January 12, 2001 Newsletter #1818
A number of events and activities are being planned to commemorate the first anniversary of the 40-day SPEEA strike.
Events are designed to honor the sacrifice members made to secure a better contract from The Boeing Company.
The strike took more than 19,000 engineers and technical workers off the job at 9 a.m. on February 9th, 2000. They stayed on the picket lines until collectively returning to work at 9 a.m. on March 20th.
One of the more significant events will take place at noon, on February 9th. At that time, SPEEA-represented workers at Boeing facilities around the country will gather at the respective gates where they personally walked out. Members should contact their Council Reps and Area Reps to learn about specific activities at their gate.
The recently updated SPEEA website will feature daily retrospectives of happenings from one year ago. It will be a great opportunity to get familiar with the newly-redesigned website.
The monthly SPEEA SPOTLITE will feature special articles in the February and March editions. Among the special articles being prepared is one by AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka.
Members are encouraged to get involved by planning events suitable for your work area.
The SPEEA strike empowered the technical community at Boeing, resulted in an improved contract for employees, and earned members the respect of the entire labor movement. It is fitting to honor the first anniversary of these achievements.
Tell us your strike stories!
To commemorate the 1st Anniversary of our historic 40-day strike, the SPEEA SPOTLITE will have special stories in February and an expanded issue in March.
We need your help!
If you have an experience or thought you want to share, tell us. We will take excerpts from submissions to help compile stories for the special editions. Tell us about the support your received, how your family adjusted, or maybe something funny that happened on the picket line. Due to the volume of submissions, we ask that you limit items to 100 words. E-mail your submission to: email@example.com.
We need to hear from new members too! If you joined SPEEA after the return to work on March 20, tell us what it feels like to now be a member of a labor union. If you are a new employee at Boeing, tell us what it is like to get immersed into a workforce that took on the company and won! Again, please limit submissions to 100 words. E-mail your new employee and member items to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Bill Dugovich, SPEEA Communications Director
As a former newspaper reporter, I followed the strike by the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild at The Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer with great interest.
Call me unusual, but I like the press. I particularly enjoy reading newspapers and talking to the reporters and editors who produce the daily product that arrives at my door.
Like no other profession, people who work in the media, and particularly the journalists who produce the news, go to work each day believing they can make the world a little better by bringing the events of the day, both good and bad, to the masses.
The underlying philosophy of their work is to be fair to all sides of the issues that make it into print. Reporters are taught to get the facts straight. Editors are mandated to set aside personal biases when assigning stories, placing them in the newspaper and even when considering how big the headline is on top of the article. Stray from these mandates too often and you will soon need a new career.
The hard-line stance by the newspapers' management in this strike, and particularly the hard-line stance by The Seattle Times, slaps this basic philosophy in the face. If this newspaper strike taught newspaper readers' anything, it taught us that despite what appears in print, fairness does not exist inside the newsrooms of our region's two largest newspapers.
I am relieved this strike is settled. A similar strike in Detroit lasted more than five years. Employees in Seattle made some gains. Healthcare and retirement benefits are improved. All of the P-I workers returned to their jobs. But, The Seattle Times succeeded in keeping some vindictive elements of their contract offer intact. Some Times employees may not be called back to work for up to six months. Replacement workers can stay. A two-tiered salary schedule, which penalizes workers who do not work at the main office, still exists although it will be phased out over time.
Despite all this, striking employees gained. Like SPEEA members, these workers gained respect. They gained the respect of each other and respect from the world of labor. I have no doubt that even the employees who do not return to work will be better off because of the strike. The reason is simple. The work people do at a newspaper is fun and rewarding. But, newspapers are not a great place to work. There is a difference.
The loser in this strike, like most strikes, is management's reputation. The biggest loser in this strike that took more than 1,000 workers off the job for nearly 50 days is the reputation of The Seattle Times. They may tout being a "family owned" newspaper. But, management proved there is no family at The Seattle Times.
There is one other
winner. That winner is the general public. The public gains because there
is now a whole cadre of journalists in our community who experienced first-hand
the vital role labor unions have in the workplace. They know about the
extensive network that exists between unions. They also know who in our
community can really be counted on when workers need help. The experiences
will affect the way they cover business and labor stories for the rest
of their lives. That's a benefit we will all share. It's also a good reason
to thank a Guild member for walking the line.
Survey of women members
Resolution #12 (titled "IFPTE's Women's Committee") which passed at the 53rd IFPTE Convention last summer mandated the International to conduct a survey of women members of IFPTE. To fulfill this mandate, the International has hired the Wilson Center for Public Research, a not-for-profit organization that has assisted many labor unions (including SPEEA) with surveys in the past.
This survey will be conducted BETWEEN JANUARY 16 AND 22, 2001. A sampling of women members will be contacted at their homes. The survey will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. All the data collected from the survey will be summarized and shared with IFPTE's Executive Council, to be used in an upcoming Strategic Planning session.
If contacted, we encourage SPEEA women members to participate in this survey.
Christmas Day... On the line!
By Mark Moshay, Contract Administrator at Everett
Just before the holiday break, some of us were thinking what it would be like to be called upon to stand out in the cold on Christmas Day with a picket sign in hand. We imagined it might be a tough time for our friends at the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild who were on strike against The Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. So, we decided to do something about it.
On Christmas Day, several SPEEA folks showed up on the picket line at the North Creek Site in Bothell. Early in the day, Brenda Carlson (Council Rep, District E-30) showed up with all kinds of snacks for the picketers.
Soon after Brenda's arrival, more of our people showed up. Chris Glenn (Council Rep, District E-8), Kevin Wescott (Council Rep, District E-18), member Danny Arnado (Senior Lead in Renton's MRSA Planning Department) and I arrived. We brought homemade picket signs to show our support.
Later that afternoon, Bob Rommel (Contract Administrator at Everett) showed up to walk the line.
Guild members were surprised and grateful for the support on a holiday. One striking newspaper employee, who remembered Brenda from our days on the line, told her how much it meant to see her there, particularly on Christmas Day. She told Brenda our presence gave her an even greater sense of the value of belonging to the family of labor.
This was a small gesture on our part, but it sent a big message. We are in this together. We are thankful that our friends at The Seattle Times and the P-I succeeded in their efforts to obtain a contract they could accept. Like the SPEEA strike, The Times/P-I strike is now part of labor history.
Walking a picket line on Christmas Day is no one's idea of fun. Our intent was to make the sacrifice a little more bearable for the people who had to be there. We also received something in return. We came away with a memory of union solidarity that we can share with our friends and families in years to come.
Guild can use your help!
After 49 long days on strike, workers at The Seattle Times have ratified a new contract. P-I workers returned to work last week after 40+ days on strike. As we all know during the SPEEA strike, there are a number of folks who could use some extra help to pay their bills.
The Guild has set up a striker relief fund and is requesting help. You can send your tax-deductible donation to: The Newspaper Guild Assistance Fund, c/o King County Labor Agency, 2800 First Ave, Room 126, Seattle, WA 98121.
Mike Wieland has resigned his seat as Council Rep for District N-7 (Profs, Wichita, 1-198D, 1-255K and 1-271A Buildings). If you reside in this district, have been a SPEEA member for at least one year, and would like to apply to fill this vacancy, please contact Terry Hall for instructions at 1-800-325-0811. Your completed petition must be received at the SPEEA Wichita office by noon on January 18th in order to be seated by the regional Tellers prior to that evening's Council meeting.
SPEEA monthly dues for 2001: $24.14
SPEEA dues for the year have been recalculated and set at $24.14 per month. The modest increase resulted from generally higher average wages in the bargaining units.
The revised amount becomes effective for all regular members with the January 18, 2001 paycheck. The Agency Fee paid by non-members within the two Puget Sound area bargaining units also increases to $24.14.
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, 2001, the SPEEA bargaining units totaled 24,498 employees with a combined annual salary of $1,447.025,807. These figures equate to an average hourly rate of $28.40, and 0.85 of that value is $24.14. The calculations include average salaries from the newly organized Wichita SJC bargaining unit.
As a comparison, the dues for Boeing's hourly employees represented by IAM District 751went from $43.10/month in 2000 to $51.50/month in 2001.
Associate Member Dues
The annual dues for Associate SPEEA members is $72.42 (equal to one-quarter of the annual dues for regular members). Associate members are people not currently in the SPEEA bargaining unit (i.e., former Boeing employees, current Boeing managers, nonrepresented Boeing employees, contract employees, etc.) who have an interest in supporting SPEEA, receiving the monthly SPOTLITE, and taking advantage of seminars and discounts. Associate member applications are available in the SPEEA offices or on our website.
Review of revision to By-Laws
By Ron Mathes for the Implementation Committee
With the recent referendum for constitutional changes and reorganization comes the immediate need to revise the SPEEA By-Laws to match the revised Constitution. The Reorganization Implementation Committee and the Governing Documents Committee were tasked to draft the proposed revisions to the SPEEA By-Laws. In addition, to implement the regional autonomy which reorganization brings, there will be a need to create Regional governing documents. Later, when we form the Northwest and Midwest Regional Councils, we will ask for your involvement to form Regional By-Laws too.
The Constitution is the highest governing document within SPEEA; it states the rights of the membership. The SPEEA By-Laws is the second highest governing document within SPEEA. The By-Laws implements those rights given by the Constitution. For instance, the right to exercise membership control by referendum, is given in the Constitution, the process (i.e. the who, what, when, etc.) is defined in the By-Laws.
Per the SPEEA Constitution Section 15.2, a revision to the By-Laws requires a proposed change first be presented to the Council. The revised SPEEA By-Laws was presented to the SPEEA Council at its Dec 14th meeting. Then the proposed changes must be published twice to the membership; only at the next Council meeting may the Council approve the changes. The proposed revisions to the SPEEA By-Laws are posted on the SPEEA Web site, if you would like to make a copy of them. This allows for membership involvement and feedback to your Council Representatives. Please read the proposed By-Laws, and provide feedback to your Council Representative.
The membership delegates authority to their locally-elected Council Representatives to represent them in the SPEEA Councils. The SPEEA Council is the supreme policy-determining body of SPEEA. Subject only to the will of the membership, the SPEEA Council determines policy on any question or issue, with such policy becoming a part of the rules governing SPEEA and its members. The SPEEA Council has the sole authority to change the SPEEA By-Laws and SPEEA Policy.
The proposed revisions to the SPEEA By-Laws are posted on the SPEEA Website
Please take time to review the proposed revisions to the By-Laws and provide feedback to your Council Representative. At the next SPEEA Council meeting (January 18th), your Council Representative will vote whether to approve these changes to the SPEEA By-Laws.
SPEEA Scheduled Events
Annual SPEEA Camping/River-Rafting Trip (mark your calendar for the weekend of June 1-3...we'll camp at Tumwater campground and raft the Wenatchee River on Saturday)
Annual SPEEA Golf Tournament (mark your calendar for Saturday, July 21 ... we'll be at Gold Mountain's "Olympic Course" near Bremerton, one of the top rated courses in the state)
Annual SPEEA Picnic (we hope to schedule Woodland Park in North Seattle for Saturday, July 14)
(Watch for more details)
Order Entertainment Books On-Line
You can still purchase Entertainment Books (from any city) over the web. If you do order on-line, we encourage you to use SPEEA'S ACCOUNT #130805, so that credit for the sale goes to SPEEA's Christmas Fund Account. To order, log onto http://www.entertainment.com and be sure to use our account number.
A few Sonics tickets left
A few tickets are left for the Sonics games where SPEEA arranged for a discount. Members pay NO service charge. Each game starts at 7:00 p.m. in the Key Arena:
Friday, January 19 vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Saturday, March 24 vs. Houston Rockets
To order, completed the form below. Questions? Call Heidi Hanson at (206) 272-2604 or email@example.com
SPEEA Night at the Sonics ORDER FORM
Name ____________________________________________________ Clock Number _____________
Daytime phone ( ) __________________ Email address ____________________________________
Address __________________________________ City __________________ State ____ Zip _______
* Orders must be received 7 business days prior to each game. (NO service charge)
* Tickets will be mailed to the address above 7-10 days prior to the game (if time permits).
* Inventory is limited; seating is subject to availability. All sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.
* If game(s) selected is sold out, please provide a second choice: ___________________________________
Payment Options: Enclosed is my check (payable to "Seattle Sonics") in the amount of $___________ -- OR
Please charge $__________ to my credit card: * VISA * MC * AMEX * DISC
Credit Card Number ___________________________________ Exp. Date ________
Cardholder's Signature ___________________________________________________
Mail to: Seattle
Sonics, Attn: Heidi Hanson
OR Fax your order to (206) 272-2605
Outline of Benefit Calculations under the Boeing Retirement Plan
By Stan Sorscher, SPEEA Staff
This article applies only to SPEEA-represented employees who are covered under the heritage Boeing Retirement Plan (not the Pension Value Plan). You can refer to official language in "Your Personal Benefits" booklet (1996 edition). If you have misplaced your copy of that booklet, you can contact the Boeing benefits office at (206) 655-4454 and ask for another copy.
Standard and Alternate Formulas
Your monthly retirement benefits are calculated under two formulas: the Standard benefit formula and the Alternate benefit formula. You will receive whichever benefit is greater.
Standard Benefit Formula
The Standard benefit comprises two types of benefits: Basic benefits and Complement benefits (previously known as supplemental benefits, earned prior to 1978).
The Basic benefit is $50 per month for each year of credited service.
The Complement benefit equals the value of all supplemental benefits earned as of December 31, 1995, increased by 35% on a one-time basis, and will remain a fixed monthly benefit amount. Supplemental benefits were earned prior to 1978 if a participant's annual compensation used to determine plan benefits exceeded the Social Security tax base during any one year.
Alternate Benefit Formula
This formula provides benefits based on your final average earnings, years of credited service and Social Security "covered compensation."
Final average earnings will be the highest annual rate of pay (based on hourly rate or base salary figured on the first day of each calendar month) averaged over any 60 consecutive-month period during your last 120 months of service.
Covered compensation is the average of Social Security wage bases during the 35 years before you retire. For 2001, covered compensation is $37,212. (This number changes each year.)
The Alternate benefit has two parts: a Core benefit and an Excess benefit.
Your annual Core benefit is computed by multiplying 0.01025 by your final average earnings times years of credited service.
Your annual Excess benefit is computed by subtracting covered compensation from your final average earnings, then multiplying by 0.0045 times years of credited service.
To determine your monthly benefit, divide this amount by 12.
Normal retirement age under the Plan is 65. You may be eligible to elect early retirement from Company service between the ages of 55 and 65. If you retire on or after your 60th birthday, you will receive the entire benefit you have earned under the Plan. If you retire between the ages of 55 and 60, your benefits will be reduced according to the applicable schedule (see Table 1), depending on the formula that applies to you.
In the first example, final average earnings of $65,000 means that the Alternate benefit is larger than the Standard benefit, so the participant would retire with the Alternate benefit, ignoring any complement benefit. In the second example, the Standard benefit is greater than the Alternate benefit, so the participant would retire with the Standard benefit.
One of the SPEEA Contract Administrators received settlements on reclassification grievances prior to SJC conversion. While not receiving everything we were looking for in these cases, the final resolutions represent a better economic situation for the grievants.
1) An employee was turned down for a reclass in his job classification of record. During the hearing of the case, the employee changed primary job assignments and was immediately upgraded.
2) Two employees believed they were performing higher-level work and grieved accordingly. During the hearing, the Company determined that the employees were only working the higher grade for a temporary duration. The settlement for both employees included the higher pay for the 6-month period.
3) An employee, in grieving his job classification, prompted the realization for management that six individuals all were performing higher-level work for a specified period of time. All six received back-pay for the temporary upgrades as a result of the one filing.
It is hoped that the SJC process will ensure that employees are appropriately classified and properly compensated. In the event this does not occur, employees still have the opportunity, per Article 22 of their respective contracts, to challenge their individual job classification. [BR]
SPEEA Does Make A Difference!
Technical Learning Opportunity from the Ed Wells Initiative
"Metalcasting Technology Today" is a two-hour presentation by two members of the American Metalcasting Consortium. Industry use of cast parts to save weight and cost has been growing in recent years. Thirty seven suppliers now provide cast parts to BCAG.
The presentation will be of benefit to engineering and technical employees who want to have a greater understanding of the proper design, application and inspection of castings. The presentation will be Thursday, January 25, 10:00 AM to noon in the Tunnel Theater of the 40-25 building at the EVERETT site. The presentation is offered at no charge to all employees.
Check the Events Calendar at http://EdWells.web.boeing.com for other current learning opportunities. The Ed Wells Initiative is a joint SPEEA-Boeing program for the application of technical excellence.
Two more retirement seminars
In last week's
newsletter, we announced two retirement planning seminars by representatives
of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. They have scheduled two more as noted below.
For reservations (and to request a box lunch), call Andrew Hergert at
(206) 244-4203 or 1-800-733-4873.
Thursday, January 18, 2001
SPEEA Headquarters with phone hookup to Everett & Wichita
5:00 p.m. (local time) Refreshments (each location)
5:30 p.m. (Central time) Midwest Regional Council Meeting
5:30 p.m. (Pacific time) National Council Meeting
7:30 p.m. (Pacific time) Northwest Regional Council Meeting
Guest Speakers: "Union Counselor Training Class" (Judy Reynolds, Jerry Beckendorf, Bill Borders)