Tech Negotiations - Feb. 22 Take the Technical Member Survey
All employees in the Technical Bargaining Unit members are invited to spend a few minutes and take an online survey to help us understand member priorities as we enter this new phase of negotiations. The survey is confidential and designed to take about 5 minutes to complete.
The deadline to complete the survey is 5 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 27. Together, we will get a contract you can accept!
SPEEA members split on Boeing contracts, engineers accept while technical workers reject
and Technical Units
Contract vote results
NW Professional Unit
NW Technical Unit
SEATTLE – Engineers and technical workers at The Boeing Company returned a split decision in voting on new four-year contract offers with engineers accepting their offer and technical workers rejecting the offer and giving their negotiation team authority to call a strike.
Votes tallied Tuesday (Feb. 19) by the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001, show engineers in the Professional unit accepted Boeing’s latest offer for a new four-year contract 6,483 to Accept and 5,514 to Reject.
However, SPEEA members in the SPEEA Technical Unit rejected the company’s offer to them by 2,868 to Accept and 3,203 to Reject. Technical workers granted strike authorization by a vote of 3,903 Do grant strike authorization to 2,165 Do Not.
While engineers and technical workers bargain at the same time, the contracts are separate and independent agreements. With engineers accepting Boeing’s offer, the 15,550 employees in SPEEA Professional Unit are in position to provide inside support to technical workers if Boeing forces a strike.
“There are pathways to a negotiated agreement available,” said Ray Goforth, executive director. “With this second rejection by technical workers of Boeing takeaways, it’s time for the company to stop wasting resources and improve its offer to reflect the value and contributions technical workers bring to Boeing. That way, we can avoid a strike and focus on fixing the problems of the 787 and restoring customer confidence in Boeing.”
While the company offers extended most elements of the previous contracts, including 5% annual wage pools and no increases to employees for medical coverage, union members found fault with the elimination of the pension for future employees. In its place, Boeing offered a 401(k) retirement package that slashed the retirement benefit by 41%. Boeing also refused to ensure existing employees their benefits would not be affected by changes to the Social Security cap on taxable income or raising the Medicare eligibility age. Both are being considered by Congress and would dramatically impact existing retirement packages.
On Friday (Feb. 22), SPEEA is holding a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to outline the impact a strike by technical workers will have on airlines, defense programs, trade and the tourist industry. SPEEA last struck Boeing in 2000 when more than 19,000 engineers and technical workers walked off the job for 40 days. That strike slowed airplane production to a crawl and prevented Boeing from delivering aircraft.
SPEEA contracts expired Nov. 25. Negotiations to secure new contracts started in November, 2011. SPEEA presented a full proposal to Boeing on June 15, 2012. It then took Boeing three months to present a counter offer. That offer was overwhelmingly rejected by 95.5% of the engineers and 97% of the technical workers.
While the majority of covered employees are in the Puget Sound region of Washington state, these contracts include employees in Oregon, Utah and California.
A local of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), SPEEA represents 26,560 aerospace professionals at Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas, and Triumph Composite Systems, Inc. in Spokane, Wash.
Yesterday afternoon SPEEA brought to our attention an error in the holiday schedule which was part of the redline document provided with our best and final offer. The document listed holiday dates that included December 23rd of each year in error. The Company's proposal made no change in holidays.
We have provided SPEEA with a corrected copy of the document and posted a corrected version on our web site. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.
Explanation for the Negotiation Teams’ unanimous recommendation that SPEEA members reject the company offer delivered January 17, 2013.
While it is true that many things were accomplished in these negotiations, the Professional and Technical Negotiation Teams refused to endorse this offer for a number of important reasons:
No pension for future employees: Elimination of the pension for new hires with a 40% reduction in the value of the retirement benefit for those members.
Pension risk for current employees: Elimination of the pension for new hires is the first step towards freezing the pension for existing employees. A large percentage of the SPEEA membership is expected to retire during the next decade. If projections hold, it’s entirely possible that the tipping point (where the majority of SPEEA members are those without the pension) could happen within two contract negotiation cycles. Once this group with the lesser benefit attains majority status in the union, it is expected that Boeing will insert the freezing of existing pensions into its last-best-final contract offers.
Pension valuation: If Congress raises (or eliminates) the level of income subject to Social Security taxes ("scrap the cap"), there would be a drastic reduction in pension growth for those earning the alternate formula (almost all Profs and some Techs). Our calculations show that this would equate to a 5-to-6 year freeze in pension growth, even while employees are still working, earning more credited service and earning higher wages. The company refused to provide its analysis on the matter. Congress is currently talking about such a change, and Boeing rejected SPEEA’s proposed language to preserve your status quo benefit in case Congress changes the law.
Retiree Medical at risk: If Congress raises the Medicare eligibility age, our members on Retiree Medical will lose medical insurance after age 65 until the new age (ex. 70). Congress is currently talking about such a change and Boeing rejected SPEEA’s proposed language to preserve your status quo benefit in case Congress changes the law.
Your Professional and Technical Negotiation Teams do not believe Boeing’s insistence on cutting the retirement benefit for new hires and putting at risk the retirement benefit for existing members is justified. The Boeing Company Employee Retirement Plan (BCERP) pension is 100% funded (according to the ERISA formula that governs pensions) and earning a 10% return on its investments.
Under SPEEA’s governing processes, the Negotiation Teams will first report out to the Bargaining Unit Council at a special meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 22. After that, ballots will be finalized and mailed to members in the SPEEA Professional and Technical bargaining units. As always, the final decision on these contract offers rests with the membership.
Prof & Tech Negotiations - Jan. 16 Extending Boeing contracts allows
SPEEA and company to focus rebuilding confidence in 787
With the desire to focus all attention on solving the emergent issues with the 787, the SPEEA Professional and Technical Negotiation Teams today (Jan. 16)the union representing engineers and technical workers today (Jan. 16) proposed incorporating areas of agreement from ongoing negotiations into existing contracts and extending our Boeing contracts for another four years.
This “best and final” offer by SPEEA, IFPTE Local 2001, was presented as negotiations with Boeing resumed at 1 p.m. with the assistance of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) at the SeaTac Hilton.
SPEEA’s unprecedented offer would free Boeing and 23,000 engineers and technical workers from protracted and increasingly contentious negotiations that appear headed for a strike. It also allows the company and our technical workforce to focus on reaffirming confidence and proving the 787 is the reliable and safe product employees know it to be. Completing negotiations also helps Boeing stay focused on supporting customers, engineering the 767 tanker, 737 MAX, increasing 737 and 777 production rates and the other products needed for our national defense.
“These negotiations have been going on for more than a year,” said Tom McCarty, SPEEA president and Professional Team member. “At this point, we should move forward with the items upon which we can agree, and leave the status quo in place for the remaining items.”
In addition to the proposed contract extension, SPEEA requested that Boeing continue to meet under the auspices of FMCS mediation to tackle the difficult issues that have proven so divisive in these negotiations.
“Our hope is that we can work collaboratively to find solutions in a data-rich environment outside of the constraints of the collective bargaining process” said Ryan Rule, Professional Team member.
In making the proposal, SPEEA agreed to accept Boeing’s funding mechanism for the Ed Wells Partnership training program. The status quo proposal continues to offset company medical costs through annual deductible increases based on salary growth. To put to rest the pension issue, a major point of contention, SPEEA proposes to accept the same pension proposal that Boeing negotiated with the International Association of Machinists (IAM District 751). Finally, the contract extension offer is made with the understanding Boeing recognizes same-sex survivor pension benefits pursuant to Washington state law.
“With our contracts put to rest, we can all roll up our sleeves and work the issues facing the 787 and Boeing,” said Sandy Hastings, Technical Team member. “SPEEA members know this is a great airplane, and we are eager to prove this to our customers, the flying public and the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration).”
SPEEA and Boeing started meeting in April to negotiate new contracts for 15,550 engineers and 7,400 technical workers. In October, engineers rejected Boeing’s initial offer by 95.5 percent. Technical workers rejected the company’s offer by 97 percent. Existing contracts expired Nov. 25. Since resuming talks Jan. 9 after a month-long FMCS-imposed recess, members increased preparations for a possible strike. A 40-day strike in 2000 by SPEEA stopped deliveries and caused major factory and service bottlenecks at Boeing plants around the country.