SPEEA fosters national unity among engineers, scientists, pilots, information technology professionals, and technical employees in the aerospace community to improve our professional and personal lives through collective bargaining. Through our unified strength we create greater value, respect and reward for both the individual member and the companies where we are employed.
SPEEA is the largest white collar union in the U.S. aerospace industry. We represent more than 25,000 employees and are dedicated to:
- Unifying aerospace employees with a collective voice in the workplace
- Promoting professional development
- Advocating and promoting safety, quality and customer issues
- Negotiating legally binding contracts customized to each employer and bargaining unit
- Partnering to make our employers successful without jeopardizing workers’ rights
- Supporting education programs to foster the next generation of aerospace workers
SPEEA members have negotiated for and maintained some of the best labor contracts in the industry. Pay and benefits members have today are the results of more than 70 years of contract negotiations, workplace actions, and cooperative efforts. Below are some examples that apply to Boeing SPEEA members.
Professional development and continuing education
The availability of ongoing training is important and necessary for aerospace professionals to maintain top skills and career advancement. SPEEA has successfully negotiated a number of training and career programs that help ensure members have the opportunity to maintain and
gain new skills. For example:
Ed Wells PartnershipThe Ed Wells Partnership (EWP) is a joint initiative between SPEEA and The Boeing Company that provides a variety of training opportunities to represented employees.
Named after one of the great Boeing engineers, the Ed Wells Partnership is a model of union/management collaboration. A contractual guarantee of roughly $7.5 million dollars per year funds the Ed Wells Partnership which provides training and career development for SPEEA represented employees to enhance their technical and professional skills. The EWP provides a wide selection of class titles in technical and professional skill areas. In addition, the EWP provides online learning and Boeing Education Network (BEN) “live” training, which are available later on-demand. There are also conference grants, one-on-one career coaching, and other career development resources.
Resolving issues with management
SPEEA has negotiated several ways to work with management on issues that come up in between formal negotiations. SPEEA members meet with management on issues such as compensation, benefits and workforce issues. Within individual programs and worksites, SPEEA members have also established regular meetings with local management to bring up local issues and to share ideas and work together.
Affordable health care benefits are essential for working families. Negotiations have prevented unjust benefit cuts and secured for many of our members a medical plan free from premium contributions.
SPEEA members have a variety of secured retirement benefits negotiated in our contracts.
SPEEA Boeing members believe wage increases need to be both merit-based as well as providing a guaranteed hedge against inflation. For example, In 2013 negotiations between SPEEA and Boeing members negotiated for 5% per year wage pools through 2016. Of this amount, 2% for Professional Engineers and 2.5% for Technical employees, is guaranteed to each employee and the remainder is distributed based upon a merit-based system, An additional amount of at least 0.5% is slated for promotional and out-of-sequence increases throughout the year.
Boeing may pay more than the negotiated wage pools but may not provide less than the negotiated pools.
Members have access to SPEEA's detailed salary charts to gauge their career progression and hold their manager accountable to explain their pay and performance relative to peers. This data is helpful when changing job codes and to understand salary ranges. SPEEA provides more than 200 sets of salary charts as well as summary data published each year following salary adjustments for our members.
The vast majority of SPEEA represented employees have negotiated for wage benefits that are greatly superior to what federal law requires. For example, SPEEA engineers working for Boeing who are not eligible for overtime under federal law have negotiated to receive overtime at the rate of straight time + $6.50 for all hours compensated over 80 hours in a pay- period. They have also negotiated for other unique benefits like restrictions on when the employer can require employees to work overtime and how much overtime can be worked.
SPEEA originated alternate work schedules to include the incentives (weekend rate, schedule factor, and shift percentage). The concept was subsequently adopted as a best practice enterprise wide; however, only SPEEA- represented employees have protections against abuse, including preventing management from forcing employees to work weekend schedules or from flexing their time to accommodate partial-day absences.
SPEEA members secured strong contract language protections for members, including:
- Contractors must be released before SPEEA members are laid off.
- Assigned ratings each year for members to know where they stand in a potential layoff sequence.
- Consideration for 10 and 20 years of service at the company.
- Rights for recall for 3 years after layoff.
- Commitment to meet regularly with SPEEA on topics related to outsourcing and contract labor.
- Improvements to the Notice of Remedial Action (NORA) procedure to provide a more fair and above-board process.
- Company commitment to honor international labor standards, working conditions, and human rights.
Through collaboration with our many partners, including community organizations and leaders, other unions, elected officials, and the employers we work for, we create, build, and shape our future by securing the rewards of work in the form of decent pay, benefits, increased educational opportunities and sustainable employment.
Every employer and worksite is different, and organizing a union at your workplace means you and your co-workers can customize a legally binding contract. Without union recognition, employers can change your wages, benefits and working conditions without negotiating with you.
Every SPEEA member has a voice at work and the opportunity for meaningful participation in determining the terms and conditions of their employment.
Our membership democratically elects the following from the workplace to represent members:
- union stewards
- contract negotiators
- executive board members
- and other SPEEA officials
Members also give feedback before negotiations through workplace meetings, surveys and meetings with SPEEA representatives to set the priorities for negotiations. Members then approve contract amendments and agreements with employers. SPEEA prides itself on its democratic structure to allow members to help shape our future while being in the driver seat of our union through committees and our councils.
We share a destiny with our employers. Increased pressure to create shareholder value is more and more at the expense of employees, the community, and the company’s sustainability. Together, we promote a more holistic approach where the needs of the shareholder are only one component of a company’s long-term strategy.
"I was part of the effort to organize facility engineers into the SPEEA professional contract in 1999. Management did not make it easy. The company tried to delay the process and dilute our support. We were committed to staying united and supporting each other. Today, facility engineers are part of the SPEEA Professional Unit. We have a voice at work and enjoy the benefits of a contract that guarantees our wages and benefits."
“For over 70 years, SPEEA
has negotiated and maintained some of the best contracts in the aerospace industry resulting in higher pay and benefits."
SPEEA NW Council Officer