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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Boeing, SPEEA agree to terms of site closing

By Molly McMillin
The Wichita Eagle

Boeing and its engineering union have reached a tentative agreement on the terms and conditions of the impact of the Wichita site’s closure on the engineers, the union said.

“Although not all objectives were met, we believe significant progress and improvements were made to transition through this difficult time,” the union, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, said in a note to members.

SPEEA will hold a meeting to discuss the details and to vote on the agreement.

Boeing plans to close the facility by the end of 2013, but programs will begin to move starting in the third quarter this year, the company has said.

Engineering and program management work now done in Wichita will move to Oklahoma City, while maintenance work will move to San Antonio. Tanker finishing work that was to come to Wichita will now go to the Puget Sound area in Washington state.

Under the terms of the tentative agreement between SPEEA and Boeing, engineers who receive an offer to move to another site will have three weeks to consider it and respond.

Other highlights include:

•  Those who decline a transfer will eventually be laid off without loss of benefits or rights.

•  Overtime in excess of 144 hours in a quarter will be paid at straight time plus $15.

•  Employees who stay until the closure may be asked to do work outside of their skill code.

•  Notices that warn employees of a layoff on a certain date will not be extended without approval by the employee.

•  Laid-off employees will automatically be placed on a recall list. Those who decline a recall will not lose their benefits or rights under the terms of the agreement.

•  Employees who retire or take a lump-sum severance package may only be brought back as contractors.

•  Medical and vision coverage will continue for 90 days after a layoff. Dental coverage expires at the end of the month of the layoff.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com.

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