RENTON – John Dietz, a level 5 technical lead engineer, admits he fits
the stereotype of a ‘nerd’ – a soft
spoken, complex thinker who is
more comfortable with a computer
screen than a crowd.
When an Area Rep co-work-er, recruited him to sign up, he was
reluctant but figured he would give
it a try for 90 days.
“She said you may find out helping
other people might just be your
ticket to more joy at work!” he
said. Her hunch paid off, and after
90 days of helping his Council
Rep, Deena Hougham, he was
appeal to lead
One day he saw his friend, the Area
Rep, looking downcast. She shared
how surprised she was about a
retention rating drop. Together,
they looked at the paperwork and
SPEEA’s appeal process (a contract
benefit) which led to her successful
appeal. Not only was her retention
rating changed, she was promoted
to a lead. “It took getting the right
‘eyeballs’ on her,” Dietz said, adding, “she has
great organizational skills.”
That is just one of many examples of how Dietz
has embraced the role of AR to help others.
Hougham, who says Dietz “goes above and
beyond,” has more examples of his eagerness to
do what it takes to help. “He cares a lot about
people,” she said.
When Dietz witnessed a Boeing traffic stop that
alarmed an employee, Dietz approached the
employee to help defuse the tension. When Dietz
discovered the employee was a SPEEA member,
Dietz told him who to contact if he wanted to
take the next steps. “I know who the people are
(through SPEEA) to help provide a means for a
peaceful way to complain,” he said, having had
his own experience with a stressful parking lot
interaction with the same officer.
Clarifying contract benefits
Hougham also highlighted another example of
Dietz taking action on behalf of SPEEA members following a meeting on work rules that was
conflicting (non-union vs union). Dietz contacted Hougham to clarify, which led to a meeting
scheduled right away with a SPEEA contract
administrator for members to learn more about
their contract benefits.
Keeping members informed – both the good
and the bad – is important to Dietz. The biggest benefit, he notes, is when someone faces a
workplace issue, he can point to resources to
help with problem solving. Harmony – as in
re-establishing it – is a key word Dietz uses when
he talks about the role of SPEEA Council Reps
“I’m passionate about helping people, it enhances my quality of life,” he said. “Otherwise, I’m
just looking at a (computer) screen. It opens me
up to appreciate people around me.”
He also appreciates what SPEEA can do as a collective voice for engineers and techs. “SPEEA is
a wonderful entity within the Boeing Company.
It serves as a great platform for career awareness
and a person’s rights in the workplace.”
SPEEA needs more Area Reps
Interested in taking that next step? Talk to your
Council Rep about how you can help share information and be a resource to a smaller group of
co-workers who have workplace or contract
questions. Details on the role are at www.speea.
org (Member Tools/Area Reps).
Council Rep, Deena Hougham and John Dietz, Area Rep
Members speak out
–Continued from page 2
A committee member, Orlando De Los Santos,
describes a pre-Committee situation: another
member had been deployed to Afghanistan for
two years. He came to find his position filled by
a contractor who kept the job, while the member was laid-off. The member, confused and disheartened, didn’t challenge it or raise the issue
If a veterans committee had been active and able
to advocate for the vet, he might have returned
to work. Events like this, coupled with his service in the U.S. Army, led De Los Santos, along
with Mike Shea, committee chair, and others to
lobby for the creation of a committee specifically
dedicated to veterans’ issues and advocacy.
De Los Santos is especially concerned for the
waves of new veterans coming into the workforce. He sees the Veterans Committee as a way
of passing along the hard-earned lessons of the
vets who have gone before.
The Veterans Committee was inspired by the
IFP TE Veterans Committee. The founding pri-
orities for the SPEEA committee are:
• Provide an avenue for addressing
• Provide information and education
to increase members’ understanding
of veterans’ issues
• Work with the IFPTE Veterans
Committee to influence national posi-
tions, congressional legislation and
If you are a member interested in learning more
about the Veterans Committee, look at the
regional online calendar (both Northwest and
www.speea.org. The committee is
planning a survey to veterans who are members
to collect data on possible issues to pursue.
Per the SPEEA contracts at The Boeing Company and Spirit AeroSystems, overtime (OT) must be voluntary on a holiday or
the weekend which precedes or follows a holiday.
Holiday overtime in SPEEA contracts
• SPEEA Prof and Tech contracts – Letter of
Understanding (LOU) 22.
• SPEEA Wichita Engineering Unit (WEU)
and Wichita Technical and Professional
Unit (WTPU) contracts – Section 10. 8(a).
See your contract at
menu – Bargaining Units/Contracts).