Lifetime Achievement award
Council Rep earned a reputation for fairness, fierceness
By Karen McLean
SPEEA Publications Editor
EVERETT, Wash. - Members, Human Resources representa- tives and supervisors think of
Sandy Hastings as fearless but fair.
The irony is that she once thought
of herself as bashful and shy - a “wall
flower.” That’s until she found her calling as a Council Rep.
“I made a point - if something is this
important, I will talk about it. I feel confident around SPEEA,” she said, noting
the help she’s received from staff over the
years. “If I can do it, anyone can.”
Hastings, an Everett Council Rep
since the early 1990s, retired June 1,
with a well-deserved SPEEA Lifetime
Achievement award, presented at the
May 10 Council meeting.
At that meeting, several SPEEA leaders
spoke about how Hastings made a difference, including Council Rep Becky
Hewitt. “You always made sure I was
heard,” Hewitt said, “even when we did
not always see eye to eye.”
SPEEA Executive Director Ray Goforth
thanked Hastings for her decades of
activism. “She was fearless in her advocacy for members, even when she struggled with
her own difficulties.”
As soon as Hastings transferred to the Technical
Bargaining Unit in the early 1990s, she signed
up as a SPEEA member and Area Rep. As soon
as she met the minimum 24-months continuous membership requirement, she became a
Her SPEEA activism included:
• Council officer for regional and
• Tech Bargaining Unit Negotiation Team
• SPEEA and Northwest committees,
including Women’s Advocacy Committee,
Diversity, Veterans, Science, Technology,
Engineering and Math (STEM) Grant
Review Committee, Labor Delegates,
Governing Documents and Action and
• Committee officer for several committees
Where there was a need, you’d often find
Hastings among the volunteers. She slept at
the SPEEA Everett office during the 40-day
strike of 2000, because she wanted to respond
to requests at the 24-hour picket lines.
What she will miss most is the opportunity
to help people who were feeling alone in their
struggles. “The highlight of my role was supporting members who were afraid.” If they
were having trouble in the workplace, she’d be
a sounding board to help solve the problems.
Then she’d check back with them later.
“They may just need a smile or a good morning
or some acknowledgement,” she said, knowing
how that can help. “I’ve been on the receiving
end of hugs I needed.”
Don’t underestimate her abilities as a Council
Rep. Behind her kindness, she has “fangs,” said
a Human Resources representative at a disciplinary meeting. Hastings recalls the same HR
rep asking her to be the Council Rep at a meeting, because of Hastings’ reputation for fairness.
What does a janitor look like?
When Hastings went to work at Boeing in
the 1970s, she started as a janitor. She recalls
her interview for the job, when the supervisor
asked why she was wearing a suit. She asked him
what a janitor looked like, because she would
go home, change and come back.
Six months after being hired, she earned sealer
certification and later became a mechanic. She
learned drilling, bucking and riveting. She
laid insulation and applied the skin of
the aircraft. She was the first woman
mechanic on the aft cargo of the 747.
With her husband, she moved to
Australia and worked for an airline
in catering and customer service. In
the early 1990s, she moved back to
the Puget Sound because her mother
became ill. Back at Boeing, she soon
transferred to a SPEEA job as a paint
formulator in Auburn. She moved to the
flame lab in Everett in the mid 1990s,
where she worked until retirement. At
one point, she became a manager but
transferred back to the Technical Unit
a year later after learning she’d rather
help others as a co-worker.
Solidarity might only sound like a
slogan to some, but not to Hastings.
This means standing together no matter what. “My advice to any member is
to mix with each other,” she said. “You
need to hear all aspects, all viewpoints.
“Everyone can have an idea. Hear them
out and then work it out. Be there for
one another,” Hastings said. “If you
don’t, we won’t be there at all.”
fun with SPEEA
• Wild Waves discount – Save money on
day (and/or season) passes to Wild Waves
water and theme park in Federal Way.
The SPEEA discount is good through
Sept. 3. Save $20 per pass for tickets good
through June 16-Sept. 3. Go to tinyurl.
com/SPEEA2018 for details.
• Young Members Committee hike – Join
members hiking the Denny Creek Trail
Saturday, July 14. Meet up at the Eastgate
Park and Ride at 8 a.m. that day. SPEEA will
provide parking passes for carpool drivers.
To sign up, email email@example.com. New
hires and interns are encouraged to join the
hike and connect with other members.
• Union Solidarity Night at the Mariners
– Take advantage of a labor union discount
on Friday, July 20. The game against the
Chicago White Sox starts at 7: 10 p.m.
Discount tickets are $13 each for view level
and $31 each for main level. Go to www.
mariners.com/Union for details.
continued on page 7
Sandy Hastings, SPEEA Everett Council Rep, received a SPEEA Lifetime
Achievement award last month before retiring. Hastings also won the Washington
State Labor Council (WSLC) Elsie Schrader award in 2010 for her activism and
leadership on behalf of women.