June 14, 2002 Newsletter #1885
In pre-submitted business for the SPEEA Council on June 7, 2002, there were two motions. One was for the recall of President Tom Day and one was for the recall of Treasurer Mike Dunn. Each motion asked that the individual resign; but then, if they refused, to send out a recall referendum to the membership. Each required a super majority of 2/3's vote to pass.
Both recall motions for Tom Day and Mike Dunn received the required 2/3 Council vote to pass. Both were asked to resign and neither resigned. Therefore, a recall referendum will go out soon for a membership vote.
It will take a simple majority (50% + 1) of ballots cast by the membership to recall an individual.
The tentative schedule for this vote is:
* Prepare packets (including both PRO and CON statements)
* Mail packets by July 2nd
* Ballots to be returned by noon on Wednesday, July 17th
If recall is approved, succession to the vacant office(s) will be in accordance with Section 184.108.40.206 of the SPEEA Constitution. SPEEA's seven-member Executive Board includes three officers (President, Treasurer, and then Secretary) plus four Regional Vice Presidents (three from the Northwest/Puget Sound Region, and one from the Midwest/Wichita Region). If the President and/or Treasurer position is vacated, officers "slide up" to fill in the top positions; and the vacant position(s) (Secretary and/or Treasurer) are filled by the Executive Board who votes to fill the position(s) with a current Regional Vice President. Vacated Regional Vice-President spots are then filled by a vote of the Regional Council which is represented by the seat (i.e., Northwest or Midwest).
Tom Day - For 102 (71%) - AGAINST 36 (25%) - Abstain 6 (4%) - Total 144
Mike Dunn - For 95 (68%)) - AGAINST 40(28%) - Abstain 5 (4%) -Total 140
SPEEA's annual Leadership conference was held on Saturday, June 8th.
It was a great event that allowed SPEEA leaders from across the country to gather to share thoughts on SPEEA's future and get training to be even better leaders and help develop a stronger SPEEA.
There many things worth noting, but I would like to focus on only two - the first and the last things discussed at the convention.
The first is to keep a promise.
At the beginning of the conference, during a discussion about globalization, I said that I was intending to write my article on the real value of shareholders. I suggested that I would title the article "A Blasphemous article" and talk about how shareholders don't do much for a company. Yes, many of us are employees AND shareholders. As employees we do a lot, but as shareholders we don't have a lot to brag about. Shareholders don't design, build or service any products. They give nothing to the Company. In fact, when shareholders buy stock they give money to other shareholders - not to the Company or employees. The best that one could argue is that shareholders affect the cost of capital by affecting Boeing's bond ratings.
As SPEEA, our perspective is NOT that of the shareholders - it is the employees' perspective. For SPEEA, shareholder value is NOT a top priority - from a SPEEA perspective, employee satisfaction is our top issue. Impact on employees will be our top criteria for any issue we engage (whether globalization or negotiations).
OK, that would have been a short article, but there was something else worth mentioning (that let's me use some charts) at the end of the conference.
Phil Comstock from the Wilson Research Institute gave the closing presentation which included SPEEA survey data. These data have been professionally gathered and evaluated by the Wilson Research Center over a number of years to monitor trends, feelings and concerns among SPEEA-represented employees. There was a lot of data, but the one major point I want to underscore is that the vast majority of SPEEA-represented employees already think that SPEEA is a great group of people making good things happen.
Certainly we are technical and professional people, and we are never shy about saying what we don't like - but the fact is that, among unions, SPEEA is VERY highly rated by its own represented employees. Three charts follow. My major point is that, while the focus on the Leadership Conference is to become even better, we should take some time to stop and reflect on just how good we are already. Most unions would love to have the capabilities and support that SPEEA has today.
If I get to choose between having shareholders or members of a strong and vibrant union protecting employee rights - I will pick the unionists every time.
In the first few hours of the convention, SPEEA Council members and staff divided into table teams. One of SPEEA's Goals was assigned to each table, and the teams brainstormed "strategies" for implementing each of SPEEA's Goals.
The following newly-seated Council Reps were introduced:
N-1 Rick Ruhmann
N-4 Judi Hurd
Certificates for Perfect Attendance during the 2001-2002 term of office were awarded to:
John Kampsen (A-10)
Judy Mogan (A-50)
Orlando Delos Santos (B-20)
Larry Wendt (D-2)
Mark Clement (D-10)
Kurt Schuetz (E-11)
Joe Lake (E-12)
John Lynn (E-12)
John Watson (E-40)
Shane Michael (N-3)
Burt Shah (N-5)
James Hatfield (N-6)
Ron Long (N-6)
Lloyd Bonham (N-14)
Randy Fleming (N-24)
Bob Lochner (N-26)
Marcia Denman (N-32)
Linda Newell (N-34)
Bill Scott (P-1)
Joel Funfar (P-4)
Sharon Moats (R-6)
Wayne Hollatz (R-8)
Jimmie Mathis (R-10)
Jerry Andre (R-12)
John McLaren (R-40)
Jeff Bates (R-50)
Craig Buckham (President)
Ron Mathes (NW Region VP)
Tom McCarty (NW Region VP)
Negotiation Team member Larry Marrell (Tech) provided an update on Team activities. He referred the Council to the Negotiations Survey provided in their packet, and encouraged Council Reps to distribute these surveys to their members. Member feedback is important in helping the team make crucial strategic decisions in upcoming negotiations.
Executive Director Charles Bofferding reported negotiations is our main focus right now ... globalization will be an issue in negotiations (we're getting involved to get SPEEA's perspective into the process, and to build protections for the people we represent) ... SPEEA has filed notice requesting "effects bargaining" over the issue of sending our jobs to Russia ... the IAM has agreed to coordinate bargaining on shared issues ... Staff continues to provide training to SPEEA leaders, and to monitor layoffs (we have negotiated "settlements" for some people laid off out of sequence).
President Tom Day reported the Board presented a contract to SPEEA General Counsel Phyllis Rogers, and hopefully it will be acceptable to her ... a new fire alarm system will be installed at SPEEA HQ in Tukwila ... the Board approved purchase of 50,000 "CLUB" buttons ... and a new payroll system is being implemented for staff.
IFPTE President Greg Junemann reported on IFPTE's organizing efforts around the country, and in Canada ...and noted "Unions are necessary and will be here forever with people like all of you. The goal/strategy exercise which the Council went through earlier today is an excellent way to bring together leaders to develop solutions to our problems."
Council Treasurer Hoyt Hillman showed some charts indicating the drop in SPEEA's income is not as steep as previously anticipated (following announcement of a 30,000 headcount reduction by BCA) ... and reported SPEEA should have the cash to sustain our efforts for whatever is ahead of us in negotiations.
SPEEA Treasurer Michael Dunn reported SPEEA's leaders met this morning with the investment firm which handles our large reserve accounts, and the meeting went well ... the Treasurers have begun meeting on a regular basis.
Organizational Planning Committee Chair Judy Mogan reported we are coordinating our efforts with the IAM and other unions at Boeing (through the Coalition of Labor Unions at Boeing/CLUB), and hope to have "CLUB" buttons available soon ... Paul Shearon provided an update on our organizing campaign in St. Louis.
Legislative & Public Affairs Committee Chair Joel Funfar stressed the importance of members writing their congressmen on issues that come up [be sure to include your home address, so the congressman knows you are in the district] ... the committee continues to prepare for filing of the Countervailing Duty Petition (CVD) against Airbus. Members are invited to get involved in this committee, which meets on a monthly basis.
The Council PASSED a motion to support 2700 members of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers (BCTGM) Local 464 who are on strike against Hershey Company.
The Council PASSED a motion, presented by the Labor Council Delegates Committee, to commission of survey to determine the level of political involvement that SPEEA members desire.
The Council PASSED a motion to conduct future annual recognition banquets "regionally" (as was done this year) so that the maximum number of activists within the region can be recognized.
The Council REFERRED TO the Governing Documents Committee a motion that would send every "interim" contract change proposal to the affected bargaining unit members for a vote.
The Council PASSED a motion to request SPEEA President Tom Day resign, or face a recall referendum. [President Day refused to resign, so the recall referendum will be mailed to members shortly.]
The Council PASSED a motion to request SPEEA Treasurer Michael Dunn resign, or face a recall referendum. [Treasurer Dunn refused to resign, so the recall referendum will be mailed to members shortly.]
Volunteers were solicited to write the PRO and CON statements to accompany the recall referendums.
The Council REFERRED to committee a motion to censor SPEEA members or officers for copying, distributing or publishing (e.g., on the SPEEA website) the individually-named salaries and disbursements made to SPEEA members or staff.
The NW Regional Council PASSED a motion to grant an extension on training for the following leaders who are unable to attend the June 8th annual training: Jeff Lewis, Alan Rice, Gordon Todd, Bob Boys, Todd Schoeneman and Steve Nielsen.
Bill Hartig from Wichita reported they have formed a Joint Oversight Committee for the Wichita Technical & Professional Unit (WTPU). Bill is a member, along with three non-Council Reps. They have met twice with local Wichita management. At the first meeting they got to know each other and began developing a schedule. They have since chartered the SPEEA-Midwest Communication Committee (chaired by Council Rep James Hatfield) to come up with process and procedures for communicating out to members and management.
Joe Newberry (Midwest Region VP) reported he is the chair of the Wichita Engineering Unit (WEU) Joint Oversight Committee. They have been meeting regularly and dealing with issues such as salaried job classifications and secondary skill codes (e.g., how the Company can review and assure those are current). Joe said they would normally be meeting next Monday, but instead the WEU Negotiation Team members will be meeting with management to hear about "globalization" and other issues.
Joe said on Tuesday next week, Wichita's BCA Director is leading the third in a series of training sessions for his team. He invited three SPEEA reps (Joe, Steve Smith and Bob Brewer) to attend and speak from the members' perspective while management is trained on how to communicate direction given on globalization.
Alan Rice (Northwest
Region VP) reported Maria Nelson was in Chicago attending a Labor/Management
conference during the last Working Together Partnership meeting, so he
will provide a report. The meeting occurred
In a previous meeting, SPEEA reviewed the Union's goals. The next activity will include where Boeing thinks they are going, and where SPEEA thinks they are going; then determine where the two overlap so we can work on those things. Alan said the Partnership hopes to have a web site online soon.
The next meeting would normally be scheduled later this month. But during that timeframe, Hank Queen has invited SPEEA (Alan Rice, Tony Gaudette, Stan Sorscher & Charles Bofferding) to participate in a four-day strategy session (BCA Engineering Strategic Direction). Maria Nelson from SPEEA Staff, and Dean Tudor from the Ed Wells Initiative, will also be attending.
Alan reported at last night's SPEEA Executive Board meeting, they discussed Attachment 31 which entitles SPEEA to hold Partnership meetings at the highest level (Boeing CEO Phil Condit and IFPTE President Greg Junemann). These meetings haven't been happening, and it is felt they should. It was agreed to meet with Alan Mulally in the interim, but continue to push for meetings at the highest levels.
Pat Waters (Everett) noted there are currently 26 teams under the Partnership umbrella, working together to resolve local issues. Pat said he thinks this effort has been very successful.
SPEEA is seeking applicants for the SPEEA-appointed Co-Director to the Ed Wells Initiative (EWI). The position became vacant as a result of the retirement of SPEEA's previous Co-Director, Paul Zieske.
The Ed Wells Initiative is the joint SPEEA/Boeing program to develop an effective sustainable process to maintain and continuously improve the technical excellence of the Company and SPEEA-represented technical workforce. The initiative is described in Article 20 of the Professional Unit, Technical Unit and Wichita Engineering Unit contracts.
In this full-time assignment, SPEEA's Co-Director works with the Company Co-Director to lead the program. They manage a small group of employees operating as Program Administrators for the various EWI programs. The co-directors are responsible for recommending the annual EWI budget; selecting staff to work on the program; review details and initiate new programs; review and support ongoing program activities; and assess program performance.
We are seeking an individual who has knowledge and understanding of engineering and technical processes, people processes, a commitment to life-long learning and teaming, and an ability to work effectively with the Company Co-Director and other program staff.
Some of the challenges facing this position are: improving employee morale; regenerating respect within the workforce; maintaining a "working together partnership"; focusing service on employees some of whom may be facing near-term layoff; expanding products and services in alignment with technical and product strategies; balancing short-term and long-term needs; and creating a passion for learning.
To apply, please complete and return the application as soon as possible. The application can be found on SPEEA's website at: http://www.speea.org/forms/EWIAAppForm.pdf
Feel free to elaborate or provide
supporting information on additional sheets of paper.
Council members receive training
This workshop is highly-rated by the Council Reps, who say that it equips them to do a better job for the members.
The eight-hour training (conducted by Staff members Maria Nelson, Mark Moshay, Bob Rommel, and Dick Goyt) included:
* Roles & Responsibilities
-The Right to Union Representation
-Duty of Fair Representation
* Contract Familiarization
* Security & EEO Interviews
* Seven Standards of Just Cause
* Attendance & Conduct Discipline
* Notice of Remedial Action (NORA)
A new manual was prepared for the training, and copies provided to all who attended.
Debora Proctor (Irving),
Stephen Bish (Everett), John Meredith (Everett), Joe Lake (Everett),
and Michelle Cooper (Kent).
A short time ago I responded to a member's commentary on an email chain concerning one of the many pressing issues facing our union as we prepare for negotiations this fall. I spoke about the true authority of SPEEA and where it comes from. This is a more formal version of that email.
First, according to the third paragraph of the Preamble to the SPEEA Constitution, "We the members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace elect to be governed by member participation, a representative democracy, an elected executive board ..., and several elected representative councils". Let's see how this works under our Constitution.
A large portion of the authority of SPEEA is vested in the "elected representative councils". The SPEEA Council, acting as a deliberative assembly, is the "supreme policy-determining body of SPEEA". Although there is a Chairman of the Council (Sec. 7.2.1), the Chairman has no individual power except to guide the assembly in its deliberation. The Chairman has to conduct him/herself with constraint to ensure that ALL sides of the debate are heard. Once the assembly has heard all the debate and taken a position, it is the responsibility of the Chairman to ensure that position is carried out, regardless of personal opinion.
Once policy is set, authority passes to the SPEEA Executive Board who "shall have executive control and administrative responsibility". The Executive Board determines how best to implement the policy of the Council. Again, this is the action of a deliberative body guided by the President (Sec. 8.2.1). The President, just as the Council Chairman, has to conduct him/herself with constraint and impartiality. The President "is to serve the will of the assembly" and "facilitate the expression of its deliberative sense." Thusly the President ensures that ALL sides of the debate are heard. The power of the Executive Board is not invested in an individual but in the collective. Once the Executive Board, as a body, makes a decision on how to implement policy, the Board gives direction on how that is to be done.
Many times it is the SPEEA staff (Sec. 8.5.3) that is the instrument of the Executive Board in carrying out the policy guidance of the Council. The staff, per our Constitution, is directed by the Executive Director. The Executive Director cannot make policy nor determine how policy is to be implemented. He/she can only advise and execute as directed by the Executive Board. This direction will normally come through the President, but it is not the President acting on his/her own wishes. This direction is the expression of the Executive Board as a whole.
Unfortunately, many in our great union do not understand that the power of the union is a collectively held power. No individual can dictate what the SPEEA position is to be or how SPEEA is to operate. Only the collaborative work of the various parts can accomplish that. Our membership, speaking through their elected representatives, determines the course of SPEEA. The President cannot make decisions on the course SPEEA is to take on his/her own. Our Executive Board cannot make decisions on the course of SPEEA on their own. Our Council Chairman cannot make decisions on the course of SPEEA on his/her own. Our Council cannot make decisions on the course of SPEEA on their own. Only by working TOGETHER can decisions be made on the course SPEEA is to take.
But now one might ask, where does "member participation" come from? The members elect our representative bodies, the Council and the Executive Board. The members decide if those individuals are doing the job they were elected to do. Some have said that certain people are trying to overturn the will of the members because they have disagreements with our leadership. Members and other SPEEA leaders are trying to help the newly-elected members of our leadership understand how our processes work so that these individuals can effectively exercise the duties of their office in our SPEEA leadership family.
Sick Leave restored following "new system" glitch
A Council Representative got a call from a member whose anniversary date was in March at approximately the same time the new payroll system was implemented. The member hadn't been accruing any sick leave since the implementaion. The member called Boeing and was told that because of the proximity of the seniority date to the date the new system was implemented, the system didn't recognize that the member was eligible to begin accruing sick leave again. This problem was quickly worked. Both the restoration of lost sick leave and the accruing of sick leave was restored. HR is looking into this problem but anyone with a seniority date in March or April should closely monitor their sick leave accrual. If there is a discrepancy, contact your HR representative to get the issue resolved.
This is the
third in a series of articles to present
covers the part of the contract that determines your long-term career.
The issues covered include outsourcing, redeployment of employees subject
to surplus, contract employees, retention rating, training, performance
Job Security and Outsourcing
Four out of five respondents believe that we need more protection from having jobs at risk from the outsourcing of work; and contract language is needed to govern the use of non-direct (non-Boeing) workers performing SPEEA-represented employees' work relative to a surplus/layoff event within Boeing. There are also some serious concerns about the use of contract labor at Boeing.
A majority of engineers want to improve the current practice of redeploying employees. Almost 7 out of 10 respondents would like to see all jobs held by contract employees advertised, especially when direct employees are being surplused or laid off. Employees subject to surplus/layoff would prefer to be placed through the skill team rather than via the Employee Request for Transfer (ERT) process.
A majority of respondents would like secondary skill codes established for the purpose of job placement opportunities; furthermore, a majority of respondents want to use secondary skill codes for bumping contract employees during surplus and assessing relative value of employees when assigning retention rating.
A majority of engineers want the retention system improved (e.g., company-wide use of common employee data sheet, assigning just-in-time retentions, SPEEA observers at all meetings concerning retentions). Three-quarters of the respondents prefer the four-bucket retention system with equal distribution in each bucket. Two thirds of the engineers support minimum retention ratings based on years of service at Boeing.
Performance Management System
Three-quarters of the engineers stated that additional training and mentoring opportunities for improving and/or maintaining professional skills is needed. Half of the respondents want more training made available and required for persons in lead roles, and feel that persons in lead roles are not acknowledged for their contributions and accomplishments. One-third believe that the scope of the responsibility and work of lead engineers should be defined in the contract and that the lead role should have its own skill code and level.
Your Wichita Engineering Unit Negotiation Team encourages you to get involved and have your voice heard. The best way to do this is to approach a nonmember today and request that they become a SPEEA member and have the opportunity to vote on our contract this fall. If you have questions about this article, please contact the WEU Negotiation Team via firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to look for more information during the coming weeks in future Newsletters.
If you have additional input
for upcoming WEU negotiations, please send it to:
This is a note sent by a SPEEA member to Boeing's Frontiers' magazine:
After having read the June 2002 issue of Frontiers' cover story, "Going Global", I was quite astonished to learn that one of the reasons that Boeing is employing nearly 400 Russian engineers in Moscow is that, "it provides access to scarce aeronautical engineering talent." I had no idea that there was a scarcity of aeronautical engineering talent. In fact, based on the number of my engineering co-workers who have been laid off by Boeing, I assumed the opposite to be true. If this scarcity does truly exist, I look forward to my currently unemployed co-workers, who already have a great deal of both scarce "aeronautical engineering talent", AND direct, valuable Boeing experience to be returning very shortly.
That is of course, assuming that they haven't taken this scarce talent, and Boeing-provided training to one of our "global" competitors.
- Kevin Corson (Everett)
by Thomas E. Day, SPEEA-President
Many of us are becoming activists. What drives us to activism? I believe it stems from the knowledge of correct problem identification, and subsequently providing solutions to those problems. Do you want a better life for yourself, your family, and your friends? If so then read on, and I will share my thoughts with you on how to become an activist.
Last February, I listened to a presentation by Hank Queen, the Vice President of BCA Engineering. In his speech Hank covered several topics, but what really caught my attention was what he had to say about Globalization. I became seriously concerned when Hank suggested that technical workers in other countries are every bit as good as Boeing folks but, because their wages are a lot lower, they are a much better deal for Boeing.
I came away from the meeting in a somber and reflective mood. Of the several thoughts that occupied my mind, the one that kept coming to the front was, "Boeing engineers and technical professionals are, as a group, the most competent in the world at what they do!" I firmly believe that you can stand SPEEA employees up against any other group from any country you wish to name and we will teach them an object lesson in what it takes to be the best. We have proven this time and time again. We build great products, we think great thoughts, and therefore we are great. So why shouldn't we get the best wages, compensation and benefits in the world?
If we are to dispel the misguided notion of the Boeing stockholders and managers that all it takes to be the best is to pay the lowest wages, then we need to put the same collective consciousness that makes us the leader in aerospace into the mind set of our union. We need to become truly united. We need to become involved and informed, and active. We need to pool our intellectual resources in the same way that we collaborate in designing world-class products. Then SPEEA will be the world leader in collective bargaining. To become an activist this is what you can do:
2) Think about what you have read!
3) Talk about what you have read!
4) Write about what you have read!
5) Identify the problems.
6) Prioritize the problems.
7) Identify solutions to the problems.
We can build a better Boeing by building a stronger SPEEA!
Back to Contents