July 13, 2001 Newsletter #1841
On June 20 & 21, 2001, representatives of SPEEA and Boeing met for the "mid-term" review of the Puget Sound based SPEEA/Boeing contracts. The purpose of this gathering was to: (1) discuss streamlining the negotiation process; (2) discover what's working and what's not that will have an impact on our next negotiations; and (3) begin to build relationships among the parties' negotiation team members.
To kick off the event, a "leadership perspective" was provided by a panel comprised of: SPEEA President Craig Buckham; VP People/BCAG Jerry Calhoun; SPEEA Executive Director Charles Bofferding; and Boeing VP of Engineering Hank Queen.
Craig Buckham noted SPEEA's "new found strength", adding the Union is interested in the long-term success of the entire Boeing community. SPEEA is also committed to demonstrating the competitive advantage of companies who have a Union. In the spirit of what works, SPEEA has found what works is giving people an objective, involving them, and listening to them. He summarized, SPEEA wants to be a leader in the 21st century, admired for the results we achieve for the people we represent.
Jerry Calhoun noted this was his first "Mid-Term" meeting but he hopes it results in talking straight with one another about our aspirations, where we want to go, and why we want to go there. He agreed we share the common objective of making Boeing a world-class company. He also stressed the importance of communicating with and educating our "constituent groups" - management & employees on the Company's side, and SPEEA's leaders and members on the Union side. If we both do that well, we will end up with the right tools and processes, and come out with a better result. He hoped, when we leave this meeting, we will go out and plant the seeds of a philosophy that will have a good result in the Fall. Jerry noted that Alan Mulally (CEO & President of Boeing Commercial Airplanes) will be our leader through this process. He believes in the process and in SPEEA, and he has charged us with the lofty responsibility of reaching an agreement that makes sense for the business and for the people.
Charles Bofferding talked about "what is working". The Partnership has begun, and seems to be going well, with the parties working together to resolve our respective issues. He said the members he talks to want to see us come together in a real partnership and make this the best aerospace company in the world. We have different priorities, but need to work to bring solutions for everybody. He said one of the areas we need to discuss is how decisions get made in the negotiations process. On SPEEA's side, bottom line is the members get to decide. At Boeing, it's a smaller group of people who decide.
Hank Queen agreed with Charles, a lot of things are going well with the Company and the Union. But the Company must also be concerned about its competition, and the economy. He said they can't afford to keep going into their up-and-down cycles, nor continue to lose market share. He said it's imperative our respective "institutions" understand what they can and can't do. We need to focus on reaching an agreement that will work for both sides - if we don't, it could mean disaster. Hank said he believes the strike was a "wake-up call" for the Company. They are making changes they wouldn't have otherwise made. They realize "without the people, you don't have a company". Last time, we were able to get back on track after the strike, he said - but it's unlikely that would happen if another strike occurred.
Critical Path for Negotiations
Charles Bofferding and Geoff Stamper (Boeing, Union Relations) provided an overview of the negotiations process for each side. They discussed the timeline, and the fact that in last negotiations "joint" committees met early in the process to review issues that might come up in the contract proposal.
Charles covered the timing for SPEEA's contract balloting, and other negotiation-related policy requirements. He also shared the "groundrules" that were developed by both parties for use in our joint meetings last negotiations.
Geoff explained the Company's process of polling its managers before going into negotiations, soliciting local problems and issues. He said they also pass their ideas through "advisory councils". The final offer is run past the Company's Executive Council for approval. It was noted, moving Company Headquarters to Chicago won't change the process. But in this next round of negotiations, Alan Mulally will carry more influence in SPEEA negotiations. Alan's only restriction will be "prudent business realities".
Streamlining the Process
It was decided to form a subcommittee of this group (on SPEEA's side, Charles Bofferding, Craig Buckham and Tom McCarty ... and on the Company's side, Geoff Stamper, Malcolm Case and Jeff Janders) to develop a proposal for streamlining our negotiations process. The proposal will cover the event, the process, and our future relationship. Once developed, the plan will be shared with this same group for review.
The group talked about some of the issues they believe will be raised in next negotiations. These included: Job Security ... Outsourcing, design transfer ... redeployment / retraining / recalls ... Partnership Agreement ... Treatment of Union vs. Non-Union Employees ... Administration of Discipine ... Performance Management ... Medical costs ... Retiree Medical ... Disability Plans ... Breaks in Service ... Outsourcing administration of various Company plans ... Wages ... Bonus ... EIP ... Overtime ... and SJC fine-tuning.
The groups talked about how some of these issues could be discussed in advance of negotiations, for determining possible resolution.
It was agreed that an "Ideal World" would include sharing information ... sharing decisions ... sharing consequences ... sharing trust ... and working together, as individuals and as institutions. SPEEA suggested, when decisions are announced by The Boeing Company, the message should include the name(s) of the decision-makers. For the most part, people in the room indicated their commitment to working together to reach our mutual goals. Hank Queen said, we also need to extend working together to other people not in this room. We need a common vision, and common principles - and we need to get "buy-in" from our constituents.
Notes from the Executive
Sometimes life has to slap you hard to remind you about what is really important.
This past week, Bill Dugovich (SPEEA's Communications Director) was injured as he and his son were riding a tandem in the Seattle-to-Portland (STP) Bicycle race.
Thankfully, Bill's ten-year-old son Nick was not seriously injured - he was taken to the hospital, treated for minor injuries and released. Bill was not as lucky. He suffered a head injury and initially was placed in the Intensive Care Unit on a ventilator. The good news is that Bill was quickly taken off the ventilator and will soon recover fully.
People matter - we said it during our strike; we live it every day. I still carry the front page South County Journal article from June 11, 1999 about the death of Dean Morris, a Boeing crane operator. The article is a reminder that, no matter what anyone says, Boeing is a family and we matter to each other. People are the heart and soul of Boeing and certainly of SPEEA too.
The outpouring of concern for Bill and his family has been tremendous. We are lucky to have Bill on our staff. This is something that we have known. But now Bill knows that we know. That is a good thing. Let's not wait for tragedies to remind us how important we are to each other. Let's not wait until one of us is hurt. Take some time today to look your colleagues in the eye and tell them how special they are.
Both Boeing and SPEEA are facing a lightning-paced future and our only hope for success is the continued support and success of the people. People matter. Bill matters, you do to.
Let's all take some time this week to tell those around us how special they are and that they have our support, just as we know we have theirs.
SPEEA is happy to forward any
cards for Bill that are sent to the SPEEA office.
CPI - May 2001
The U.S. City Average all-items Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners & clerical workers (CPI-W) on a 1982-84=100 base for May 2001 is 174.4. (On a 1967=100 base, the May index is 519.4.) This is a 0.5% increase from one month ago, and a 3.7% increase from a year ago.
Join your fellow union members at
Solidarity Day XXI
Sunday, August 12, 2001
Tacoma Rainiers vs. Salt Lake Stingers
Union softball game, door prizes, skydivers, music, entertainment, clowns, balloons.
Game time 1:35 pm - Gates open at NOON
FREE General Admission, compliments of SPEEA
Tickets available at SPEEA Headquarters, first-come, first serve
Call (206) 433-0991
Watch for your Benefits booklets
SPEEA members will be receiving the following summary plan description benefit booklets from The Boeing Company during July and August. We encourage you to put these booklets in a safe place so you can refer to them over the next few years. (They are also posted on the web, as noted below.)
3/2/2001 Wichita Technical
and Professional Unit
The March 2, 2001 salary adjustment fund, the first under the newly ratified Wichita Technical and Professional Unit (WTPU) contract, is computed as 4.5% times the total salaries of eligible employees (in the bargaining unit and on the active payroll on both the fund computation date, January 4, 2001 and the fund distribution date, March 2, 2001). For the March 2, 2001 salary adjustment fund, the eligible population was 4,020 earning total salaries of $202,763,150. A total of $9,107,750 in annual base rate salary increases was given out. The guaranteed minimum salary increase was $750 and only 65 people (1.6%) received the minimum.
The tables below summarize the distribution of the 3/2/2001 WTPU salary increases by a variety of categories.
Table 1 - Grade
The table below shows the salary distribution by grade. Grades N1 through N5 and NA through NB are non-exempt grades (Note: "exempt" as used here refers to exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act - FLSA, a federal law which provides certain minimum wage and hour protections). Grades P1 through P5 are exempt grades. Since the creation of WTPU, the first character of the grade field for WTPU employees has changed to "G" for non-exempt grades (i.e., G1 through G5 and GA through GD) and "H" for exempt grades (i.e., H1 through H5).
The data is as of 3/2/2001 so any promotions after that date would not be reflected in the table. Dates (age and service) are computed as of 3/2/2001. The service is adjusted Boeing Company service (adjusted for breaks in employment).
(click images for larger view)
Salary Increase Population Distribution
The charts below show the percent salary increase and salary increase distribution for the 4,020 employees participating in the March 2, 2001 salary adjustment exercise.
Salary Charts for WTPU on the SPEEA Web Site
Now posted on the SPEEA web site (www.speea.org) are salary charts by job groupings for the employees in the Wichita Technical and Professional Unit (WTPU). The charts are intended to give employees visibility as to their salary position relative to their peers after the March 2, 2001 selective salary adjustment distribution.
From the SPEEA home page, choose the "SPEEA Wichita" tab and look for "Salary Charts". The information is intended for SPEEA members only and you'll be prompted for your name and clock number (last four digits of your social security number) in order to gain access to the information.
Contact your Congressperson regarding Trade Promotion Authority
SPEEA's Council voted on May 10, 2001 to oppose the implementation of "trade promotion authority", previously known as "fast track", noting lawmakers must be able to vote on trade agreements with the benefit of a full debate.
SPEEA leaders sent letters to members of the House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Trade last week, stating our opposition to HR 2149 for several reasons. The most important reason is that it does not require the president to include enforceable protections for workers' rights in our trade agreements. To ensure that the nation's trade agreements are fair and reasonable, any trade negotiating authority Congress adopts must require inclusion of workers' rights in the core of all trade agreements. HR 2149 contains no such requirement.
Additionally, HR 2149 would put undue limitations on lawmakers. Congress would not be able to vote on trade agreements with the benefit of a full democratic debate, or have the ability to add amendments to trade policy. Furthermore, HR 2149 lacks adequate procedures for constituents and the public to consult with Congress before voting on trade agreements.
This vote is imminent. SPEEA
members are encouraged to contact their Congressperson by calling
Council Reps from remote sites share unique issues
In early June, we brought all of our Council Representatives into town from locations outside Puget Sound. Those representatives held their own meeting on Friday morning, June 8th. Their first agenda item was to share with SPEEA staff and other leaders issues and events that were "unique" to their particular site.
Matt Carter reported for the Portland site. He said, of the 1800 employees at that site, about 140 are represented by SPEEA - about 38 are engineers and the remainder are technical employees. Their plant manufacturers parts related to flight controls. Their major issue is "education on issues" - managers are unfamiliar with the contract and with Company rules & procedures. Another issue is bargaining unit erosion - SPEEA work being assigned to hourly employees. Management seems unaware how to "fill SPEEA positions".
Jennifer Mackay from Spokane reported her site has 100% SPEEA membership! They are very small, and they are a fairly new division built in the early 1990's. Being new, they are more able to implement new ideas, including Lean Manufacturing. There are only about 530 employees in Spokane, and SPEEA represents 56. Their main problem at this time is the current job descriptions. They too have to remind management what is IAM work and what is SPEEA work. She noted "Boeing management does the right thing when they are forced to because of a strong union." She said their high membership percentage comes from peer pressure, and the fact more people have seen what SPEEA can do.
From California was Jeff Lewis. Jeff works at Edwards Air Force Base, in the desert northeast of Los Angeles. The main thrust for employees there is military - flight test, missile testing and avionics integration. One of their issues is jurisdiction - they work directly with former Rockwell and McDonnell-Douglas engineers. And 60-70% of management there is not "heritage Boeing". When employees are hired in, they aren't considered represented by SPEEA. They have 94% membership among the 29 SPEEA-represented employees at the site. Jeff felt that could be increased if SPEEA had more of a presence at the site.
Representing Utah was Fred Stringham. Fred said, since the merger, there are about 400 Boeing employees at his site. SPEEA only represents about 35 of those. Utah is a right-to-work state, and they have 60% membership. They do testing of missiles and ground systems. Fred said, when the strike began, he was escorted out of the workplace by police. Apparently, they didn't want any disruption. Response to the Company survey from Utah employees was very negative. Management makes it very clear they are the "boss". SPEEA Staff helped convince management that some promotions were in order during the SJC conversion. They also have problems with medical claim reimbursement.
Mike Johnson from Florida reported he works with about 80 employees on the Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) program. Only about 20 are represented by SPEEA. The program was designed and built in Seattle in 1978, and then moved to Florida for assembly, test and launch. Like Jeff, he works with quite a few former Rockwell and McDonnell Douglas employees. They have a very adversarial relationship with management. One of their main issues is benefits, and the lack of "preferred providers" in the area. SJC conversion was very demoralizing; there were virtually no upgrades.
Speaking for Irving, Texas, was Redge Thompson. He said the plant opened in November 1979, and is located between Dallas and Fort Worth. They build electronics - e.g., black boxes, cabin management. Employment was up to 1800 in the late 1980's, then scaled back again. Right now there are about 1300, and SPEEA represents about 160 with about 50% membership. They have a pretty good working relationship with upper management. They are in the fourth year of a four-year contract, which expires in February 2002, so negotiation preparation is underway. They lost their former HR manager, and rather than replacing him, the Company has decided to let the People manager in Corinth, Texas handle both sites.
Steve Smith gave the report for Wichita. He noted that about a year ago, the new bargaining unit in Wichita was organized, and they ratified their first contract about one month ago. He said they are mostly "operations", and their managers are more familiar dealing with hourly employees. In an effort to "save costs", they are being asked to "flex time" rather than take PERBUS or NON-IND. They seem to be replacing a lot of direct employees with contract personnel. Steve said their new WTPU unit reached 56% membership prior to the contract vote, which is a true success. They still have about 43 Facilities & SHEA engineers who wish to be organized by SPEEA.
Following this discussion, the Council Reps were trained on "Common Sense Economics" and "Global Fairness" by SPEEA members Judith Campbell, John Kohlsaat and John Repp. Their visit to Seattle included participation in SPEEA's 1st Annual Council Convention, Annual Recognition Banquet, and Annual SPEEA Leadership Conference (required training of SPEEA's elected leaders). They were happy to have the chance to network with their peers in Seattle.
SPEEA members' kids awarded Boeing Scholarships
Sons and daughters of 14 SPEEA members were recently selected as Boeing National Merit Scholars. They will receive four-year scholarships of $1,500 per year for use at their chosen four-year colleges or universities.
Students qualified based on their test scores on the PSAT/NMSQT. Nationally, approximately 1.2 million high-school students take the PSAT and only 14,000 become National Merit finalists. Finalists are then judged on their academic records and test scores, without regard to family financial circumstances. Selections are based on recommendations from school officials about a student's extra-curricular accomplishments, interests and goals.
Jon Wickell (Area Rep, Wichita) - daughter Ashley graduated from Wichita East High; plans to attend Baylor University
Mark Buchholtz (Member, Kent) - daughter Jessica graduated from Tahoma High; plans to attend Concordia College
Guner Firuz (Member, Everett) - daughter Layla graduated from Bellevue High; plans to attend New York University
Emmanuel Grillos (Member, Dev. Ctr) - son Dimitrios graduated from Bothell High; plans to attend the United States Air Force Academy
John Ho (Area Rep, Everett) - son Alexander graduated from Shorewood High; plans to attend Arizona State University
Namsoo Kim (Member, Renton Benaroya) - son Edward graduated from Lakeside School; plans to attend Harvey Mudd College
Dongliang Lin (Member, Kent) - daughter Joy graduated from Newport High; plans to attend Harvard University
Timothy Mulhaney & Philip Lopresti (Members, Everett) - daughter Casey graduated from Edmonds-Woodway High; plans to attend Hillsdale College
Pradip Parikh (Member, Renton) - daughter Victoria graduated from Kentridge High; plans to attend Stanford University
David Patzwald (Council Rep, Everett) - son Ben graduated from King's High; plans to attend University of Washington
Ted Rogers (Member, Renton) - daughter Lara graduated from Charles Wright Academy; plans to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Hardayal Singh (Member, Everett) - son Mandeep graduated from Interlake High; plans to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Peter Williams (Member, Auburn) - daughter Amy graduated from Holy Names Academy; plans to attend Gonzaga University
CWU MSET degree program open house
Thursday, July 19th
Renton Cafeteria (10-90, Rm A&B)
Central Washington University's
Master of Science in Engineering Technology Degree Program
Any and all employees in possession of an Engineering or Applied Science Bachelors of Science degree who seek an advanced degree in Engineering Technology as a means of broadening their technical and managerial knowledge base, and commensurately strengthening their value to any employer, are strongly encouraged to take a few moments and stop by.
The Chair of Central Washington University's Industrial and Engineering Technology Department (and the Lead Instructor in the MSET program), Dr. Walt Kaminski, will be on hand to personally meet you and facilitate three scheduled 20-minute presentations of the MSET degree program at:
9:30 am; 11:00 am; and 12 Noon.
All of the course work is taught in a 'local' classroom and after work hours (5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.). And most importantly, all of the courses are taught by 'live' Full-Time and Adjunct Professors with 'expert-level' subject-matter experience.
For More Information Contact:
* CWU Industrial & Engineering Technology Department Chair, and MSET Degree Program Coordinator: Dr. Walt Kaminski, Phone: (509) 963-1477, E-Mail: email@example.com; or
* Boeing/CWU Technical Research Focal, and CWU Industrial & Engineering Technology Department Professor: Dr. Gerard M. Woodlief, Phone: (425) 234-5243, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
International Guest offers thanks
To all at SPEEA,
As an 'Old Campaigner' for my trade union, there are times when you feel you are up against a brick wall in the fight to improve the terms and conditions of your colleagues. No matter what you do, the 'moaners and groaners' will always outweigh the people who thank you for all your hard work.
It was refreshing, therefore, to see that in your organisation you had a set-up where the people who knew about the hard work of others - their fellow trade unionists - acknowledged the fact at your Convention. I certainly came away from your Convention with my batteries recharged and looking forward to my next clash with my company!
It was obvious to me that last year's strike was a landmark for your union - something to keep in mind when things get tough, as they surely will. I was proud to sign the burn barrel at the SPEEA office. It serves also as a reminder to what the union is. The union is the people who belong to the union, not the staff or lay officials, although they are the facilitators who give advice where needed and carry out the wishes of the union membership.
I hope that when conditions are right, SPEEA or IFPTE will consider joining one of the International Trade Secretariats. Not only will your members benefit from deals such as the UNI passport, but these Secretariats also fight for the rights of workers in the Third World to ensure that International Labour Organisation standards are adhered to.
Finally, I would like to convey my personal thanks to SPEEA for their great hospitality with special thanks to Alan Rice and his family who really made us feel at home. Thanks also go to all the staff and delegates whom I met and who made me feel so welcome. To the delegates I didn't get chance to meet, maybe there will be a future opportunity, but until then, keep the faith!
With all best wishes for the future,
/s/ Ray Arrowsmith,
Career Counseling available
Effective July 1st, the Career Transition Center began offering career counseling and career development concepts to employees with WARN notices, Boeing active employees, and employees on medical LOA.
The CTC counselors are mobile in Puget Sound and will consult employees at their work site in Hoteling Suites. To schedule a counseling session or workshop at your site, please contact the CTC at (425) 234-9817.
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.