Boeing Professional and Technical Units
How to challenge current job classification

If you think you are improperly classified for the work you are currently doing, the SPEEA-Boeing Prof and Tech contracts outline a process to ‘challenge’ your current classification.

Classification ‘Challenge’ Process

Step 1 - Employee discusses the issue with first-line manager

In the contract
Appeal process

  • SPEEA Profs – Article 22.5(d)
  • SPEEA Techs – Article 22.5(e)

Employees who want to initiate the challenge process must schedule a meeting with their first-line manager. This is mandatory. Be clear and specific that you are setting up the meeting to attempt to resolve a classification issue. Specifically mention “Article 22.5 of the SPEEA contract” so the manager knows that you are initiating a formal, contractual challenge – rather than setting up some informal “chat” or “griping” session. This discussion with first-line management is a prerequisite to the next steps in the process, and the manager needs to know you are officially taking the first step according to your contract. 

Step 2 – SPEEA contract administrator, employee and skill team manager meet

If the employee’s classification issue is not resolved in the discussion with first-line management, a SPEEA contract administrator and the employee meet with the employee’s skill team manager. The contract provides that “[t]he Skill Team Manager will meet with the employee and the Union Representative to fully discuss the employee’s issue in an effort to reach mutual resolution.”  

Step 3 - SPEEA, skill team manager, and Human Resources representative vote

If the discussion among the SPEEA contract administrator, the employee, and the skill team manager does not resolve the issue, then the employee has one more option. This is a majority vote among a three-person panel composed of the skill team manager, the “appropriate Human Resources Representative” and the SPEEA contract administrator. The outcome of this majority vote is final. There is no further appeal process.

Preparing for a Classification Challenge

The classification “challenge” process is an exercise in persuasion, because ultimately it is up to members of management whether to grant an employee’s challenge. The following information can help you with preparation.

  • Use SJC descriptions and level guides

To persuasively argue you should be in a different classification or level, you must use the published Salaried Job Classification (SJC) descriptions and level guides. Using the language of the published material, you need to show that the classification or level you are seeking is a much better fit than your current classification or level. 

  • Use the Salaried Employee Classification Worksheet (SECW)

The Salaried Employee Classification Worksheet (SECW) is a form used in Boeing Commercial Airplanes which can help you spell out  your actual duties, the level of those duties, and the percentage of the time your duties are performed. You can fill out this document and provide it to your supervisor to help facilitate a detailed discussion about your actual duties and how they relate to your current classification or level – or a classification or level which might fit your work better.

  • Focus on the previous 12 months

The classification challenge process attempts to focus on the work employees are currently performing; however, demonstrated capabilities over one’s career are also considered for SPEEA-represented engineers. There is a recognition that specific job duties may change from day to day and week to week.  Accordingly, in the classification challenge process, the parties consider evidence of the work performed during the previous 12 months when determining the employee’s “current” scope of work.  For engineering employees, there will need to be some form of documentation attesting to any demonstrated capabilities outside of the previous 12 months.