Local 2001, AFL-CIO, CLC
OF PROFESSIONAL AND
Grateful for STEM grant
I'm writing to say thank you for SPEEA's generosity in giving our Science Olympiad team a grant
this year. We've used the grant to purchase many important resources, including maps, glider kits,
food science supplies and chemicals for students to analyze. We have more than 45 students involved,
so we can field three teams that
participate in competitions from
December through April. Last
month, our three teams were
in Camas, Wash., to represent
Northshore Junior High, and
we earned 1st, 2nd, and 6th out
of 25 teams.
Thank you so much for encouraging the scientists and engineers
Math Teacher & Science
Northshore Junior High
By Ryan Rule, SPEEA President
A new Midwest office and contract talks
in the Northwest on top for 2016
The coming year is shaping up to be very busy for SPEEA – a new office for Midwest members, contract negotiations
for the Professional and Technical bargaining units and continuing our work with IAM
District 751 to tie Washington’s tax incentives
to good jobs and wages.
After years renting office space in Wichita’s
Parklane Plaza, the SPEEA Executive Board is
moving forward with plans to purchase property
and a building to provide offices and meeting
space for Midwest members. Sites have been
under review for more than a year. During the
board’s visit to Wichita in December, the full
board experienced the need first-hand for a larger
member meeting room, better street visibility
and more useful space than our present location
can provide. Required inspections of one site are
taking place. While detailed information cannot
yet be shared, the prospects for a new office are
looking very good.
The 21,000 members in the Professional and
Technical bargaining units have a close eye on
upcoming contract negotiations. The initial
survey showed members remain very concerned
about retirement benefits. Other priorities that
emerged are medical benefits, salaries and job
security. One unknown we have going into talks
is whether the company’s attitude towards its
technical workforce will improve under new
CEO Dennis Muilenburg. We’ve seen some
hopeful signs, including my own discussion with
him in October. Time will tell.
More than two years since Washington state
extended $8.7 billion in tax incentives “to maintain and grow” the state’s aerospace industry,
Boeing’s workforce in the state is down by more
than 3,900 employees. Efforts to tie actual job
numbers to the tax breaks – like other states were
able to do – will resume in earnest with the start
of the legislative session on Jan. 11. Members can
help by contacting their state representatives and
urging them to support tax incentive accountability. A telephone call, letter or email will help.
If your representative already supports HB 2147
tying tax breaks to jobs and HB 1786 providing
living wages to workers in the supplier network,
it’s just as important to send a note of thanks.
Read more about this work in my joint article
with 751 President Jon Holden (see page 6).
Shortly before the end of the year, SPEEA
SPEEA success with
received a letter of appreciation from Edie Lie,
the Science Olympiad coach at Northshore
Junior High School in Bothell, Wash. The pro-
grams at Northshore were among the 45 helped
by SPEEA’s Science, Technology, Engineering
and Math (STEM) grant program. This is one
of many letters received over the years thanking
SPEEA members for helping foster the next
generation of aerospace professionals by serv-
ing as mentors, judges and helping teams and
programs through our STEM grant program.
During the past year, the grants have helped
robotics teams, libraries, women engineers and
the Science Olympiad. Midwest members have
similar programs to help the next generation.
The letter is a good reminder about the posi-
tive impact our union and members have in
our communities and throughout the aerospace
WICHI TA – SPEEA helped a Wichita member benefit from Spirit AeroSystems voluntary retirement
program that offers a $25,000 incentive payout
for those eligible.
Prior to the announcement, the member submitted paperwork for retiring because there was no
indication Spirit would offer an incentive package this year, compared to last year’s program.
Spirit’s announcement came without notice on
After hearing about the voluntary layoff/retire-ment program, which offers incentives without
takeaways, the member asked to re-submit the
retirement paperwork. SPEEA worked with
Spirit to accommodate the requests for anyone
who recently submitted paperwork for retirement.
“We were pleased with the immediate response
from Spirit regarding this issue,” said Bob
Brewer, SPEEA Midwest director. “They made
the right decision for the employees.”
SPEEA also made a difference for non-union
Spirit employees who take advantage of the voluntary program. Spirit extended the early retiree
bridge benefit in SPEEA’s contracts to all eligible non-union employees. Anyone within 30
months of the eligible early retirement age may
qualify for early retiree medical benefits as part
of this voluntary retirement program.