Executive Board Election 2018

Position Statement Questions from candidates

1. Why are you running for this position?
2. What can you contribute to the membership in this position?
3. What do you perceive to be SPEEA’s primary challenges and what are your solutions?
4. Problem solving, teamwork and conflict resolution skills are critical for the position.
5. How have you helped an organization achieve an important goal?

2. What can you contribute to the membership in this position?

Mehmet Ugur Koksu (for President)

I have 21 years of Boeing Engineering experience; and I chose to stay on the Engineering path because I believe in innovation and technology. By trade I am a systems engineer. Perhaps most of you heard time-to-time leadership saying “everything starts with the customer”? Leaders with an engineering background know that means everything starts with well-defined requirements. During my 20 year engineering career I developed tens of thousands of requirements both in BDS and BCA. The programs I worked in were always delivered on time and on budget. In this position my customer would be my peers, my friends, my fellow union members. What I bring to table is Professionalism, analytical skill, passion, and a sense of commitment to deliver on time and under budget. I feel I have a pretty balanced work; social and personal life. I have been volunteering in this community for more than 20 years. I have been actively involved in local community, my child’s school, and education. I earned a master’s degree in Business focus on business law and labor relations. I served on Bellevue College board of advisors and have been a SPEEA activist, ACT committee member. In the past I have been District P-3 AR; District P-3 DA; I am currently District P-3 CR. I immigrated to Northwest and became a naturalized citizen of United States of America. I want ensure everyone in the work place is threated with dignity and respect. I want to reunite our members regardless of their diverse backgrounds or their skill code or regional boundaries. Get rid off divisive language; make reforms in hiring/training; performance management and lay-off policies and processes. I am going to ensure everyone (union member or not) in work place are heard and treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their gender or sexual preference; age; or ethnicity.

Joel Funfar (for President)

Having worked at many Boeing sites such as Everett, Renton, Developmental Center, Bellevue, and Seattle, I understand various local site issues. I am aware of and supported issues at Portland, Spokane, Palmdale, Wichita, and Utah and the need to represent all SPEEA members.

In addition to being SPEEA Secretary, I am on the SPEEA/Boeing Partnership and Joint Workforce Committee with SPEEA and Boeing leaders discussing critical membership issues.

As the son of a Boeing engineer, I am a second generation Boeing/SPEEA member with an excellent understanding of our technical and professional members and retirees concerns. I also understand the need to represent all SPEEA members regardless of physical location or job type. As witnessed in my Executive Board vote on raise pools on 12/21/2017. Minutes are here.

I will leverage my experience as an activist, my commitment to hard work and my dedication and passion to OUR union. It is a primary responsibility of all SPEEA elected officials to be good stewards of our members’ dues and resources. I pledge to continue to do so.

Keith A. Covert (for President)
Like many members of SPEEA, I contribute by serving on committees, by participating in activities for the members. By serving as president, I would encourage members to participate. A few people cannot serve on every committee or hold every office. Many of us can help out once a year, some more often. It is each member not only voting but participating that makes SPEEA successful. Whether you have less than 1 year experience or 30 years experience or are a retiree, look at the committees and see if you can add your ideas to at least one. Whether you serve as a council representative, area representative, or representing SPEEA with other unions, there are several ways that members can participate.
Jimmie Mathis (for Treasurer)

The goal of any organization should be to have the experienced members mentor new less experienced members. SPEEA’s members benefit with when we can shorten our processes with experience and not wait until less those less experienced take long times to learn.

As the longest serving member of the Executive Board, I am always providing background and training to the Executive Board members.

I have a unique background that has trained me for this position. This includes working with SPEEA Executive Boards for decades and as SPEEA Treasurer and Secretary. This has given me a strong background of knowledge of the legal requirements.

I contribute my dedication to OUR union, my experience as an activist and a commitment to hard work to be a good steward of our members’ dues and resources.

I am well versed in our governing documents and am very experienced in the duties of the SPEEA Treasurer and the board committees.

It is a primary responsibility of all SPEEA elected officials to be good stewards of our resources.

I pledge to continue to do so with diligence when elected. More importantly, I am aware of the time commitment required to accomplish the assigned duties of the SPEEA Treasurer. My dedication to the various positions I have held within SPEEA has not been one of convenience. I am honored by the trust our members have given me.

Michelle L. Cooper (for Treasurer)
As treasurer, I would provide transparency and full disclosure, without protecting PII, of income and spending by SPEEA, staff, officers and members, and by meticulously working with SPEEA’s certified public accountant and SPEEA officers, notwithstanding tasks related to grievances and investigation workplace issues. I would further support SPEEA and members in their pursuit of paid Family Leave and other issues and benefits that are being skirted by the company.
Ryan Rule (for Secretary)
Boeing calls me an engineer and while I do have five degrees, none are actually engineering degrees. I enjoy solving problems and am not interested in becoming a politician; I simply want the working conditions for myself and my coworkers to improve. While I primarily focus my efforts internally within SPEEA because that is where I felt I could have the most impact, many of you chose to elect me to the IFPTE Executive Council, which works well since IFPTE and SPEEA are closely aligned. Separately, I have the honor of supporting a small government-defined organization whose mission includes advancing aerospace opportunities in Washington by building partnerships between schools and the industry. I continue to believe that since outside organizations have their own agendas, and while many labor organizations share common goals with us, the path taken to achieve those goals may directly conflict. I have been forced to stand up against an entire committee and other officers when they have followed suggestions from an outside organization without understanding the impact to our membership in the past. I am not afraid to do so again if necessary and my focus will continue to be on what we need internally first and on outside organizations only when it makes sense; when we can work together toward common goals, or take our message out to them, not just the other way around.
Stanley Huang (for Secretary)

Being a new father has given me perspective in what it means to everyone in taking time off. Having already taken my time off – with only vacation days approved – no other benefits were allotted from the union or Boeing. Given my situation back in March 2017, I investigated on what other employers did and it turns out Boeing does provide paid parental leave…to non-union employees only as of January 1st, 2017. Not offering or extending this benefit to new father’s like me seemed to be a big letdown.

In addition to this, Washington Senator Karen Keiser recently passed a bill SB5975 called “Paid Family and Medical Leave”. This bill – which is good for all of Washington – allows all of Washington employees (even small businesses) to take paid family and or medical leave which includes having a child. All these good benefits will come to Washington on January 1, 2020 – except unions in a current bargaining contract.

If the company valued this much about work-life balance for non-union employees, you would think that they value this much for union represented employees as well. My contribution as SPEEA secretary will be to follow this issue and do what is possible to get this benefit into action well before we have to negotiate for a new contract in 2022.

Dan Nowlin (for Secretary)

I contribute my time, service and experience to our membership. I work with our current SPEEA leaders and staff, and I have gained from their experience and counsel. I bring my previous knowledge and experience to the secretary position. I have had opportunity to mentor younger members and I have been mentored by younger members.

While a Council Representative, I had a member encourage me to organize AR/CR meeting. I was reluctant with the turbulence of the contract offer, but he convinced me that it was the right move and we made the plans and facilitated a good meeting. We discussed our contract offer, and several other topic of interest. This became a monthly meeting. This regular AR/CR meeting continues today in my former district. It has been an example to other Council Representatives to develop similar meetings in their districts.