Boeing, SPEEA talks take a turn for the worse

Labor contract negotiations between Boeing and SPEEA took a turn for the worse (and things were bad already) when Boeing asked for federal mediation.

If this request is granted, SPEEA won’t be able to strike while mediation is in process. Only after an impasse was declared by the Mediator, could SPEEA walk out (or conversely, Boeing could lock out the union).

If mediation is granted, Boeing buys an indefinite time during which aircraft deliveries was proceed more or less uninterrupted.

Update, 530 PST: Well, it seems our long history in the airline business got the better of us. In 20 years we never saw a strike happen until an impasse was declared in a mediation. As Nixon press secretary Ron Ziegler famously said, the statement above is “inoperative.”

SPEEA is already engaging in job action, refusing voluntary overtime and working to the rules. Look for this to expand.

The last time SPEEA struck for an extended period—40 days in 2000—Boeing deliveries for the year dropped by 50.

Negotiations update, Nov. 29, 2012 

 Boeing proposes mediation in SPEEA negotiations

 Today, the company responded to SPEEA’s counter proposal regarding wage increases, the Voluntary Investment Plan and the BCERP basic benefit. Because the differences between the parties are still significant, and this was clearly reinforced during today’s conversation, the company proposed that a federal mediator meet with the Boeing and SPEEA teams. We hope the expertise of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service can help move the two sides toward a resolution.

 During today’s session, we explained the salary increase pools proposed by SPEEA for both the professional and technical units of 6 percent a year for three years would move the salaries of our employees above the Puget Sound market. We also pointed out that SPEEA’s proposal to allocate two-thirds of the salary pool to all engineers and techs significantly slows the salary growth of top performing engineers and techs.

 We explained that our Voluntary Investment Plan company match of 75 percent of the first 8 percent employees contribute is already market leading when compared with our aerospace peer companies. SPEEA proposed a company match of 75 percent of the first 10 percent.

 Finally, we explained that the company’s proposal to increase the BCERP basic benefit each year over a four year contract to $85, $87, $89 and $91 keeps the plan market leading. SPEEA proposed to increase the basic benefit each year over a three year contract to $87, $93 and $99. The vast majority of SPEEA-represented employees retire under the pay-based benefit which will continue to go up with pay increases, including EIP, and will make an already market-leading plan even better. 

 The intent of our proposal is to improve upon a total compensation package that already leads the market. The question is — how far can the package exceed the market while we remain competitive as a business for the long term.

 We encourage you to log on to the negotiations website to see regular updates where you’ll also find the Pay & Benefits Estimator. The Estimator shows how the company’s offer will affect you personally.

And the SPEEA message:

Boeing rejects SPEEA counterproposals  

Discussions during negotiations today (Nov. 29) included medical benefits, SPEEA salary raise pools and the pension. In the middle of our pension discussion, The Boeing Company stopped negotiating and recommended a federal mediator be brought in to assist our talks. The Boeing team then packed up and left.

Employers often invoke federal mediation when they do not see a path to achieve their goals during negotiations.

Boeing rejected SPEEA wage proposals without providing a counterproposal. Using their flawed methodology, Boeing negotiators restated their belief that technical workers and engineers are overpaid and above “market.” The Boeing negotiators said SPEEA members do not deserve higher increases or higher guaranteed minimum raises than included in their Nov. 20 revised compensation offer.

 “These below-inflation raise pools and medical plan takeaways mean techs will lose money during the life of the contract,” said Joel Funfar, technical team member.

 SPEEA’s proposals are designed to align members’ compensation to the value we bring to Boeing.

Boeing third quarter earnings better than expected  – Boeing

Executive compensation up at Boeing 

Increase to shareholders dividend

 Our latest proposals included significant movement in regards to salary and pension growth. The company rejected our proposals on each and failed to provide a counterproposal.

 Our Prof and Tech teams remain disappointed the company did not listen to members during the overwhelming rejection of the contract offer. The company continues to propose cuts to the compensation packages at a time when Boeing is experiencing unprecedented success in profits and orders.

Boeing corporate continues to not take our negotiations seriously. This is why SPEEA filed unfair labor practice (ULP) charges against the company on Nov. 19 for failing to fulfill information requests vital to these negotiations.

Members can see how Boeing’s contract offers impact your paycheck and personal situation by using the updated SPEEA Contract Offer Calculator. SPEEA recently revised the calculator to show how Boeing’s Sept. 13 offer and Nov. 20 changes compare to the terms in the 2008 – 2012 Puget Sound Prof & Tech contracts.

Members are encouraged to continue workplace actions, including refusing to work voluntary overtime and other ‘work-to-rule’ actions to bring pressure on Boeing corporate.

 We are doing everything possible to avoid the need for a work stoppage. However, as it’s also important to be prepared, the SPEEA Bargaining Unit Negotiations Support (BUNS) committee is holding picket captain training sessions at the Everett Hall on Wednesday (Dec. 5) and at the Tukwila Hall on Thursday (Dec. 6).  Interested members should look for the notice in the SPEEA online calendar or talk to their Council and Area representatives.
 

 

2 comments on “Boeing, SPEEA talks take a turn for the worse

  1. . . . In the middle of our pension discussion, The Boeing Company stopped negotiating and recommended a federal mediator be brought in to assist our talks. The Boeing team then packed up and left. . .

    ++++

    Hmmmm. Perhaps BA realized the bit about the Alternate Benefit in which BA said . .”The vast majority of SPEEA-represented employees retire under the pay-based benefit which will continue to go up with pay increases, including EIP, and will make an already market-leading plan even better. ”

    was being challanged for the first time in decades. I dont know – but the FACTS are that the hidden gotchas which reduce to ZERO pension increases for several months EACH year have become recognized for the first time. I hope so

    meanwhile my comments and excel spreadsheet on that issue can be found at

    http://www.msdsite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=11566#poststop

    and the spreadsheet mentioned can be found at

    post number 3 Alternate Formula in BCERP

    ++++

    7@342 6 30 pm Monday 8 Oct 2012

    I suggest that this be forwarded to any Engineer- Tech who may be retiring in the next 3 to 4 years.

    An excel spreadsheet can be downloaded as shown and persons can input as shown to get an estimate of their possible pension as described in the latest Boeing PR re contract.

    http://tinyurl.com/ALTERNATEPENSIONCOMPUTE

    The particular set of numbers was chosen to show the effects of changes in Covered Compensation on the Alternate formula

    In effect, unless an employee consistently beats the increase in covered compensation, there will be many months in which NO increase in pension benefits.

    The Alternate formula has not changed since 1993 and possibly before

    A copy of the legal plan document effective in 1993 is part of the spreadsheet

    Compare to the current Boeing PR and also compare to the SPD that can be downloaded from Boeing

    Note that issues such as no decrease due to covered compensation OR drop off of EIP or signing bonus after 5 years is mentioned.

    SPEEA can well afford to have a high quality spreadsheet or program based exactly on the Plan Documents made up by their HR consultant at Segal. Along with legal expertise and a enrolled actuary.

    Its your benefits folks- and SPEEA has overlooked this gotcha for decades

    ++++

    Its about time !!!!

  2. “If this request is granted, SPEEA won’t be able to strike while mediation is in process. Only after an impasse was declared by the Mediator, could SPEEA walk out (or conversely, Boeing could lock out the union).”

    This is utter nonsense. FMCS has no power to control either party. SPEEA is free to go out on strike.

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