WICHITA, Kan. – An official of Boeing Wichita’s second-largest union said negotiations on a new contract have stalled over a company move to raise medical insurance costs for many workers.
Boeing and the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace are negotiating a contract covering 3,500 technical and professional workers. A three-year contract that was set to expire Feb. 19 has been extended to March 19.
The company’s proposal would raise health insurance premiums to about five times their current level for technical and professional workers covered by the union who are enrolled in a traditional health plan, said Bob Brewer, Wichita director for SPEEA.
Premiums would rise from $10 a month to more than $50 for a single employee and from $30 a month to about $150 a month for a family, he said.
Medical insurance costs also would rise for employees enrolled in the Selection Plus plan, and there would no longer be a guarantee that employees could avoid paying any premiums by opting for a third plan, Brewer said.
Boeing spokesman Fred Solis would not comment on the specifics but said, “our offers are, we feel, competitive and based on the market realities.”
Boeing is committed to “negotiating and finding solutions that are going to result in a contract that’s good for all parties and still maintain our ability to be competitive,” Solis said.