Wichita SPEEA Members Approve Spirit Contract Offer

By: Parrish Alleman Email
By: Parrish Alleman Email

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

232 SPEEA members voted to approve a six year contract offer from Spirit AeroSystems, only 19 voted no.

The vote was held Tuesday at Curtis Middle School.

SPEEA members say the new contract includes wage guarantees, an increase in pay for most employees and guaranteed medical benefits. Team members say for them the biggest win is that the contract is only for six years.

SPEEA members approved the Spirit contract by 92%.

SPEEA team leaders credit the smooth negotiations to their high membership. There's about 820 Spirit employees affected by this contract offer. 55% of them are SPEEA members.

"A lot of engineers knew Spirit was looking for a long term deal they got involved and engaged early and the company sees those numbers and this is one of the first times in Wichita where we've recommended the first offer coming off the table,” SPEEA Midwest Director Bob Brewer said.

SPEEA members say the biggest hurdle in negotiations was the length of the contract. Spirit AeroSystems wanted a ten year deal, engineers want three years.

"I think people were worried about having a 10 year contract and having it not be so good and having to be locked into that for 10 long years,” SPEEA member Raleigh Hinman said.

In the end, they met in the middle with a six year contract offer.

“A lot of our members, about half of them said they were happy with six years because it locked in medical benefits for six years. Others said well we'd like a three year but six years isn't bad. It's not as bad as a ten year. So this was a compromise and it satisfied everybody,” SPEEA Negotiation Team Member Matthew Joyce said.

Most of the engineers we spoke with say they're happy with the deal and they feel good about their next six years at spirit.

"I've got a long way in front of me. I've still got kids in college and life is good,” Hinman said.

We spoke with a representative from Spirit AeroSystems and they said they're feeling very good about this contract deal too. He said the agreement "brings together the needs of the company and the engineers."

Spirit Aerosystems released the following statement about the contract Wednesday morning:

Spirit is very pleased with the result of the vote. This long-term, collaborative agreement brings together the needs of the company, and the needs of our engineers. The Spirit and SPEEA teams worked hard at the table to really understand and address the concerns of these employees and the company. This partnership keeps the company healthy and our team for the future intact.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Wichita SPEEA members voted Tuesday evening to approve a 6-year contract offer from Spirit Aerosystems by 92 percent.

Negotiations first started with sub-committees back in August and then moved to main table talks in late October.

SPEEA members said the biggest hurdle was the length of the contract. They wanted 3 years; Spirit wanted 10.

Both sides met in the middle on a 6-year contract. Another highlight in this offer - SPEEA will get guaranteed raises in the second and fourth year.

Only 19 members voted to turn the contract down.

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