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Conducting SPEEA business
Northwest Council Reps are shown here conducting union business at the monthly meeting. The newly elected officers ran the meeting from the SPEEA Everett Hall. The Midwest Council Reps also met July 11. At Council meetings, the Council Reps vote on motions to set policy, hear updates from elected leaders and share news, announcements and ‘good of the union,’ highlighting how members benefited from a union action or activity.

Area Reps: Sign up for new terms!

Every two years, newly seated Council Reps ask their workplace co-workers to either sign up or re-commit to the role of Area Rep.

SPEEA Area Reps are recruited, not elected, to help share SPEEA news and serve as a liaison to the Council Rep for members’ questions.

Area Reps’ roles/responsibilities include:

  • Referring represented employees’ workplace concerns to the Council Rep.
  • Becoming familiar with contractual rights and SPEEA’s democratic structure.
  • Reporting workplace activities to the Council Rep or staff if you see a potential conflict with the contract.
  • Communicating with members in your small group – by having face-to-face conversations and distributing SPEEA news emails and the newsletter.
  • Attending SPEEA lunchtime meetings, including CR/AR meetings (typically held monthly or quarterly) and member information meetings, such as contract benefits or Performance Management.

Sign up!

To sign up or re-commit for another two-year term, talk to your Council Rep.

Find your Council Rep

Area Rep information & duties

Apply for Northwest STEM grant

The Northwest Council invites members involved in outreach related to Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Math (STEM) to apply for a 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) in Washington state, Oregon, California and Utah.

STEM grant application – deadline Aug. 15

Council Reps 'TEAM' up for training and union business
Council Reps shown here received recognition for perfect attendance at regional and SPEEA Council meetings.

SEA TAC, Wash. - About 150 activists and labor guests took part in the SPEEA Leadership Conference, June 8.

The conference, with the them of TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More, provided training opportunities for Council Reps to better serve in their role as workplace union liaisons.

Guest speakers at the conference were Bill Spriggs, Ph.D., AFL-CIO chief economist, and Paul Shearon, IFPTE president and former SPEEA director of organizing.

The night before, SPEEA Council Reps representing members in Washington, Oregon, California and Kansas attened the annual SPEEA Council Convention. They elected Council officers, voted on motions regarding union policy and heard reports on labor issues.

Newly elected SPEEA Council officers

Chair - Tony Hickerson Treasurer - Michelle Cooper Secretary - Ben Blankley

The Council also hear an update from Boeing workers involved in the Seal Beach, California, organizing effort for CREATE (California Region Engineers and Technical Employees). SPEEA members who transferred from Seal Beach also talked about the impact unions and contracts make, comparing their experiences between working in the Puget Sound and Seal Beach.

SPEEA closely monitoring
Spirit implementing short workweek in wake of
737 MAX issues

WICHITA, Kan. - After discussions with Spirit AeroSystems regarding impacts to SPEEA-represented employees, the SPEEA Executive Board accepted the company’s plan for implementing contract provisions allowing shortened workweeks for employees in the Wichita Engineering Unit (WEU) and Wichita Technical and Professional Unit (WTPU). Spirit is attempting to reduce costs as it deals with the impacts of the 737 MAX grounding.

Starting Friday, June 21, the company is shortening the workweek to 32 hours (20% per-week salary impact) for all salaried, management and executive employees working on commercial airplane programs. Employees on the Strategic Defense program are not impacted.

The WTPU contract allows shortening workweeks to 32 hours for up to 10 weeks. The WEU contract actually allows the company to save an equivalent amount with a 24-hour workweek for five weeks (40% per-week salary impact). However, Spirit’s plans call for a 32-hour workweek for both the WTPU and WEU for up to 10 weeks. The SPEEA Executive Board concurred with this contract deviation.

Spirit said employees have the flexibility to take either Monday or Friday off during the workweek. Other options require management approval.

Vacations and ETO

Scheduled vacations are unaffected. However, only 32 hours of ETO will be paid out per week. Additionally, while Earned Time Off (ETO) cannot be used to cover the day off, represented-employees with sufficient ETO hours banked can still “cash out” up to 80 hours of ETO two times during the year – one on their anniversary and at another time of their choosing during the year.

Non-Spirit personnel

Spirit has reduced indirect costs already, including the elimination of the majority of their non-Spirit personnel on site. They have committed to eliminating the remainder of the non-Spirit personnel, with the exception of less than a dozen cleared to work on a defense program.

Additional assistance

Spirit is working with the Kansas Department of Labor to secure up to $38 per week in unemployment benefits for impacted workers. The company and SPEEA are also investigating options for additional assistance for employees (e.g. how to deal with financial institutions in temporary situations such as these).


SPEEA contract administrators will monitor the implementation of the shortened workweek and its impact on represented employees to ensure compliance with our contracts and agreements with Spirit. Represented employees are encouraged to bring their questions and concerns to their Council Rep. (Find your Council Rep.)

Find the Spirit WEU and WTPU contracts - here.

Enthusiasm grows as Seal Beach employees
start signing union cards
Engineer Dave Lawicki signs a union authorization card after attending a meeting.

CREATE letter to co-workers 
SEAL BEACH, Calif. – Employees at Boeing Seal Beach are now signing union authorization cards – the next step toward their efforts to gain a voice at work.

Enthusiastic members of CREATE (California Region Engineers and Technical Employees), a potential bargaining unit of SPEEA, 
led two informational meetings talking about why they were organizing.

Leaders from SPEEA and IFPTE offered support and encouragement for the campaign during meetings while they started to sign authorization cards to join with SPEEA. “SPEEA is 100% behind you,” said President Joel Funfar. “We really need to make this successful, so you and Boeing are better off.”

IFPTE President Paul Shearon echoed the comments.

“We’re all facts and data people here,” Shearon said. “And the facts and data all point to union-representation being the best way to make improvements that benefit workers and the company.”

At the meetings, employees heard preliminary results from a recent survey that shows rising medical costs, the requirement to work four hours for free before earning pay for working more than the standard work week and the increasing chaotic workplace as major employee issues. 

Boeing has sprinkled the Seal Beach workplace with anti-union material saying they are 100% against the union and holding weekly anti-union forums for managers, human resource personnel and administrators. 

Follow Seal Beach employees’ efforts on social media and their website at

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