December 7, 2001 Newsletter #1860
On Wednesday, November 28, 2001, SPEEA Tellers met to count ballots in two contested Council districts - E-9 and R-1. Results of the count are as follows:
E-9 (vote for 2)
R-1 (vote for 1)
Winners of the election (shown in bold) were seated effective November 28th. Congratulations!
NOTE: Ballots for the District R-4 election were reissued on November 27th, since there is only one seat available and the original instructions said "vote for two". Those District R-4 ballots will be counted on Wednesday, December 12th, at which time any petitions received for vacancies in other districts will be reviewed by the Tellers. If unopposed, candidates with valid petitions will be seated. If there is opposition, ballots will be mailed to members in their respective districts.
Vacancy in Council District E-11
With the seating of Pat Waters and Kurt Schuetz in their new district E-9, we now have two vacancies in District E-11 (Profs, Everett, 40-87 Building). Any member in that district who meets the one-year membership qualification and would like to apply to fill one of these vacancies, should submit their completed petition by the December 12th (noon) deadline. For instructions, contact Terry Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 433-0995 x130.
Two-Week Layoff Notices
The Company has informed us that 2-Week Notices were handed out to the following SPEEA-represented employees, for layoff effective December 14, 2001:
New Discounters Approved
At their meeting on November 29, 2001, SPEEA's Executive Board approved adding the following firms to SPEEA's Discount List:
LAWSTAR (Legal Benefit Plan) - 1-888-LAW-PLAN or http://www.lawstar.com. 50% off Group legal services plans. Personal Plan, reg. $99.95. Small Business Owner's Plan, reg. $299.95. Over 9,000 attorneys, 24 hour access. Unlimited free 1-hour telephone consultations or office visits (on separate legal matters), free Simple Will, Free 25% reduction in legal fees, free Health Care Proxy, free Limited Partnership workbook, free Small Claims advice, IRS assistance, free Emergency contact assistance.
HYDRO-TECH (N. Seattle) - 206/547-2202. 10% discount on hydroponic gardening supplies (plant nutrient requirements can be met without the use of soil or natural sunlight). Check web site for products & price-list, http://www.hydro-tech.cc
DR. THOMAS BECK (COUNSELING) (Seattle) - (206) 329-9235. 25% discount for first 10 sessions of counseling for anxiety/stress, depression due to layoff, relations, planning for the future (reg. $120 per session; health insurance will cover significant part of cost). Complete confidentiality. Safe, gentle methods.
Notes from the Executive
I'm at the AFL-CIO National convention. The agenda is a full one and I have been writing this article between speakers. This is my first AFL-CIO convention and indeed there have been some surprises. It wasn't a surprise when three Governors spoke and one talked about taking a collaborative effort to work real issues for working people: health care, retirement and education. Another talked about the greatness of the working people in New York and the union members that are helping the state to move forward. No surprises there. The surprise was that the two I'm quoting were Republicans.
This isn't about labels - it is about a commitment to people and basic human respect.
Certainly September 11th was discussed in many ways.
It was pointed out that, as most people were running away from the World Trade Towers, it was union members - firefighters, police, EMTs and construction workers - who were running toward it to help others.
It was also pointed out that thousands of employees were killed and hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs as a result of that day's tragic events. Congress was quick to act to protect companies, but has been slow to act to provide relief to the people who have lost their jobs and health-care. And this brings me to the focus of this article.
Let's look at how Boeing and SPEEA-represented employees have been affected. There was lightening quick action to enact the Airline Relief bill. In it, $15 billion was dedicated to getting airlines through their trials. Billions have also been pledged to provide support for insurance companies that may now be at risk. Not bad for the companies. Regrettably U.S. citizens have fared far worse. There has been no lightening quick action to help workers through their trials. There has been no action on extending unemployment insurance, no action on extending health-care benefits.
The story closer to home is no better. Boeing's top people have announced that they can hold profit margins by cutting employees. Save the company - sacrifice the people. But there is a catch - it seems that it is only the US employees that are at risk. While people are being put onto the streets, Boeing is affirming its commitment to maintaining and expanding design centers in Moscow, South Africa, and Madrid. A partnership with Russia to develop a regional jet has been announced; at the same time we hear rumblings about cancellation of the 717 and loss of thousands of jobs in Southern California.
So here's the score-card: the people of America have given $15 billion dollars to global companies. The Airlines are buying foreign aircraft. Hundreds of thousands of US citizens have lost their jobs and no relief for unemployment insurance or health care is in sight. At home Boeing is laying off thousands of US citizens while increasing jobs overseas. I am back to the title of this article - "$15 Billion seems like a lot of money to pay to give our jobs away."
So what are we doing about it? We are making this a public discussion. This week I was in Southern California to support a rally to highlight the plight of the 717 and the US workers. We continue the push to have employees given the same respect that Boeing shows for profit. And finally, we should all be preparing for the upcoming negotiations.
Sadly the lesson so far is that there has been a rush to protect companies, but people have not been given the same regard. We must rise to change this equation; again it seems that, if we want respect, we must stand up and take it.
Workplace Union Counselors trained
SPEEA leaders and members listed below took part in recent Union Counselor Training courses provided in our offices by local United Way labor liaisons. The training included: information on emergency assistance, personal financial issues, stress management, training resources, and unemployment insurance. Since these folks took the time to be trained, we urge you to contact one of them if you have questions regarding services available to laid-off employees or other crisis/emergency situations.
opportunity for engineering and technical employees
The Ed Wells Initiative invites SPEEA-represented employees to attend the 48th Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium, to be held in Seattle
January 28-31, 2002
Design engineers and anyone interested in evaluating the useful life of the products they develop and maintain can sharpen their skills and bring fresh ideas to the workplace. See what other companies are promoting and gain an insight into the new approaches, tools and methods used within the R&M world.
The focus is on learning and includes numerous technical sessions, tutorials, and panel discussions with industry and scientific experts.
The Ed Wells Initiative will pay registration fees for a limited number of SPEEA-represented employees. The employee's home organization pays the on-hours labor expenses. Registration details for the conference are at:
The Ed Wells Initiative is a joint Boeing/SPEEA program for the application of technical excellence. Keep current with its learning opportunities at the event calendar on http://edwells.web.boeing.com
Senator Patty Murray calls meeting to address Closure of Boeing Spokane Plant
By Jennifer MacKay, Spokane SPEEA Council Representative
On Tuesday, November 20th, Washington State's political, business, and labor leaders met with Boeing Commercial Executives to discuss the future of our Boeing Spokane site. Senator Patty Murray organized the meeting to provide an opportunity to express why it is so important that Boeing remain in Spokane. I attended the meeting as the SPEEA Council Representative for the Boeing Spokane site, along with Kristin Farr, Spokane's Contract Administrator and SPEEA's Legislative Director.
The meeting opened with Senator Murray stating that she believes closure of the Spokane plant will have a devastating affect on a community that has recently been dealt some heavy blows. She expressed how seriously both Republicans and Democrats, business, and labor are committed to seeing Boeing Spokane succeed, and how extremely disappointing it would be if this plant closed.
Spokane's Mayor John Powers and other city leaders expressed their willingness to work with Boeing if the Company would just tell them what they could do to help Boeing be successful. Mayor Powers stated the dream, vision, and hope of the Spokane community should be looked at in addition to the capital, and encouraged everyone present to ask a Boeing Spokane employee three questions: 1) How is your morning commute? 2) How much of your monthly net income is spent on house payments and bills to get by vs. the amount spent on improving your quality of life? 3) How well do you like your job? He was sure that our response to those questions would show how Boeing was important in meeting the dream, vision, and hope of the Spokane Community.
BCAG CEO Alan Mulally stated the Executive Council is looking at the Company's five-year forecast and that Boeing had to do two things: 1) try to match our capacity with demand to stay in business in the near term; and 2) decide what Boeing should look like in the future. Alan acknowledged that we will not stop funding research and development and we had to operate in the countries we sell planes to, but the Company can't continue to do everything we are doing today if we want to be a "world-class" company. The mood of the meeting had been pretty uplifting until Alan spoke. It was like he gave the room a shot of reality that brought everyone to silence.
Since I was the only person in the room who actually works at Boeing Spokane, I shared what the plant's closure would mean to someone immediately affected - me! Below is what I shared (to the best of my memory - I was under a bit of stress at the time).
"Everyone at our Spokane facility understands the economic conditions the airlines are in today and we know what that means to The Boeing Company. We understand some very difficult decisions have to be made in order for our Company to survive. Alan, you've mentioned two decisions the Company has to make. First, what our Company has to do to make it through this immediate crisis; and second, what our Company should look like in the future. We at Spokane know that we have to make the same dramatic cuts to get our Company through this difficult time, but we are hopeful. Hopeful because we know this is temporary. We know our airlines will recover, we know that Boeing will recover, and we know that Boeing Spokane will recover along with them. But it's your second decision that has me the most concerned. If what Boeing looks like in the future means that we will no longer be in the parts plant business and Boeing Spokane will be closed, then we can't recover.
"You don't need me to tell you what our site's profitability numbers are, as I know you have them in your Asset Utilization Plans. You don't need me to tell you what the economic impact on our community will be should we close, as I know that you have those numbers as well. I'm confident that you are going to review all of the information you have on Boeing Spokane when you sit down to make this very difficult decision, and that you will make every effort to make the decisions that you think will be the best for our company. But my worry is that the very things that make Boeing Spokane the incredible plant that it is are some of the things that you may not readily see from the charts and the reports. When you review our Floor Panel product line you will see that we are profitable, but you won't see that when we took the process over it was not. You won't see that we've reduced the part flow time from 25 days to 5 days, and how we have been able to reduce our support headcount to less than half. When you review our Duct product line you will see that we may not be profitable, but you will not see the condition of that process before we took it over and how we've reduced those flows from up to 55 days down to just 10 days.
"We have been able to make these reductions because the workforce of Boeing Spokane has grown up with Lean Manufacturing. I am not aware of a single person from our shop floor or office area that has not been personally involved in a Lean Improvement workshop or a formal Kaizen event - we have all allowed it to become a part of everything we do every day. I have never known Boeing Spokane not to be in change, because to us change means progress. I speak for our SPEEA-represented technical and professional folks, but I think I can take a risk and speak for our IAM-represented folks as well when I say that we are successful because we work together. We don't have our mechanics working on improving a fabrication process by themselves while our engineers are working on improving something else - both work side by side together to improve upon each and every process. Boeing Spokane is successful because together we continuously strive to improve.
"Perhaps we can't improve all of our product lines to the point that they are profitable. Perhaps some products are so tied to a manual labor intensive process that it does make sense to have them built by an outside vendor who doesn't pay their people as well and can thus be profitable. But that doesn't mean you should outsource our work. Instead, you should fill their space with something we can make profitably. Let us do what we do best, let us improve on the processes that no one else has been able to, or be your "dumping ground" for the things that need to be fixed. Let us amaze you, as I know we can.
"I would like to answer the questions Mayor Powers posed. How is my morning commute? I live 25 miles from our facility and it takes me 33 minutes to get to work each morning. I pout when I have to reduce my speed from 60 mph to 50 mph. [When I said this the group cheered, so traffic must be an important issue with these guys.] Secondly, what proportion of my monthly income goes to my house payment? Mayor, I'm afraid my answer may be higher than you hoped, but that's because I recently purchased a home on a lake with a private beach and dock so my payments are a bit higher than I would like. But it's important for me to tell you why that in and of itself is so incredible. The Boeing Spokane facility sits next to the City of Spokane, but it is also surrounded by many small, poor rural communities. Boeing Spokane has employed many people that have grown up in these areas, areas where unemployment and welfare are commonplace. Areas where the cash register in the local store has as many food stamps in it as it does green backs. I grew up in one of these areas. I was a single mom who worked full-time during the day and part-time in the evenings just to pay my bills. When I hired on with Boeing I didn't receive an increase in pay, they took me on straight across - but Boeing allowed me to prove myself professionally, then paid me accordingly. My personal yearly income has tripled since my hire date, and I now can say that I own a home on lakefront property. My story isn't alone and it doesn't stop there. For generations my family's quality of life will be affected; my daughter will go to college soon, and I know that I couldn't say that had Boeing not hired me. This is what Boeing Spokane has done for me and my community, and this is what we can't afford to lose.
"In addition, I asked several of the folks that I represent what they would like me to say and ask this group of leaders. Overwhelmingly the response was to tell you all thank you so much. Thank you to our political and business leaders who worked to put this meeting together; thank you to our Boeing leadership for taking the time to talk with us; and thank you to our Union leaders who have worked together during this most critical time."
Whew, what a meeting! I was so impressed with the way so many people at such high levels of leadership were willing to come together to pursue the best for Boeing Spokane. I did not leave feeling that everything was now fine or that our future with Boeing was safe, but I did leave honestly believing that the trip only did good for our "cause". Our leaders have to make some difficult decisions, and whether those decisions mean losses here or elsewhere, they equate to individual jobs such as yours and mine. If Boeing Spokane makes it through this, I think it will be because of our years of always striving to improve and working together. If we don't, I think it will be because of those decisions larger than Boeing Spokane, those that deal with corporate direction. If it is the latter, it will be a shame. The great company that Bill Boeing built would really be gone forever. That was the company I wanted so much to be a part of. The one that placed making the coolest airplanes and the value of great employees above the morning's stock price. I remember the day Phil Condit said, "We are no longer a family ... we are a business", and how disheartening that was. I guess I always thought our Company would realize that they were wrong ... that we operate best as a family. I guess time (February) will tell.
NMSU Graduates invited
New Mexico State University cordially invites alumnis to their graduation ceremony for the NMSU Boeing Graduate Distance Learning Education Program
Join us as we acknowledge the accomplishments of the Boeing employees who have completed the Master of Science Degree with Manufacturing Engineering Minor requirements for the NMSU-Boeing Graduate Program.
Please RVSP by December 12th to 1-866-678-2586 (toll free). Or fax your reply to (505) 646-6111. You may also e-mail your RSVP to email@example.com
House - Tuesday, December 11th
Central Washington University will be holding an Open House Exposition for entry into their Master of Science in Engineering Technology (MSET) Degree Program with 20-minute presentations:
Tuesday, December 11, 2001
Employees in possession of an Engineering or Applied Science Bachelors of Science degree who seek to earn a Masters 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 Lead Instructor in the MSET program) Dr. Walt Kaminski, and the MSET Degree Program Coordinator Dr. Juan Robertson, will be on hand to personally meet you and facilitate (3) 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 CWU-dedicated facility at Highline Community College, and is offered after work hours (5 p.m. - 9 p.m.). And most importantly, all of the courses are taught by 'live' Full-Time and Adjunct Professors with 'expert-level' subject-matter experience.
The group entering this Spring of 2002 can expect to graduate in Winter of 2004 by taking two classes per quarter, with each class meeting once per week for ten weeks (And this 2 year completion schedule includes taking the Summer off!).
For More Information Contact:
CWU Industrial & Engineering Technology Department Chair and MSET Degree Program Coordinator/Professor Dr. Walt Kaminski, Phone: (509) 963-1477, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or
CWU Master of Science in Engineering Technology Degree Program Coordinator, and CWU Industrial & Engineering Technology Department Professor: Dr. Juan Robertson, Phone: (206) 878-3710 Ext. 5170, E-Mail: email@example.com; or,
Boeing/CWU Engineering Research Focal & CWU Industrial & Engineering Technology Department Professor: Dr. Gerard M. Woodlief, Phone: (425) 234-5243, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pension Web site Enhanced
Several new features have been added to the Pension pages on the Compensation & Benefits web site:
Some features on the site are intended to help an employee plan for retirement, even if that event is five or more years down the road. Others make the process easier to follow when an employee is preparing to retire. Starting about 90 days ahead is optimal.
A brief "Site Survey" has been added, allowing employees to give input on other retirement-related information they would like to see on the site. People representatives are also encouraged to click on the Survey button and contribute their ideas.
The web site can be viewed at: http://www.boeing.com/compensation/totalcomp/pension/
Similar enhancements to the Retirement pages on the Compensation & Benefits web site will be announced in early December.
CPI - October 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 October 2001 is 174.0. (On a 1967=100 base, the October index is 518.3.) This is a decrease of 0.4% from last month, and an increase of 2.0% from one year ago.
MIDWEST REGION NEWS
Member Benefits/Services Workshop
SPEEA's Midwest Region is providing members a monthly layoff benefits seminar. The most recent one was held on Tuesday, November 20th in the SPEEA offices. Hoyt Hillman presented a brief overview of union benefits and discount programs including the latest SPEEA discount list. Richard Schweninger from the Principal Financial Group provided advice on rolling over the VIP and FSP plans and recent federal law changes to contribution limits. He also talked about medical coverage for laid off employees (COBRA) and critical illness coverage. Brenda Carlson, the SPEEA National Legislative & Public Affairs Committee Chairperson, provided attendees with status of the various worker-support bills pending in Congress. Following these presentations, there was a question and answer session. The next workshop is scheduled for December 18th.
Wichita Engineers: Have you identified a Secondary Job Family/Skills Management Code?
There is an open window in which Wichita engineers may apply for a secondary job family/skills management code. This is your opportunity to request a change to your secondary skill code(s). Primary skill codes are used for establishing peer/review groupings for Pay for Performance and Retention reviews.
If you do not have a secondary job code, you should consider getting one approved and added to your personnel records. The first secondary skill code may be used by management to redeploy employees identified for surplus or to identify employees who may be able to transfer to critical skill openings.
Secondary skill code changes will occur from December 3rd to December 14th. To apply, you should:
Request a Skill Code change form from your People Support Representative.
Identify a secondary skill from the Job Family/Skills Management Code list. [For a comprehensive listing of the Pay Code 4 skill codes and titles, go to http://www-co.boeing.com/eti/welcome.htm. For job descriptions associated with the skill codes, contact your People Support Representatives.]
Complete the form and schedule a meeting with your appropriate management for signatures. If you are changing your 1st Secondary Skill Code, you will need the signature of your immediate supervisor and your 1st secondary skill code gaining functional manager. If you are changing your 2nd Secondary Skill Code only, you only need the signature of your immediate supervisor.
Return the form to your People Support Representative who will input the skill code changes and forward the completed and signed forms to Employee Records for filing.
Your Skill Code Notice will be distributed to your People Support Representative who will then distribute the notice to the engineers.
Remember that the Company will not assign you a secondary code; this negotiated benefit for Wichita's represented engineers is one that must be initiated by the employee. Take the time, do the research, and apply for a secondary skill code; it's your career!
WEU Negotiation Team Orientation conducted
The first scheduled Wichita Engineering Unit (WEU) Negotiation Team Candidate Orientation was conducted in the SPEEA Wichita office on November 19, 2001 with five potential negotiation candidates in attendance. Midwest Regional Vice President Joe Newberry led the presentation with support from Midwest Council Representative Shane Michael and SPEEA contract administrator Bob Brewer. The orientation covered what candidates should expect if they apply for the 2001 WEU negotiation team. Covered subjects included time commitment, team member responsibilities, negotiation calendar of events, qualifications needed, and the team selection process. Anyone who plans to apply for the Negotiation Team is REQUIRED to attend a Negotiation Team Candidate Orientation.
Contract Personnel Update
As of November 27, 2001, The Boeing Company reports there are 1,978 people hired as contract personnel holding jobs equivalent to SPEEA-represented positions, broken down by major organization and bargaining units in the chart below. (At Wichita's request, we have broken their information out by 1st character of budget number.)
Since the 11/1/01 report, this indicates a decrease of 123 engineers, 127 techs and 1 paycode 6.
Puget Sound (1,664)
Jobs with 10 or more