Boeing makes contract offer to SPEEA

The Boeing Co. has submitted an offer on a new labor contract to the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace.

SPEEA, which represents 22,765 Boeing engineers and technical workers in the Puget Sound region, sent a message to members Thursday around 1 p.m. saying that negotiators were reviewing the contract offer. The union’s existing contract expires Oct. 6.

Boeing posted its offers — one to the engineers, the other to the technical workers — on its negotiations website. Boeing previously had revealed what it planned to offer in terms of pension and health care. The last major piece, which was given to union leaders today, was on worker compensation.

Wages: Under the company’s proposal, Boeing engineers would get a 3.5 percent annual increase in salaries. Technical workers would get 3 percent the first year and 2.5 percent in the second, third and fourth year of the contract.

Health care: Both engineers and technical workers would pay more toward their health care beginning Jan. 1, 2014. The average SPEEA-represented employee pays $2,000 towards health care. That would increase to $4,100 in 2016, Boeing said.

Retirement: Boeing said its offer includes a 9.6 percent increase in minimum monthly pension for each year of service, increasing from $83 to $91, for existing employees. The company plans a separate retirement program for new employees who are hired after Jan. 1, 2013. SPEEA previously dismissed a proposal to drop the defined pension plan for new employees.

Other items: The company said it did not change other benefits, such as vacation, sick leave and the number of holidays for employees. The union had lobbied for increased benefits.

“A key objective during these negotiations has been to make a contract proposal that is market leading, justly rewards our engineering team for their exceptional work and balances the need to keep the engineering team and Boeing competitive for the long term,” Mike Delaney, vice president of engineering, wrote in a message to employees on Thursday.

The company said that the “more intensive phase of talks” with the union is set to begin as Boeing and SPEEA “work towards concluding contract negotiations over the next week.”

Today’s Herald story explores how negotiations have gone so far.

Check heraldnet.com for updates this afternoon.

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