April 13, 2001 Newsletter #1830
WICHITA, KS More than 500 raucous Wichita employees rallied in front of Boeings Wichita administration building on April 10 in a show of support for members of the Wichita Technical and Professional Unit.
Unit members voted down the Companys initial proposal for a first contract for the 4,200 employees in Boeings newest bargaining unit. The two sides will be back at the table on April 17.
Displaying a variety of signs, the employees heard from their negotiators and vowed to keep working for more respect from the Company and a better contract for everyone.
The event took place in front of the Wichita administration building. Participants dodged a rain shower and a hailstorm to fit the lunch break meeting into their day.
Bargaining unit members have expressed concern about, among other things, insufficient general wage increases, plans to charge employees for disability insurance coverage and removal of the union represented employees from the Employee Incentive Plan (EIP).
Bargaining unit members and all SPEEA represented employees can help the effort by sending an e-mail to the Wichita executives!
Let Boeing Wichita know what you think!
Notes from the Executive Director
Bullish on Boeing
Corporate Headquarters is moving; employee morale is still low; and attrition, while leveling off, is higher than I'd like. Given all this you'd think I'd have nothing but dread for the future. However, stock market conditions aside, I am bullish on Boeing. My bottom-line is always based on the people, and we've got great people. People who are figuring out that we need to take an active role in shaping Boeing and helping to make it what it could be, what it should be.
Others may focus on capitalization, P/E ratios or (dare I say) RONA to formulate their predictions for Boeing. I look at the people and management's willingness to respond to the people. I am bullish on Boeing, not because Boeing's leaders are changing their views, but rather because employees are changing theirs. We are beginning to figure out that we have a vital role in shaping Boeing's future. Partnership and working together are things that we control.
This is not about what management decides should happen; it is about what we commit ourselves to making happen. We have the power to make Boeing whatever we commit ourselves to. This is our Company, and I have to believe that we all want it to be the best Company possible. I am confident that we can achieve this goal.
Employees are beginning to understand that personal involvement can make good things happen. Certainly everyone remembers the last round of negotiations in which both the IAM and SPEEA turned back management's push to reduce medical benefits. We also remember that, over 4,000 people in Wichita stood up and demanded a voice. They continue to push for an acceptable first contract.
People are giving themselves a voice and then putting that voice to work. We are beginning to understand that our voice is as strong as any at Boeing. Boeing is our company and; if we choose to step up to the task, we have a right, a responsibility and the ability to help move Boeing in positive directions. (Where positive is a multi-dimensional concept defined by us. It is NOT the single variable of shareholder value, it is a combination of respect for employees, commitment to products, and long-term growth and stability.) At Boeing, employees do not have to be mere passengers; if we choose, we can be decision-makers. We are choosing, and Boeing is better for it.
Not every action is a huge action, but every action is important. Getting less attention than our strike is the ongoing daily involvement of employees working to make Boeing better. Employees are directly involved in a myriad of partnership projects and efforts at Boeing. SPEEA Council Reps and represented employees are involved in a number of workplace issues.
We, on a daily basis, are stepping up to the challenge of getting personally involved and, through our personal effort, making Boeing the Company that we want it to be. While this is not an easy challenge, it is but one more in a long list of challenges that Boeing's people have risen to and tackled. I am bullish on Boeing because I believe in Boeing's people.
NSP organizing - UC petition withdrawn
On March 12, 2001 SPEEA filed a "Bargaining Unit Clarification (UC) Petition" with the National Labor Relations Board. A UC petition is filed when there is need for further clarification of the job classifications that should be covered in an existing bargaining unit.
The UC petition was filed because we believe the Material Planner job should be represented by SPEEA and covered under the existing Puget Sound Technical Bargaining Unit contract. SPEEA has been in discussion with Boeing relative to this job. We had hoped to reach an agreement with the IAM and Boeing that the job would not be included in the unit filed for by the IAM but instead would be included in the jobs covered by SPEEA's Technical Contract. Neither Boeing nor the IAM would enter into that agreement so SPEEA filed a UC petition with the NLRB relative to the "Material Planner" job.
SPEEA spent the next two weeks preparing our case. The number of legal hurdles began to mount as we proceeded with our investigation of the Material Planner job. To proceed with the Unit Clarification would have caused undue delay to the IAM/Boeing hearings defining the bargaining unit for which they have filed. Given the uncertain legal standing and potential damage to the IAM campaign, SPEEA chose to withdraw our petition.
On Monday April 2nd the NLRB
received a letter from SPEEA withdrawing our UC Petition.
Tellers validate Council Election petitions
On Wednesday, April 4, 2001,
Tellers Committee members met to validate petitions submitted for the
2001-2003 SPEEA Council Election. One petition was found to be invalid
(not enough signatures and none "in district"). The following 89 members
who submitted valid petitions, and are unopposed, will be seated for a
two-year term effective April 25, 2001:
10 contested districts, involving 26 members seeking 14 positions. They
are shown below, listed as they will appear on the ballot (in random order
as determined by the Tellers Committee):
Ballots were mailed by April 9th to SPEEA members residing in contested districts, and are due back by noon on Wednesday, April 25th. Ballots will be counted by the Tellers on April 25th, and elected Council Reps will be seated on that date. The first meeting of the new Council is Thursday, May 10th, at which time new Regional Council Officers will be elected for a two-year term of office.
22 Council vacancies left to fill
We still have 22 vacancies on the Council (listed below). We encourage interested members to apply.
D-1 Profs, D.C., 9-90, 9-96 & 9-98 [3 vacancies]
D-3* Profs, 11-14 (Cust.Serv.), 21-series (E.Marg.Way Corp.Park) [2 vacancies]
D-4* Techs, 11-14 (Cust.Serv), 21-series (E.Marg.Way Corp.Park) [2 vacancies]
E-1 Profs, Everett, 40-82, 40-85, 40-86
E-6 Techs, Everett, 40-81, 40-82, 40-85
E-7 Profs, Everett, 40-22
E-9* Profs, Everett, 40-88 [2 vacancies]
E-30 Profs & Techs, Everett, 40-01, 40-02, 40-03, 40-04, 40-05, 40-11, 40-41
E-40 Profs & Techs, Everett, 45-70, 45-80, 45-801, 92-217
K-4 Techs, Kent, 18-01, 18-04, 18-05, 18-21, 18-22, 18-23, 18-24, 18-26, 18-28
K-10 Profs & Techs, Renton Benaroya
K-20 Profs & Techs, 12-126, 12-129 (Southcenter South)
R-1* Profs, Renton, 10-80
R-2 Techs, Renton, 4-20, 4-21, 4-63, 4-64, 4-75, 4-76, 5-02, 5-08, 5-60 [2 vacancies]
R-5 Profs, Renton, 10-16 [2 vacancies]
*Multiple position district where at least one petition has been received.
QUALIFICATIONS: You must reside in the district where you are applying, and you must have paid SPEEA dues continuously for the previous 12 months. Petitions should be delivered, mailed or faxed to SPEEA Headquarters. For info, email firstname.lastname@example.org
DEADLINE: If you apply for one of these vacancies BY 5:00 P.M. MONDAY, APRIL 23rd, and are unopposed, you can be seated by the Tellers at the time they certify the rest of the Council election on April 25th. If there is more than one petition received for an opening by this deadline, we will mail ballots to members in the contested district(s). Ballots will be returned by noon Wednesday, May 9th, counted by Tellers, and elected reps will be seated in time for the first meeting of the new Council on May 10th.
Market Salary Report
By Stan Sorscher, SPEEA Staff
Aviation Week and Space Technology published results of a salary survey in the March 19, 2001 edition. The survey was sent to about 950 AWST subscribers. AWST received 504 responses. Figures 1 and 2 present the AWST results along with SPEEA-represented median salary data as of the day after our March 2001 salary increases.
AWST did not survey technical employees. However, salaries for Profs and Techs tend to track, so trends in one group generally apply to the other.
Salary comparisons rarely involve ideal comparison conditions. For instance, AWST subscribers include many SPEEA-represented employees, so overlapping sampling confounds some effects. The AWST survey is "self-selecting" meaning that the responses are not verified and may suffer bias from incomplete sampling. The definition of "supervisor" may vary from place to place. Another factor is how individual respondents count overtime, bonuses, stock options and other rewards.
The results in Figures 1 and 2 are consistent with other salary surveys, which show Boeing's median engineering salaries lag the market at all experience levels.
Be sure to USE your VACATION!
Just a reminder, you need to start monitoring your vacation account to assure that you do not stop accruing vacation credits. Under the new vacation plan, if your vacation account reaches the maximum hours allowed, accrual will cease until hours drop back under the allowable amount.
Out-sourcing Core Competencies
Part 5 of a series - Our Jobs Our Futures
by Stan Sorscher, SPEEA Staff
Executives are attracted to out-sourcing for several reasons:
Our sense is that these benefits are often overstated and do not compensate for serious negative consequences that threaten our ability to compete in the long term.
Premises of Out-sourcing
A business model with heavy out-sourcing makes several basic assumptions:
We can imagine examples of products where this is true. Make/buy decisions clearly favor vendor-supplied materials such as light bulbs, medical insurance, aircraft engines, aluminum, fasteners, and many other products we would certainly buy rather than make ourselves. Manufacturers of running shoes, ladies' garments or catalog sales may also rely heavily on out-sourcing.
We think our business is different, for several reasons:
Business Case for Out-sourcing
We all believe a rational process must be used to make out-sourcing decisions. Consider Figure 1, which illustrates one way of describing a complex final product. Figure 1 divides the $13 billion MD-11 program into dozens of factors, sorted in terms of the value they generate in proportion to the accounting cost or equity. Every business process should have a value-to-equity ratio of 1.0 or more - that is each process should create more value than it costs. One goal of any business is to increase value-to-equity ratio anywhere it can.
While the figure is not explicit, we can imagine the elements of the program might be fuselages, wings, control surfaces, flight controls, marketing, training, customer service, product development, skin and spar, accounting, contracts, and countless other activities.
Again, we can only imagine how "value" is determined or how costs are allocated. In any event, this figure could guide decisions of what functions would be out-sourced and which would be retained.
Our core competencies are system integration and program management. Each time we out-source a work package, we expect to "move up the food chain" - concentrating on the remaining high-value system integration and program management functions. I try to imagine how Figure 1 would change if we out-sourced various design, manufacturing, customer service, training and other functions. I am certain that the strength of our core competencies would drop accordingly.
Once a supplier takes over a function, any competitive advantage based on that function would become a market commodity, available to competitors, and controlled by suppliers. Furthermore, our ability to develop and manage new business depends on experience and knowledge we acquired from years of design and manufacturing. The supplier network would control that experience and knowledge.
Our expertise as system integrators and program managers would continue to slip as our connection to the "low value-to-equity" processes elements grew weaker over time. We will have handed the basis of our competitive advantage over to our suppliers and competitors. To the contrary, we would become a "mostly overhead" operation, leaving "value creation" to the supplier market.
We are not in the light bulb business. A document circulating from a February 2001 meeting makes the point very well: "A company cannot control its own destiny if it creates less than 10% of the products it sells."
Want to attend a conference at the Northwest Machine Tool Show?
The Ed Wells Initiative invites SPEEA-represented employees to attend the conferences that are part of the Northwest Machine Tool Show April 25 & 26 at the Stadium and Exhibition Center in Seattle. The show is an exhibit of manufacturers, distributors and suppliers of technologies used in manufacturing. The show is free; the additional learning conferences are offered for a fee.
The Ed Wells Initiative will pay conference registration fees for a limited number of SPEEA-represented employees. The employee's home organization pays the salary. Registration details are at http://edwells.web.boeing.com/CourseConf/KCnwMachineToolShow.html
The Ed Wells Initiative is a joint SPEEA/Boeing program for the application of technical excellence. Keep current with its learning opportunities at the event calendar on http://edwells.web.boeing.com
Robin Ryan offers "Career Advancement" seminar
Best selling author and career coach Robin Ryan is offering her new seminar "Smart Strategies for Career Advancement" at two locations:
America's premier career coach will offer proven strategies and tools on getting promoted, whether you are looking to stay at Boeing, or want to investigate moving on to other companies.
She'll cover career management tools that can be used to influence promotions and raises, plus resume tips and interview techniques to polish your skills and move your career ahead.
Robin Ryan will also be sharing new research from a survey from top executives on how to get promoted. This research will be featured in her upcoming book due to be published later this year.
This seminar is offered FREE to SPEEA members. Space is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
To find out more about Robin Ryan, and information about her job search techniques, check out her website at: http://www.robinryan.com
Nominations sought for the Stephen Pezzini H.O.P.E. Award
It's time to ask for nominations from the members for candidates to receive this year's "Stephen Pezzini Helping Other People Excel (H.O.P.E.) Award". This award was established to recognize a current member of a SPEEA bargaining unit who "volunteers time and effort to benefit their community, as well as being active in their union -- a person who excels beyond expectations."
Criteria for nominations:
1) Must be an active SPEEA member.
2) Volunteers ~50% of time in SPEEA activities.
3) Volunteers ~50% of time in community activities.
The nominator must submit a brief write-up stating what the nominee's activities are in both SPEEA and their community. If you have a person you'd like to nominate who fits this criteria, please complete and return the coupon below -- or email your nomination to "email@example.com" by the April 20th deadline.
NOMINATION -- Stephen Pezzini H.O.P.E. Award
I'd like to nominate ___________________________________ to receive this award. Attached is a detailed explanation of both SPEEA activities and Community Activities performed by this nominee.
Your Name ________________________________________________ Clock # ____________
W. Phone ( ) ________________________ H. Phone ( ) ________________________
Submittal deadline is April 20, 2001 - mail to:
SPEEA (HOPE award) - 15205 52nd Ave S - Seattle, WA 98188
OR email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Boeing engineers boost careers and job performance with Internet-delivered Master of Engineering degree
Five engineers from Boeing are participating in a new advanced degree program featuring Internet-based delivery and a results-oriented curriculum. The University of Wisconsin-Madison Master of Engineering in Professional Practice (MEPP) degree prepares engineers for technical leadership roles and targets engineering, communications, management, and computer skills most needed in today's workplace.
Designed for mid-career engineers from any field, the program has received high marks from students for providing needed knowledge and skills. Students like the Internet-based format that allows them to complete the degree while working full time and traveling. A high level of support, student interaction, team projects, a world-class faculty, and learning integrated with job responsibilities make the program an excellent choice for engineers seeking an advanced degree that balances technical and management skills.
All five Boeing students are enthusiastic about the MEPP program and willing to discuss it with any Boeing engineers who are interested in joining the class of 2003. Voicing this view, Mark Slagle, lead quality engineer for the Renton Wing Responsibility Center, said: "When I applied I was looking for a graduate program that would fit my work and personal life while still being able to get a quality education. I have completed the first three courses and am now into the Spring semester and I am happy that I made the right choice. The course materials have enhanced my applied knowledge and abilities to work with management and fellow engineers. I have been promoted to lead my engineering group, and am working on several high visibility initiatives. MEPP is not a walk in the park, as a student I feel that the instructors are experts in their fields and challenge each student to push their limits."
There are still a few places open in the class of 2003. For application forms and other information see the MEPP Web site http://epdweb.engr.wisc.edu/mepp or call the Department of Engineering Professional Development at 1-800-462-0876.
For firsthand information on the MEPP experience, contact:
Joiner (Area Rep)
Employee-paid medical premiums, per contract, for Traditional Medical Plan begin July 1st
This applies only to SPEEA-represented employees who opt to stay with or change to the TRADITIONAL MEDICAL PLAN during the upcoming open enrollment period, scheduled for May 1st through 25th (i.e., it does NOT apply to anyone enrolled in Alliant, Health Washington, or Regence Selections).
Per the 1999-2002 SPEEA (Puget Sound Prof, Tech & Wichita Prof) contracts continued a provision, originally negotiated in our 1995 contracts, requiring SPEEA-represented employees to make monthly medical insurance premium payments IF the percentage change to the Traditional Medical Plan costs exceeds the percentage change to the national medical cost inflation as measured by the CPI Medical Index. We have been informed by the Company that, for the first time since this formula was instituted in 1996 (in our previous contract), costs for our bargaining unit have exceeded the CPI Medical Index.
Contract section 16.2(b)(1) notes a LIMIT to these premium payments: "Employees covered under the Traditional Medical Plan will be required to make monthly payments NOT TO EXCEED $10 (employee only), $20 (employee and spouse, or employee and child), or $30 (employee and family). Changes to the cost of the Traditional Medical Plan and the CPI Medical Index will be determined annually in February for the period of July 1, 1996 to date. Monthly employee contributions, if any, and changes to monthly contributions will become effective July 1 for the following 12 month period".
Any changes to plans requested during the May 1st through 25th open enrollment period will become effective July 1, 2001. If you opt for the Traditional Medical Plan during the May open enrollment, these contributions ($10, $20 or $30 per month) will commence on July 1, 2001 and apply through June 30, 2002. Next year, the same formula will be applied to determine whether or not contributions will continue after June 30, 2002.
NOTE: The IAM has this same provision in their contract. Since their costs also exceeded the CPI-Medical, they too will be required to make maximum premium payments beginning July 1st if they choose the Traditional Medical Plan.
The Company stated they do not have plans to apply this premium payment to non-represented employees. However, such employees already face higher deductibles, higher office visit co-pays, and higher annual out-of-pocket maximums which, when totaled, exceed these premium payments to be required of union-represented employees.
Financial Strategies for Successful Retirement
This four-part seminar introduces you to the key concepts of wise money-management for retirement. Learn about: making the best use of your employer's retirement plan and evaluate lump-sum distribution options ... generating a steady income, protect your assets from inflation, minimize taxes, and provide secure retirement for yourself and spouse ... various types of investments such as stocks, mutual funds, municipal bonds, and tax-deferred annuities ... Social Security, Medicare and ways to provide for costs of potential long-term health-care ... diversification and asset allocation to properly position assets for retirement.
Four consecutive Thursdays
April 26, May 3, 10 & 17
6:30 9:30 p.m.
Bellevue Community College
The tuition is $79 and covers cost of instruction and all materials, including a 155-page workbook. For more information, or to register, call (425) 451-9502 and ask for Mike (instructor).
For additional financial planning seminars, check here.
Coordination of Benefit Coverage
A new Boeing employee and SPEEA member recently approached his Contract Administrator regarding a health insurance concern. The employee immediately enrolled in the Traditional Medical Plan that had a $125 per person deductible for each family member in this employee's case. His spouse also had medical coverage that had a $500 per year deductible. When the employee contacted the Customer Service representative within Boeing, he was told that they would need to pay for both the $500 deductible plus the $125 prior to any coverage under the Traditional Medical Plan.
After an exchange of e-mail between the Contract Administrator and the Benefits office regarding the "Coordination of Benefits" language spelled out in the Attachment to the contract, the Company concurred that the clerk misunderstood the original assertion and properly set up the employee's plan for dual coverage (coordination of benefits) by both husband and wife's plans.
The employee responded immediately, thanking SPEEA for our "speedy assistance", and acknowledging that it was truly a "tremendous relief". [BR]
SPEEA Does Make A Difference!
Back to Contents