March 1, 2002 Newsletter #1866
The third, and final, contractual raises in the current Puget Sound-based Prof & Tech Units and Wichita Engineering Unit contracts will be distributed on time.
All three contracts call for a 4% salary pool. From that pool, every eligible employee is guaranteed a minimum of 3%. The remaining 1% of each pool will be distributed selectively.
The raises will begin showing up on March 14th paychecks (note one week of that paycheck will be under your current rate, and one week will be calculated on your new wage rate).
Salary notices will be generated starting March 5th, and made available to supervisors for distribution.
New staff member - Kathy Skye
Kathy Skye has been hired to replace Wayne Schwisow as our graphic designer and webmaster. She will transition into the job during March of 2002.
Kathy was born in Aberdeen, WA, but moved to Fullerton, CA when she was four years old. She moved back to Olympia, WA where she finished junior high and attended high school. She got married and moved to Seattle where she lived 15 years before transferring back to Olympia.
Kathy graduated from Seattle Central Community College, majoring in Commercial Art (she made the Dean's list). She has also kept her skills current with courses at the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle. Her background includes working as a graphic design program manager for Washington State Employment Security in Olympia. Most recently she has done freelance design for print and the web through her own business SkyeDesign. Kathy is recognized for her strong work ethic, integrity, and commitment to achieve her employer's objectives. She seeks a job where she can have creative license. Her experience includes defining hardware and software needs, and creating custom designs for publications and web sites.
Kathy currently lives in Olympia
(though she says that may change). She enjoys reading, painting, drawing
and gardening. Her outgoing personality and friendly attitude should make
a perfect fit on our staff. Welcome, Kathy!
Your participation (and vote) matters
This is an important year for
SPEEA. We will have the first negotiations in the Puget Sound since our
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 four for Secretary. Your vote will make a difference in these hotly-contested races.
Ballots were mailed to all members' homes last week 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 were mailed in envelopes marked "BALLOT".
SPEEA's success depends on member involvement and support. Voting is both easy and important.
Notes from the Executive
This is another one of those articles that is written before the conclusion of an event, but will be printed after.
The topic is the Irving negotiations. It is Tuesday and we are still in negotiations - we hope to conclude tomorrow. The current plan is for the members to vote the Company's offer on Thursday. This article will be mailed on Friday.
I think everyone knows that the Company's last offer was rejected with an historic 100% rejection. We characterized the offer as mean-spirited [ref notes from Feb. 8th]. When people ask me to predict how the upcoming Puget Sound and Wichita negotiations will turn out, I point to the Irving negotiations.
As it sits right now, I'm not optimistic.
The Company's first offer this time corrected the "stick in your eye" benefits issues and brought the SPEEA retirement offer up to parity with the other Irving employees. Read that as a good contract in the benefits arena. However, we are waiting on the money package. Their new offer showed no movement. It is sad to think that, for a small amount of money, Boeing's negotiators will sacrifice employee morale and respect. However, our team did a great job of presenting our case. They clearly laid the choice in front of the management team: "Save a few dollars or build a team." Tomorrow the management team will reveal their decision. As always, I am hopeful because the value of a team is very clear to me.
All that said, here's what I think.
I think that no matter what the outcome, it is a shame that we have been forced into this process. The process started out as a very collaborative effort that embodied all of Boeing's best practices. The clear message was, "We are in this together and we will find a way out together." Regrettably it degenerated into an old fashioned, low-ball, take-it-or-leave-it affair. The message was transformed to, "Management will do anything to save a penny in the short term." My deepest regret is that it appears that Boeing's negotiation functionals have not figured out that working together is much more powerful than a slug fest. Based on all of this, I am not optimistic about this Fall.
The best I can hope for
The best I can hope for is that the Irving negotiators choose people over pennies and put a decent money package on the table tomorrow. After that it would be good if the "Irving experience" serves as a learning opportunity that reinforces the notion that working together yields better results for all involved. Negotiations should be an opportunity for both "sides" to publicly demonstrate their principles. And when those demonstrated principles align with a compelling vision - we are off to the races.
Clearly, Irving has been a learning experience. Will the Irving employees learn that management values them as full team members, or not? Will SPEEA learn that Boeing's negotiation functionals want to engage as partners or not. The ball is in their court.
Senator Maria Cantwell visits Boeing-Spokane
On Saturday, February 16th, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) visited Boeing Spokane to speak with Union leaders and Senior Management to discuss the Company's asset utilization study and the potential for plant closure. While the Senator has steadfastly shown her support for keeping these jobs in Spokane, this was her first opportunity to personally sit down with everyone.
The Senator was also able to tour the facility to get a "hands on" feeling of what building floor panels and ducts entails, as well as learning about the cost-saving measures employees have implemented and strive to improve upon every day. After the tour, leaders from SPEEA and the IAM were able to have a frank discussion with the Senator about what their plant and working at Boeing means to them, and how it would affect their families and the greater community if Boeing were to leave Spokane. Senator Cantwell listened intently and asked many questions. Everyone left the meeting knowing that this was only the beginning of an ongoing dialogue.
Since Maria's visit was on a Saturday, most employees were not working; however, Machinist Gary Swartz set up a bar-b-que outside the gate, and SPEEA and IAM members, their spouses, children, and friends came to show their appreciation and support for Senator Cantwell's efforts. Maria pledged to "keep these jobs in Spokane" and to continue to do everything in her power to make sure leaders at Boeing make the "right" decision in late February.
SPEEA Negotiations Survey #2 - available on-line
The second Negotiation Survey, in preparation for 2002 negotiations, is now available ON LINE. This survey was created utilizing responses from the first survey (published in the September SPOTLITE) plus other member input. We hope you will take a few moments to complete this survey, so the Negotiation Team will be armed with your needs and desires when they enter bargaining later this year.
This survey is designed for THREE of SPEEA's bargaining units whose contracts expire in December 2002:
Employees in the Wichita Technical & Professional Unit (WTPU) and the Irving Technical Unit are NOT included in this survey. Members of the Engineering Retirees Society (ERS) MAY participate.
When you access the web site, you will be asked to enter your clock number and last name. Only active employees in the three bargaining units noted above, plus retirees who belong to ERS will be granted access to the survey.
The survey will be on the SPEEA web site for the entire month of March. After that time, the survey will be tabulated and the results will be provided to the Negotiation Teams. A summary of the survey results will also be printed in a future SPEEA SPOTLITE.
Take this opportunity to share your ideas & desires!
A couple of weeks ago, my Lead showed me and a few coworkers an electronic clip from a presentation made by Jack Welch The presentation was being made to Boeing executives. Mr. Welch was discussing costs, principly costs associated with engineering. If memory serves me right, he mentioned that an R & D Engineer would cost $150,000 per year in Cleveland (wages + benefits). He then went on to explain that engineers can be had in places like China, Hungary and India for approximately $12,000 to $24,000 per year. His conclusion was, "What are we doing in Cleveland?"
Applying this logic, I bet a speaker could have been had for this presentation to Boeing Management from one of these countries for a few hundred dollars instead of the tens of thousands probably charged by Mr. Welch. While we are saving money, how much for a couple of CEO's from China, Hungary or India? Would this also increase profits for the company? I seem to remember a car produced about 27 years ago in a country on par with China, Hungary and India and sold in this country. Its big selling feature was its low cost. It didn't have a high price tag due to engineering and construction being done where they could be done cheaply. Anyone seen many Yugos on the road recently? Perhaps Mr Welch would prefer one of those vehicles to his own. It would make a statement that he is a man who practices what he preaches.
/s/ Robert L. Weiss,
Council Rep District E-13
"Boeing shoots self in foot (again)..."
In response to an Eastside Journal article "Boeing Signs Technology Development Agreement With JAI For Work On Sonic Cruiser", a member writes: "It's bad enough we have given away most of the manufacturing. Now we intend to give away the design technology as well. What 'core competencies' will that leave us with to safeguard? The Japanese already build better cars and electronics. Now we're going to help them take our airplane superiority too? Why does being a 'Global Enterprise' sound more and more like a Global Giveaway? It used to be called 'giving away the farm.' It still is. That's my view."
U.S. Government hangs out "help wanted" sign
Uncle Sam faces a crisis. The average age at a number of federal agencies is 45, and many employees can retire within five years. At FEMA, which responds to disasters, 47% of the staff could retire by 2006. Government doctors, firefighters, structural engineers and analysts for the Federal Reserve also will see their ranks depleted. Washington hopes the current patriotic fervor will help in recruiting recent college grads and even retirees. Interested? Visit http://www.usajobs.opm.gov on the web.
CASE HISTORY - MIDWEST REGION
Making the "right things" happen
A new college graduate who had only been working for The Boeing Company for 7 months recently contacted the Wichita SPEEA office. The employee informed the Contract Administrator (CA) that her husband had been laid off and found a new job in Georgia, and that she was making the move with him. When the employee originally contacted the People organization and informed them of her situation, she was told that due to the circumstances she would not have to pay back a $3.500 signing bonus. Later the same week, the employee received a phone call from the same People Representative informing her that the Company had changed its mind and that she would have to pay the entire amount back to the Company. The employee stated that she "felt trapped and frustrated at this point in that the Company can change their mind when decisions have already been made". The employee went to her manager to see if there was anything she could do or any action she could take to keep the bonus; and that, had she known that the bonus was to be paid back, steps could have been taken to prepare for it. The employee could have chosen to stay in her job for another 5 months while her husband left for Georgia, stay until she was surplused, or try to come up with the money to pay back. After sharing this information with her manager, the manager suggested that she contact SPEEA and see if there was anything her Union could do for her.
The SPEEA CA contacted Union Relations and Compensation to set up a meeting. After explaining the circumstances to both of the Company Representatives, the CA requested the name of the Manager who had reversed the decision on the reimbursement of the bonus money. The Company called the People Representative and found that the director had made this decision. Upon further discussion and pressing for the Company to do the "right thing" for this employee, an agreement was reached to waive the reimbursement of the bonus money which will allow the employee to move with her husband to Georgia.
This was not a contract violation and the employee is not a member. Neither of these mattered in this case; this was a problem-solving effort by the Wichita CA to make the "right things" happen. We are not always successful in these efforts, but the smile on this SPEEA-represented employee's face when given the news made the journey worth it. [BB]
Severance pay clarification
Q: I am facing layoff and my layoff date will be less than 3 years from my last layoff. Will I get any severance pay?
A: Possibly. You will receive 1 week of severance for each FULL year of employment since your return from your last layoff. In addition, the Company will include any fraction of a year worked during your previous period of employment in making the calculation.
Employee worked from January 1995 to June of 1999 - total of 4 years 6 months.
Employee received Severance of 4 weeks.
The Employee was recalled in January of 2000 and laid off in December 2001.
The Employee would have 23 months from his current employment, plus the 6 months remaining from the last period of employment for a total of 29 months. The employee would receive 2 weeks of severance.
Note: Employees who did not receive all of their severance from the previous layoff would also receive any remaining amount from that entitlement.
[Reference: SPEEA contract Article 21; and Summary Plan Document: Layoff Benefits Plan, page 4-6 "Limits on Payments" http://www.boeing.com/companyoffices/ empinfo/compensation/union/ and click on Layoff Benefits.
Make a Difference in your Communities!
Make a difference in your communities! Be a booster during the annual Employees Community Fund campaign. Training will be provided; no experience is necessary for this fun and challenging assignment. Boosters will thank co-workers for past community support, answer questions about the fund and ask for contributions via payroll deduction during the two-week campaign. Contributions go to help people needing services of local community nonprofit health and human service organizations. For more information, contact the focal at your site listed below, or visit the CommunityWEB at http://community.web.boeing.com/community/begnf.
Consumer Price Index - January 2002
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 January 2002 is 173.2. (On a 1967=100 base, the January index is 515.9.) This is a 0.2% increase from one month ago, and a 0.9% increase from one year ago.
60 day notices issued to 155
The Company reports that, on February 15, 2002, 60-day notices of layoff (for layoff on April 19, 2002) were issued to 155 SPEEA-represented employees, broken down as follows:
Details of layoff notices by job-code and major org are available on the SPEEA web site at:
We understand, Company-wide, 60-day notices were handed out to about 1766 employees.
SPEEA members named "Tech Fellows"
A new group of engineers and scientists were named to Boeing's Technical Fellowship on Friday, February 15th. The black-tie ceremony concluded a three-day Technical Excellence Conference held in Seattle, attended by over 400 Boeing employee participants from around the world. More than 150 technical papers were delivered.
Established in 1989, this fellowship recognizes and rewards employees in scientific and engineering disciplines who pursue technical rather than managerial career paths. These employees are nominated by their organizations and judged on criteria established by the fellowship.
Congratulations to the following SPEEA members who were recognized:
ASSOCIATE TECHNICAL FELLOWS
For more information, you can check out the Boeing Technical Excellence website for engineers (fellows) and for technical employees (principals): http://techex.web.boeing.com/index.htm http://techex.web.boeing.com/principal/index.htm
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