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.”
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.
The Everett Herald has this story.
The Seattle Times has this story.
Sunday, November 25, is a critical date in the looming confrontation between Boeing and its White Collar engineers union, SPEEA. This is the date the current contract terminates.
After this date, both sides are basically free to escalate short of a lockout or a strike. SPEEA is gearing up to have another contract vote and the leadership has already basically rejected the second Boeing offer. A strike vote still has to be taken before SPEEA could strike. Based on our conversations, we don’t see the prospect of a strike until after the first of the year–if at all. The union isn’t known for its willingness to walk out.
After members rejected Boeing first contract proposal with a 96% vote, things initially appeared to improve between labor and management. The good will turned out to be short-lived.
Rhetoric is heating up and by all appearances, it seems that SPEEA may well be headed toward a second contract rejection. Work-to-rules and refusal of voluntary overtime is already underway. Large demonstrations have taken place.
What happens after the contract terminates remains to be seen. We’re not optimistic about the next several weeks.
SPEEA, the engineers union at Boeing, and the company appear to be at odds in the early stages of contract negotiations and there appears virtually no chance of a surprise breakthrough similar to the IAM 751-Boeing contract last December.
People familiar with the situation on both sides say they are hunkered down for traditional contract negotiations in advance of the October 4 amendable date.
SPEEA suggested in June 2011 that both sides go to binding arbitration as a first, not last step as a way to speed up a contract and avoid protracted, potentially contentious negotiations. Boeing declined, according to SPEEA and confirmed by a person familiar with the Boeing position. According to two sources, Boeing didn’t want to give up decision-making to a third party. Boeing also didn’t see the urgency or need to avoid normal contract negotiations, according to the person familiar with the Boeing thinking.