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Question or comment? Email Negotiations

Lunchtime Meetings Email Negotiations

Updated Oct. 11

Questions members are asking about Prof & Tech negotiations

What is happening now with negotiations?
The overwhelming rejection of Boeing’s contract offers reinforced our voice at the negotiation table. Now back to full negotiations, our goal is to refocus the employer on systematically working through issues. Your elected teams and SPEEA staff have decades of negotiating experience and workplace knowledge. The focus remains on reaching the best collaborative agreement possible. Meetings are scheduled to continue the process.

How can I get the latest news about negotiations?
The latest news can be found at and from your Council and Area representatives. On the website, you can also sign up for the SPEEA Twitter feed, text messages, home email and find a link to our Facebook page.  Let SPEEA leaders in your areas know if you have questions or concerns. Please remember that Boeing prohibits SPEEA from sending mass emails into the workplace. SPEEA cannot directly email every member like the company does. 

I heard SPEEA recently filed Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges with the National Labor Relations Board  against Boeing. What are the charges?
During various “Red Shirt Walks,” Boeing photographed and videotaped SPEEA members who participated in the walks. Boeing also confiscated photos taken by participant’s.  Federal law protects employees’ right to engage in concerted (union) activity free from Boeing interference or intimidation.  While Boeing has a legitimate interest in restricting photography in some circumstances, a carte blanche prohibition in all work areas and non-work areas like lunch rooms and walkways is so broad it infringes upon SPEEA members’ rights to engage in concerted activity.  Also, the video surveillance of employees peacefully participating in a union action is intimidating. Employees who participate in union activities fear they may be targeted for negative treatment. As a result, videotaping quells employees’ ability to fully exercise their federal rights. 

Boeing requires a permit to take photos on Boeing property.  How is the enforcement of this rule by Boeing a violation of labor law?
Boeing has repeatedly denied SPEEA’s requests for a photo pass, including a request during these negotiations, even though this denial appears discriminatory. For example, Boeing provides a photo pass to the IAM.  Also, Boeing regularly allows tour visitors to take photographs in non-secure areas. For employees who have permits, Boeing permits photos of numerous non-work related events like baby showers and retirement parties.  Several SPEEA members who did have Boeing permit passes had their cameras confiscated and their photos deleted. Not allowing SPEEA the same access is a form of discrimination. The blanket prohibition of SPEEA photography unreasonably restricts concerted activity in a way that is not permitted by federal law. 

Are we going on strike and how can I prepare?
SPEEA is focused on negotiating a contract and avoiding a strike. There are strategic reasons why answering all strike questions in writing does not advance our efforts to negotiate the best contract. However, we are aware of members’ questions and concerns and are ready to answer the questions if it appears we are headed towards strike.  In the meantime, the most important step members can take is to talk with co-workers who participated in the last SPEEA strike about their experiences. Also, bring your questions directly to union officers and SPEEA staff.

What is the process for the negotiation teams to call a strike?
If additional pressure is needed during negotiations, our teams can ask the Bargaining Unit Councils (BUCs) to initiate a strike authorization vote. (There are two BUCs, one for the Technical Unit and one for the Professional Unit. Each BUC is comprised of the Council Representatives in each bargaining unit.) A positive vote by each BUC initiates a member vote. Like the overwhelming contract rejection, the strike authorization vote is an important leverage point.  High approval of strike authorization sends a strong message that members are united. 

How is a strike called?
Once members vote and grant strike authorization, the negotiation teams have the authority to call a strike. It does not mean a strike is imminent. It does mean that if the company continues to stonewall our teams and negotiations stall, our teams can call for members to strike.

How can I support the negotiating team?
To strategically function during negotiations, all members must have access to SPEEA communication.  Right now, we need every member focused on strengthening our organizational structure by filling leadership and communication holes.  Let your Council Rep, Area Rep or staff know if you are interested in supporting SPEEA in the workplace. Also, to fully engage membership, SPEEA must know where you are located. Please update your work location, including column and bay, in Boeing Total Access. 

What happened when the contract expired on Oct. 6?
The expiration date of a contract is a target date. The term “expiration” in the context of a collective bargaining agreement is misleading as the majority of contractual protections stay in place past the expiration date while the parties continue to negotiate. The only provisions that do not stay in place are the no strike / no lock-out clause, dues deduction, arbitration rights and the management rights clause. 

Download a .pdf copy of these Questions and Answers

Questions members asked during voting on Boeing's initial offers

What happens after we REJECT Boeing’s contract offers?
Once SPEEA members reject Boeing’s offers we return to negotiations. Our teams have already requested a negotiation session on Oct. 2, following the vote count.

Can the contract be extended past Oct. 6?
Yes. In previous negotiations, SPEEA and Boeing have agreed to contract extensions. SPEEA has already proposed to Boeing we agree to extend all the terms of the collective bargaining agreement for 30-60 days to allow for further negotiations.

What happens after the contract expires on Oct. 6?
The expiration date of a contract is a target date. The term “expiration” in the context of a collective bargaining agreement is misleading as the majority of contractual protections stay in place past the expiration date while the parties continue to negotiate. The only provisions that do not stay in place are the no strike / no lock-out clause, dues deduction, arbitration rights and the management rights clause. 

Why isn’t a strike possible now?
The vote is a straight ‘Reject’ or ‘Accept’ of the offers. A strike cannot occur without a membership vote on strike authorization. Passage of strike authorization alone does not mean a strike will take place. It first sends another strong message to Boeing that members are united by empowering the Negotiation team with the authority to call a strike as a last resort. The goal remains to secure a respectful contract without asking members to walk out.

Why aren’t we voting on strike authorization as part of this contract vote?
SPEEA’s goal is to get a good contract, not to go on strike. The goal is to reach agreement for new contracts that reflect our contribution to the record success Boeing is now experiencing. 

Who will see my vote?
This is a secret ballot vote. The process ensures that management and even SPEEA never knows how any individual voted.

Contract Offer Impact Calculator

Use the SPEEA calculator to see how Boeing's contract offers would impact your paycheck and take-home pay.


Can I get in trouble with management for voting?
Participation in a union contract vote is a federally protected right. It is a violation of federal law to interfere with or retaliate against an employee for participating.  
Why are the SPEEA teams sending Boeing’s contract offers out for a vote?

We have been bargaining with Boeing for 6 months.  Boeing's position at the table was that they did not have to listen to the SPEEA Negotiation Teams because management knew better what the members wanted. Boeing was quite explicit stating their belief that SPEEA only speaks for a cranky minority and management was going to present an offer the members would accept. Because Boeing told our negotiating teams it didn't believe they spoke for the membership, there was no further progress available until Boeing was disabused of this notion.  No further words from the negotiating team were going to make a difference. SPEEA members have to speak with their votes.

Why is Boeing saying SPEEA abandoned negotiations?
Boeing is now complaining that we abandoned negotiations because they don't want SPEEA members to understand how disrespectful the offer actually is. Boeing's tactic was to present an awful offer and then make SPEEA beg to make it less awful ... ending negotiations with an offer exactly where they wanted it to be from the start. This is a fairly common management negotiating tactic when they believe the union doesn't enjoy broad support from its membership.
The SPEEA negotiating team decided to submit the Boeing contract offer to the membership to reaffirm their mandate as your bargaining agent.  If Boeing is correct and the SPEEA Negotiation Teams don’t speak for members, Boeing’s proposal will become our new contract.  If SPEEA is correct and the members reject this proposed contract, then Boeing will no longer be able to dismiss the SPEEA Negotiating Teams as irrelevant.
A strong vote to REJECT means SPEEA Negotiation Teams are speaking for members.

Why didn’t Boeing negotiate?

Again, Boeing’s belief that the SPEEA team does not represent the views of the majority of members appears to be a significant obstacle to achieving meaningful dialogue and resulting agreement.  With a strong rejection of these contracts, our teams hope this obstacle is removed. If Boeing refuses to engage in meaningful negotiations after their offers are rejected, additional actions will be needed to increase pressure on the company. These additional actions include a vote on strike authorization.