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Beyond the Weekend -
How labor unions benefit everyone


Joint Communications - June 13, 2018                                                                  
Main table negotiations underway

Wichita - Contract negotiations between SPEEA’s Wichita Engineering Unit (WEU) and Spirit AeroSystems resumed Monday.

After breaking for the Memorial Day holiday, negotiation teams worked internally. With early discussions productive, the teams moved to a neutral, off-site location this week to help facilitate main table discussions.  While such important conversations can sometimes be difficult, both sides are hopeful for a positive outcome.

Negotiations will determine the next contract for the approximately 980 engineers at Spirit AeroSystems in the WEU. In addition to the engineers, there are about 1,650 technical and professional workers at Spirit covered by a separate contract.

Washington is clear choice for NMA!
Richard Aboulafia explains explains the metrics used in the Aerospace Competitive Economics Study that ranked Washington as the best location to design and manufacture Boeing's new airplane.
Gov. Jay Inslee with SPEEA President Joel Funfar after the press conference.
SPEEA Executive Director Ray Goforth, President Joel Funfar, Machinists President Jon Holden and Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group.
TVW link top press conference - June 6, 2018

SEATTLE -- Washington state is the best location in the U.S. to design, manufacture and ensure a successful launch of Boeing’s next airplane, according to a study performed by respected aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group.

Announced by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and the Choose Washington New Mid-Market Airplane Council, the study used 41 common metrics to produce the most comprehensive, data-driven state-by-state aerospace competitiveness study ever done.

“Washington comes way out on top,” Aboulafia said during a press conference to release the study at South Seattle Community College. “People can look at the data themselves and get the same outcome.”

Inslee said the state is well-positioned for the new airplane because of the extreme depth of experience and expertise in the engineers from SPEEA and Machinists.

“If you look at the total scores, it is obvious we are way out in front of the others,” Inslee said. “It’s really not even close.
Though wages may be lower in other locations, the study used common data points to weigh productivity as a factor in the cost. Machinists 751 President Jon Holden explained:

“The Teal Report looks not just at the basic cost of the labor, but they also looked at the output of that labor,” Holden said. “What they found is that machinists and engineers (SPEEA) here in Washington are very efficient and productive.  We produce more aerospace output per dollar cost of labor than almost anywhere else.”

SPEEA President Joel Funfar emphasized the point: “It’s a lot cheaper when you do it right the first time,” he said. “It is very clear when you look at all the factors that Washington is the best place to ensure success for the NMA.”

While Washington came out on top of the overall rankings, Kansas had a strong showing in several areas, including first in aerospace supplier density.

“I’m not surprised that Kansas was fourth,” Aboulafia said. “Wichita is the air capital of the world, with the greatest concentration of business aircraft and general aviation production and the skilled engineers and machinists needed to keep the state a leader in those markets.”

The Choose Washington NMA Council is led by business, labor, education, economic development and elected leaders.

More information on the council and the NMA effort is available at:

Read the full Aerospace Competitive Economics Study (ACES) report.

SPEEA Convention and Leadership Conference

Council Reps from outside of Puget Sound are shown here for a meeting to discuss issues and network with Puget Sound elected leaders. The ‘out of towners’ are here for the annual SPEEA Council Convention (June 1) and Leadership Conference (June 2). Special guests include SPEEA members on the Wichita Engineering Unit (WEU) Negotiation Team.

At the Council meeting, all SPEEA Bargaining Units’ Council Reps vote on motions to set policy for the union, discuss workplace issues and hear updates from union committees, Council officers and the Executive Board.

At the Leadership Conference, with the theme of ‘Labor Activists and Champions,’ Council Reps and guest activists attend training workshops and hear from national labor leaders/guest speakers. The training addresses leadership development and member outreach as well as issues such as legislative policy, the impact of labor history on the future and workplace harassment.

2018 Prof and Tech salary charts now online

This year’s salary charts are now available for the SPEEA Prof and Tech Bargaining Units. The charts reflect data from The Boeing Company following the 2018 salary adjustments.

Access is for SPEEA members only.

SPEEA Executive Board vacancy
Petition available for interim NW vice president

Members interested in filling an upcoming vacancy for regional vice president on the SPEEA Executive Board have until 
noonWednesday, June 20 to submit a petition.

Election Booklet – Includes the petition, requiring 20 members’ signatures, and important details on written responses from candidates.

Eligibility – Candidates must be a SPEEA member in the Northwest Region and meet the minimum qualification of continuous membership in good standing for the previous 24 months.

Council Reps will vote to fill the vacancy at the July 12 Northwest Council meeting. The vacancy is due to a vice president taking a voluntary layoff.

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Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
Apply for Northwest Council STEM grant

If you’re a member volunteer working with students on Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Math (STEM), apply for a Northwest Council STEM grant.

The NW Council STEM grants are for non-profit organizations or institutions, with at least one Northwest SPEEA member participating (as a coach, mentor or parent).

STEM education grant application (click here) – deadline Aug. 15

For more information about the program, see Northwest Policy VII: Subsection B.4.

Apply for STEM Grant Review Committee

SPEEA is looking for members to apply for the NW Council STEM grant review committee. The committee meets a few times to review grant applications and make funding recommendations to the NW Council, which votes on the grant allocations.

If you’re interested, email your name and school district to by July 2.

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Eligibility extended two years
Trade Act Assistance available for laid-off Boeing workers

Workers laid-off by The Boeing Company in Washington state through August 9, 2019, are eligible to apply for training, income support, and other benefits through the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program (TAA or "Trade Act").

The eligibility dates were recently extended an additional two years as a result of a petition to the U.S. Labor Department by the International Association of Machinists (IAM), District 751 in partnership with SPEEA, IFPTE Local 2001. 

Laid-off workers will receive a letter detailing the benefits steps to apply for assistance.

Since Washington state extended the aerospace tax preferences (tax breaks) in November, 2013 to Boeing and the aerospace industry with the agreed intent to “maintain and grow Washington’s aerospace workforce” more than 3,500 SPEEA-represented employees have been laid off by the company. The most recent figures from July show that overall Boeing has shed 15,828 jobs from its Washington state workforce since the tax breaks were extended.

Additional information to help members facing layoff is available on the following SPEEA web pages:

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Ed Wells Partnership - Contract benefit
Resume and job-search workshops available

Ed Wells Partnership (EWP) recently added a number of resume and job-search workshops to its list of offerings. The workshops provide information about how to be successful searching for new jobs within Boeing.

Complete information and registration is available on the Boeing intranet
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