January 11, 2002 Newsletter #1863
On December 19th, Ed Troughton was appointed as a commissioner to the Human Rights Commission for the City of Tacoma.
Ed works in the 2-122 Building at Plant II. He is on the SPEEA Tellers Committee, and has completed the Union Counselor Training Course. He has been a SPEEA member since he hired on with Boeing in 1996.
"Priority Recall" extended for 12/14 layoffs
Normally when employees are laid off, they must file notice with the Company at the beginning of each six-month period in order to retain their place on the active recall roster. This is normally done just after January 1st and July 1st.
However, since December 14th layoffs occurred so close to the January 1st date for filing, SPEEA asked the Company to consider automatically extending the priority recall rights for these folks until the next regular filing date - July 1, 2002. We have been advised that the Company has agreed to do this, on a one-time basis, for these folks laid off December 14th.
laid off on December 14, 2001 will automatically remain on the active
priority recall list until the next regular filing date. To stay on the
list after July 1, 2002, they must file notice with the Company at that
REMINDER: Executive Board elections
Just a reminder, anyone wishing to apply for a position on SPEEA's Executive Board should have their completed petition into SPEEA Headquarters NO LATER than 5:00 P.M., WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2002.
Board positions which are up for election in 2002 (for two-year terms) are:
To qualify, you must have been a regular SPEEA member continuously for at least two years.
If you are interested in applying, you can obtain the necessary packet (petition and instructions) from one of SPEEA's offices (or call 206/433-0991 and we'll mail a package to you). Nominating petitions must be signed by 20 or more members of SPEEA.
Candidates will be asked to submit a photo, a 25-word-or-less qualification statement, and a maximum 250-word platform statement for inclusion in the ballot package. Also included in this mailed-out ballot package will be a pamphlet containing five questions determined by the Council, along with candidates' answers (limited to 1000 words). These are all due at SPEEA Headquarters by 5:00 p.m. Monday, January 28, 2002.
Ballots will be mailed to members by February 27th, and counted on March 13th. New Board members take office effective March 27th.
the Executive Director
2002 is here already. What happened to 2001? It went by so fast. There is no stopping the passage of time.
This is the year that we negotiate four contracts- Irving, Puget Sound Technical, and Wichita and Puget Sound Engineering. Irving negotiations are already underway. Petitions to be on all the other negotiation teams are still open, with interviews to be completed on January 23rd and the team to be selected at the February 7th Council meeting.
This is the year we elect new Executive Board officers. Petitions are due by Wednesday, January 23rd; votes will be counted on March 13th, and new members seated on March 27th.
This is the year a decision will be made on Spokane - and many other Boeing locations.
This is the year Boeing employees sit back and let someone else determine their destiny ... or it is the year that we stand for what we believe in and get actively involved in helping to create the future we want.
Here's the point of this article:
We've got a lot of work to do and we've got great people who can do it. The trick is to get our best involved. This is the year that the best that we represent need to stand up and help make the right things happen.
There are still openings for the negotiation teams and the executive board. Member support is always welcome on any issue we are facing. There are many opportunities for people to help.
Right now SPEEA is looking for a few good leaders. If you have ever considered running for office or being on a negotiation team, this is the year for you to step up and do it. Last year is over, next year is a long way off. We've got great things to accomplish, and we need your involvement. This is the year.
A member recently called the SPEEA offices thanking us for our assistance in resolving a dilemma he was experiencing with his medical insurance. Early last year, the employee's wife gave birth to their daughter. At that time the employee's HMO provided the family with a temporary medical card for the infant. Several weeks later the employee received a permanent medical coverage card. Within the next several weeks, the baby's Social Security number arrived and they promptly updated the HMO as previously instructed. It was presumed by the employee that everything was satisfactory.
Approximately four months later, the employee (while verifying the dental coverage for an older sibling) discovered that the newborn was not listed as a dependent. Upon calling the Boeing Service Center, they informed him that they had no record of the infant. The employee was advised to file for an Administrative Review since the request to have the infant listed as a dependent exceeded the 60 days past the birth. The employee filed the appropriate paperwork and waited . . . and waited . . . . and waited. He then contacted his Contract Administrator at SPEEA who was able to successfully intervene and had the employee's listing of dependents updated.
The problem in this case has been very common recently. The employee notified the HMO of the new dependent in a timely fashion without realizing that they have the obligation to notify the Boeing Service Center within the first 60 days. Even though one would presume that communication would occur between the HMO and the Boeing Service Center, the onus is still on the employee to add the qualifying dependent on the Company's ledger. [BR]
SPEEA Does Make A Difference!
Farewell message from Brenda Carlson
To: The Entire SPEEA Family
Thank you for providing me the opportunity to be your advocate at all levels: individual, work-site, and SPEEA-wide. Your support made my efforts successful.
My involvement in SPEEA has been an enjoyable and rewarding experience that also increased my leadership abilities. I encourage all SPEEA members to become involved.
Best wishes on the challenges ahead.
252 receive 60 day notices
On Friday, December 21, 2001, The Boeing Company handed out 60-Day Notice of Layoff to 252 SPEEA-represented employees. If these employees do not find other jobs within the Company, their layoff will be effective February 22, 2002.
Snohomish County JOB FAIR
Thursday, January 24, 2002 * 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Everett Community College * 2000 Tower Street
Limited parking (free transportation from Furniture Factory Outlet parking lot at Broadway & Tower)
Continued training benefits both staff and membership
To ensure the best representation possible to the employees we represent, SPEEA Contract Administrators (CAs) continually seek out additional training to further refine their labor relations' skills. This was the case recently when Everett CA's Mark Moshay and Bob Rommel participated in a day-long training session put on by the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service (FMCS) in Seattle.
After a brief overview by the FMCS Regional Director for the Western Region, Doug Hammond, the program consisted of four recurrent and repeating workshops to assist labor relations professionals hone their employee advocacy skills. Workshop A was entitled "Collective Bargaining: Getting Outside the Box" which contrasted traditional bargaining with modified traditional bargaining versus interest-based bargaining. Workshop B "Alternate Dispute Resolution" was an offering by FMCS commissioners of different approaches to the normal grievance procedures to resolve workplace disputes. Workshop C "Improving Day-to-Day Relations" was a showcase for FMCS services such as preventive mediation programs and facilitation skills training. Workshop D "Technological Assisted Group Solutions" was a hands-on demonstration of the use of computers in gathering information and applying the information to solve problems in collective bargaining in the workplace.
While the hands-on training is necessary for the actual experience of the training, the most valuable aspect is the exchange of ideas and experiences with other labor relations professionals in the Pacific Northwest. [BR]
SPEEA Continues To Make A Difference!
Colleges seek more labor reps
In last week's newsletter, we announced several openings for Labor Reps on local community college advisory boards. We have learned that there are two more such openings:
Seattle Vocational Institute
North Seattle Community College
Labor reps serve along with college administrators, instructors and industry reps - discussing curriculum and the needs of the hiring/labor community, to ensure compatibility. These boards generally meet once a quarter, in the evening at their campus.
If you are interested in applying to serve as a labor rep at your local community college, please email your name, work & home phone, and statement of interest & qualifications to firstname.lastname@example.org. SPEEA's Executive Board will make the final appointment. For more information, contact Robbi at (206) 433-0995, x126.
Change may be coming
Nothing is final, but Wayne Schwisow, SPEEA's full-time graphic designer, is having scheduling problems that may take him away from SPEEA. While all of us at SPEEA hope Wayne will be able to stay, we have advertised the position in order to be prepared. Wayne does a remarkable job with publications and the website. He will be missed.
Spokane employees rally to save their jobs
SPOKANE - SPEEA members are rallying support in Spokane for a "Save Boeing Spokane" rally set for 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, January 16, at the factory gate.
SPEEA President Craig Buckham along with Executive Board Member Alan Rice will be among the officials lending support at the rally. A host of local and state officials have been invited.
The Spokane plant is currently under review by Boeing Corporate leaders who said the drive to cut costs may necessitate closing the facility. In the past, Spokane Boeing employees have received high praise for their ability to keep costs low while still producing stellar quality.
An announcement on the future of the Spokane plant and the more than 500 people who work there is expected in February. The employees include 59 represented by SPEEA.
Saving jobs in Spokane is a concern for every SPEEA member and Boeing employee. Plan to attend the rally on Wednesday, January 16 in Spokane.
SPEEA monthly dues for 2002: $25.11
SPEEA dues for the year 2002 have been recalculated and set at $25.11 per month. The modest increase resulted from generally higher average wages in the bargaining units.
The revised amount becomes effective for all regular members with the January 17, 2002 paycheck*. The Agency Fee paid by non-members within the two Puget Sound area bargaining units also increases to $25.11.
Section 12.6 of the SPEEA Constitution mandates that the regular membership dues be adjusted annually on January 5th, based on 0.85 of the then-average hourly rate of the bargaining units.
On January 5, 2002, the SPEEA bargaining units totaled 24,549 employees with a combined annual salary of $1,508,369,511. These figures equate to an average hourly rate of $29.54, and 0.85 of that value is $25.11.The calculations include average salaries from all SPEEA-represented bargaining units.
As a comparison, the 2002 dues for Boeing's hourly employees represented by IAM District 751 are $49.70/month (i.e., two times average hourly wage, plus $1.10 per capita tax to Grand Lodge).
*NOTE: In areas where conversion to the new BPS software Payroll system has occurred, the 2001 SPEEA dues amount was deducted from the first paycheck, January 3rd. Thus, for those members, the difference of 97 cents will be deducted along with their next dues deduction on February 14th (for a total of $26.08). In March, their dues will resume at $25.11.
Thanks for holiday outreach
As noted in last week's newsletter, SPEEA purchased gifts for children of laid-off SPEEA members. Checks were also sent to families of laid-off members, proceeds from the KCLA/SPEEA Cares Fund. We received several notes of thanks:
"I would really like to thank you for the wonderful surprise. The generosity for the children was tremendous. I am impressed with the ability to match the children with the gifts; it was an exceptional job. I have never been a member of a union before in my life. I have never experienced such generosity and caring from such an organization. Unfortunately, with my impending layoff and age, I will most likely never have this opportunity again. I just want to express my pride in being a member of SPEEA. In the short time that I have been with SPEEA, the amount of assistance this union has provided to my personal well-being is amazing. Thank you not only for the Holiday Outreach, but also for several years of comfort and care."
"Thank you so much for the extra money. My family and I were grateful for this gift, especially due to the holidays."
"Thank you very much for the portable CD player. It is very cool. Thank you for giving my family money."
"Thank you for all the wonderful Christmas gifts! We've been blessed by your generosity. Our kids have been delightfully playing with the wonderful toys sent in the hand-delivered care package. Thank you! My wife and I are also pleased and grateful for the money sent. Again, special thanks to all at SPEEA."
"I and my family very much appreciate the kind gifts for my son and two daughters. This has been an especially difficult time for our family, and so we wanted to express our appreciation for your kindness."
"Thanks for the Pokemon cards, and the Pokemon cards, and the Pokemon cards, and the Pokemon cards, and the Pokemon cards, and the Pokemon cards, and the Pokemon cards. Ooops! One too many. Oh well. THANKS A LOT! Or Muchas Gracias! Joseph"
"Thank you so much for the jeans and shirt. I love them so much, I'm going to wear them Saturday. Love, Jennifer."
Maternity leave "close up"
"Expectant" members frequently call SPEEA wondering what type of maternity benefits Boeing offers SPEEA-represented employees. There are a number of types of leaves of absence that may apply for maternity. For guidance on Company Policy, an employee should consult PRO 1874 (Leave of Absence Policy) and PRO 783 (FMLA Policy).
The most common type of leave is a "Pregnancy Disability Leave". Six weeks of Medical Leave of Absence may be taken for normal deliveries; eight weeks of leave of absence may be taken for cesarean-section deliveries. This absence does not count towards your Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) annual allotment. As with all medical leaves of absence, your health and welfare coverages for yourself and for your eligible dependents are continued at no cost to you for up to six (6) months or until you are no longer disabled. Optional coverages that you may be enrolled in that require a payroll deduction may be continued by self-payment during this period of time. Also, you cannot be terminated, laid off or downgraded while you are on a leave of absence. While on medical leave of absence you may request sick leave, vacation and Financial Security Plan (FSP) benefits. If you have exhausted all of these benefits you may request Extended Disability Plan benefits, which pay from 10% to 60% of your base salary during the first six months of absence. In addition, employees who are enrolled in the Weekly Disability Plan administered by Aetna may be eligible for $58 a week.
Employees are entitled to an additional 12 weeks of "Family Leave" under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) "to care for [your] child following birth". Employees must meet federal requirements in order to be eligible for FMLA (see PRO 783). Health and welfare coverages will be continued for you and your eligible dependents. Optional coverages you are enrolled in may be continued through self-payment.
Additional leaves of absences are available under PRO 1874 for "Employee/Family Care Leave". This leave type is a maximum of 90 calendar days and is subject to Management approval. This type of leave is covered under Article 6 (Sick Leave) and may be used once an employee's FMLA is exhausted or if the employee does not meet FMLA requirements. For questions regarding Maternity Leave, you should contact your LOA/FMLA Service Center. The Puget Sound LOA/FMLA Service Center telephone number is 1-877-284-6582. The Wichita LOA/FMLA Service Center telephone number is (316) 526-2905.
Coverage for Newborns
To enroll and provide health & welfare coverage for your newborn, you should call the Boeing Service Center (1-888-747-2016). This should be done as soon as possible after the baby is born, since the Company only allows up to 60 days to enroll a new eligible dependent. As you may have read in previous SPEEA Newsletter articles, many employees have missed that window of opportunity and had to wait until the next Open Enrollment to enroll their newborn. [KF]