its intent to strike the next day. The mediator called the parties together on Monday and Tuesday, February 7 and 8. On Tuesday afternoon, it became evident there would be no movement by Company negotiators, so SPEEA's Negotiation Teams called for a strike to begin Wednesday morning, February 9th with a walkout at 9:00 a.m. It is estimated over 19,000 Boeing engineers and technical workers walked out on February 9th.
Thus began our historic 40-day Strike! Community support and help from the house of labor were overwhelming! Success stories out of the workplace rallied and united the strikers. Thousands of new volunteers stepped forward to coordinate the picketing. They stood together, strong - both members and nonmembers - for 40 long days (to the surprise of the Company, the community and the labor movement!)
During the strike, over $514,000 was contributed to the SPEEA Striker Relief Fund - donations came from non-represented co-workers, from other labor unions, from the community, and from SPEEA members in Wichita.
During the strike, members elected the following to a two-year term on the Executive Board: Secretary Jerry Robinson, Treasurer Richard Taylor, and Member-at-Large Linda Gilmore.
Contract negotiations resumed in Washington, DC and, on March 17th, the parties suddenly announced a third offer had been lifted from the table. This was the direct result of intervention by the AFL-CIO, with the assistance of the Federal mediator and many others in government and industry (thanks to meetings arranged by our international representatives at IFPTE). The team returned to Seattle and held a series of area meetings to share the offer with members. An immediate vote was conducted at Seattle Center on Sunday, March 19th and this third offer was accepted by 71%.
Ending their walkout, strikers marched back into the workplace at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, March 20, 2000. IFPTE President Paul Almeida referred to this event as "the highlight of my career in the labor movement".
The settlement was viewed as a huge victory, and SPEEA was the talk of nearly every labor union in the country. News of the strike and settlement was included in news publications around the world. One union wrote: "SPEEA members held fast and scored a significant victory for all whom count ourselves part of the progressive labor movement. The courage and solidarity of your members has been an inspiration - and should serve as a warning to executives that companies that fail to treat their workers with respect will never be truly successful."
DER's (Designated Engineering Reps) played an important role in helping to end the strike. SPEEA created a DER Concerns Committee to "promote the integrity of commercial airplane certification and continued airworthiness processes".
Part of the strike settlement was a "Working Together Partnership Agreement". Top leaders of management and the union began meeting regularly to discuss ways to resolve issues important to each of us.
Thanks to the SPEEA Women's Advocacy Committee, the fourth successful "Women on the Move" annual forum was held at the WestCoast Bellevue Hotel on Thursday, May 4th. Panelists included Judy Banel (BAS, Interiors Mods Manager), Deborah Limb (BCAG Director, Customer Quality), Kay Blohowiak (Associate Tech Fellow) and Linda Gilmore (Prof Negotiation Team member).
Mark Moshay, local labor leader, was hired by SPEEA on Monday, May 8th to fill the position of contract administrator, working out of our Everett office.
The following Council Officers were elected to a one-year term: Chair Pat Waters, Vice Chair Jimmie Mathis, Secretary Ron Mathes, and Program Chair Sharon Moats.
Effective May 25th, Stan Sorscher was hired onto SPEEA's staff to serve as a Labor Representative. Stan had been a SPEEA activist who served on the Executive Board and as chair of the Prof Unit Negotiation Team.
On June 1st, 200 Boeing engineers and techs in Corinth, TX voted by over 80% to reject SPEEA as their bargaining representative.
SPEEA members gathered the first weekend of June in eastern Washington for our 5th Annual Camping/Whitewater Rafting trip - camping at Bridgeport State Park and rafting the Methow River.
At their monthly meeting, the SPEEA Council voted unanimously to endorse a YES vote on Agency Fee.
SPEEA's Annual Recognition Banquet was held Friday, June 9th. A highlight was the Lifetime Achievement Award given to long-time SPEEA activist Bob Schellhase who announced his retirement. The fourth annual Stephen Pezzini H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Excel) Award went to Bill Barrett. And a special Top Leadership Award went to Council Chair Pat Waters.
SPEEA's Annual Leadership Conference was held Saturday, June 10th. Guest speakers included: Ed Maher (corporate consultant who reviewed various approaches to our Partnership Agreement); Dr. Ruth Huwe (who spoke on conflict management, and team interpersonal approaches), and Andy Banks (faculty at George Meany Center for Labor Studies who talked about how SPEEA can maintain the momentum gathered during the strike, preparing for next negotiations).
Jon Wright was hired by SPEEA during the summer months to help with organizing and other related activities.
At an event on June 24th, SPEEA was named "Organizer of the Year" - "for their inspiring, united and victorious strike of 2000 at Boeing"- by the Labor Education and Research Center's Summer School for Union Organizing at Evergreen State College.
On June 29th - following a hard-fought union avoidance battle waged by The Boeing Company - a majority of the 4,000+ nonrepresented salaried employees in Wichita, KS voted in favor of SPEEA representation. Boeing's later objections to this election were overruled by the National Labor Relations Board. Preparations began for bargaining their initial contract.
BCAG Engineering VP Walt Gillette returned to address the SPEEA Council at their meeting on July 13th. He reported management was studying attrition figures and looking at ways to combat the rising numbers.
SPEEA sold 1,493 discounted tickets to Wild Waves/Enchanted Parks for four dates this summer, saving members over $19,424!
SPEEA resumed holding its Annual Picnic on Saturday, July 15th at Woodland Park. Over 150 SPEEA members and their families participated in the picnic, games and prizes.
SPEEA members elected 15 delegates to attend our first IFPTE Triennial Convention, held July 24-27 in Las Vegas, Nevada - Charles Bofferding, Craig Buckham, Tom McCarty, Alan Rice, Kristin Farr, Lucy Brokaw, Ron Mathes, Pat Waters, Richard Taylor, Rich Plunkett, Chris Glenn, Jeff Stone, Lisa Washburn, Gary Hamatani, and Lynda Maynard. Joe Newberry represented Wichita. Members also selected Craig Buckham and Charles Bofferding for appointment as SPEEA's Regional Vice Presidents for IFPTE.
On July 22nd, 48 golfers participated in SPEEA's 6th Annual Golf Tournament at West Seattle Golf Course. Top foursome in the best ball scramble was Craig Roloff, Steve Ichihara, Robert Battraw and Teresa Jo Poplawski.
SPEEA ordered "commemorative strike pins" for those members who spent 40 days on the picket line earlier this year.
On August 7th, SPEEA bargaining unit employees (members and nonmembers) voted in favor of Agency Fee. In separate votes, Profs accepted by 64% and Techs by 77%. SPEEA membership increased to over 85%.
During the year, SPEEA sold 209 discounted opera tickets for Barber of Seville and Lucia di Lammermoor, saving SPEEA members over $5,145.
SPEEA learned we were highlighted on the 2001 Labor History Calendar - there's a reference on February 9th to the SPEEA strike.
Long-time SPEEA staff member Kurt Hanson, who had been serving as Co-director for the Ed Wells Initiative, was reassigned to SPEEA Headquarters to expand the Union's research and information systems capabilities. He is also working with Wichita contract administrator Jim Singletary to negotiate the first collective bargaining agreement for the new bargaining unit in Wichita.
Effective September 1st, SPEEA hired Bill Dugovich to serve as Communications Director. Bill had previously worked with SPEEA as our PR consultant through several negotiations and during the recent strike.
The Council appointed Bill Clogston to serve a three-year term on SPEEA's Judicial Review Committee.
SPEEA published attrition rates for our bargaining units, showing the rate peaking at 20% (annualized) in April for engineers, and dropping to 12-13% in August. The trend for Techs approached a 10% annualized rate. In a survey of employees leaving Boeing, many had found better pay and better utilization of their skills at their new employer.
At a special meeting on September 28th, the SPEEA Council voted unanimously to authorize a referendum to the membership that would revise the SPEEA constitution and implement a restructure of our organization.
At their October 12th meeting, Council Reps shared a conversation with Dave Swain (Sr. VP of Engineering & Technology, President of Phantom Works), who was appointed by Phil Condit to head up the "Partnership Agreement". Dave vowed to improve communications with employees, solicit their ideas to improve the business, and work through the Partnership to help bring about necessary changes.
In an effort to educate members prior to elections, SPEEA published in our October SPOTLITE the legislative questionnaire responses received from national election candidates from Washington State.
In a meeting arranged by the FMCS office in Washington, DC, on November 7th SPEEA leaders met with representatives from the Labour Relations Commission of Dublin, Ireland. They discussed similarities and differences of labor relations in both the U.S. and Ireland, and talked about SPEEA's 40-day strike and the subsequent "Partnership Agreement".
At the November 9th Council meeting, Larry Howard presented an overview of the "Skills Management System" being implemented at Boeing. SMS will allow quick and efficient identification of individuals with proper skills or interests to be considered for job openings within Boeing.
Referendum ballots were counted on November 29th, and members voted by 85% to revise SPEEA's Constitution to implement a restructure of our organization.
Also on November 29th, members of the new Wichita bargaining unit elected their first Council Representatives.
SPEEA sold 345 discounted Nutcracker tickets to SPEEA members, saving them over $2,802!
On December 2nd, SPEEA held "Santa Day" at our Tukwila and Everett offices. Special thanks to our Santas (Gene Blackman in Tukwila; and Dave Fisher in Everett) and all of their helpers (Chris Glenn, Jeff Stone & family, Judy Blackman, Laurel Reiff, and Bob & Virginia Secrest).
Discount tickets were sold for selected games for the Seattle Thunderbirds (hockey) and Seattle Sonics (basketball).
During the year, nearly 6,100 employees were recruited as SPEEA members, bringing our total membership percentage to over 85%.
Wichita's new bargaining unit elected their Negotiation Team members on December 14th: Bob Brewer, Charles Coleman, Teresa Coleman, Steve Smith, and Eldon Troutman. Preparations have begun to negotiate the initial contract for this unit. By early December, 1211 employees in the new bargaining unit had signed up as SPEEA members.
To accommodate our expanding staff, SPEEA Headquarters will be undergoing some office remodeling over the holiday break.
To service our growing membership, Wichita recently moved its office down the street to a larger facility at 973 S. Glendale, Wichita, KS 67218-9927.
Valuable contribution of "Web Wizards"
During the strike, the Internet played an extremely important role in keeping strikers up-to-date about events and the status of their efforts.
SPEEA Staff attempted to assure the information on its website (www.speea.org) was kept up to date. Followers applauded the site as a valuable resource for keeping spirits high through the posting of "success stories". The site was also a good resource for job postings and for announcing last-minute events.
Several other websites were set up during the strike by interested SPEEA members. One site(http://www.fitermania.com/ speea/)was set up by Chuck Fiterman. His discussion board allowed people to discuss everything they were feeling-from criticisms to successes to anger to happiness. Chuck kept his site alive for people to discuss post-strike activities as well.
Another site (www.speea.com) was set up by Rocke Koreis. It kept a humorous focus on the situation, and received over 5000 emails and 100,000 unique visitors from all over the world. The Boston Globe called Rocke's website and others that cropped up afterward "revolutionary in the labor movement".
Thanks to these members and others for their positive contributions!
By Ray McBain
For most workers, the "face" of SPEEA is the face of their Council Rep. At least, that's how it is supposed to work.
Why should members know who holds the position of Council Rep in their work area? Because everyone who is covered by a SPEEA contract could at some time have an immediate need for their union rep. The Council Rep is the union's front-line worker. Whether the need is for information or to help defend a fellow worker against unfair, irrational or otherwise unjustified action by management, the Council Rep should be the easiest and quickest avenue to access union services.
When it comes to defending employees against unfair practices, a SPEEA Council Rep holds the same protected-by-law position as a Shop Steward in the IAM.
Using your Council Rep to access information is easy. Knowing when to pull them into service for workplace issues is more difficult.
If, as a worker, you are called in by management to a meeting at which you believe discipline will be discussed, you have the right to:
1) Delay the meeting until after you have conferred with your Council Rep.
2)Keep silent during the meeting if man-agement has refused to delay it to a time when your Council Rep can be present.
3) Allow your Council Rep to speak on your behalf at the meeting.
4) Request and receive a private caucus with your Council Rep in a private room at any time during the meeting.
5) Defer your decision to accept discipline or action until you have the chance to confer privately with your Council Rep (and/or with a SPEEA Contract Administrator).
SPEEA continually examines its own actions on behalf of members and other represented employees. We want to improve. Having an active Council Rep structure is essential for SPEEA to operate correctly.
If you don't know who your Council Rep is, it's time to find out!
Strike Video provides keepsake
SPEEA member Steve Kress video-taped numerous strike-related events throughout the 40 days that members walked the picket line. He has since compiled the footage into a single VHS tape and is selling copies for $5 each. If you'd like to order one, you can contact Steve at email@example.com.
New Pension Service Center for SPEEA-Represented Employees
Pension administration for employees represented by SPEEA moved to the Boeing Pension Service Center effective January 2, 2001.
SPEEA-represented employees can now call the Boeing Pension Service Center at 1-800-356-7240 (hearing impaired: 1-800-356-7287) if they have questions. The Service Center mailed personal identification numbers (PINs) to the affected employees on or about December 18.
For security reasons, employees must change their assigned PINs to four-digit numbers of their choice. Employees may want to designate and remember a single PIN for all their benefits needs. However, when selecting PINs, employees should not choose their dates of birth, any part of their Social Security numbers, sequential numbers, or all the same number.
Employees who lose or forget their PINs should call the Pension Service Center as soon as possible to request new ones. It may take up to 10 days to receive new assigned PINs at their home addresses. Once they receive new PINs, the employees must contact the service center to change the PINs to a four-digit number of their choosing.
Employees must have their PINs available, along with their Social Security numbers, any time they call a benefits service center.
IFPTE offers Scholarships
Since SPEEA is affiliated with IFPTE (International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers) as Local 2001, high school-seniors related to SPEEA members are eligible to apply for IFPTE Scholarship Awards.
The 7th annual scholarship award of $1,500 for tuition will be granted to each of three eligible high-school seniors: one in the Federal Sector, one in the Private Sector, and one in the Public Sector. [SPEEA is in the "private" sector.] The scholarship is open to children and grandchildren of IFPTE (i.e., SPEEA) members.
You can download the information packet and official entry form from their website at www.ifpte.org-or call (301) 565-9016.
Students will need to submit: (1) official transcripts of high school grades, (2) a minimum 500 word essay on the topic "What Being a Member of a Union Family has Meant to Me?", and (3) a completed application.
Application deadline is March 15, 2001. Applications should be mailed to: IFPTE Scholarship, 8630 Fenton Street, Suite 400, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910.
Winners will be chosen on the basis of their essays (40%), academic achievement (20%), and school & community activities (40%). Judging will be done by two representatives from the Education Department of the AFL-CIO, and by the Director of the George Meany Center for Labor Studies. Winners will be selected on or about May 1, 2001.
RULES FOR CLASSIFIED ADS
Classified Advertising is provided free-of-charge to SPEEA members. The editor has full and final authority to make decisions concerning publication of each ad. SPEEA is not responsible for the authenticity or validity of ads or the quality of merchandise advertised in the SPOTLITE.
Ads are limited to 25 words or less, must be received by the 10th of the previous month and receive priority on a "first-come, first-serve" basis. To submit an ad, include your name, address, home and work phone numbers, and your clock number. Ads are published once and must be resubmitted for each subsequent monthly publication. No more than two ads per member can be accepted each month. Submit your completed ad by:
is also available on Boeing's internal web at http://classifieds.web.boeing.com
Maui Condo: Beautiful setting - Ocean view Comforts of home, 1BD, 1BA, SLP4, discounts offered, children 12 and under free. Owner (253) 839-6705 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cabin at Copalis Beach, WA (5 miles north of Ocean Shores). Sleeps 5. Two blocks from beach. $75.00 per night. For information call (253)529-5444.
Alta saxaphone Bundy II. Used but reconditioned with new pads. Comes with case. Good shape. Needs to be polished (not sure of polish to use). $275 cash/money order. Tony (425) 315-9849.
Control your weight now! Reduce those unwanted pounds & inches with a simple and effective weight management program. Call Patty at (206) 953-7622 for more information.
(2) steel Ford rims (black), (2) alloy Morc rims. All 14", 4 lug, for Ford. Good snow rims. (253) 589-4843
Real sheepskin covers for rear bench seat. Pearl white color. Will fit large car. Has center armrest opening. 6 months used but still new. Never smoked on, excellent condition. Paid $500/sell $300. Tony (425) 315-9849.
International nutrition, weight loss & skin care company needs help with sales & recruiting. Part time, full time, free training, high profits. Call (206) 300-5814 or (206) 953-7622.
Professional wedding photographer, will develop and print film, and deliver BOTH proofs and negatives for the set price of $1,000. Sarah Church (253) 946-6950.
rate: $2 per year, $2 of the annual membership dues is paid as a year's subscription
to the SPEEA SPOTLITE.
Art Direction, Wayne Schwisow
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