Corner - Challenge for today...
The beginning of
the New Year finds us preparing for negotiations while struggling
with the adversity of Boeing downsizing.
Contracts for Wichita
Engineers and for all represented employees within the Puget
Sound bargaining units expire near the end of the year. Negotiations
will be tough and we are preparing in several ways.
We are selecting
members to serve on the Negotiation Teams, subjecting applicants
to an intensive interview process. The Council will make the
final selection in mid-February. We have many top-notch candidates.
I am glad that the specter of the last negotiations has not
scared away all the good people. When joined with our experienced
professional staff, combined with the resources of the AFL/CIO,
we are sure to have a remarkably capable team.
Preparation Committee is examining the feedback from last
year's survey in order to prepare a second more detailed survey
to assess member priorities. It should come as no surprise
that early indications are that job security is a larger issue
than ever before. We will continue with area meetings, membership
polls and general communications to develop and refine our
proposals. We will be well prepared to represent the interests
and needs of the Boeing technical community. Our members are
top performers who expect and deserve fair, reasonable and
appropriate compensation. We will be ready and willing to
make this happen.
Downsizing at SPEEA
Concern over airline
financial troubles has prompted the Company to project a 30%
reduction in Commercial Airplane employment this year. Serving
our members under these circumstances presents a serious challenge.
Boeing employees are under stress and sensitive about everything
that happens in the workplace. This creates a situation where
the SPEEA staff is busier than ever. At the same time, we
face the possibility of a 30% loss of membership and the dues
income those members produce.
Our plan is to
meet the needs of members to the best of our ability by retaining
staff. We are meeting the cost challenge by reducing and deferring
expenses wherever we can. We may ask staff to seriously limit
overtime. We will make do with the current facilities and
equipment. If Boeing employment actually drops by 30% and
stays that way for a protracted period, we may need to adjust
our staffing. We will, to the best of our ability, do this
through attrition and finding positive opportunities for our
people. We will not respond to fear of the future with an
immediate layoff plan. Fortunately, we are in a healthy financial
state. Our Agency Fee arrangement has allowed us to meet the
increased costs and challenges of the new SPEEA without changing
our dues formula for now. In addition, we have also allowed
a safe cushion in our budget. We should be able to continue,
even with the serious Boeing downsizing, without sacrificing
our most valuable resources and without sacrificing our ability
to meet the challenges of our members and the future.
Our plan for SPEEA
is similar to what we advocate for Boeing - focus on the needs
of our customers, take care of the employees that service
those needs, and acknowledge the other stakeholders. In our
case, the customers are SPEEA members. The other stakeholders
include Labor organizations as well as the rest of the extended
There are already
signs that Boeing may have over-reacted. The long-term business
prospects of manufacturing airplanes and delivering airplane
services are still strong. Let's hope that Boeing retains
enough expertise to meet this opportunity. Rest assured, SPEEA
FROM MIDWEST REGION
named as new Ed Wells administrator
SPEEA, in partnership
with Boeing, is proud to announce the arrival of a new Ed
Wells Initiative program administrator. Tena Mason
assumed responsibility for the Ed Wells program in Wichita
on January 21, 2002.
The Ed Wells Initiative
is a Boeing/SPEEA joint program. As the Company seeks to continuously
refine and expand its technical capability, the Ed Wells Initiative
helps enhance the technical excellence of our engineering
employees through education, training, and career development.
It is the Wichita Program Administrator's responsibility to
ensure programs that support the Ed Wells mission - from Conference
Grants to Brown Bag Lunches to Technical Fellowship meetings
- are implemented and maintained at Boeing Wichita.
Tena is replacing
Joe Zenisek, who has filled the administrator's position
since January 2000 and will be returning to Commercial Engineering
in Wichita. Joe is committed to the belief that technical
excellence and training is a win-win scenario for Boeing and
its engineers, and he has done an exceptional job during the
past two years.
Tena was one of
many outstanding candidates who applied for the administrator
position. She has been with Boeing for thirteen years, working
engineering positions in Commercial Design, Operations MR&D
(where she spent four years in management before choosing
to return to the engineering career path), BAS Liaison, and
BAS Design. Tena's commitment to life-long learning has led
her to pursue training in Business, English, Web Graphics,
and the American Sign Language. This well-rounded experience
has afforded her a broad understanding of the Wichita Division's
Please join us
in welcoming Tena to her new position. Please feel free to
contact her at the Ed Wells office and utilize her skills
as you build your career and personal development plans for
- Ed Wells Initiative
Tel. (316) 526-1211
MC K81-68; FAX 316/523-8829
Room 3099, Bldg 190Z
E-mail: select "GRP Ed Wells Initiative, Wichita" in Exchange
December 14, 2001
- SPEEA and Boeing representatives met for the first formal
negotiation meeting. Representing SPEEA were Charles Bofferding,
Bob Brewer, Joyce Thomas, Redge Thompson, and Clint
Kinser. Representing Boeing were Geoff Stamper, Eric
Davis, Scott Drach, Teresa Williams, Randy Brown, and
Sam Arora. SPEEA presented the Union's proposal as
outlined at the All Member meeting held on December 13th.
Boeing presented high-level proposals that addressed job classification
and downgrade ("bumping") rights issues. Everyone on both
sides of the table expressed the shared goal of making Boeing-Irving
a place that provides world-class products and services, stable
and gratifying employment, and a place that people want to
be a part of.
January 4th, 2001
- Workforce, Job Classification and Performance Management
issues are currently being addressed in subcommittee meetings.
Multiple meetings have been scheduled between January 3rd
and January 11th to work out a joint recommendation to deliver
to both negotiation teams when the main table negotiations
convene on January 15th. Benefit and Salary data are being
worked at the SPEEA Wichita and Seattle offices to prepare
for the main table discussions.
The current SPEEA/Boeing
Irving collective bargaining agreement expires on February
2, 2002 and the goal is to have a new agreement negotiated
and ratified by that date.
here for the latest Irving negotiations updates
Louis organizing on track
The St. Louis Organizing
Committee is making good progress informing workers and securing
representation election signatures. The effort receives another
boost this month with the addition of a loaned AFL-CIO organizer.
The committee is
now producing a monthly newsletter. You can also keep informed
of the effort by visiting the St.
Louis area on the SPEEA website.
If you know of
anyone working in St. Louis, please encourage him or her to
support the organizing effort.
Wichita WEU JOC/QBR Meeting
said that no skill code in BCA Wichita Define would be immune
to downsizing in 2002. Cuts are so severe that cross-training
is not an option in Wichita. People need to plan for the future
by getting more skills experience.
stated that the headcount is flat at 1100 heads in WMMC until
2002. WMMC is still looking for loads and dynamics people
and systems engineering people.
For BCA Wichita,
it was reported that the recovery of the airline industry
is 1 to 2 years away. Workforce reductions in mid-2002 are
driven by 35% reduction in Wichita deliveries. The decision
to implement the 737-900X will be made in Spring 2002; 30
Define heads are now approved through March of 2002 for pre-implementation.
Wichita may engineer the translating sleeve for the 747 QC2
noise improvement on the GE engine. 777-200 LR / -300 ER is
90% released in the Strut/Nacelle section. They have achieved
a 1000 lbs. weight saving. $6000 was saved by using common
section 41 on 777-200LR.
In the BAS report,
it was stated that March 22nd is the last day for BAS in Wichita.
Engineering services will be transferred to Long Beach and
The MR&D report
was centered on the Sonic Cruiser. The decision on where design
will take place will be finalized in 2003. The manufacturing
locations will be decided in 2005. And 2008 is the projected
year for 1st delivery. The Sonic Cruiser is a large unknown
for future MR&D, and Wichita needs to be very competitive
to get any Sonic Cruiser work.
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Feb. 19 & Mar. 19
meetings are held once a month and cover special member discount
programs including Mortgage and Real Estate Loans, Credit
Cards, Legal Services, Educational Loans, Scholarships, Motor
Club, Life Insurance, Accident Insurance, alternative Dental
and Vision plans and retail discount services for members.
Recent meetings have focused on 401K transfers, tax advice
and services to assist members during layoffs.
staff, members of the Benefits Committee and approved Financial
A special holiday
meeting of the Wichita/Hutchinson Labor Federation was held
on Nov. 29th. There were memorable addresses by several Kansas
representatives. Kathleen Sebelius, insurance commissioner
and next candidate for governor, gave a rousing address and
fielded many questions from the group. She talked about her
accomplishments in office and reflections about the legislature.
A picture of Kathleen and some of the discussion is shown
Similarly, the other state representatives - Tom Sawyer,
Melanie Barnes (a frequent participant), Gwen Welshimer,
Geraldine Flaherty, and Judy Loganbill - all gave
brief discussions of their recent legislative perceptions
and synopsis of unfolding legislative issues. The website
also touts the importance of supporting "worker relief" (extended
unemployment benefits) for the 750,000 to 1,000,000 persons
a Republican legislator and Boeing worker, is drafting legislation
intended to ease some of the pain for laid-off workers. He's
proposing to raise the jobless unemployment benefit to 100%
of the average state weekly rate as compared to 60% or $333
a week now. He believes that this legislation, if enacted,
will enable workers to pay bills instead of being submitted
to foreclosures and bankruptcies.
needs our help
John Loftis, WTPU
member, who recently received a WARN notice, has a daughter,
Shelby, with a serious heart defect. The
child is waiting for open-heart surgery at the Children's
Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.
The family is strapped
financially both because of the mounting medical bills and
because of the expenses involved with being away from home
for extended periods.
Help would be appreciated.
Donation checks can be made out to the Shelby Loftis Heart
Fund and mailed to:
Shelby Loftis Heart
The Bank of Commerce & Trust Co.
201 W. Harvey
Wellington, KS 67152
- An issue that needs addressing
Doors made in Italy.
Fuselage made in Japan. Landing gear staying in the United
States, but headed outside Boeing to Goodrich. Call it outsourcing,
offsets or whatever you like. The bottom line is that work
formerly done in Boeing facilities and by Boeing employees
is now being done somewhere else.
In the past, SPEEA
allowed Boeing to do limited outsourcing when taking the work
somewhere else meant increased sales of Boeing aircraft. The
rationale was that airplane sales resulted in increased work
for existing Boeing employees. This is no longer the situation.
Today, Boeing is laying off thousands of employees and Corporate
leaders are focused on cutting costs to increase "shareholder
value." In today's environment, there are few, if any, advantages
from outsourcing work for the bulk of Boeing's workforce.
"Not only is
our work projected to decrease, but outsourcing efforts are
being increased," noted one SPEEA member at a recent lunchtime
downplays the impact of outsourcing on employment. When workers
in Southern California rallied to save the 717, Boeing denied
the existence of agreements with two Russian firms to design
and build a similar 100-seat midrange jetliner in Moscow.
However, a Boeing official in Moscow confirmed the agreements
to the Russian press last month. Boeing officials in the Puget
Sound region have also confirmed a desire by Corporate leaders
to expand the Moscow Design Center where more than 600 technical
workers are already employed.
The impact of outsourcing
is Company- wide. In September, employees in Wichita built
21 horizontal stabilizers and vertical fins for the 737 NG.
An additional 7 stabilizers and fins for the 737 NG were assembled
in China. By July of this year the majority of each will be
built in China. Similarly, Boeing recently announced plans
to open a parts factory in South Africa. None of this bodes
well for existing workers.
Work is not the
only thing leaving Boeing facilities. Knowledgeable workers,
the same workers who have driven Boeing business for 80 years,
are either being laid off or leaving for better futures elsewhere.
Recent layoffs included at least two "Associate Tech Fellows"
the same people Boeing leaders laud as the reason behind the
is stretching for profits and doing it by throwing out the
work and the people who have made it profitable," said
Bob Chiavetta, one of two tech fellows who were scheduled
for layoff Jan. 15th.
Perhaps the most
telling sign of problems ahead is declining employee moral.
people were proud to work at Boeing," Chiavetta, a 23-year
employee said. "Today, people are disgusted with the Company.
It's an awful waste of talent and expertise. Chicago is out
of touch with the workplace."
show that while the Company can survive the short-term loss
of some skilled workers, the situation could change in just
a few years. With experienced workers leaving and younger
workers being laid off, the mix of skills and experience within
Boeing will soon be skewed (see charts).
is slashing people to preserve double-digit profits," said
Charles Bofferding, SPEEA executive director. "That's not
right, and in the long term it will hurt Boeing."
Following a series
of lunchtime meetings last month, SPEEA is gathering information
about the specifics of outsourcing. Please take a moment and
review the form below to see if you have information that
SPEEA combat outsourcing - Give us the facts
work is being outsourced?
or work package description
was outsourced - design, manufacture, or both?
was the work sent? - Company, and country:
kind of technology is involved in this work?
much work does this represent (e.g. how many heads or
how much budget)?
was the criteria?
made the decision?
experience with the situation?
did out-sourcing or "Boeing Globalization" affect your
Sorscher * SPEEA * 15205 - 52nd Avenue S * Seattle,
fax to: 206-248-3990
email to: email@example.com
there is a strike in 2002, will you be prepared?
By Alan Rice,
NW Region VP & Negotiation Preparation Committee member
Three years ago,
right about now, I was eagerly anticipating my first involvement
as a member of the 1999 SPEEA Negotiation team. We each had
our own expectations for the outcome of these negotiations
and perhaps a different set of priorities as well. What wasn't
on my mind, and probably not yours either, was how prepared
(or unprepared) I was personally for what would eventually
Regardless of our
differing priorities, we found enough common ground to stand
together and went on strike. How many of us knew the cost,
or the hardship we would face as a result? A few I suppose;
but most were like me, out there for the first time. From
the results of the earlier surveys, I imagine that the majority
of us neither wanted to strike nor were well prepared to do
From our individual
and collective experiences, we have gained a lot of insight
as to how to better prepare for such an event again - should
it ever occur. I will not suppose that I have all the answers
by listing everything you can do to be ready should 2002 end
up on a similar note. I will, however, share some of the insight
I gained to help initiate an assessment of your own unique
As a member of
the negotiation team as well as the Executive Board, I was
well aware of the impact that the strike was having on families
and individuals. From the first week, we set up food banks
and relief programs to help those who needed assistance in
order to sustain their absence from the workplace. The needs
were as varied as the solutions some came up with to supplement
their income and savings.
Like me, many took
a job and tightened their belts at home to economize during
the hardship. What I learned about this solution is that it
can work for awhile (hopefully as long as the strike) because
our personal debt level was not so high that it required a
full paycheck each week to survive. I also found that creditors
were much more willing to accommodate some irregularities
when they were contacted well in advance of such an occurrence.
I also heard that many creditors had no flexibility in such
matters. I would want to know that in advance and change to
one that was willing to work with me.
are lessons learned and success stories out there that may
help inform others on how best to survive a strike - or any
other such crisis. Whether financial or emotional, there are
solutions to overcome every obstacle. From our families to
our communities, the best support comes from within. The combined
resources of our labor community were tremendous assets to
us as was the personal aid given by friends and coworkers.
The best way for us each to weather the effects of a loss
of income is to prepare for it in advance. Of course this
is no small task, but I know we are up to it... all we need
is the data - and the time to use it. NOW is not too soon!
to members, I know there are still some who believe that the
answer is a Strike Fund. We are a "facts-and-data" sort of
group, but let me put it simply: no strike fund existing today
pays for much more than the food bill. Do we really want to
increase our dues by $5 a month just so IF there is a strike
we can have food money? Wouldn't it be better if we each created
our own financial resources to withstand whatever hardship
may befall us...not just a strike?
Preparation Committee is listening... Tell us what you think
your personal strike/layoff fund now
In the May 2001
SPOTLITE, an article was published advising each of us to
begin building a personal strike fund. With the beginning
of our negotiation year (contracts for the Puget Sound Technicians
and Engineers and for the Wichita Professionals will be negotiated
this year) and the specter of layoffs that Boeing has announced
for this year, we felt that it is appropriate to revisit this
While no one can
predict how the SPEEA negotiations will turn out, one thing
we know for sure is that Boeing will do what it can to prepare
for a future strike by SPEEA members.
We should do the
Strikes are a last
resort. Nobody likes to walk off the job. But, as we now know,
strikes are a tool that sometimes must be used. Every member
should do what he or she can to emotionally and financially
prepare for this worse case-situation.
The aftermath of
the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack is certainly the proverbial
"rainy day" for The Boeing Company and for its employees,
customers, and suppliers.
The Boeing Company
has announced commercial aircraft production cutbacks of 50%.
Consequently, there will be a significant number of us that
are no longer employed by Boeing at this time next year.
If you have not
started putting away a little each month to weather a potential
strike or layoff, it is time to start; it is far better to
be prepared than to be caught off guard.
Just knowing that
SPEEA members are preparing for a "rainy day" sends a signal
of solidarity that might convince Boeing to "do the right
thing", during our negotiations.
monthly dues for 2002: $25.11
Dues were recently
recalculated based on current average salary data from Boeing.
SPEEA dues for the year 2002 are now $25.11 per month.
The revised amount
took affect with the January dues payment for all regular
members. The Agency Fee paid by non-members within the two
Puget Sound area bargaining units also increases to $25.11.
Section 12.6 of
the SPEEA Constitution mandates that the regular membership
dues be adjusted annually on January 5th, based on 0.85 of
the then-average hourly rate of the bargaining units.
On January 5, 2002,
the SPEEA bargaining units totaled 24,549 employees with a
combined annual salary of $1,508,369,511. These figures equate
to an average hourly rate of $29.54, and 0.85 of that value
is $25.11. The calculations include average salaries from
all SPEEA-represented bargaining units.
As a comparison,
the 2002 dues for Boeing's hourly employees represented by
IAM District 751 are $49.70/month (i.e., two times
average hourly wage, plus $1.10 per capita tax to Grand Lodge).
The 2002 annual
dues for Associate SPEEA members is $75.33 (equal
to one-quarter of the annual dues for regular members).
Associate members are people not currently in the SPEEA bargaining
unit. Associate member applications are available in the SPEEA
offices or on our website at http://www.speea.org/Forms/applications.html
*NOTE: In areas
where conversion to the new BPS software Payroll system has
occurred, the 2001 SPEEA dues amount was deducted from the
first paycheck, January 3rd. Thus, for those members, the
difference of 97 cents will be deducted along with their next
dues deduction on February 14th (for a total of $26.08). In
March, their dues will resume at $25.11.
you for SPEEA Cares Check
I received your
check for $281.00 today! It was a wonderful surprise and very
Thanks also for
your certificate for my son and the $25 for Christmas dinner.
I heard that a
formula would have saved all of us: No Bonuses for the CEO's
and straight 35-hours per week for all employees and no one
would have had to be in the unemployment line.
God bless SPEEA
for this monetary opportunity.
for laid-off employees
layoff should remember that Boeing pays for your medical coverage
for the first three months after exiting the Company. This
means that employees who are covered on the Traditional Medical
Plan need to continue making their co-payments.
began receiving bills in January from Boeing for the co-payment
fees. The bills are supposed to alert people that they can
purchase medical or just dental coverage. However, the original
billings did not explain that employees could opt out of the
dental coverage and still maintain their medical coverage.
SPEEA has been working with the Company to correct the situation.
The important thing
to remember is that if you are laid off and need medical coverage,
you must pay the bill.
service does mean something!
A member and his
Council Rep recently came into the SPEEA office with a concern
about the employee's impending layoff. While the employee
was awaiting layoff, the employee achieved his 20 years of
service with the Company. When the employee reached that threshold
in his career, he understood that his retention should be
adjusted to reflect the long-term service. However, the employee
was not getting the necessary support to ensure the layoff
notice was pulled.
On the employee's
behalf, the Contract Administrator (CA) contacted representatives
from both Boeing Human Resources and Workforce requesting
acknowledgement of the employee's service. Within the various
correspondences, the contract was cited, noting that retention
should be adjusted after 20 years of service. The CA also
cited the Company's own redeployment guidelines which state
management needs to catch these types of anomalies.
work, the employee received confirmation from his respective
management that the WARN had been pulled and that his retention
was effectively adjusted.
Even though the
Company did not fully acknowledge their obligation in correcting
this situation, it is important to note that any and all egos
were set aside and the "right" thing was made to happen for
Together, We Can Make A Difference!
Mission, Goals and Values updated
Dusting off and
revisiting an organization's Mission statement, is something
that easily slides. However, during the past year a group
of elected leaders and staff at SPEEA took on the task of
not only updating the Mission statement, they also added a
Vision statement. Finally, they outlined Goals and Values
for our organization.
The new Vision
statement is a reflection of what members want SPEEA to become.
The Mission is our organization's day-to-day guide.
Headed by SPEEA
Council Chairman Pat Waters and starting in June, the group
held a series of brainstorming and development meetings. After
the most current revisions in mid-January, the group is ready
to unveil their work and solicit comments from members.
"It's been a
lengthy process, sometimes difficult, but it's vital to the
organization," Waters said.
Members are asked
to review the statements and forward any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
with the subject heading "Vision & Goals". Membership
input is vital to the process!
In March, the Vision,
Mission, Goals and Values will come before the SPEEA Council
for review and a vote on adoption.
Be the world's
leading aerospace union, representing and serving our membership
with competence, integrity and action.
for aerospace workers by: