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Boeing and SPEEA have reached a tentative contract agreement for local engineers.

Wichita's engineers won't be getting all they wanted from their negotiations in this contract offer. But SPEEA says the positives outweigh the negatives.

It's a three-year deal. There will be a lump sum cash payment of 6% often called a signing bonus to be paid by years end.

There will be pay increases in what are called wage pools guaranteeing 4.5% for every member for the three-year contract and health care premiums are increasing for the engineers.

SPEEA workers like the higher pay and the signing bonus, but there are some disappointments.

What hung over this year's negotiations is the current economic environment.

Commercial aviation is in a nose dive, and workers are being laid off.

So negotiators aren't happy about increased health care premiums, and an inability to get the job security guarantees they'd like in the contract.

SPEEA Negotiator Bob Brewer says, "The medical benefits. The costs that are rising in today’s environment make it very difficult for a company to move forward and cover those costs. We tried to avoid a cost shifting on to the employees. A cost sharing was opened up.

We did sit down and discuss those issues. And we came to some agreements on that."

Boeing Negotiator Jeff Clark says, "We came into this in a difficult environment as you all well know. I think we've teamed well together. We've come up with a Wichita solution to these negotiations."

The SPEEA negotiating team is recommending to its members to ratify the contract.

Members will have the rest of the month to look at the details of the deal. They'll vote on it the first week of December.


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