June 21, 2002 Newsletter #1886
In order to accommodate a request from the writers of the accompanying PRO and CON statements, the SPEEA Tellers Committee has agreed to adjust the voting schedule for the recall referendums which were authorized by the SPEEA Council to go out to SPEEA members.
The ballot will contain two
The new schedule has been set as follows:
* Prepare packets (including both PRO and CON statements)
* Mail packets to eligible members by July 9th
* Ballots to be returned by noon (local time) on Wednesday, July 24
* Tellers to begin counting at noon (local time) on Wednesday, July 24
We urge you to take an active role in this election by reading your ballot package carefully, and casting your vote by the deadline. The Council's decision is to allow the members to decide if they wish to retain these two leaders as we enter into this year's contract negotiations.
The Joint SPEEA/Boeing Partnership Committee recently spent nearly a week discussing the Company's activities around the world. The FAA, SPEEA, Ed Wells and Boeing shared ideas and concerns to ensure that the new process supports their respective needs. This topic is of great importance to both parties, and we can only benefit from working together.
This work was part of an over-all strategic planning session earlier this week, to define the key objectives and plans to support the BCA lean global enterprise strategy. The initial session was scheduled for four days, beginning Monday, June 17th. Boeing participants included representatives from engineering, operations, people, finance, business operations, supplier management & procurement, and quality. In attendance from SPEEA were: Tony Gaudette (Prof Negotiation Team member); Alan Rice (Tech Negotiation Team member & SPEEA NW Region VP); Charles Bofferding (Executive Director); Stan Sorscher (Staff member working outsourcing issues); Maria Nelson (staff focal for Partnership activities); and Dean Tudor (staff member on the Ed Wells Initiative).
The engagement change model is being used throughout the development of supporting plans. Our intention is that subsequent working group activity on the globalization portion of the plan will be done in partnership with the FAA, SPEEA, Ed Wells and Boeing. This means that the circle of engagement will be widened over time to include numerous individuals from the involved organizations to ensure good decisions are made and implemented.
The results of this activity will be reviewed by the Joint Labor/Management Committee, which is supporting the upcoming SPEEA/Boeing contract negotiations. All participants reserve the right to agree or disagree with the results as a part of the normal negotiation process.
Periodic updates on this subject will be available on the Partnership web page.
What is Boeing's future? What will be our source of competitive advantage? What is the plan to get us from today to a prosperous tomorrow? And now for the biggest question of all - Once fully developed, will the plan to get there make sense to us?
When people ask us about Boeing's future, we have to say that frankly we don't really know what it is. We don't even see a plan to get to the unknown destination. However, we do know that a critical ingredient for success is the enthusiastic support of employees. This can only happen if the plan to get to our future makes sense to us.
Some say people don't like change. I say people don't like change that is done to them; but enjoy, support and embrace change that they help create and makes sense to them. SPEEA's mantra on this topic is "We want to see a plan that makes sense to all stakeholders and involves all stakeholders in its development."
With the credibility gained nearly three years ago, when SPEEA members stood outside for 40 days, we now have a seat at the table. We now have standing to insert ourselves and the perspective of our members into the processes that will help define the plan to take us to the future.
Let's be clear, If we can help develop a plan that makes sense, we will support it; but if, in the end, the plan as we understand it, doesn't make sense, we will fight it.
Boeing is changing. All stakeholders are pushing for what makes sense to them (customers want better products at reduced costs ... investors want increased returns ... the community wants Boeing to stay) and they are not shy about pushing for what they want. We too must strongly advocate for what is important to us - careers, good wages and benefits (including retirement).
SPEEA-represented employees can easily figure out if a plan makes sense. However, we also have tremendous expertise and wisdom in our ranks. We should do more than wait for a plan to develop. We must engage to help push the plan to reflect our perspective and be responsive to our needs. We need to engage Boeing to see if we can help make the changes acceptable to us.
It is easy to be against things. The real challenge is to be for something. We are for a plan that makes sense and we won't settle for anything less.
SPEEA and Boeing Negotiation teams meet
During the week of June 3rd, two meetings were held between SPEEA and Boeing's Negotiation Teams. Included were elected SPEEA Negotiation Team members, related Staff, Boeing Main Table negotiation participants, and various line management who will be serving on each of the negotiation's joint committees.
On Tuesday, June 4th, the group met in the 25-20 Building at Longacres. Following introductions and a review of the groundrules, participants broke into table groups and discussed setting the tone for "working together". They defined "respect" and how we can maintain and enhance respect for each other during the upcoming negotiations process.
Next, Jerry Calhoun (for Boeing) and Charles Bofferding (for SPEEA) reviewed their respective internal negotiation processes.
Several negotiation subcommittees have been meeting since the last contract as "joint committees", and each gave a status report of their activities. The subcommittees include: Compensation, Benefits, Workforce, Employee Relations, and Labor/Management.
Closing remarks were made by Charles Bofferding (for SPEEA) and Hank Queen (for Boeing). The group agreed we all want to have a successful negotiations, and now we'll begin our journey toward that end.
On Thursday, June 6th, the parties met at Longacres Building 25-01, for training facilitated by the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service (FMCS). Rick Oglesby, from the Seattle regional FMCS office, led the group through a series of exercises including conflict/decision-making, working styles, conflict styles, collaborative process and dispute resolution.
It is hoped that this training will aid the parties in applying an "interest-based" approach to the upcoming bargaining.
On Saturday, June 8th, approximately 175 SPEEA Council members, staff members and guests from across the country gathered in Seattle to attend the annual SPEEA Leadership Conference. The purpose of this conference is to provide the annual training which SPEEA's elected leaders are required to take in order to maintain their contractual protections as Union officials. SPEEA Council members from Florida, Kansas, Texas, Spokane, Portland & Puget Sound were in attendance.
Besides the speakers who will be mentioned below, the following special guests were also in attendance:
Matt Biggs -IFPTE Legislative Representative (Silver Springs, MD)
Leslie Abbott - IFPTE Local 21, Rep/Organizer (San Francisco, CA)
Rosanne Ryburn - NATCA Engineers, Legislative Chair (Renton, WA)
Steve Williamson - King County Labor Council, Executive Secretary
Andy Muller (President),Chris
Cragg (Financial Officer) and Dan Kellar (Operating Officer)
- Society of Energy
Next on the agenda was a presentation on "Globalization - Our Perspective, Our Plan". SPEEA Executive Director Charles Bofferding and Staff member Stan Sorscher presented data outlining SPEEA's plan to address globalization's impact on SPEEA-represented employees. SPEEA is pushing to see "a plan that makes sense to ALL stakeholders, and involves all stakeholders in its development". Our goal is to interact with Boeing management to produce positive results. This includes putting in place protections for our people. Stan pointed out our industry has some unique characteristics that need to be recognized; we need to accommodate current realities. Outsourcing decisions must be based on known and accepted criteria. We need an implementation plan that makes sense. Following the presentation, a panel including the three Negotiation Team Chairs - Dave Landress (Puget Sound Tech), Dave Patzwald (Puget Sound Prof), and Joe Newberry (Wichita Engineers) - fielded questions from the floor. Questions covered: What's Boeing's definition of globalization? ... What about political interests? ... What language do we need in our contract? - and the statement, We shouldn't be "reactionary" and assume we'll "accept" globalization; if the Company's plan doesn't make sense, we will fight it!
"The Art of Working with
& Leading Others"
Vicki's workshop invited participants to question: Ever wonder why it is so easy to work with some, and such a continual challenge to work with others? Want to learn to better communicate and lead? Well, forget about the Golden Rule: do unto others... It's time to learn the Platinum Rule: do unto others as they want, and need, to be done unto. Vicki helped participants become more effective by better understanding others, by communicating with them in a way that supports their own style, and by utilizing the Council Rep's own strengths while better guarding against excesses or limitations. This packed workshop whetted the appetite for mastering communication styles, and left attendees with the tools they need to learn and grow.
"Basic Negotiation Skills"
This workshop focused on the essential elements that are key to most situations that involve negotiations between two parties. Prof. Huwe covered the following topics: understanding and establishing the negotiating range; identifying key elements for interest-based bargaining; and establishing appropriate rules for engagement. The workshop included an exercise that enabled the participants to apply these concepts.
"Political Issues for Technical
Most constituents do not understand the power that politicians have over their wages, hours, working conditions and benefits. Kristin Farr and Matt Biggs shared information on legislative issues in Congress and at various State Legislatures that directly affect technical workers.
This workshop also answered the questions: "What can I do?" and "How can I get involved?" Kristin and Matt showed the participants how to become a "constituent lobbyist" through role-play, and what means of communication are most effective when "lobbying" elected officials. Finally, a frank discussion on political action took place, and a straw poll was taken on how the participants feel about forming a Committee on Political Action and Education, a PAC fund (including how to support IFPTE's LEAP-PAC), and endorsing candidates.
"7 Standards of Just Cause/Case
Analysis and Role Play"
Contained within "Article 3 - Grievance Procedure and Arbitration" of each of the various SPEEA contracts is the obscure phrase "just cause" associated with discipline such as suspension or discharge. The Employer might want you to think that this allows them to discipline "just cuz" but the obscure phrase is a direct reference to seven tests or standards that have been accepted within labor management relations in discerning whether discipline was warranted or had merit. Bob's workshop reviewed the seven standards of just cause and attempted to portray their actual application through various skits or role-play.
"Organizing Your Council
Attendees were asked: Is your district ready for mobilization, participation in rallies, or workplace actions? Prepare your Council district to support negotiations. Organize your co-workers around their issues. Structure your district for maximum membership participation.
This workshop provided Council Reps with the tools they need to identify where the strengths and weaknesses are within their Council district. Dick & Paul included methods for effectively communicating and getting feedback from the constituents on information concerning negotiations and recruitment. The workshop allowed attendees to interact with the other participants of the workshop.
Council Reps attend a wider variety of meetings than any other SPEEA-represented employee. In addition to the Boeing meetings they attend as engineers and techs, they also represent the SPEEA membership in representational and disciplinary meetings, and participate in SPEEA Council meetings and committee meetings. Often, they are in a position of trying to influence the content and progression of a meeting, without formally being the meeting leader. In this workshop, Maria reviewed with participants new checklists for successful SPEEA-representational meetings. There was discussion and role-play on the essential elements of any effective meeting, and a review of methods to influence a meeting that has run amuck.
For over ten years, SPEEA has utilized this organization to conduct a monthly tracking survey. The 100 SPEEA-represented individuals contacted each month are chosen randomly, but balanced to match the broad demographics of the bargaining units.
Phil shared the results of the monthly SPEEA polling, comparing the periods "June-August 2001" and "October-December 2001". (He said they chose not to conduct the survey in September, following 9/11.)
Asked "How do you feel toward Boeing management?", members' view became more negative after September.
Asked about "Morale", Phil said there was a normal distribution of responses in June-August - but 80% of responses declined after September.
When asked about "Job Satisfaction", Phil said there wasn't much change between the two periods. He said the principal satisfaction was in the quality of the employee's own output; they continue to take pride in their work. Phil said he found it remarkable that job satisfaction held while there was a reverse reaction toward management and morale.
Asked about "Utilization of Employees", the response tended toward negative. The Company's utilization of employees needs to be improved. Employees are the heart & soul of the company - people not feeling well used feel abused, he noted.
Phil said employees continue to have "Confidence in SPEEA Leaders" - 65% have much or some. "Quality of Service" by SPEEA has improved - over 70% were positive. There is more communication, and more face-time with the membership. About 30% say they have at least weekly contact with their Council Rep. Phil added, "Council Reps' performance rates higher than the President of the United States (according to this morning's U.S.A. Today poll)!"
Members' opinion of "SPEEA's Communications" has also improved - today over 80% rate it as positive. The Union's web site gets incredibly high utilization and use of email is excellent. The "View of SPEEA" has stayed at a high level since last negotiations (in most unions, Phil said, this one sees a drop over time). "There are also a large percentage of members who are willing to volunteer to help - just ask them," he said!
Phil recommended SPEEA step up its contact and involvement with members during these critical months ahead. When you go into negotiations, he said, speak with one voice. He also recommended the Union "turn out the vote" for the upcoming recall referendums - participation in these types of decisions is crucial. Finally, Phil reminded the Council members that, whatever the members decide on the recall issue, it's important everyone accept the decision and move on.
Alton Folks, Chair of SPEEA's Leadership Development & Training Committee, thanked the speakers and encouraged participants to complete evaluation forms. Feedback will be reviewed by the committee to improve on next year's event.
Respondents who completed evaluation forms noted what was most valuable to them: "Reinforcement of skills I need in working for members in my district" ... "These were the best workshops yet" ... "Mixing with other Council Reps - meeting new people" ... "Phil Comstock was an excellent speaker - invite him back!" ... "Very organized, stayed on schedule, topics for classes were good choices" ... "Particularly enjoyed the '7 standards' session" ... "This year's workshops were relevant, practical and useful" ... "Networking, bonding, solidarity, unity" ... "The best I've ever attended!"
thanks to all the staff members and others who were instrumental in making
this Conference a success!
This four-part seminar introduces you to the key concepts of wise money-management for retirement. Learn about: making the best use of your employer's retirement plan and evaluate lump sum distribution options ... generating a steady income, protect your assets from inflation, minimize taxes, and provide secure retirement for yourself and spouse ... various types of investments such as stocks, mutual funds, municipal bonds, and tax-deferred annuities ... Social Security, Medicare and ways to provide for costs of potential long-term health care ... diversification and asset allocation to properly position assets for retirement.
The course will be held FOUR CONSECUTIVE THURSDAYS:
11, 18, 25 & August 1 6:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Bellevue Community College
The tuition is $79 (covers cost of instruction and all materials, including a 155-page workbook). For more information or to register, call (425) 451-9502. Ask for Mike (instructor).
Over the years, many of us have become unhappy with SPEEA leadership. Don't get me wrong, we still think being a part of a Union is a good thing, and we don't have any huge concerns about the amount we pay in dues, it's just that, there is this disconnect between SPEEA leadership, and the SPEEA Membership. They just don't seem to understand what we want, and we have come to believe that all we will ever hear from them is the same old tune. Why? Do you remember being told that once we got agency fee, our dues would go down? I do. Do you remember being told that once we got agency fee, we would begin creating a strike fund? I do. Do you remember being told that once we joined with the IFPTE, we would have a team of professional labor negotiators working for us? I do. I also know that as engineers and technical professionals, we are still below market value for wages, compensation and benefits, I know that we still don't have a cost of living adjustment C.O.L.A., and I know that as thousands are being laid-off, SPEEA is still not actively marketing our labor pool. What saddens me most is this; we've identified the problems, SPEEA has a much greater income due to agency fee, and yet the SPEEA leadership is still using the same old solutions to attempt to resolve those problems.
As an example, take a look at the SPEEA SPOTLITE. Do you know that readership of this monthly publication is still very low? Most SPEEA Members still set it aside for reading at a later date, and they simply never get to it. Why? Because printing it in color, rather than black and white, didn't change the fact that as a publication, most SPEEA Members don't really care about the contents of the SPOTLITE. Put another way, if you don't like a particular brand of something, repackaging isn't going to cause a change in attitude.
So how do we change our systems
in a positive way, a way that is going to grab SPEEA Members' attention,
and hold our interest? The answer is simplicity itself! The true leadership
of SPEEA, the SPEEA Members, must begin providing solutions. Do yourselves
a favor, and CHALLENGE THE STATUS QUO!
[President's articles are printed as submitted and with no editing.]
Rachel Fletcher is 21 years old, a senior at Wichita State University, who is currently on the waiting list for a double-lung transplant. She is the daughter of a SPEEA member who was laid off in Wichita. Shortly after she was born, she was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a genetic lung disease. She had a relatively healthy childhood, but started to run into lung problems at age 17. She has endured hospitalizations, breathing treatments, chest physical therapy and many medications, but has lost two-thirds of her lung capacity. She was listed for a double lung transplant in December 2001 at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. Average waiting time on the list is 1-2 years.
Unfortunately a transplant is a costly endeavor. Her health insurance will not cover all the pre- and post-transplant expenses, including relocation to St. Louis for six months to a year, rehabilitation and immuno-suppressive medicines that she will have to take for the rest of her life after the transplant. With support and dedication of family and friends, a fund raising campaign has been launched to raise $100,000 for her transplant.
You can make tax-deductible donations (either cash or check) to "COTA for Rachel F" at any Bank of America branch location in the Wichita area. You can donate in-person, or through the mail: c/o Bank Of America, 100 N. Broadway St, Wichita, KS 67202
For more information, you
can log onto her web site: http://www.rachelfletcher.org/
What is COTA?
The Children's Organ Transplant
Association is a national charity dedicated to organizing and guiding
families and communities with transplant-needy individuals in raising
the necessary funds for a patient's transplant. COTA's priority is to
assure that no individual is denied a transplant, or excluded from a
transplant waiting list, due to a lack of funds. 100% of all funds raised
will be used for Rachel's transplant expenses.
SPEEA is offering a "Dealing with Layoff" seminar to help those who are currently holding WARN notices by providing them with information that they may not be receiving from other sources.
The workshop is composed of 2 parts:
Part 1 includes a presentation by a person with a very successful career at Boeing, but who himself was a victim of the massive layoffs in the early 1970's. He shares the lessons he learned from this difficult experience to develop positive approaches to dealing with layoff and directing your subsequent career in ways that will leave you less vulnerable. He has shared this information and helped hundreds of others through Boeing layoff cycles in his capacity as a skill advisor and a career counselor, and as a SPEEA workshop presenter.
Comments from previous seminars include: "Inspiring! This seminar provides a 'real world' perspective." And "This was the most practical and realistic seminar I've attended about layoffs."
Part 2 includes a Q&A session where you can ask your questions of a panel of SPEEA staff regarding the effect of layoff on your medical and other benefits, retirement, the process to access retraining benefits, unemployment benefits and any questions you may have regarding the layoff process itself.
Wednesday, July 10th 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Earlier this year, the Northwest Chapter of the Industrial Relations Research Association (IRRA) held their 25th Annual Collective Bargaining Conference at the Seattle Center. Sponsors of this program included the IRRA, Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC), Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service (FMCS), and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The goal of the activity was to provide an affordable forum for labor organizations, employers and arbitrators to jointly learn the latest trends and techniques associated with labor relations, as it relates to each of the activity's sponsors. Representing SPEEA at this activity were Contract Administrators Kristin Farr, Mark Moshay and Bob Rommel.
Following opening remarks by each of the sponsors, the first presenter was Magdalena Jacobsen of the National Mediation Board. Afterwards, the crowd of over 200 people broke into workshops covering the basics of labor law, how to cope with adversarial behaviors in negotiations, an arbitrator panel, and a session dealing with the latest court decisions regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). After lunch, the group was treated to a very applicable presentation by the Director of FMCS from Washington DC, Richard Barnes. His topic entitled "25 Years of Collective Bargaining: A Retrospective" encapsulated the various stages of bargaining types (Power, Rights, and Interests), and also brought into context what he referred to as the "pronouns of collective bargaining". His presentation definitely had the effect of causing each participant to review his or her varied bargaining approaches. Concluding the 1st day activities was a reception for the recently retired former FMCS Regional Director Doug Hammond.
The second day started with the annual reports from each of the sponsoring agencies. Afterwards, the group again broke into workshops covering the basics of contract administration, interest arbitration, and how to identify and resolve different relationship problems that we encounter in our work lives. After lunch, the workshops consisted of dealing with spiraling health care costs, due process, workplace diversity and reviewing the elements necessary in Unfair Labor Practice cases.
Each of the SPEEA participants confirmed that the program was definitely worthwhile individually and for the institution. This activity provides the "hands on" type of information that supplements the previous negotiations experience of the SPEEA staff. [BR]
Agency Fee posting
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has instructed SPEEA to post a notice on Boeing bulletin boards regarding the requirements to become an objector under the Beck vs. Communications Workers of America decision. SPEEA contract administrators will soon be making the rounds to our bulletin boards on Boeing property and posting the notices.
The notices are part of a settlement agreement between the NLRB and SPEEA that involves an inadvertent statement regarding Beck Objectors. To meet the terms of the settlement, the notices need to remain posted for 60 days.
This year's annual picnic has been set for Saturday, July 27th at Woodland Park Shelter #3. Mark your calendar and plan to attend this fun event. We'll have volleyball, bean-bag toss and entertainment starting at 10:30 a.m. Lunch will be served starting at 12:00 noon. SPEEA will provide the hotdogs/ sausages, buns, condiments and soda pop. We ask that each of you bring a potluck dish of your choice (appetizer, salad or dessert).
Right after lunch, we'll have games for every age group from smallest children to adults. Prizes will be awarded to the game winners.
Tickets are on sale, at a cost of $2 per person age 11 and older (children under 11 are FREE). Please purchase your ticket in advance to aid in planning final logistics. Ticket sellers can be found at each plant location shown below. (Cost goes to $3 after July 15th.)
If you'd like to help in the planning, coordinating and carrying out of this picnic, contact Robbi at SPEEA on (206) 433-0995, ext. 126 or email email@example.com.
You can also purchase your ticket at SPEEA's Tukwila or Everett offices - or order by mail (include your check payable to "SPEEA", plus your name, mailing address, total number in your family, and ages of your children). Send order to: SPEEA Picnic, 15205 - 52nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98188.
hildren). Send order to: SPEEA Picnic, 15205 - 52nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98188.
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