October is AR recognition month
Area Reps help Council Reps connect with co-wor
Northwest Area Rep sees SPEEA as a ‘good
place to start’ helping people
EV E R E T T - Lindsey Meiling, an Area Rep, pursued a law degree while
working full time at
Boeing. She’s a design
engineer and stress analyst in additive manufacturing.
She wanted the degree
to give her more tools to
help people. “SPEEA is a good place to start,”
Her Council Rep, John Dimas, recruited
her by providing information about the role
of Area Rep. She signed up for the position
earlier this year to learn more about SPEEA.
What has she learned? “How the union represents its members and what the union advocates,” she said.
What is the most important aspect of the Area
Rep role? “To spread awareness of what the
union does and how members can benefit from
Meiling embraces learning. She studied phi-
losophy, physics and biochemistry while pur-
suing a mechanical engineering degree from
the University of Louisville. She earned her law
degree at Seattle University after she started at
Boeing almost seven years ago.
Before working at Boeing, she published
research in physical chemistry and worked as
a design engineer/computational fluid dynamics (CFD)/stress analyst in Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS).
When she first learned that she would be in a
professional aerospace union, she didn’t know
quite what to think. “That’s why I became more
active. I wanted to understand the organization
I give money to that advocates for me. I wanted
to understand more the work of the union.”
As an Area Rep, she co-hosted a lunchtime
meeting for a SPEEA101 presentation with
union staff presenting an overview of the
union and the contracts. She also attended
Council meetings and Legislative and Public
Affairs committee meetings as a guest.
“I am really starting to learn the benefit of a union,” she said, “not the least
of which is another perspective on how
people can organize to work together
and solve issues that matter.”
Meiling would like to see more diversity
among the members involved. “Don’t sit
back and think about it - try it. Meet new
people. It’s a way to voice your values.”
“No experience is necessary,” she stressed.
“A lot of people here are really helpful.”
Every October, SPEEA recognizes the fforts of Area Reps. They are workplace SPEEA liaisons to Council Reps.
Council Reps recruit Area Reps to help with
outreach so members know who they can go to
for more information or questions about their
union and contract benefits.
Many Council Reps host lunchtime meetings
on a monthly or quarterly basis to discuss union
news and address questions and concerns. Area
Reps can be the voice for their co-workers.
Area Reps help Council Reps
• Welcome new members and encourage
involvement in a committee or event
• Communicate SPEEA news, updates and
• Host workplace lunchtime meetings on
issues such as salary charts and retirement
Council Reps’ districts average 200 members.
Area Reps can help by focusing on a smaller
group of members for communication outreach.
Members are encouraged to sign up if they want
to learn more about the union and bring issues
or concerns to SPEEA.
Midwest Area Rep a ‘big fan of
WICHITA - Raleigh H i n m a n
wants everyone in his
area to know he’s an
Area Rep and he’s there
“I’m a big fan of collective bargaining,” said
Hinman, who joined the
union soon after he went
to work at Boeing Wichita/Spirit AeroSystems
33 years ago. A coworker asked him to join.
“When I asked him why I should pay dues,
he said the union looks out for everyone’s best
interest,” Hinman said, adding, “I’m all about
everyone’s best interest.”
In Kansas, a right-to-work ‘for less’ state, some
represented employees can take advantage of
the union benefits without paying dues. When
Hinman talks to his colleagues about joining
the union, he tells them, paying their fair share
is the right thing to do.
Hinman works with Council Rep R. Matthew
Joyce, who has been instrumental in growing
membership in the Wichita Engineering Unit
(WEU) to more than 73%. Joyce is on the
WEU Negotiation Team.
When members have an issue or question,
Hinman refers them to a Council Rep. He
likes his role as liaison to help members connect with their union. “If you have any issues,
let your union know,” he said. “I’m not hidden.
I’m easy to find.”
In his 33 years as a member of the engineers’
union, he’s only had one issue. SPEEA helped
him sort out a problem with an insurance processing error. When the company wanted him
to pay up, he contacted SPEEA staff who were
able secure a payment plan over a 10-month
period. “I was happy to pay what I owed, but
they wanted it all at once.”
Before he pursued a career in aerospace, he
worked in construction without a union contract. His son went to work for the same company 20-plus years later doing the same kind
of work and making the same hourly wage
as Hinman did. That surprised him that the
wages were still so low.
“It made me think,” Hinman said, “having a
union can make a lot more difference than I
Get active in electi
The 2018 elections generate a lot of interest, for good reason. We can raise our voices on issues that are important to our jobs, economic
security, and democracy.
SPEEA members also have a stake in labor-related issues.
SPEEA members, former members and retirees are
running for office this fall. SPEEA member Mark
Hargrove is an incumbent in the Washington State
House. SPEEA retiree Mark Boswell and former
SPEEA-represented employee Lisa Callan are running
for House seats in other legislative districts. SPEEA
members in Wichita have won elections for local office.
What we can do
We should all register to vote, if eligible. We can
volunteer on campaigns, help in campaign offices, or