November 9, 2001 Newsletter #1857
Donations are pouring in for our KCLA "SPEEA Cares Fund", but we still have a ways to go to reach our target. This fund was launched by SPEEA in early October after learning that Boeing management refused to budge on the Union's request to delay the effective date for this first round of layoffs - slated to occur two weeks before Christmas!
Donations to this fund will be used to provide monetary gifts (in lieu of pay to make up for lost wages and holiday pay between December 14th and January 1st) for SPEEA-represented employees being laid off before the holidays.
The King County Labor Agency, a non-profit service arm of the King County Labor Council, is assisting with collecting and processing these donations. The fund has been established as a 501(c)3 non-profit charity. Thus, donations are tax deductible.
Donors are asked to give up a couple hours pay to help carry these unfortunate employees through the end of the year. Donations can be made by anyone. To make a donation, send your check, payable to "KCLA/SPEEA Cares Fund" to: KCLA/SPEEA Cares Fund, 2800 First Avenue, Room 126, Seattle, WA 98121. Or you can drop it off at one of the SPEEA offices, or send it c/o of your SPEEA rep. (A letter was recently mailed to every member's home which also explains how you can make your donation by credit card, or bank transfer from BECU.)
Deadline for making these donations is December 14th, so KCLA can process checks for those being laid off.
[Note: If you made a donation, ask your Council Rep or Area Rep for an "I Gave - SPEEA Cares" badge sticker. ]
Dependent care reimbursement account plan annual enrollment
SPEEA-represented employees may participate in the Dependent Care Reimbursement Account Plan. This Plan allows you (if your dependents qualify) to pay dependent care expenses with money that is taken from your paychecks before taxes are withheld. Thus, you pay no taxes on the money used from the account to pay for dependent care expenses.
You may use the reimbursement account to pay for dependent care expenses for a child under age 13; or for another individual (such as a spouse, parent or child) who resides in your home at least eight hours a day and is unable to care for him/herself because of a physical disability.
To participate in the Plan in 2002, you must enroll in the plan during annual enrollment. (NOTE: Enrollment from year to year is not automatic. If you wish to participate in 2002, you must re-enroll.)
ENROLLMENT: The annual enrollment period began Monday, October 29th and ends Friday, November 30th. Participation will be effective January 1, 2002.
To enroll, you can call the Boeing Service Center for Health & Welfare Plans at 1-888-747-2016 (hearing impaired: 1-800-855-2880) and use the quick and easy automated phone system. Be sure to have your Social Security number and personal identification number (PIN) available when you call.
For more information, you can call the same number and speak with a representative (available Mon-Fri, 6 am to 5 pm Pacific time).
If you sign up
to participate, you will receive a welcome kit in January that contains
materials and information you need to participate in the plan, including
a claim form.
the Executive Director
I am sitting in the arbitration for Agency Fee Objectors. This is a group of employees who are challenging the amount of money that SPEEA is charging Beck objectors. They are making their case before an arbitrator selected by the American Arbitration Association.
A little background (OK a lot of background):
In our last contract, Boeing's representatives agreed to honor a vote of all SPEEA employees covered by two contracts as to whether those represented employees should pay SPEEA for the representation SPEEA is required by law to give to every represented employee. The vote was overwhelming in favor of having everyone paying, and an Agency Fee provision was added to our contracts. This provision requires everyone to pay dues. People who don't want to be members and don't want to pay full dues can become what is known as "Beck Objectors". For these people, a computation is made which takes all the money that SPEEA spends on things that the law requires be done for all represented employees and divides it by all the money spent by SPEEA in a year. This percentage is applied to full dues to determine the "Beck Amount" which Beck Objectors have to pay.
SPEEA has put in place a time-keeping system that tracks staff time; this and all of our expenses were audited to determine the amount. This was a very thorough process to determine what was "chargeable" and "non-chargeable". Chargeable included things like negotiations and contract enforcement. Non-chargeable included things like New hire medical insurance which is only provided to members. In the first calculation, 85.31% of expenses were germane to collective bargaining. People objected to the number and a scrub was made. SPEEA issued a revised calculation with a public accounting of all changes to the number. It turned out that mistakes were made both for and against the number. The new calculation was 85.89% of dues were chargeable. About 65 people decided to challenge that number, and an arbitration was set up to give these people their "day in court" before an impartial arbitrator. Another scrub was made and the number was reduced to 83.66%. Regular dues this year are $24.14. This means that a 3% difference in dues translates to about 75 cents a month.
As I sit here, eight Beck Objectors who are challenging the latest number are getting a thorough overview of the number. Each will be allowed to express his or her concerns and have all questions answered. The Arbitrator is working hard to make sure that every question is asked. In the end, the Arbitrator will make a ruling regarding the number.
As I witness this process, I am reminded that Unions are held accountable in many ways. We are always open to public scrutiny, and member (and represented employee) input and accountability. While companies may view this type of accountability as a hindrance, I view it as a benefit. A Union's strength comes from the open and free support of represented employees - support that is most easily generated when every question has been asked and answered. Some would argue that the time and money spent to present the facts to these people is a waste; I view it as a good investment in our future.
Flow forming technology presentation
A two-hour presentation by two industry representatives will provide Boeing engineering and technical employees financial and technical information concerning flow forming processes and their application to the aerospace industry.
The presentation is restricted to Boeing employees only.
Making the presentation are: Matthew Fonte of Dynamic Machine Works, Inc.and Jeffrey Speicher of FPD Corp. Flow-forming is an advanced, cold-forming process for the manufacturing of dimensionally-precise, rotationally-symmetrical, hollow components. Flow-forming has the potential to significantly help Boeing produce quality products at lower cost with fewer components and less weight.
No registration is required.
Employees with 60-day notices tell their story
No one really knows what it is like to lose a job until it happens. Thousands of Boeing employees are now learning the realities of being laid off. The numbers include 598 SPEEA-represented employees. Understandably, many employees fear retribution because of Boeing's policies controlling comments to the news media. To honor employees' requests for anonymity, we have removed names when requested.
"I have only been back to work for three months after a two-year layoff. I cannot afford to do this again. After 15 years I am getting off the roller coaster. I am saying goodbye to the aerospace industry."
"The stress comes from everywhere. From your spouse asking what are you going to do? And you have to answer that you don't know yet. From the children needing money for this or that and you don't know if you are going to have the money for them. From yourself not knowing what to do and thinking that you should know. From the people who are supposed to help you figure out what to do and you can't even get them to call you back. From Boeing at first telling you that the reason for the layoffs is because of the attacks on Sept. 11, and then much later telling the truth that they had been planning reductions before Sept. 11."
"What I found out while on layoff before, is that most employers will not even talk to you when they find out that you have been laid off from Boeing. They think that you will just quit when Boeing calls you back. Layoff affects all parts of your life, from what you buy to what you eat and wear to what activities you can afford to let your kids do."
"I'm a single parent with two boys. I'm VERY scared. It's waking me up at night. I'm looking at my job for what it really is for the first time in a long time. There are more important things in life than The Boeing Company."
"What this means is the home I purchased last year may not be mine for much longer. Also, I may end up having to move my family in order to find work for myself, which means my wife will have to leave a job she loves."
"My wife and I just bought a house. We are going to have another child after the first of the year. Thus, my concerns are very great. I have been trying to schedule interviews but my manager continually harasses me for taking time off. I'm greatly disappointed in The Boeing Company."
In memoriam - Jim Willey
Jim DeWitt Willey and his twin sister Penelope were born on October 7, 1940 in Los Angeles, CA. In 1961, Jim enlisted in the U.S. Army. On one assignment, Jim served as a cryptographer while stationed in the Panama Canal Zone during the Cuban missile crisis.
Jim attended the University of Arizona at Tucson for two years and was a member of the Delta Chi fraternity. During the summers, he worked in the copper mines just north of Tucson as a powder monkey setting charges. A couple of sales jobs led him to Palmdale, CA where he joined Boeing in March 1987 as an hourly employee in the shop as an assembler installing electrical systems. As the economy shifted, the Palmdale plant was scheduled for closure and Jim was offered a job in Everett, WA doing similar work. In March 1996, Jim earned an Associate Degree in Electronics Engineering from ITT Technical Institute in Seattle, WA. Jim then moved to the Boeing plant in Renton, WA in April 1996 to work for the Electrical Change Management Group. Jim worked with this group until July 2001. He was a loyal SPEEA member and totally supported the 2000 SPEEA strike. Even though it was a financial hardship for him, during the SPEEA strike, he was an enthusiastic picketer often spending more than the allotted time at his picket site and visiting other sites.
Jim lived by the adage "early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise". He usually started work when most others were just waking up to their alarm clocks. Jim was well known in the electrical division for his outgoing personality and hearty laugh. Many people will remember his boinger noisemaker that he used to get people's attention in a humorous way when they were delinquent. For those who knew Jim best, one of his key characteristics is that he strongly urged people to do their work on time and was a stickler for accuracy.
His hobbies included riding his racing bike, collecting designer pens and listening to fine music. He enjoyed riding his bike often and occasionally entering local races for fun. His pen collection was a source of pride for Jim and he spent many hours on the Internet discussing pens with other collectors and making pen purchases. He also bought fine stereo equipment so he could listen to his favorite soundtracks.
In April 2001, Jim was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Jim opted not to undergo chemotherapy and left Boeing for an Extended Leave of Absence on 25 July 2001. On 25 September 2001, Jim moved from Auburn, WA, where he had lived for 5 years, to Bailey-Boushay House, a hospice in Seattle, for end-of-life care. Jim passed away early Friday morning, 26 October 2001, at the age of 61.
Jim is survived by his stepbrother Carson Kalin, his wife, Janeen, and their three children, Carson "CT", Lucinda, and Sara. He will be missed by his family and by his coworkers and friends at Boeing.
Contract personnel update
As of November 1, 2001, The Boeing Company reports there are 2,229 people hired as contract personnel holding jobs equivalent to SPEEA-represented positions, broken down by major organization (and bargaining unit) in the chart below. Since the 9/26/01 report, this indicates a decrease of 107 engineers, 145 techs, and 7 paycode 6.
Jobs with 10 or more:
Three in SSG receive 60-day notices
On October 26th, three SPEEA-represented employees in SSG received 60-Day Notices of Layoff. Their layoffs are to be effective January 1, 2001. Affected skill-codes are:
TECH: GAFS-G55 (Tech Illustrator) - 1
PROF: 6AJA-685 (Engineer/Engrg Standards Analysis) - 2
FREE health lectures offered
The Leo J Bolles Clinic Inc (located at 15611 Bel-Red Road in Bellevue) presents lectures each Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m. Topics covered include: Degenerative diseases, Detoxification, Nutrition, Exercise, Breathing and more. For a schedule of topics, and to RSVP, call (425) 881-2224.
Dealing with layoff--an integrated approach"
"Inspiring! This seminar provides a "real world' perspective"... "This was the most practical and realistic seminar I've attended about layoffs" ... "I wish I had this information the day I hired into Boeing" ... "This was an eye-opening experience. A fast-moving overview, with pointed examples."
This two-hour session encompasses a rational, systematic approach in coping with layoff, using a totally integrated analysis to examine all facets of this issue - i.e., psychological, professional and financial, to name a few critical ones.
The guest speaker, a SPEEA professional member with 32 years of Boeing experience, was himself the victim of the massive 1971 layoffs that almost devastated Boeing. He has used the lessons learned from this experience to develop positive approaches in dealing with layoff, not only for personal betterment, but has also shared it informally with hundreds of SPEEA members in his capacity as a skill advisor and a career counselor.
If you have received a 60-Day Notice and face imminent Layoff, this class will offer you some short-term tactics to apply immediately. For others who risk or face layoff, the information provided will better prepare you for the difficulties that lie ahead.
RSVP: Please call (206) 433-0991 to sign up for this free workshop. Minimum size for the seminar is 25. Please RSVP five days in advance, if possible, for planning purposes.
MIDWEST REGION NEWS
Wichita's SPEEA contract administrators have been extremely busy handling numerous retention appeals following the recent issuance of retention notices to the WTPU employees. When requests for appeal are brought to the attention of SPEEA Staff, they are screened to determine the likelihood of a successful appeal. In nearly a third of the cases taken forward to appeal, our staff has been successful in turning management's actions around and maintaining the employee's previous retention assignment. One satisfied Boeing employee writes:
Thank you for your help. I do not believe this would have changed without your help. It also proves why we need representation. Although I have not previously joined the union, I will do so.
(name withheld by request)
SPEEA members facing layoff in Wichita share stories with other labor unions and congressional staff
On Wednesday, October 31, 2001, an Economic Alert Meeting was held at the Labor Union Center in Wichita, Kansas. Many union leaders and members were present to discuss detailed economic impacts to the Wichita area. Also in attendance were staff members from the offices of Senator Sam Brownback, Senator Pat Roberts and House Member Todd Tiahrt.
Representing Boeing employees were SPEEA contract administrator Bob Brewer, IAM President Mark Love and IAM Business Representative Steve Rooney. The meeting started off with union leaders addressing the legislative staff members. The union's primary focus was on the Economic Stimulus Package in Congress and how few of the legislative funds are used to help the workers of the country. Union leaders sent Wichita's congressional delegation a clear message: We need help - NOW!
SPEEA members Susan Parker and B.J. Moore, both having 60 day notices, addressed the delegation with personal messages from workers who are being directly impacted by the economic downturn.
More upgrades needed for SPEEA engineers
What is the proper proportional distribution of Engineers among the new SJC levels? With SPEEA engineers numbering over 11,000 in Puget Sound alone, we'd expect the average to be approximately that of the market at large. Particularly if the companies in the Market comparison are hand picked by Boeing for the purposes of market salary comparisons. The graph below shows that populations in the higher levels are less than expected. Also population distribution among "other Engineers" at Boeing are closer to the Market.
We'd expect these proportions to be affected by things like recent hiring or layoffs. Recent hiring would tend to increase the population in the lower levels, and layoffs would tend to decrease populations in the lower levels. In our current environment, it seems that the effect of layoffs would still dominate the effect of recent hiring. We'd also expect certain organizations to have more high-level engineers than others-especially in areas where many of the Engineers hold advanced degrees like research. But again, taking SPEEA Engineers as a group, this does not explain the difference.
Market salary comparisons that are based on level will be skewed by this effect. If people are in lower levels than appropriate, their salaries will seem high relative to the average for the lower level. When SPEEA engineers receive appropriate upgrades, their corresponding salary adjustments ($3000 minimum) may help correct this problem. But until then, it is inappropriate to compare average salaries by level between SPEEA and the market. For example, the average SPEEA level 4 salary will be inflated by those level 4's who should more appropriately be level 5's. Since SPEEA Engineers are relatively new to the SJC level based classification system, future upgrade activity should help correct this situation.
The data is limited to Paycode 4 employees since similar data is not available for the Technical bargaining unit. 'Market' and 'Other SJC' data are from early 2000 or late 1999, SPEEA data is Aug. 2001. Average age, service, experience & salary values are only available for SPEEA populations.
Scott Fife, CEP (registered representative of Securities America), will present this educational workshop, covering the following topics:
For reservations, please call Shelley at 1-888-874-4971
"XML and data integration:"
How Nimble Technology's New Suite Builds Applications Faster and Cheaper in Today's Economy
Denise Draper, Nimble Technology's Chief Architect will begin by describing what XML is, how it is being used, and how it is enabling integration and communication within and between businesses.
Michael Kiselman, Nimble Technology Product Manager, will then introduce Nimble Technology as a company, and describe the problem space and the data integration landscape. The ever-increasing need for data integration within and outside the enterprises combined with a slowing economy increases the stakes for IT to deliver applications that solve business problems with a high ROI now. Michael will describe Nimble Integration Suite's high-level architecture, and demonstrate how it provides a flexible, cost effective and high-performance means to quickly create web services and applications that integrate data from diverse data sources. Denise and Michael will then talk about the production and release of Nimble Integration Suite.
Tuesday, November 20, 2001
Cost is $20 for AWC members; $35 for non-members (dinner and program). For program only, member cost is $10; non-member cost is $20.
Registration Deadline: By check, payment must be received by November 15, 2001-By credit card, confirmation must be received by November 19th.
Register online at http://www.awcps.org/register.htm or leave voicemail at (206) 781-7315. Then send your check by the due date noted above to: AWC/PS, P.O. Box 179, Seattle, WA 98111.