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October 2001

SPEEA Discount List

Updated SPEEA Discount List

Delegates attend convention

Aviation Week honors most-unionized Boeing plant

Focus on Negotiations - look for applications

SPEEA's Partnership with Boeing

Focus on Negotiations - Medical Coverage for MEDICARE


2001-2002 SPEEA Sonic game discounts

Discount on Nutcracker tickets

SPEEA campaigns for JSF

Classified Ads

Updated SPEEA Discount List

Inside this issue, you'll find the updated SPEEA Discount List. This list includes a variety of discounts for SPEEA members. Some of the more popular discounts include: Insurance (Auto, Homeowners, Long-Term Care, Life & AD&D) ... health care (dental, laser eye surgery, hearing aids, personal emergency monitoring systems, health club, podiatry and chiropractic) ... auto (purchase of new/used, leasing, tires, repair) ... publications (self-help books and magazines, including Aviation Week & PC World) ... audio/video (phones, wireless service, TV's, stereos) ... and services (legal, financial planning, mortgage, cleaners, travel and storage).

One member, Robert Emerick, purchased Long Term Care Insurance and reports the SPEEA discount amounted to over $630! He notes, this more than makes up for his annual dues with SPEEA.

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Delegates attend convention

SPEEA delegate Rob Christensen talks with keynote speaker Linda Chavez-Thompson, vice president of the AFL-CIO
U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, D-WA (left) chatted with SPEEA delegate Brenda Carlson

SPEEA members and staff attended their first ever Washington Sate Labor Council convention this summer as fully seated members.

The union sent four delegates and four alternates to the statewide convention in Wenatchee for three days of meetings, workshops and other business. Making the trip on behalf of the union were delegates Lori Bechtold, Judith Campbell, Chris Glenn and Robert Christensen. The four alternates were Alton Folks, Brenda Carlson, Kristin Farr and Executive Director Charles Bofferding. SPEEA member Karen Hikel also attended the convention as an alternate delegate for the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW).

A complete listing of convention business, actions and other material is available from the Washington State Labor Council website at

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Aviation Week honors most-unionized Boeing plant

WICHITA - Boeing workers here were riding high last month after learning that Aviation Week named Wichita as the winner of its 2001 Aviation Week Quality Center Award.

The magazine lauded Boeing, along with other aerospace firms with facilities in Wichita. Mayor Bob Knight said the people working at the facilities are "heroes." A Boeing representative said the award recognized a long-known fact that the Wichita workers are superior.

What is less known, but equally true, is that Wichita workers support their labor unions. The Boeing Wichita plant is the most highly-unionized plant in the Company.

"This is one more indication that union employees do make a company better," said Charles Bofferding, executive director of SPEEA. "Unions allow workers to join together and use their combined influence to make the company and its products better."

The Wichita Boeing plant employs about 17,000 workers. Virtually all of the plant's non-management workers are represented by labor unions. SPEEA represents about 5,500 employees at the plant.

The official awards ceremony is scheduled for October 16th in Long Beach, California.

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Focus on Negotiations 2002


The November 2001 SPEEA SPOTLITE will contain an Application for Negotiation Team for Puget Sound contracts, and Wichita's Engineering contract. If there is a good candidate in your area, please encourage him or her to submit an application. Orientation sessions will be scheduled, prior to deadline for applications.

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SPEEA's Partnership with Boeing - Helping build a better Boeing, and a better place to work for SPEEA members

By Maria Nelson, Contract Administrator

When SPEEA members ratified their current contract in March 2000 after their historic 40 day strike, they approved a contract that included the first Partnership Agreement between SPEEA and The Boeing Company.

Generally, this Partnership meant that Boeing, SPEEA and the SPEEA-represented employees at Boeing would work together to make Boeing "a world-class leader... through being a world-class place to work." A commitment was made to make this "A real partnership - based on mutual respect, on mutual commitment, and on mutual benefit."

Since that time, the Partnership has grown considerably in structure and involvement, and now can be seen and felt by the SPEEA membership in their day-to-day work lives.

The largest organization that has been an early leader for Partnership activities is Commercial Engineering, under the leadership of Hank Queen, Vice President - Engineering and Product Integrity. Through joint efforts with SPEEA, Queen set up an internal structure within Commercial Engineering to promote better utilization and job satisfaction of employees. This involves assessing the job satisfaction of each employee, and "engaging" employees to identify issues that need to be resolved in their work groups and involving the affected employees in designing the best solutions.

For organizational issues that cannot be addressed at the work group levels, Organizational Support Teams (which include SPEEA representatives) are trained in conducting conferences to bring about large-scale organizational change.

Managers are expected to show improvement in the job satisfaction level of the employees who directly report to them by addressing issues important to each employee and the work group. Various tools and support processes have been set up to assist managers in this new focus. The Ed Wells Initiative, a joint program between Boeing and SPEEA for the application of technical excellence, provided a set of workshops for managers and employees to help them make the changes.

The essential goal of this Partnership activity is to assist employees in focusing on the work, while managers focus on the people.

Other organizations that have been early leaders of the Partnership approach in the Puget Sound area have been Customer Support, Facilities and SHEA (Safety, Health and Environmental Affairs).

In each of these organizations, SPEEA Representatives, who are fulltime Boeing employees, work with Boeing management to identify issues important to the SPEEA membership and to Boeing, and then set up forums to address them. A few examples of these issues include:

  • The conversion to the Salaried Job Classification (SJC) system for engineers and technical employees and using the process more effectively for promotions/salary increases.
  • Identifying core competencies, which determine outsourcing requirements.
  • Improving organizational communications and providing opportunities for employee issues to be addressed.
  • Assistance with understanding and applying for Technical Fellowship programs.
  • Identification of, and selection guidelines for leads.
  • Training to help make the Performance Management process more successful.
  • Addressing guidelines and requirements for telecommuting.
  • Other recent developments in our Partnership activities include:
  • Boeing has involved SPEEA in the Company's push to rethink the DER system, and possibly the entire process for certifying planes.
  • Recent conversations with management in the Defense and Space organizations at Boeing have confirmed their interest in engaging jointly with SPEEA in Partnership activities.
  • Setting up monthly meetings between top Boeing and SPEEA leaders to encourage Partnership activities at Boeing locations where employees are represented by SPEEA and to determine how issues such as compensation should be addressed in a Partnership forum.
  • The Everett SPEEA Council Reps have moved their "Round Table" meetings with top Everett management from discussions to forums to devise solutions for ongoing member issues and problems.

Partnership efforts have also been active in Wichita. Their Midwest Quarterly Labor Management Business Review meetings include Directors, HR/Labor Relations and SPEEA Council Reps. At these meetings, the engineering directors provide an employment projection for the upcoming 3-6 months. They work with SPEEA towards a "common vision" to attain a competitive advantage. A Joint Oversight Committee brings management and SPEEA together to discuss issues such as retentions, performance management and secondary skill codes. Partnership efforts are underway for the new SPEEA Wichita Technical & Professional Unit also.

All in all, the Partnership between Boeing and SPEEA was created with the realization that both Boeing and SPEEA gain when they work together, and that we all lose when they don't. As a result, SPEEA members are benefiting by the opportunity to have a more direct influence on their work lives through the efforts of the Partnership.

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Focus on Negotiations

Medical Coverage for MEDICARE - Eligible Retirees
Those now Retired and those who will Retire Later - YOU!

By Dick Ferguson (retiree focal on Negotiations Prep Committee)

The Negotiation Preparation Committee is now meeting, discussing items that may be included in the 2002 negotiations. This committee has invited representation from the Engineering Retirees Society (ERS), a separate organization of formerly SPEEA-eligible people who are now retired. These people include those who retired from The Boeing Company before 1983 and those who retired last month. These people have a significant problem which they are asking the current employees in the SPEEA Bargaining Units to help them with.

At the time of retirement of the earliest retirees, there were two methods of calculating retirement "pay" - either by what is called the Basic or the Alternate retirement plans. Currently, the Basic plan pays, to those who have retired since the current labor contract between Boeing and SPEEA was negotiated, $50 per month for all years of credited service. For those who retired years ago, this figure goes down to $30 per month and even lower. You will notice that this figure has increased over the years. If you talk with a Boeing executive, especially one who has been involved in negotiations, you will be told that Boeing has provided an increase in the retirement pay essentially every year that there have been contract negotiations. And, this is correct, with respect to the basic benefit; however, today, not many employees retire under this plan.

For many years, the Alternate retirement plan has been more realistic with respect to the pay received upon retirement. The Alternate plan calculates retirement pay based upon: the employee's average salary for the last five years of employment, the years of service, a reduction for Social Security payments by the employer, and other factors. There has been only one "increase" in the calculation of that amount--in the 1989 negotiations, Boeing agreed to add a figure to the previously-calculated amount for those who had been retired over seven years (this would cover those retirees who had been negatively impacted by the "double-digit" inflation of the early 1970's). So, with the exception of that one increase, there has been no cost of living (or cost of inflation) retirement pay increase in the Alternate plan. As new retirees enter the pool of those who have left full-time employment of the Company, their higher average pay has given them a higher retirement payment.

In the early 1980's, the medical coverage (often referred to as the Boeing Medicare Supplement, although this is not an accurate title) for those people who have reached Medicare-eligible age cost the retirees about $25 per month per person, or about $50 dollars per month for a couple. By 1989, it had increased to $40 per person per month, $75 by 1991, then $64, $80, $104, $118, $134 and is now $172 per person per month, or $344 per month for a couple. These increases have been disastrous to the earlier retirees. One who retired in 1980 received $244.11 per month during 1981, less the medical premium of about $25 per person per month (net of $194.11); he received the 1989 "cost of living" payment and, since the recent increase to $172 per month per person, has seen his retirement check drop to about $46 per month when the medical premium for a couple is deducted. As you can see, the last premium increase was $38 per month per person, or $76 per month for a couple; when the next increase comes, if it is anywhere in that same range, this person will have nothing left of his retirement check.

The second part of the medical coverage for Medicare-eligible retirees comes more from looking at what other companies are doing than directly at what Boeing is now doing, although we can assume from what was attempted during the IAM and SPEEA negotiations in 1999 that it is possible that Boeing will make a further attack on the medical coverage. Many employers are trimming back or eliminating entirely retirement benefits to meet Wall Street demands for increasing profits. Some of the country's biggest companies have been accused of breaking their promises to retirees, including General Electric, General Motors, IBM, Sears Roebuck, Textron, the old Bell Telephone companies, Walt Disney and other household names. Companies are cutting benefits that include free, subsidized or merely available lifetime medical coverage. Between 5 million and 10 million retirees are paying more for medical coverage, have lost it altogether, or find themselves doing the "medical plan shuffle" - moving in retirement and then having to travel long distances to find a doctor who is part of their medical plan.

There is no guarantee of medical coverage for the retiree. Those of us who have depended upon the "Boeing Medicare Supplement" are concerned that Boeing will take away this coverage, and we will be left with only Medicare, which isn't all that great. You have to pay the first day's charge for a hospital room, Medicare only covers 80% of what they approve for other items (they don't necessarily allow the full charge from the medical supplier), etc. This can leave the retiree with a significant remainder to pay when the bill arrives. However, the Boeing medical insurance picks up 80% of the remainder, which helps a lot. But, if Boeing increases the premium, cuts the coverage or, even, cancels all coverage, those who are retired will be badly hurt. What the retirees are looking for, for themselves and for those of you who will be retiring in the future, is guaranteed medical coverage.

So, for those of you who are still working for The Boeing Company, but who hope to retire one of these days, look ahead to protect yourselves, and help those who have supported SPEEA and negotiations for many years by helping to get guaranteed medical coverage, and either capped medical premiums or increases in the retirement pay which will permit the retirees to pay the premiums and still have money left over to live on. This is very important to the current retirees, and it will be very important to you when you retire.

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SPEEA secures NONIND leave for Wichita engineers

SPEEA-represented engineers in Wichita can now use non-industrial leave with pay (NONIND) for partial day absences starting September 1, 2001 without having to first exhaust their unreserved sick leave accounts.

The policy change allows employees to use NONIND for medical and dental appointments and other partial-day absences where employees previously had to use "sick leave".

SPEEA recently negotiated a side letter with the Company outlining the change.

The change for Wichita engineers comes on the heels of a similar change for the Puget Sound bargaining units.

The Company could have chosen to fight this issue in regards to Wichita engineers. Instead, they chose to enter a principled dialogue on the matter and ultimately chose to adopt more favorable terms for SPEEA-represented employees. SPEEA exempt employees should continue to attempt scheduling of medical appointments during non-working hours whenever possible. When using paid time off, SPEEA exempt employees should consider flexing their hours to help the Company reduce costs.

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Case History - Miscommunication

After being on Medical Leave since the beginning of 2001, a member was released to go back to work the day after Memorial Day. The member called Payroll about the possibility of receiving holiday pay. Assured that holiday pay would be included, the member was surprised later when it was not. Calling back to inquire about the situation, the member was informed that the wrong information was conveyed the first time and told that the holiday pay would not be paid out.

If the correct information had been relayed, the member would have had the return date switched to the Friday before the holiday to ensure receiving holiday pay. Because of the error on the part of the Payroll employee, the member lost a day of pay. Unable to afford the loss of one day of pay after being on medical leave for so long, the member called SPEEA. Contract Administrator Shelvy Brown immediately got involved and discussed the situation with Union Relations Representatives Jack Black and Joyce Rempel. Mr. Brown made the case that the fault was not the employee's, who received the wrong information that clearly cost our member a day of pay. Mr. Black and Ms. Rempel had no choice but to reimburse our member for the lost day of pay.

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IAM/SPEEA Labor Day at Joyland

Boeing-Wichita's IAM Local lodge 854 graciously invited SPEEA and their families to participate in the IAM's annual Labor Day picnic at Joyland Amusement Park. Members enjoyed rides, refreshments and a chance in a raffle drawing. (Congratulations to winning SPEEA member Brandon Brammer!)

Over 2300 union supporters attended, including nearly a thousand SPEEA members and families, making it the largest annual union event in Kansas.

Go here to view a photo gallery

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Wichita selects CLUW delegate

Linda Newell has been chosen to represent the SPEEA Midwest Region at the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) convention in Las Vegas this October 4th - 7th.

Linda has worked at Boeing for 21 years. She has been active as a volunteer in school and church committees. She is currently the chairperson for the SPEEA Women's Advocacy Committee (WAC).

WAC focuses on problems and issues of particular concern to women employees. She is interested in establishing a CLUW chapter in Wichita. Issues that concern Linda are equal pay for women, recognition for a job well done, women's rights for lactating rooms and nurseries, and elder care.

Linda will attend the convention and hopes to gather information to help make the workplace better for all women. She plans to bring back copies of the handouts from the convention and will report to the Midwest Council and WAC on her activities at the convention.

If you would like more information on either organization, please contact Lacey at the SPEEA office at (316) 682-0262. The Women's Advocacy Committee meets at 4 p.m. on payday Thursdays at the SPEEA office, 973 S. Glendale.

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SPEEA campaigns for JSF

The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace started meeting with Congressional leaders this month in an effort to help secure the largest military
contract in U.S. history for Boeing.

Union leaders mailed letters to U.S. Senators and started meeting with key congressional leaders, including Missouri's U.S. Senators, in a show of united support for Boeing's entry into the JSF competition.

"Anytime the jobs of technical workers at Boeing are involved, SPEEA will be there," said Charles Bofferding, executive director of SPEEA. "It's clear our engineers have designed the best aircraft and we are certainly willing to help convey that to the decision-makers."

Boeing is in competition with Lockheed Martin for what is expected to be the largest contract for a fighter aircraft in history. The winner of the contract will be chosen in late October.

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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:

15205 52nd Ave S - Seattle, Washington 98188
(206) 248-3990

Classified advertising is also available on Boeing's internal web at

Changing jobs or retiring?

Do you know what to do with your pension/profit sharing/401(k) distribution?

Should you take it in a lump sum, establish an IRA rollover or pay taxes with special tax averaging?

These decisions have significant tax and earnings implications, so you'll want to discuss them with people who have professional training and the dedication to help you plan for a secure future.

Give Morgan Stanley a call today and we'll help you develop a financial plan. A free Employer Plan Distribution Analysis is available without obligation.

Kevin B. Cahoon
Associate Vice President
Retirement Planning Specialist
Financial Advisor

601 Union Street, Suite 2900
Seattle, WA
(206) 464-4014
(800) 733-4873



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Home for Sale: Kittitas, WA, 3Bdrm, 1 bath on city lot. New paint, carpet, landscaping, 110k. Contact: Chuck (509) 968-3514.

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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.

Italian city/country vacation rentals. For more information:; Call: (425)836-1017; Email:

Fairfield Resorts: 1-4BR penthouse, comforts of home. Available at popular vacation/entertainment spots in USA. Reasonable prices. For reservation (316) 946-0806 or email


R.E.D. (Rescue Every Dog) - We rescue many dogs and cats for adoption. Call us. (253) 891-2738.


'99 Pontiac Grand Am GT, one owner, great condition, V6, AT, AC, CD, spoiler, sunroof, so much more! Scott (206) 669-1078.

2000 Ford Escort ZX2 21.9K miles, factory warranty, mint, 5 spd, dual power mirrors, dual airbag, AM/FM Cassette, reclining bucket seats, tinted windows, 10,500 OBO. (253) 661-7721.


19' Glasply '77 Cuddy Cabin, 200 HP '79 Evin., 15 HP '85 Evin., canvas, EZ loader, good condition, many extras. $4900. Phil (360) 658-3863.

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50 year old cameras, portrait, still. (206) 772-6337.


Walnut console piano, 40 inches tall. Excellent condition. $450 obo. (425) 432-9783.


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Responsible UW Student looking for work as part-time nanny. 6+ years of experience with infants thru pre-teen. Can transport to sports practice etc. Prefer Everett & surrounding areas. Contact Angela (425) 750-8048.

Education Station. Editing: business, school reports, papers. One-on-one tutoring K-12, adult. Speed reading, reading/language arts, basic math, Brain Gym. Kent East-Hill. (253) 850-3371.

Recycled laser printer cartridges. Le$$ expensive than buying new, 100% guaranteed, pick-up and delivery included. Call 1-888-608-1674 or (425) 353-3597.

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For sale: Unique ring, gold setting with 35-year Boeing service pin, jewels from previous service pins added. Assessed retail value $573; make offer. (620) 442-4973.

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Fishing tackle: seeking those forgotten tackle boxes in the garage or attic containing wooden bass or salmon plugs, reel, creels, bamboo poles & old fishing books. Call Larry (425) 392-1632 evenings.

Subscription rate: $2 per year, $2 of the annual membership dues is paid as a year's subscription to the SPEEA SPOTLITE.

Reproduction rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission of the editor. When permission is granted, material must be used in context and credit given to the SPEEA SPOTLITE.

Original articles and feedback are solicited.

Executive Director, Charles Bofferding
Chairman of Communications, Jerry Robinson

Communications Director , Bill Dugovich
Editor, Robbi Alberts
Art Direction, Wayne Schwisow

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Art Direction, Wayne Schwisow

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