SPEEA Union Members Vote To Approve New Contract

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Update: Monday, December 12, 2011

Spirit Aerosystems and SPEEA union members have a new contract. Members of the technical and professional unit voted on the company's contract offer Monday night with 72 percent of those voting approving the labor agreement.

Union members went into this most recent vote with a more positive attitude than the last one. On July 28, nearly 97 percent of members rejected Spirit's contract offer.

Things changed when the two sides started negotiating in the fall. Finally, in early December, a new offer was made which those voting liked more.

"My thoughts are positive. I think it's a good contract. It offers wages without a cap. And I think the bonus package in the future is a good bonus package," said Spirit Employee Bob Cropp.

SPEEA's Midwest Director Bob Brewer says what made the difference between last summer's no vote and Monday night's yes vote was increased union membership.

"We doubled the membership out there. Spirit started listening. They understood the people were interested in this contract. Spirit looked at a long term deal. We had to get the right protections in there for nine and a half years and the team and the council recommended this contract believing that has happened," said Brewer.

Spirit Aerosystems spokesman Ken Evans says this is the outcome the company's been looking for, saying Spirit is very pleased with the vote. Evans released the following statement:

"We congratulate everyone who worked so hard to get to this point, on both sides of the table. This result is great. This 9 ½ year agreement marks our fourth long-term partnership. We continue to work closely with the IAM, UAW, IBEW and now SPEEA-WTPU to strengthen Spirit through an enhanced relationship focused on keeping our Company healthy, and our team for the future intact, sharing risk and reward together."

There are 2,399 Spirit employees covered by this contract. They will receive a $2,000 signing bonus with ratification.

Update: Monday, December 12, 2011

SPEEA union members have voted to approve a new contract with Spirit Aerosystems. In vote of 548 to 210, the contract passed with a 72% approval.

Chris Frank will bring us the latest with reaction from workers tonight at 10 on KAKE News.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A contract vote is underway involving Wichita's largest employer. Members of the SPEEA union's Technical and Professional Unit at Spirit Aerosystems are voting on the company's latest offer at Curtis Middle School.

The tentative agreement comes after months of sparring between union and company negotiators. The membership overwhelmingly rejected a company offer made in July with about 97 percent of members voting no.

Since then, SPEEA greatly increased its dues-paying membership to above 50 percent of those covered by the contract. Union leaders say that was a big factor in getting this new offer.

If approved, the contract would be longer than usual at a nine and a half years. The union says the deal offers market-based raises starting next year. There is also a $2,000 signing bonus if the contract is ratified.

Voting ends at 6:30 p.m. We'll post the results here on kake.com as soon as they're available.

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