February 2, 2001 Newsletter #1821
The SPEEA Tellers Committee met on Wednesday, January 24, 2001 to validate petitions for the upcoming SPEEA Executive Board election. All submitted petitions were valid. The Tellers randomly selected the following order for placement on the ballot:
Region Vice Presidents
Alan E. Rice
Region Vice President
Joe A. Newberry
Executive Board election ballots will be mailed to all eligible voters by February 28th. Ballots must be returned by 12:00 noon on March 14th. Newly-elected Board members will take office on March 28th. The Regional Vice Presidents will serve a two-year term. The President will normally be elected with the Secretary & Treasurer in even years, and serve a two-year term. However, since the term of President is up this year, members will elect a president to serve a one-year term, so we can get back on schedule.
Welcome to Wichita, Lacey!
As a result of the ever-expanding workload in the SPEEA-Wichita office, Contract Administrators Jim Singletary and Shelvy Brown will now have some much-needed administrative assistance from new staff member Lacey Jilek.
Lacey begins work on Monday, January 29, 2001 as Wichita Office Administrator. Her duties will vary, depending on the volume of work and the tasks she is able to assume.
Lacey brings with her much enthusiasm and related experience. Born and raised in Mason City, Iowa, she spent some time at North Iowa Area Community College, majoring in sports management. She moved to Wichita in 1997 where she has been working as an office administrator at Teamsters Local 795. She performed a number of jobs there including receptionist, clerk, secretary, and even handling grievances.
Lacey comes from a long line of unionists. Her grandfather is a retired Teamster; her father is a Teamster; and her brother is a member of the Teachers union. While working for the Teamsters, Lacey was a member of OPEIU (Office & Professional Employees International Union). She will carry this union membership over to SPEEA where our nonexempt staff members also belong to OPEIU Local 8.
Lacey lives in Wichita with her two dogs, a beagle and a "mutt". She enjoys shopping and watching sports (especially baseball and hockey). She loves to work with people, and looks forward to meeting and working with all of our members in Wichita!
Notes from the Executive
Let me clarify
Last week I wrote about next Friday's strike anniversary, "We will certainly use the anniversary as a day of remembrance and celebration."
A Boeing official sent me the following input:
"I hope we don't celebrate strikes, but use them as a clear signal we need a better working together partnership. In a strike all stakeholders lose--customers, employees, shareholders and our community. Let's celebrate how well we recovered from the strike and our commitment to the partnership. Our goal should be not to have another strike."
My writing wasn't clear, and he is right. We do not celebrate the strike; we celebrate our solidarity and the achievements (including the partnership agreement) achieved by our solidarity. Nobody wants another strike, and hopefully we will never have to have another one. And, along with all Boeing employees, we did a great job of getting Boeing back on track after the strike. When we are working together - no one in the world is better.
I wish someone would get off this kick
I am tired of continued attempts to use the EIP as a union avoidance tool. Once again today (I'm writing this on Tuesday, Jan 30th) the Boeing News proclaims "The Employee Incentive Plan (EIP) is a new element of the Company's total compensation package for nonunion employees." And "Boeing is offering the EIP to eligible nonunion employees." This is part of a failed strategy which gives groups of employees something to distract them from noticing that other groups have some better things. This would be like me attempting to motivate my three daughters by telling one that she is the prettiest, one the strongest and one the smartest. Is this a good strategy? Each would hear what I tell the others and OUCH - nothing good would happen.
Corporate HR tells us that, things are not done simply to help move Boeing forward; everything is a trade. If you get something, you must give something. It makes you wonder what the non-represented employees gave for the EIP. Here is a shot at the answer. Assuming a $60,000 salary and noting the medical premiums paid (until both SPEEA and the IAM turned them back and got premiums waived for everyone - but not co-pays and deductibles) a non- represented employee with a family has probably paid an additional $3035 dollars to get about $1,800 from the EIP. This doesn't include the impact of a non-represented person's maximum out-of-pocket increasing from $2000 per individual/$4000 per family to $5000 /$15,000. Neither does it account for the bonuses union represented employees got (10% for IAM and $2,500 for SPEEA represented employees). Intentional or not, pitting employees against each other has got to stop. It is time for common principles to actually govern actions. Employees should be treated as equals. People Working Together as a Global Enterprise for Aerospace Leadership.
A good day
I look forward to the day that
the EIP is not used to divide employees and their benefit packages. I
look forward to the day when the EIP is used to link all employees to
Boeing's performance. I also look forward to the day when we'll know that
another strike won't be necessary. However, that day is not today. Let's
all work to make that day arrive as soon as possible. Neither Boeing profits
nor people can afford to wait too long.
Regular SPEEA Council Meeting
Thursday, February 8, 2001
SPEEA Headquarters with phone hookup to Everett & Wichita
5:00 p.m. Buffet Dinner
5:30 p.m. PRE-MEETING SPEAKER: Mark Moshay "Understanding the EEO process"
6:00 p.m. Regular Meeting:
Final notice: revised By-laws
The SPEEA Council will be voting on proposed new SPEEA By-laws at their February 8th meeting. The revised By-laws are posted on SPEEA's web site at http://www.speea.org/whois/files/bylaws_2000.html. We encourage members to review the By-laws and provide any feedback you may have to your local Council Rep prior to the February 8th vote.
Open House, Rep training goes well in Wichita
WICHITA - More than 120 people stopped by to visit and tour the new, expanded SPEEA-Wichita office during the official Open House on Wednesday, January 24th.
Members who stopped by had the opportunity to meet their Wichita staff along with Executive Director Charles Bofferding. An assortment of hors 'd oeuvres and refreshments were available, along with entertainment.
Old and new Council and Area Reps had the opportunity to receive training recently from SPEEA trainer Maria Nelson. More than 40 Council Reps took part in a daylong session on Friday, January 26th. Two sessions were held for Area Reps, with each attracting about 30 representatives.
The sessions provided updated information about the duties of being a Council or Area representative.
SPEEA meets with Congressman Jim McDermott
On Thursday, January 25th, SPEEA representatives met with U.S. Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA, 7th District) in his Seattle office. SPEEA's legislative staff focal Kristin Farr was accompanied by Brenda Carlson [Chair of SPEEA's Legislative & Public Affairs Committee (L&PA)], and SPEEA President Craig Buckham.
They discussed issues that have affected SPEEA during the 106th Congress, as well as issues that will be addressed by the 107th Congress. Those issues included increasing the Defense budget to create new jobs in the aerospace industry, as well as naval shipbuilding; research and development; and the procurement arena. Congressman McDermott serves as a senior member of the House Budget Committee. The Congressman invited SPEEA to share information with his committee on how an increase in the Defense budget would mean increased jobs for workers employed by Boeing, and other Defense contractors across the country.
Other topics addressed included SPEEA's concerns over raising the H-1B high-tech Visa limit for the next three years, as well as protecting overtime for high-tech workers. Congressman McDermott asked that SPEEA share information on how H-1B Visa increases are hurting Engineering salaries. He was particularly interested in facilitating retraining and education of the existing American workforce as an alternative to increasing H-1B Visas.
In addition, Congressman McDermott shared his views and concerns about challenges Labor may face under the new administration, and encouraged SPEEA to stay in contact with him during the 107th Congress.
Auburn's plans for anniversary celebration
By Judy Mogan
In Auburn, we are celebrating the Anniversary of the day we all said "WE DEMAND RESPECT", but in turn we are equally celebrating the spirit of our fellowship and camaraderie.
Council Rep Alton Folks is coordinating the Auburn location. His committee has planned a gathering at lunch time outside of Gate A-13 (near LSFA). We are inviting SPEEA members and any "Friends of SPEEA", NSP'S, IAM, ETC to join us for cookies and coffee. SPEEA Members are invited to sign the Auburn burn barrel and pick up your anniversary 40-day sticker.
The Auburn Celebration Committee asks you to bring your photos and stories to share along with a non perishable food donation (so we can pay back the food banks which helped us during our strike).
If you are interested in car-pooling, we already have a few volunteers who will be shuttling. You will be notified by your Council and Area Reps of the details.
"The Future of the Wireless Web"
Industry analysts forecast that there will be over 1 billion wireless service subscribers worldwide by 2002, and that many of these subscribers will use wireless devices as their primary means to access the Web.
The Association for Women in Computing's February meeting features speaker Justin Webb, Chief Strategist of ViAir, Inc. You'll discover how wireless technology will affect you, your company and your career ... understand the impact of wireless technology in today's economy ... learn about the important players in this rapidly changing field ... and meet and network with fellow IT professionals.
ViAir, Inc., a wireless Web applications infrastructure company based in Seattle, Washington, has developed a carrier quality platform that enables mobile end-users to access and act on their most valued information and events instantly and intelligently.
If paying by check, payment must be received at PO Box by Thursday, Feb. 15. If paying by credit card, payment must be confirmed by Monday, Feb. 19 (credit card transitions possible through PayPal). Register online at http://www.scn.org/IP/awc/register.htm - or leave voicemail at (206) 781-7315. Send check to AWC/PS, PO Box 179, Seattle, WA 98111.
AWC is happy to introduce Joy Kamrin, Licensed Massage Practitioner. Joy will be conducting free chair massage at the next 5 monthly meetings from 6:00 to 7:00. A sign-up sheet will be provided at the door. Enjoy!
For more information on Association for Women in Computing - Puget Sound Chapter, log on http://www.scn.org/IP/awc/awc.html
Tuesday, February 20, 2001
6 pm; Dinner 6:30pm; Program 7 - 8 PM
Cost for Dinner
& Program: $20/AWC members; $30/nonmembers
Free Seminars on Retirement Planning
Kevin Cahoon, Associate Vice President, Retirement Planning Specialist, and Andrew Hergert, Financial Advisor, will be presenting these free seminars for people who are close to retirement and considering a lump-sum distribution or rollover from your VIP/FSP and asking themselves:
Do I have enough money to retire? What taxes and IRS penalties can be imposed on my lump-sum distribution? What are appropriate long-term strategies for my lump-sum or rollover that will best achieve my goals? If you are close to retirement and don't have answers to these questions, take an hour of your day to attend.
SPEEA members and spouses are invited although space is limited. Luncheon buffet will be provided for the Auburn meeting at the Longhorn BBQ Restaurant. Box lunches will be provided at Renton. To reserve your space and request a box lunch, call Andrew Hergert at (206) 224-4203 or 1-800-733-4873.
First in a series intended to understand our career options in the new business environment. SPEEA can sponsor lunch meetings in your area to discuss these articles. Please contact your Council Rep or the SPEEA office to schedule a meeting.
Jobs - Our Future, Part 1: Out-sourcing
Out-sourcing is part of any business plan. Engineers and designers routinely decide to "make or buy." Concerns about out-sourcing may be grouped into five categories: appropriate cost comparisons, authority over process improvement, spares, coordination costs, sub-optimization, and critical mass.
Appropriate Cost Comparisons
Appropriate accounting costs should be assigned to in-house labor, plant and equipment in making any business decision. Internal costs are "burdened" for overhead, creating high internal labor rates and asset charges for accounting purposes. Out-sourcing reduces overhead to some extent, and that reduction is a more reasonable figure for predicting cost savings. Competing against vendors at our full burdened rates is inappropriate. As more work is out-sourced, the overhead burden on remaining manufacturing operations increases at each step, leading to a spiral of cost disadvantage for internal organizations. At some point, the few remaining operations will bear astronomical overhead rates.
Similarly, costs associated with administering outside procurement are not added to the vendors' costs, but may actually apply to the overhead charged to internal organizations!
Authority over Process Improvement
The lesson from other industries is that as the big manufacturers out-sourced, suppliers consolidated and invested in design infrastructure. Over time, suppliers established ownership and expertise in design and solidified control over production, giving them a strong marketing position, particularly in terms of process improvement and product development. At some point, the supplier will have a significant built-in advantage and the system integrator would face delay, cost and risk in switching to another supplier.
On the flip side of this argument, any failures or cost overruns by vendors must be absorbed by the system integrator.
Another advantage that shifts to suppliers is authority to produce spares. This market has a reputation for high margins, but if suppliers have design and manufacturing authority for components and sub assemblies, then they are well positioned for the spares business.
Over the last five years, we devoted considerable effort to integrating R&D, product development, design, manufacturing, and customer service, "breaking down barriers," communicating better and understanding requirements and interests of our internal customers and suppliers. Efficiencies come from close coordination and strong common interest. Out-sourcing contradicts that principle, by introducing barriers, separating processes and reducing common interests.
In the past few years, we have benefited from countless examples of savings or improvements where the design or manufacture of one element is modified to accommodate processes upstream or downstream. With out-sourcing, two vendors might each optimize their own operation with negative effects on others. They might not ever be aware of their negative interaction. If they were aware, they would lack effective means of coordinating. If they were able to interact, they would not have a strong interest in doing so. The more complex the system, the more frequent and potentially difficult these problems become.
Another factor discussed by engineers and technical employees is the synergy or critical mass needed to sustain a healthy community. In the Kent area, for instance, over $1 billion in assets were marked for elimination. Shops are closing, laboratories will be eliminated and equipment sold. Taken separately each decision may have a solid business justification. However, the overall effect is to undermine our ability to compete for new contracts, deal with unexpected situations, or respond to new opportunities.
Compete or Cut Costs
Fundamentally, a decision to out-source means someone else can do this job "better" than we can. That is to say, we have no competitive advantage in that area, and we are prepared to concede future advantages in that area to vendors and competitors. Any advantage we do expect to achieve must come from whatever work that remains.
Attrition report #6 - 2000 year end
In a series of reports (http://www.speea.org/hotissues/files/attrition/attrition_toc.html) we have tracked attrition through retirements, layoffs and quits. This report presents final data for 2000.
Typically, retirements drop to a low level each year in October and November. Quits are lowest in December, particularly this year, with the delivery bonus anticipated at the end of the year.
For the year 2000, quits plus retirements (voluntary terminations) totaled 1297 Puget Sound Profs, 550 Puget Sound Techs and 102 Wichita Profs (through November, only). The starting populations were 12217, 8765 and 1282, respectively.
Figure 1 shows voluntary terminations for the three bargaining units. At the end of the year 2000, SPEEA and Boeing went to a new format in our weekly data reports. The category for "quits" is now divided into over 20 sub-groups, including disability, and transfer to a Boeing subsidiary. In this article, the values for "quits" are taken only from categories consistent with voluntary termination. Previous articles in this series included all sub-categories. Starting with this article, the level of "quits" will be reduced slightly, compared to previous reports.
Figure 1 shows voluntary terminations by month. Figures 2, 3, and 4 break out the data as maturity curves. Solid lines in Figures 2-4 represent histograms by age, so that the individual symbols are projected at each year of age into the solid lines. The scale for histograms is on the right side y-axis.
Aetna Dental changes claims address
For those SPEEA-represented employees who have Aetna Dental insurance, please note they have changed their billing address for dental claims as follows:
A member writes...
In the recent past, our "leaders" of this Company have had a tendency to not consider how the employees and their morale will be affected. Below are just a few of the items that many Renton Employees and the people of Everett would probably want factored into the study on Closing the Renton Plant and Moving to the Everett Facility.
The traffic congestion in Everett is already at a high level. There was a mention on the news that 8,000 to 10,000 employees would either commute to Everett or move there. What they didn't say is that these 8,000 to 10,000 employees have family members that would go with them if they moved from the Renton area to Everett. This adds more people and vehicles to the traffic problem.
If a Renton employee chooses to stay with the Company and decides to commute to Everett instead of moving there, how will that affect the health of that individual? Blood pressure? Nerves? Attitude? Morale? Transportation costs etc. Will the Human Factor be added into that study?
If a Renton employee chooses to stay with the Company and decides to move to Everett from the Renton area, will the employee be able to afford the escalated cost of a new home? The increased demand for a home in Everett will certainly cause the price for a new home to increase dramatically. This is the tough-luck factor.
How many Renton employees have no desire to tolerate the commute or move to the already congested Everett area? How many of these tenured employees with valuable experience will quit Boeing rather than commute or move to Everett? Will the company operate efficiently if hundreds or thousands of their experienced employees decide to accept better-paying jobs elsewhere? Remember what happened during the strike. [I have been doing Customer Support work for Boeing for 13 years (in good standing) and I will consider quitting if I have to commute or have to move to Everett.]
Will the people of Everett appreciate the increased population?
What will happen to the Renton economy? Or perhaps that doesn't matter. Again the tough-luck factor.
The above issues are only a few of the factors that should be considered during the study.
/s/ Steve Enzukewich
Get maximum benefit for payment of excess vacation hours
William H. Ward, member in Kent, sent the following notice:
I noticed two articles regarding excess vacation credits in the past week. Both contain the same error. It is: "If an employee does not request payment of excess hours, but shows excess hours in their account on April 26, 2001, payment for those excess hours will be distributed automatically to such employees."
This is not precise. The fact is that the excess vacation hours are calculated on April 5 (before reinstatement of the two-year maximum) and the resultant payment distributed on April 26.
If you request payment before March 1st, your payment for the excess hours will NOT include the 3% guaranteed (minimum) wage increase effective on March 2nd. If you wait and let the company calculate vacation hours on April 5th, you will receive the additional 3% minimum.
The articles imply that waiting for the company to calculate the values on April 26th rather than April 5th will result in a loss of vacation accrual during April 6th through April 26th. However, if you allow the company to calculate vacation hours on April 5th AND begin a vacation on April 6th, you receive the maximum dollar benefit and continue to accrue vacation hours.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Please make sure your vacation is pre-approved. And thank you, William!]
SPEEA member offers commemorative t-shirts
Last year, during our strike, SPEEA member Rod Call sold the "One-Day Longer" T-shirts which became a popular item among the members. He has now developed a smart new design: "40 Days and Nights...One year anniversary...I was there when it counted...SPEEA Strike 2000" with the infamous SPEEA burn-barrel.
He is asking $9 for an ash-colored T-shirt, size S - XL ($11 for 2XL; $13 for 3XL). Ash-colored sweatshirts sell for $17, size S - XL ($19 for 2 XL; $21 for 3XL).
Shipping for 1-2 pieces is $3.40; shipping for 3-5 pieces is $5. For larger orders, call for the shipping price.
Checks or money orders should be made payable to "The Ink Spot". Send your order to: The Ink Spot, 12028 SE 280th Street, Kent, WA 98031. Phone: (253) 639-8912.
Check out the t-shirt design at website http://www.propass.com/strike/index2.html