November 2, 2001 Newsletter #1856
On November 5, Pauline Tamblyn becomes SPEEA's newest staff member. Pauline was hired to fill the Comptroller position that will become vacant when Jimmie Bergeron retires this coming January after more than 27 years of service.
Pauline is a native Northwesterner, born and raised in Portland. She is the eldest of three children (one brother and one sister). She left the Northwest to attend college, receiving her B.S. degree in Accounting from the University of Southern California. She has since obtained her CPA and is currently enrolled in the Executive MBA program at the University of Washington.
Following graduation, she worked for a number of years in Southern California. In 1998, she returned to the Northwest to be closer to her family (including her two nieces and two nephews). Her work experience includes a large public accounting firm and a number of entertainment production companies.
Pauline has been married for 2-1/2 years to her childhood sweetheart. Their hobbies include camping, often times with 50 other family members!
As to the dull reputation the public holds of her profession, she replies "Accounting is an aptitude, not a personality." We're confident that Pauline's personality will mesh with SPEEA's and welcome her on board.
WSPE sponsors career management seminar
Recognizing that job transitions may be on the horizon for many SPEEA members, the Washington Society of Professional Engineers (WSPE) has offered to bring their career management seminar to our state (assuming there is sufficient interest).
The National Society of Professional Engineers is dedicated to providing quality career management services for all engineers. They have a seminar titled "Managing your Career" which they have been presenting around the country. It covers: skill-assessments and skill identification ... resume development ... job search strategies ... interview training ... campaign management ... and networking skills.
Have you been thinking about the next move in your career? Want to develop a plan to position yourself for that next promotion at work? Considering making a change, but not sure what to do next, or how to do it? This seminar can give you the edge in today's competitive job market.
Cost for a two-day program is $300. If sufficient interest is shown, a seminar will be scheduled in the Seattle area. [Visit http://www.nspe.org/pei to learn more about PEI Career Transition Services and resources.]
If you are interested
in participating, or have additional questions, please call WSPE president
Milton Tiede (former SPEEA member), at (425) 226-5216 (or email email@example.com).
Or call program manager Erin Garcia at (703) 684-2884 (or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
District 3 Council Reps elected
Because four members ran for two Council Rep vacancies in District D-3, on October 12th we mailed ballots out to members in the area. Ballots were due back by October 24th. Below are results of the ballot as determined by the Tellers Committee on October 24th:
Following the Tellers count, Ray Wong resigned -- so the two new Council Reps for District D-3 are RICK TERNEY and TODD SCHOENEMAN. Congratulations!
the Executive Director
This has been a terrible couple of months. The airline industry was devastated by the events of September 11th, Boeing Commercial Airplanes announced plans to lay off a third of their employees by the end of next year, thousands of Boeing employees received layoff notices, and JSF was awarded to Lockheed Martin.
The logical question is "What next?" What next for people who fear for their jobs? What next for an industry that will recover in the long run, but whose short-term prospects are both uncertain and frightening? What next for the people who want to have careers at Boeing and wonder if 1) it will be possible, and 2) are they crazy for even wanting it?
Times are tough right now and the ultimate measure of a person (or organization) is not made in moments of comfort and convenience, but in times of challenge and controversy. Now is the time for a true measure of Boeing, SPEEA, the people that are so critical to both organizations, and the partnership that we both do have and the one we could have.
Many eyes are on us. First, and most importantly, are our own eyes. How we feel about our company, our union and ourselves will likely be the key to our future. Other eyes are important too. This includes investors, customers and potential employees. Each set of eyes needs to be satisfied with what they see, or changes will be made.
At United Airlines, the employees and the board of directors did not like what they saw with their CEO. Dave Carpenter wrote an Associated Press story with a Chicago dateline about the resignation of James Goodwin, the CEO of United. Dave wrote, "(United) struggled financially and laid off a fifth of its workforce since the Sept 11 terrorist attacks." and "Two unions representing United employees called for his resignation, saying he had panicked investors and employees alike without justification. The company's stock has fallen 25 percent since the letter went public." The letter was to employees from Goodwin saying "the airline is hemorrhaging cash and could 'perish' by next year."
This episode underscores that it takes at least three types of confidence for a company to survive: leadership confidence, employee confidence and investor confidence. Lose any one of them and a company very quickly finds itself in trouble and in need of swift adjustments.
So, we're back to the question - What next? Here's what I'd suggest. Let's all work a little harder to satisfy the employee eyes. Less talk about holding profit and more talk about helping people. Work the heck out of the Partnership - and, now that we have the time, take another shot at working layoff mitigation. We now have some time to work retraining, consider pulling back work that was outsourced due to capacity constraints, and reconsider severance pay for voluntary layoffs. These are all things that could and should be looked at more closely and acted upon. We can work together on this to make the best possible happen for everyone. We need to raise everyone's confidence that we know we will survive and, instead of simply getting by, we are taking steps now to flourish when the turn-around comes.
From a SPEEA perspective, we are pushing very hard for a better balancing of interests between profit and people. When Boeing recovers, and Boeing will recover, it will be the people, not the shareholders, who will be designing and building the next generation of the world's best aircraft. We need to make sure that everyone both understands and respects the role that Boeing employees play in this process.
What next? Taking actions that build everyone's confidence and making good things happen for people.
On anther topic: My mother passed away last week and I just wanted to thank the countless people who sent their best wishes. Your support and prayers are greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
Interested in applying for the 2002 SPEEA Negotiation Team(s)
SPEEA contracts expire next year for Puget Sound area Profs & Techs, and for Wichita Profs. So it's time to begin the process of selecting Negotiation Team members who will bargain for new contracts. Do you know of a good candidate?
A Negotiation Team Nominating Committee will schedule interviews with all applicants, determine their recommendations, and then present a slate of nominees to Council Representatives at their February 2002 meeting. The Council is charged with making the final selection.
If you wish to apply for the team, you must meet several requirements (per SPEEA Policy Section VII-C.3):
1) Regular SPEEA membership for the immediate past three years.
2) At least two years active SPEEA participation in the immediate past three years (e.g., committee member, Area Rep, Council Rep, Board member, etc.) [This may be waived by a vote of the Council.]
3) Agreement to attend a Team Candidate Orientation and further Team training.
Orientation - Attendance REQUIRED
We are scheduling a series of orientations to help interested candidates find out what is expected of Team members. This can help you decide whether you will make a good candidate. Orientations are scheduled as shown. Please RSVP to the appropriate phone number for the session of your choice. Attendance at one of these orientations is REQUIRED for all applicants.
The Charleston Five: A fight for justice in South Carolina
This is a story about labor and civil rights concerning a group of union members in the International Longshoremen's Association (I.L.A.) Locals 1422 and 1771 in South Carolina. A group of five dockworkers face criminal charges for attempting to defend their jobs (ref. story for full details).
The case began on January 20, 2000 when a legal informational picket at the Port of Charleston turned into an encounter with 600 riot police. Eight dockworkers were charged with misdemeanor trespass; but SC Attorney General Charlie Condon (known for his hostility toward unions) sought felony indictments against the men. A secret grand jury issued indictments for five; and they were put under house arrest.
In June 2001, SPEEA's Council Reps passed a motion supporting the efforts of the Charleston Five. SPEEA joins numerous other labor unions and civil rights organizations in this support.
The latest news is the workers are no longer under house arrest. And South Carolina Attorney General Charlie Condon has stepped down as prosecutor on the case (perhaps because of worldwide interest in the case, and because of his run for Governor of South Carolina). The trial date has been set for November 14, 2001.
Events are being planned worldwide to support the Charleston Five. A local rally will be held in Seattle on Wednesday, November 14, 2001 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Participants are asked to meet at Terminal 37 (Alaska Way at Royal Brougham Way) for a march to Terminal 62/63 (Alaska Way at Pine Street). [If you can't make the march, go directly to Terminal 62/63. Be sure to dress for the weather, which can be colder/wetter on the waterfront.]
Fourteen new Technical Principals named
Fourteen employees have been selected as Technical Principals.
Technical principals are employees who have had a major impact on the Company's technical success, and act as guides and mentors on issues as they develop leading edge technologies, and identify and solve technological problems.
The Technical Principal Program provides a technical career path for SPEEA Technical Unit employees. All SPEEA-represented technical employees can be candidates for Technical Principal when they reach the highest level of their job classification and meet the eligibility criteria.
The program began in 1979 as the Technical Designer Program for non-ABET accredited designers; and in 1982, Level 07 was created for individuals doing "original design."
In 1995, the program changed to the Technical Principal Program to address the new classification system developed by the SPEEA Technical Job Redesign (STJR) project. Those individuals who had been technical designers (level 07) became technical principals. At this same time, the criteria were broadened to include all SPEEA Technical Unit job families, and line organizations became responsible for selecting candidates.
There are now 288 Technical Principals at Boeing.
A special luncheon was held in their honor Friday October 19th at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. Hank Queen (Vice President, Engineering and Product Integrity, BCAG) and Dan Becker (Vice President, Manufacturing and Quality, BCAG) were the scheduled presenters.
To gain access to the network of Technical Principals and their problem-solving skills, visit the website
The new Technical Principals, their Boeing operating groups, and area of expertise are:
C. Blankinship - Technical Analyst, Tool Design
Space and Communications
L. Creson - Technical Design, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering
Aircraft and Missiles
M. Haney - Manufacturing Engineering
Rasmussen - Chemistry
Buy your Entertainment Books through SPEEA
Proceeds from sales of Entertainment Books through SPEEA go toward our Christmas Fund. This fund is used to purchase gifts for children of laid-off SPEEA-represented employees. You can come into the SPEEA offices in Tukwila or Everett to purchase your book - or go on-line (be SURE to reference our Account #130805) at http://www.entertainment.com
SPEEA participates in UW engineering career fair
Below is some of the data we sharedwith University of Washington engineering students at their Career Fair on October 30-31. In the event these students might be hired by Boeing, our goal is to familiarize them with the labor union that will represent them. All data presented includes only Puget Sound Engineers.
The plot demonstrates the average salary difference between those with advanced degrees and Bachelor degrees. The "highest degree attained" is reported regardless of whether it is in an engineering field. For example, someone with a Bachelor's degree in Engineering and a Masters degree in Business would be plotted as a Masters. Experience is plotted as 2000 minus Equivalent BS degree year (EQBSYR). The 9977 individuals eligible to participate in the 3/2/2001 salary exercise are included. Recent hires are not included since their EQBSYR data is not available. The curves have been smoothed.
Below, the data is broken out by degree level and major (distribution is by Highest Educational Attainment):
Non Degreed 2.7%
Distribution by Degree Major Engineering
Report On CLUW Convention
By Karen Hikel, SPEEA delegate
The 11th Biennial Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) Convention - "Designing our Future" - was incredible, truly global and impressively diverse! The Union women came from unions of crafts people such as painters, construction workers, electricians, aerospace mechanics, communications workers (even the ones who climb the poles), professional engineers, technicians, postal workers, nurses and even the first woman bricklayer (from New York).
From the "Greetings" speech by CLUW National President Gloria Johnson to the closing speaker, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Linda Chavez-Thompson, the 855 women and men attending the conference learned and experienced first-hand many ways of how to shape our future. Through the workshops, panel discussions and the networking we did during our five days, all our IFPTE delegates discovered ways to improve involvement of our members and encourage others to join CLUW as well.
Our IFPTE sister, Irene from Local 17 (Seattle), was elected as a delegate to the CLUW National Executive Board. Both Linda Newell and Karen Hikel (SPEEA delegates) were elected as alternates.
At this event, held October 4-7 in Las Vegas, Nevada, union activists deepened their understanding of organizing and politics. Workshop topics included stress reduction, domestic violence and financial planning. At a pre-convention conference, activists learned about organizing in the Internet age, focusing on using new technologies such as websites and e-mail listservs to boost organizing. Delegates also re-elected CLUW President Gloria Johnson (IUE-CWA).
SPEEA intervention helps provide accountability
A SPEEA member recently approached her Council Representative (CR) regarding an ongoing job classification dilemma she was experiencing. The employee had been told and reassured on several occasions that her reclass to a higher grade level was "in process" without ever receiving any confirmation of the actual effective date. Getting frustrated with the continual delays, the employee and the CR sought out their local Contract Administrator (CA) to assist in bringing closure to this "process".
The Contract Administrator decided to file a grievance requesting reclassification for the employee. The advantage, from the Union's standpoint, was that the filing of a grievance locked in a retroactive effective date.
The employee was initially apprehensive thinking that the Union's intervention would harm her relationship with her Employer. What the employee discovered was that the intervention of the CA helped facilitate discussions between management, HR and the skill team and also held the parties accountable to working towards a solution.
SPEEA is happy to report that the employee just received confirmation from her manager that the reclassification was effected. The employee was extremely thankful because the closure of the "process" provided a significant annual salary increase retroactively. [BR]
Can employees use sick leave on LOA?
If they're SPEEA-represented...the answer is YES!
The Boeing Company told a SPEEA member that he would not be able to use sick leave while on an approved leave of absence. He contacted the Everett SPEEA Office for assistance.
The member had accurately identified Article 6.3(d) of the contract (all SPEEA contracts in Puget Sound and Wichita), as allowing employees to use sick leave for a leave of absence.
After making a couple of phone calls, the Contract Administrator (CA) was able to correct the situation with the Company.
It's the responsibility of Council Reps and CAs to enforce the contract. However, it's impossible to enforce what is unknown. Had this member been unaware of the language, he would have been denied a contractual right. This is an example of why all represented employees should take time to familiarize themselves with the contract.
In an email to SPEEA the member noted: "The (Company Reps) thanked me for challenging them on this issue because they learned a lot, and many more SPEEA folks will benefit as well. Thanks again."
The happy outcome in this situation was due to the joint efforts of the member and his Union. [MM]
Member achieves upgrade...with a little help from SPEEA!
Recently, one of our Techs in Everett succeeded in obtaining an upgrade. Early this summer he contacted his Contract Administrator for assistance in pursuing an upgrade. Together, they developed a strategy to maximize his chances for success.
The CA worked with the member to ensure that he had a well-organized presentation including, copies of Performance Management reviews, past accomplishments, and a narrative that highlighted his knowledge, skills, and abilities. The goal in mind was to persuade his manager and the Skill Team that he would be a good candidate for promotion.
Timing is another important factor in seeking an upgrade. The member opted to wait until he completed a particular project before moving forward. When he felt the time was right, he approached his supervisor with his proposal. Within a few weeks he was notified that his upgrade had been approved!
SPEEA Council Reps and Contract Administrators are always willing to assist members who wish to seek an upgrade. However, the real expert in this effort is the employee! It's the employee who can best ascertain what his/her abilities are and the approach that should be taken.
Sometimes all that's really needed is a little help from SPEEA. [MM]
SPEEA DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Newly-released novel: "A Shortage of Engineers"
St. Martin's Press recently released a new novel titled "A Shortage of Engineers" by Robert Grossbach. Bob is both an engineer with many years of experience in the aerospace business, and a funny and perceptive writer.
The big industrial corporations that get contracts from the Department of Defense like to present themselves as proud bastions of efficiency, hard work, and creative solutions to the most difficult problems utilizing the most advanced technology. International Instruments is one such company, but when young Zachary Zaremba starts work there after graduating from engineering school, he discovers that on the inside, it's not the gleaming powerhouse he was led to believe. In fact, he finds that entropy, incompetence and apathy are the main force of daily life, peppered with a little outright fraud and deception. His colleague Shopper Jim, teaches him the first rule of engineering: don't take it too seriously.
Kirkus called A Shortage of Engineers "Hilarious corporate satire ... Dilbert with the gloves off (and pants down). Laugh-out-loud funny." Publishers Weekly says "Often the comedy is fresh and funny ... At it's best, as in the oddities of bureaucratic paperwork or the splendidly fraudulent meetings called to discuss progress, Grossbach's book engaged exactly the right gear."
[Ref: ISBN: 0-312-37554-4]
COBRA: Medical only, dental only or both
We have been informed that, starting January 1, 2002, employees who terminate employment with The Boeing Company may convert their medical and/or dental insurance by paying COBRA. (Previously, your only choices were "medical & dental", or "medical only"...you may now choose "dental only" if you wish.)
This offer will apply to those employees who are laid off December 14, 2001 - whose Boeing-paid dental insurance expires 12/31/01, and whose medical insurance expires the end of the third month following date of layoff (i.e., March 31, 2002).
Seminars offered for employees with 60-day notices
Career Transition Centers in the Puget Sound region will sponsor a series of seminars starting this week to help employees who receive 60-day notices of a possible lay-off.
The seminars, to be held Oct. 30 through Dec. 12, will offer information in three areas:
* benefits employees can expect from Boeing
* filing for unemployment insurance, and
* opportunities for education and re-training
The sessions last two hours and will introduce you to a wide range of Boeing and community resources you can tap into as you make plans for the future. No advance registration is required; employees should choose a time and place that suits them best. For the complete schedule and locations, check out this website:
The Puget Sound Career Transition Centers are provided by the Shared Services Group People organization and serve the enterprise throughout the region.
Shop 'til you drop for charity
The Alderwood Mall has teamed up with the Snohomish County Red Cross and other non-profit organizations to present "An Evening of Giving", Sunday, December 2nd, 2001 from 7 to 10 p.m.
The mall will close its doors to the public at 7 p.m. to allow for the special event.
Tickets are $5.00 each (children under 12 are free). What do you get for your $5.00? An evening of holiday shopping, entertainment, special discounts, door prizes and free gift-wrapping.
But more importantly, your participation will benefit the American Red Cross. If you'd like to purchase tickets for this charitable and fun event, you may contact:
County Chapter of the American Red Cross
Retirement planning workshops
Paul Merriman, described by The Seattle Times as "a tireless investment advocate," will present a series of free evening workshops in the Seattle area in November.
"The Smartest Way to Invest for Retirement" is designed to help those in or near retirement, manage their investments to produce growth and income while limiting risk. A new segment will look at what Wall Street wants you to know and what you should know.
He'll also present suggested model portfolios using no-load mutual funds offered by Schwab, Fidelity and Vanguard, and other portfolios made up of options available in the Boeing retirement plan.
Each workshop is free, and there is no obligation. Advance registration is required by calling 1-800-423-4893. Or register online at www.FundAdvice.com.
Paul Merriman is founder and president of Merriman Capital Management in Seattle, which manages more than $275 million for individuals, retirement plans and other investors. He is publisher and editor of FundAdvice.com, a monthly newsletter that has won numerous national awards, and is author of two books on investing. He is also co-portfolio manager of the Merriman Mutual Funds.
Free lunch seminars for those retiring or changing jobs
Retiring or changing jobs? Do you know what to do with your pension and VIP/FSP distribution?
Kevin Cahoon, Associate Vice President, Retirement Planning Specialist, and Andrew Hergert, Financial Advisor, of Morgan Stanley will be presenting these free seminars for people about to retire who are considering a lump-sum distribution or rollover from their 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. Box lunches will be provided for all attendees. To reserve your space, request a box lunch, and obtain the room number, call Andrew Hergert at (206) 224-4203 or 1-800-733-4873. Conference rooms vary depending on each seminar date.