February 15, 2002 Newsletter #1868
The SPEEA Negotiation Teams for the Puget Sound Professional Unit, the Puget Sound Technical Unit, and the Wichita Engineering Unit were elected by their respective Bargaining Unit Councils the first week of February 2002, as follows:
Contracts for these bargaining units expire the first week of December 2002.
Your Participation (and Vote) Matters
This is an important year for SPEEA. We will have the first negotiations in the Puget Sound since our historic strike. Now is the time to demonstrate that ALL SPEEA represented employees are fully engaged and involved in the actions of SPEEA.
One good way to show your support is to take the time to vote in the EXECUTIVE BOARD ELECTIONS. Members will be selecting a President, Treasurer and Secretary. There are five candidates for President, two for Treasurer and five for Secretary. Your vote will make a difference in these hotly-contested races.
Ballots will be mailed to all members' homes by Feb 27th and must be returned by noon on March 13th. Ballots will be counted on March 13th and the new officers will be seated on March 27th. To help members find and return their ballots, they will be mailed in envelopes marked "BALLOT".
depends on member involvement and support. Voting is both easy and important.
the Executive Director
I've been traveling a lot lately. I'm on a plane right now. I'm getting caught up on my reading and my email. Some very interesting things are popping up.
I can't help but wonder what messages Boeing's PR people think they are sending. I wonder if they have any idea about the gap between what they say and what we hear. Do they know the negative impact their messages are having on Top management's credibility and workforce morale? But then I also wonder if other people are hearing what I'm hearing. Maybe it's just me.
The Jan 25 - Feb 7 2002 Boeing News: The articles about Boeing's great performance last year and the EIP were of great interest to me. They have Phil Condit applaud the 'team', "Our team did a tremendous job in 2001. Boeing is projecting Free Cash Flow of about $3 billion in each of the next two years." Not bad. Who wouldn't want $3 billion in free cash flow? Who's on the team? Are you on the team?
On to the EIP article: The first line is "More than 80,000 nonunion employees ... will receive 9.0 days..." Again the PR people have Phil thank his 'team': "It took tremendous effort to deliver the results we reported for the year, and that effort is recognized in the incentive payout earned under this plan." The payout calculation ignored the deleterious effects of September 11th. On this, Mike Sears is quoted, "Clearly the events of Sept. 11 deserved special consideration, and, in keeping with the intent of the plan, we recommended ... the exclusion." The article also said, "Without the exclusion ... the payout would have been substantially less." Does anyone think that the fact that executive bonuses are based on the same calculations had anything to do with it?
Some quick math: 80,000 employees with an average salary of say $55,000 yields a payout of about $152 million dollars. I'd guess that a "substantial reduction" could be anywhere from a third to a half (or more); let's use a third - $50 million dollars.
Humm ... because the "team" worked so hard to make good things happen, all nonunion employees get an extra $50 million dollars because the events deserved special consideration. Am I the only one who heard that? Am I the only one who thinks, "WOW they must really be saving up for our negotiations - they owe this part of the 'team' a mint!"
Where was the
special consideration when people were getting laid off just before Christmas
because of Sept. 11 effects? SPEEA and the IAM both worked very hard to
promote a variety of layoff mitigation actions.
Ask the SPEEA-represented people in Irving what they are hearing. All other employees in Irving had their retirement and benefits increased. No consideration (special or otherwise) was given to SPEEA-represented employees in Irving. Am I the only one who is getting a message that says some at Boeing are out to get us this year?
They wonder why we went to Chicago. We went to send a message that all employees matter. We went to say out loud that today, Boeing is attacking its union-represented employees. This is a bad strategy; it is the same foolishness that led to a strike in the last negotiations. Nobody wants a strike, strikes don't help anyone. But it is time for all Boeing leaders to step up and give respect to all Boeing employees.
I only hope that my message is a bit more clear and consistent than what Boeing's PR people have been putting out lately.
In late December, an announcement was made to employees at the Everett facility, regarding the rerouting of public transportation. The stated motivation behind this announcement was to enhance security around the facility and it was slated to take effect in early February.
While this new bus routing system was intended to improve traffic flow and enhance pedestrian safety within fenced areas, SPEEA received several concerns regarding how the employer was going to resolve issues with respect to individuals with current medical accommodations. SPEEA began to have affected employees prompt the decision-makers as to how they were going to satisfy these immediate needs.
On January 31st, a memo was sent to all Everett-site managers from Human Resources identifying the actual implementation effective February 4th. Along with that came a notation that a shuttle would be available for employees with disabilities who are in need of assistance in traveling from the new bus stops to their workplace. Managers were given the number of the appropriate HR representative to contact to facilitate this.
SPEEA's goal is to ensure that our membership is provided a safe and healthy workplace along with ensuring that our membership does not suffer as a result of this latest set of precautions in the interest of site security. [BR]
SPEEA Does make A Difference!
Region Council Highlights
NW Council Treasurer Joe Gregg presented a timeline of the negotiations process - from tonight's selection of Negotiation Team members, team training, internal strategizing, gathering of member input, joint committee meetings with the Company, drafting of the union's proposal, and face-to-face bargaining, through contract ratification in December 2002.
SPEEA member Ed Goldstick performed classic labor songs, some of which he authored. An enthusiastic audience participated at times as Ed led the group in rounds of "Today's the Day the Engineers Go to Picket", "Layoff Comin' and I gotta go home", "I'm sticking to the Union", and "Solidarity Forever". Ed noted that popular folk singer Utah Phillips will be performing at the Town Hall Seattle (8th & Seneca) on Sunday, February 17th starting at 7:30 p.m. He encouraged interested members to attend. In closing, Ed also encouraged the Council to bring art into their meetings.
NW Chair Jimmie Mathis announced SPEEA is planning to hold "Open Houses" at our Everett and Tukwila offices on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 20th (anniversary of the day we returned to work from our strike). Mark your calendar, and watch for details in upcoming publications.
Tonight was "Guest Night" and about 50 SPEEA activists were invited by their local Council Rep to join in observing the meeting. Throughout the evening, drawings were held for the guests, with the following winners: Betsy Hunt (guest of Dick Morris); Bill Wagner (guest of Scott McGaughy); Larry Williams (guest of Pat Rinnert); Phil Howat (guest of Jim Byers); Anthony Elliott (guest of Tom McCarty); and Luci Hood (guest of Gordon Allen). Congratulations!
The NW Council unanimously PASSED a motion containing the proposed NW Regional Council Budget for fiscal year 1 April 2002 through 31 March 2003.
Asked why the budget doesn't contain a "strike fund", NW Treasurer Joe Gregg responded that this issue has been discussed several times by the Council, and the Council has decided not to raise the dues to fund a strike fund, but rather encourage members to set aside their own strike fund.
The NW Council PASSED a motion requesting our labor council delegates enter motions for their respective labor councils to consider sponsoring scholarships for labor union women (who have not previously attended) to attend the Summer School for Labor Union Women on June 24-30, 2002 at Evergreen State College.
The Prof and Tech Bargaining Unit Councils PASSED a motion to waive policy to allow seating of four Negotiation Team members (in lieu of three), with one alternate - and the Prof BUC PASSED a motion to waive policy to allow candidates who hadn't met all qualifications to be elected to the Prof Team. The Prof and Tech Bargaining Unit Councils then elected their respective Teams (see related article).
The NW Regional Council Officers took an action to send a letter of support to SPEEA members in Irving, TX; and to write a letter of extreme displeasure to The Boeing Company on how they are treating our members in Irving.
NW Regional VP Alan Rice reported the SPOTLITE will no longer publish "classified ads" (they will be the posted on the web), and instead we'll begin publishing an "Op-Ed" page ... the Executive Board approved funding: for open houses in Everett & Tukwila on March 20th; for ten people to attend the Summer School for Labor Union Women at Evergreen State College; for $1,000 to help restock supplies at Snohomish County's Operation Shortfall (which we helped deplete during our strike); and to send representatives to Chicago to conduct informational picketing.
Membership Activities Committee Chair Chris Glenn thanked those who helped purchase, wrap and deliver gifts to 174 kids through SPEEA's 2001 Holiday Outreach Fund ... announced the Camping/Rafting Trip (May 31-June 2) and Golf Tournament (July 20) have been scheduled ... and reported we plan to schedule a picnic at Woodland Park (volunteers are solicited to help coordinate the picnic).
Joel Funfar reported on the benefits SPEEA receives from participation in the various local labor councils (i.e., support during our strike and rallies ... training of picket captains, union counselors, etc ... assistance in setting up and administering the KCLA/SPEEA Cares Fund ... gaining access to politicians on issues important to SPEEA members ... and a wealth of information).
SPEEA is establishing a NW Transportation Committee to work with the Company and others in the Puget Sound community in an attempt to address local transportation issues (staff focal is Kristin Farr).
The Executive Director's report was given by Asst. Ex. Dir. Kurt Hanson: Charles Bofferding is in WA DC for an AFL-CIO Article 20 appeal hearing (OPEIU filed a charge against IFPTE/SPEEA for involvement with its members at SCPEA in Southern CA) ... Staff members have been busy educating the many new Boeing HR generalists; and have filed about 100 retention appeals.
President Craig Buckham spoke about SPEEA's informational picketing earlier this week in Chicago, noting that while the Irving negotiations were the primary focus, the event included speaking out against outsourcing in Wichita, offloading in Spokane and stopping production in California; and pointing out that all these issues are of great concern to all of us everywhere they happen. He noted that a visit with the Chicago Federation of Labor went well. Craig congratulated the Council on choosing three solid negotiation teams, and noted that our 85% membership will give them a head start compared with the last negotiations.
New Tellers seated
SPEEA's new governing documents call for annual election of Tellers by the entire membership. The plan is for the ballot for Tellers to accompany the Executive Board ballot package. Deadline for application to the Tellers Committee was set for 12 noon on February 1st. By that date, seven members applied to serve as Northwest Tellers, and three members applied to serve as Midwest Tellers.
Since there is no opposition in this year's election, ballots will not be mailed out. Tellers will automatically be seated for a one-year term, as follows:
Council vacancy - District E-9
With the transfer and election of Jennifer Erickson to District E-11, there is now a vacancy in District E-9 (Profs, Everett, 40-88 Building). If you reside in this area, have been a member at least one year, and are interested in applying to fill this vacancy, please complete the appropriate petition (found on our website at http://www.speea.org/whois/files/counc_rep_petition.pdf) and send it to SPEEA Headquarters no later than Noon, Wednesday, March 13, 2002. (It may be faxed to 206/248-3990; but please follow up by sending in your original.) If you have questions, contact Terry Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 433-0995 x130.
If more than one valid petition is received by this deadline, ballots will be mailed to members in the district.
Contest for Council Rep in District E-18
On Wednesday, February 6th, the Tellers Committee reviewed petitions submitted for the Council Rep vacancy in District E-18. The Tellers found all six petitions were valid. Ballots (with names in the following random order) will be mailed to all members in District E-18 (Everett, Techs, 40-23, 40-24, 40-25, 40-26, 40-35, 40-36 & 40-37 Buildings). Ballots must be returned no later than noon on Wednesday, March 13, 2002. [NOTE: Members in this district will be receiving TWO ballot packages in the next few weeks...one for this election for Council Rep, plus the Executive Board election package. Please take time to VOTE in both elections.]
**Mr. Noftz subsequently withdrew his candidacy.
Settlement of Class Action lawsuit
Last fall, a settlement was announced in a shareholders' class action lawsuit against Boeing. If the Court grants final approval, SPEEA members (and all other persons) who purchased Boeing stock from July 21, 1997 through October 22, 1997 will be eligible to receive a share of the settlement fund.
For Boeing shares you owned or traded on your own, you must file your own claim. In that case, you should receive a claim form in the mail from the claims administrator, Gilardi and Co. If you have not received a claim form, you may call the claims administrator at (415) 461-0410. Claims must be postmarked by May 6, 2002 to be valid.
However, for Boeing stock owned or traded through a VIP Fund, you do not need to do anything because the trustee of the plan is considered the purchaser of Boeing stock. The VIP fund trustee intends to assert a claim, and the plan administrators will distribute funds from the settlement.
Law firms handling the class action are Hagens-Berman in Seattle and Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach in San Francisco.
Council Reps receive immediate On-The-Job Training provided by the Company
The position of Council Representative (CR) within SPEEA can be both a rewarding and a thankless job; depending on which day you might ask a particular CR. The majority of our CRs are seasoned employees that have seen the positive impacts a Union has on working conditions. They typically realize that the strength or the power of the institution is a result of the collective actions of our membership. When one becomes a CR, we put them immediately through a full day of training at the SPEEA offices and follow-up with supplemental training throughout each year. The one thing that always surprises CRs is how much they actually learn when actively handling the cases of the membership.
With this in mind, SPEEA would like to acknowledge the special efforts of CR Dave Pearson from the Everett site. Since becoming a CR last spring, Dave has been immersed in several disciplinary cases, two performance cases which require extensive monitoring, and recently has been involved as an employee's advocate at a security meeting. Dave was also instrumental at getting SPEEA employee feedback with the changing start times and shift schedules within the Everett Interiors Responsibility Center. Dave has remained very consistent in effectively balancing his workplace duties, his SPEEA activities, and his home environment.
Dave is one of many dedicated CRs who have chosen to share of themselves to help make Boeing, SPEEA and the workplace better. The institution is truly thankful to all of our CRs and the personal time they spend to make things better. SPEEA is proud of our internal democratic structure that allows these leaders to help set the Union's direction into the future. [BR]
Council Reps Make A Difference!