SPEEA posts YouTube video; vows to return to table if Strike Authorization OK’d, contract rejected

SPEEA, the Boeing engineers’ union, posted a YouTube video this afternoon explaining why negotiators are recommending rejection of Boeing’s contract offer and why they are seeking a strike authorization vote.

If members side with the negotiators, SPEEA vows to return to the bargaining table under the supervision of a Mediator to try and reach an agreement before going out on strike. SPEEA says Boeing inserted a “poison pill” into its Best and Final Offer. Also focuses on what is called the Scrap the Cap issue.

6 Comments on “SPEEA posts YouTube video; vows to return to table if Strike Authorization OK’d, contract rejected

  1. [Edited as violation of Reader Comment rules against obscenities.]

    Post something like this again and you will be blocked forever.

  2. While I must applaud SPEEA for trying to get out the information and voting – the description of the ‘ scrap the cap ” issue is outrageous and totally off the mark and 90 percent flat wrong ! ( The CAP is the CAP on earnings subject to SS, currently about 113K- which are taxed at 6.2 % plus of course a matching amount paid by the company )

    The reason the CAP involves the Alternate benefit on the Boeing Pension Plan -( called BCERP _ has to do with the formula which for some ( 2/3 of SPEEA about to be retirees ) applies. The formula provides a slight additional amount to the pension as a function of what is called under ERISA as ” covered compensation” the trailing 35 year average of SS CAPS.

    When this amount is added to the first part of the calculation – it normally adds to the pension- a few hundreds of $$/month. But on Jan 1, every year, the covered comp increases by several percent. What this does is to significantly reduce the total pension calculated in DEC. Boeing cannot reduce the pension by formuala and erisa- so they agreed to pay the highest amount previous until the calcualtions catch up. This takes from 1 to 6 months, depending.

    ERISA is very complex, and when SPEEA claims that a major increase in SS CAP will flatten out the pension for YEARS, they are partially right- but mostly wrong

    What SPEEA has done is to ignore the rest of the formulas involved which set certain minimums to the alternate formula. EVEN if the Cap went to Infinity (not realistic) or even if it doubled ( to 200K or so ), the mimimum formula would kick in and limit the flatline to 3 to 6 months.

    SPEEA has had an outfit called SEGAL on retainer for years- and they are pros in the area of pension plans, etc. BUT the STAFF refuses to use them-

    By proposing an alternative which BA could not accept without violation of ERISA or getting IRS-EBSA_ERISA approvals, they are basically out to lunch

    I have put together a longer explanation on the Everett herald site Blog and on SPEEA -talk

    Suggest you read the Herald Comments re ENOUGH IS ENOUGH ( 5 comments in all with that title) of the Article labeled

    SPEEA council urges members to reject Boeing ‘final’ offer

    But here are two links to a graphical page showing what really happens


    http://tinyurl.com/SPEEABUCCLAIM or


    and a spreadsheet that can be manipulated re SS max benefit ( part of the minimum calculation ) and inserting any values short of Infinity for ‘ covered compensation”

    Hopefully- it may encourage the members to insist on vefrification of SPEEA numbers, and to get EXPERT help in presenting to BA a reasonable alternative.

    And some background


    Yes- the above issues have been sent to SPEEA Board – but obviously not in time !!

  3. Hopefully, they can come to an agreement sooner rather than later, especially due to the 787 battery issues. Boeing says they have enough technical expertise to work the issue even if the SPEEA does go on strike but that is questionable in my opinion. The union leadership is recommending that membership vote ‘No’ largely due to the removal of pension benefits in favor of defined contributions (401(k)) in Boeing’s offer. To hold the line there seems a bit futile to me considering almost all coporations are moving or have already moved to defined contribution plans in an effort to limit their financial risk in the future. If they (SPEEA) are just trying to punt the issue for another four years then maybe I understand the strategy but pensions are a thing of the past, make no mistake. These engineers for sure get a better deal than almost everyone on the business side, with the exception of executives. 5% annual pay raises, defined pensions, etc. I’ll take it!

  4. Hmmm- my bad forgot to post link to mentioned spreadsheet for the do it yur selfers



    While it is protected to prevent inadvertant screw-ups, there is no password needed to unprotect

    The numbers follow both BCERP and the SPEEA buc pdf re the Infinity and scrap the cap presentation

    here are a few more related which can be found on the Herald site

    http://tinyurl.com/BCERP08PLANDOCEXTR or





    Hopefully presenting a few FACTS and DATA and Analysis to the whole world including Boeing and SPEEA will result in getting a reasonable solution which might just for the first time since early 90’s get a real raise for those who use the alternate formula !!

    There is a similar problem with the early retiree medical due to SS NORMAL retirement age going up – and the SPEEA video on that is about on target !!

  5. Pingback: Analyst: Competitors little threat to Boeing, Airbus « Machinists News

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