Boeing and SPEEA: were they in the same meeting?

Within minutes of each other, we received the updates from Boeing and SPEEA, below. It doesn’t sound like they were in the same meeting.


Boeing and SPEEA discuss Ed Wells Partnership funding

 Today, Boeing and SPEEA had an in-depth conversation about the Ed Wells Partnership and SPEEA’s proposal to fund the program.

The Boeing team restated our commitment to Ed Wells and clarified that we do not intend to cut funding to the program. Our focus remains on finding solutions to deal with expected future cost increases for Ed Wells, which is just one component of our employee training program.

While these negotiations continue, we already have an agreement in place to continue offering a full schedule of Ed Wells courses through the first quarter of 2013.

 Boeing and SPEEA are scheduled to meet again Thursday morning.

 Boeing has addressed the full range of proposals since our initial offer in September. Today, we posted a new fact sheet showing the current status of the issues raised as concerns by SPEEA from that initial offer.

We encourage you to log on to the negotiations website to see regular updates.

And now the SPEEA update.

Prof  & Tech Negotiations Update
Again, no response to SPEEA counterproposals, Boeing still wants to cut training

The Boeing Company today (Nov. 28) again did not respond to our counterproposals and issues from last week, including our proposals on respectful wage pools, pension and pay disparity between the Professional and Technical employees.

Discussing the Ed Wells Partnership – our joint training program – the company’s proposed budget would result in the loss of 10,000 class seats during the next four years. The bulk of discussions revolved around the impact of these cuts on engineers and technical workers and a re-explanation of SPEEA’s funding proposal.

“The presentation included an example of a student who credited an Ed Wells class for his ideas that helped the company,” said John McLaren, Professional team member. “The idea resulted in a $6.3 million savings for Boeing each year, 1,200 gallons of fuel savings per airplane annually for customers and enabled Boeing to increase the 737 production rate.”

Link to Joint Ed Wells PowerPoint presentation

Link to SPEEA Ed Wells PowerPoint presentation

Our efforts remain focused on negotiating a contract that recognizes our contributions to the success of Boeing. We encourage members 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 two picket captain training sessions next week.  Interested members should look for the notice in the SPEEA online calendar or talk to their Council and Area representatives.


3 Comments on “Boeing and SPEEA: were they in the same meeting?

  1. Gee whiz- I looked at both presentations and failed to see any differences. Perhaps the Chicago power point rangers got confused.
    Both show the same cost savings estimate as a result of just ONE great idea from the ed wells program – which would appear to fund the whole program going forward.

    “What we have here is a failure to communicate ”

    And FWIW – those who might be interested in a subtle gotcha on pensions might want to download my execl program- estimate as to what really happens with the alternate formula as presented- which affects the majority of sSPEEA types nearing retirement

    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.

    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 ( SPD = summary plan document ) Legal Plan documents are what really counts – SPEEA should have a copy and no reason they cannot post it

    BTW- reducing the RATE of pension increase without notice is a no no – but the argument is that the formula is notice …. and years ago ( 1995 and later ), SPEEA approved the NO increase- levelling that happens.

    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

  2. The question at this point is why the Boeing spin on these negotiations would be given any credence at all. Every prediction by the Boeing team has proven false. The most glaring example being the 96% rejection of a contract offer that Boeing confidently predicted would be approved by a large majority of the SPEEA membership.

    In this particular case, Boeing is simply being dishonest. They have in fact proposed a modest increase in the absolute dollar budget of the Ed Wells training program. However, they also increased the overhead charges made to Ed Wells. The result is that their first proposal (rejected in the October 1st contract vote) would have cut 11,000 class seats available for training. The second proposal by Boeing in this current round of negotiations would cut 10,000 class seats.

    Boeing is being deceitful by mentioning the budget increase but not the order of magnitude larger increase in the overhead costs. Moreover, Boeing is using magical thinking in asserting that they can cut the funds available for class funding without cutting class seats.

    Boeing leadership is making a very conscious decision to shift resources away from investing in their future (cuts to Learning Together Progam, proposed cuts for Ed Wells, cuts to other training programs) and shifting those resources towards stock dividend increases and stock buyback programs. It’s a short term strategy to reward the investment community at the expense of the long term ability to innovate and compete in the marketplace.

  3. and the official boeing comments-proposal on the pension is found on their site-

    “Yes, we reduced the rate of growth. Moderating the rate of growth is necessary in order to not lose alignment with the market. This proposal contains the same rates currently in place for the IAM. Historically, the contracts have been the same when it comes to this alternative formula, which will not apply to the majority of SPEEA members who retire during this agreement (most SPEEA members will retire under a salary-based formula).
    The vast majority of the unit will retire with the pension benefit defined by the alternate pay-based benefit formula rather than the basic formula. ****Less than 2 percent of the profs and less than 40 percent of the techs will retire under the basic formula calculation.****
    The income replacement ratio under our pension plan has grown to 121 percent for profs and 98 percent for techs at age 62 with significant increases to these pension factors over time.

    Note MY **** denoted section *****

    Unless one runs a monthly calculation as in my spreadsheet, it is NOT obvious justg what happens with the effects of the ” covered compensation ” bit.

    Your final average earnings are over the highest ( last) 60 months, so a 5 percent annual raise results in an approx 1 percent increase in FAE. But the covered compensation increases about 3 percent/year. Since it is additive to the formula, the increase every year results in less added. Result is that for several months each year- there is NO increase in Pension, until service and FAE calcs catch up – typically 2 to 6 months, depending.

    This formula and percentages used have NOT changed in decades.

    But covered compensation has changed at a higher rate over the same time .

    So good ole magnanimous BA has in the past agreed ( cuz it would be a direct violation of ERISA if not ) to ” allow the grunts’ the highest number ( pension $$ ) in previous months to be given- thus a flat line ZERO increase results for most everyone at least for 1 to 3 months ( jan-feb mar ) .

    Even that flatline would be a violation except that SPEEA has allowed indirectly and deliberately due to basic incompetence.

    BTW- over a decade ago, in 1995, myself and many thousand others lucked out when BA added 5 years to credited service. IN fact that 5 year added to the special retirees essentialy made up for the many years of hosing via the covered compensation game- and we came close to ‘ breakeven” EVERYONE else before and since has suffered the same gotcha.

    Why am I so sure of the above? – well a long story short- I got some very expert help in the legal arena around the year 2000, but could not find anyone NOT in the union to stand up and start a class action. TWO fully qualified lawyers were not only ready- but willling . a retiree only has at the most 5 years to bring such an action.

    Of course IF the company makes a mistake they have unlimited time to claw back any extra pension payments.

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