June 29, 2001 Newsletter #1840
By Robbi Alberts, Staff coordinator
The weekend of June 1-3, SPEEA members and their families traveled over Stevens Pass to eastern Washington to camp for two nights at Tumwater Campground outside Leavenworth - and to raft the white-water on the Wenatchee River. Though we understand the weather wasn't too good on the west side of the mountains, over on the east side we avoided the rain.
Forty-two sturdy souls, including some young children, braved the colder-than-normal temperatures, donned their wetsuits and life jackets, and headed out down the Wenatchee River. Those in front took the brunt of the waves, but everyone ended up getting wet. We even lost a few overboard when they didn't see the waves coming, but soon had them back in the rafts and continued on our way.
Our guides, Pacific Rim Expeditions, safely guided us down the river, and provided an excellent buffet lunch half-way through the trip. An unfortunate incident at lunchtime, passenger Beverley DeJong fainted and we had to call 911. The ambulance checked her out and she seemed to be OK, but she was transported to the local hospital for observation. She arrived back at the campsite later that day, none the worse for wear.
We all gathered around the campfire that evening, and had a delicious potluck dinner (including beef stroganoff, chili, a variety of salads and desserts, including Beverley's famous fantastic chocolate cake - Bev, we want that recipe!!) After dinner, we played our People Bingo game and found out some very interesting facts as we became acquainted with each other. (Stephen wrote an adventure novel ... John conquered Mt. Rainier twice ... Glacier had dinner with the Mayor of Oxford England as a child ... Rene, all in the same week, was in a 90 mph cyclone, 110 degree desert heat, & -35 degree 35 mph storm - he later explained, flight-testing Boeing airplanes!) Elizabeth Smith, who at age 20 manages a 10-person office, was the fastest to fill up her squares with signatures so was first to draw a raffle prize. A drawing was then held for additional prizes.
All in all, we had another fantastic rafting/camping trip. We have quite a few who have become "regulars" on this trip, and others who promise to be back next year. Next year's trip will be on the Methow River in Eastern Washington. Hope some more of you can join us then!
Notes from the Executive
We had the Mid-Term meeting last week. My candid assessment is mixed.
Everyone (both SPEEA and Boeing representatives) in the room was committed to doing everything possible to negotiate a contract that works for everyone. No one wants a strike. The people in the room have had a number of successes in many venues; i.e. they are people who know how to accomplish a task once they start it.
However, the group was grounded by a sense that it would take more than good intentions and the efforts of the people in the room to make good things happen.
They were right: it takes more. History confirms this; in our last negotiations, many of the same people in the room tried their best to make something good happen - we failed. One reason we failed was that SPEEA was not taken seriously as a strike threat. Another was that Boeing wasn't clear about the value of people and their importance to Boeing's future.
The good news is that a lot has changed in the last two years. First is that SPEEA will not be underestimated. Second is that Boeing is conscientiously placing an increased importance on people - one reason is that a tight labor market is forcing them to; another is that, Boeing's leaders are beginning to figure out that people matter.
Boeing News Now reported that Shared Services President Laurette Koellner had a message for the people of Computing & Network Operations (CNO)-SSG & Company Offices when she spoke at their all-employee meeting. "People are the key to meeting our business plan commitments," she said. "Technology is easily duplicated, but people can't be." Dave Parker, the organization's director, repeated that theme as he shared the CNO people strategy and described how employees will play a part in taking it forward.
Yes, we all want good things
to happen. We have intelligent, committed people trying to work together
to make them happen. But last time we had a failure. As stated last week,
SPEEA is committed to doing everything possible to make good things happen
in good ways. We need to continue to prepare for the worst while we fight
for the best. We must keep pushing for what we know is right, but that
alone won't be enough. It takes more. With a unified workforce and a true
partnership with Boeing, we will have more. Now is the time to build both
as strong as possible.
SPEEA apparel now available
Now you can show your union pride with new SPEEA apparel.
SPEEA recently teamed with ProMarketing Gear to provide members with 100% U.S.-made apparel that sports the new SPEEA logo. The line of clothing includes an assortment of polo and regular shirts, sweatshirts, fleece vest, and outerwear. You may have already seen some of the apparel on your local Council Representative.
To check out what's available and order something for yourself, simply visit the website: www.speea.progear.com. You can find a link to this site on SPEEA's website under "General Information".
On your first visit to the site, you will want to log in and establish your own password. After that, revisit anytime to see the latest garments available. We plan to add additional items in the future, including several jackets.
Annual SPEEA picnic
Saturday, July 28 - Woodland Park
This year's annual picnic has been set for Saturday, July 28th at Woodland Park Shelter #3. Mark your calendar and plan to attend this fun event. We'll have volleyball, bean-bag toss and entertainment starting at 10:30 a.m. Lunch will be served from noon to 1:00 p.m. SPEEA will provide the hotdogs/ sausages, buns, condiments and soda pop. We ask that each of you bring a potluck dish of your choice (appetizer, salad or dessert) - perhaps your "burn barrel specialty"!
Starting at 1:00 p.m., we'll have games for every age group from smallest children to adults. Prizes will be awarded to the game winners. Activities will wrap up about 3:00 p.m.
Tickets are on sale, at a cost of $2 per person age 11 and older (children under 11 are FREE). Please purchase your ticket in advance to aid in planning final logistics. Ticket sellers can be found at each plant location shown below.
If you'd like to help in the planning, coordinating and carrying out of this picnic, contact Robbi at SPEEA on (206) 433-0995, ext. 126 or email email@example.com.
You can also purchase your ticket at SPEEA's Tukwila or Everett offices - or order by mail (include check payable to SPEEA, plus your name, mailing address, total number in your family, and ages of your children). Send order to: SPEEA Picnic, 15205 - 52nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98188.
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
July 12, 19, 26 & August 2
6:30 - 9:00 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 Mike Kernan, the instructor, at (425) 451-9502.
Sign up for golf tournament today!
Our 7th annual SPEEA Golf Tournament will be held Saturday, July 21, 2001 at Gold Mountain's "Olympic Course" near Bremerton, WA. This course has received great reviews from many national golf magazines and is worth a special trip. First tee-time is 10:00 am (tee times assigned by random drawing). Cost is $55 per person, which includes green fees for 18 holes, awards, and door prizes.
Sign up as an individual, or in pairs. Partners for individual sign-ups and partner pairs (to make foursomes) will be assigned by random drawing. Space is limited, so sign up early. Reservations must be made by July 7th, using the coupon below.
SPEEA Golf Tournament Reservation Form -- July 21, 2001 - Gold Mountain Golf Course
Enclosed is my check (payable to SPEEA) in the amount of $_____ ($55 per person) -
OR charge $_____ plus a $2 handling fee to my :
* VISA * MasterCard * American Express
Card # ___________________________________ Exp. Date ___________
I want to sign up: * As an individual (please pair me with a partner)
* As a team (my guest's name is: _____________________)
Name____________________________________________ Clock #___________
W.Phone ( )____________________ H.Phone ( )______________________
Email: (w)_____________________________ (h) __________________________
Mail by the
July 7th deadline to: SPEEA Golf Tournament -
One of our SPEEA members was recently notified by his manager that Human Resources (HR) was requesting a meeting with the employee for the issuance of a Corrective Action Memo (CAM) for "long distance phone calls". The member quickly contacted his Contract Administrator for assistance at this meeting. Prior to the actual meeting, the Union attempted to investigate this matter to see where the employer was coming from.
At the actual meeting, the HR generalist began the process in an aggressive manner and told the employee that he made two long distance phone calls from a Company phone (which he would have to repay) and that a CAM was being issued. The first question from the Contract Administrator was requesting the documentation of the alleged phone calls. HR responded that they had requested but had not received it at that point in time but the action was predicated on a comment made by the employee at a Security interview. The CA quickly noted that he was actually at the Security interview and that the report to HR was read out of context. It was suggested that HR actually get the documentation prior to the issuance of any discipline.
Good advice seemed to be falling on deaf ears! The HR person continued to push for the CAM to be put in place as the first step in their "two-fold process for collection". Without having the "documentation", HR was able to identify the numbers of the alleged long distance phone calls. The first was identified as Boeing Legal. The CA asked, if the employee had actually made that call, wouldn't it be within the Boeing telephone system and not a long distance phone call? Reluctant agreement was accomplished on that one. The second "long distance" phone call was to a number at the Washington State Wildlife Department. With that cue, the Contract Administrator actually provided the HR person the complete number along with a page out of the local phone directory noting that the number was listed as a toll-free number. The CA went on to note that, prior to any discipline being issued, it is incumbent upon the employer to do a good faith investigation and these items could have easily been clarified during that step in the process.
The Contract Administrator made one more suggestion at this point, which was better received. He proposed that the CAM be thrown away and that the meeting be changed from an "administration of discipline" meeting to an investigatory meeting. Once HR has their facts together, we are confident that no discipline will be warranted. [BR]
SPEEA Does Make A Difference!