Vote continues today for Spirit engineers

WICHITA -- Spirit AeroSystems engineers continue to vote today on whether to accept the company's offer of a new labor agreement.

Union negotiators unanimously recommend acceptance.

Members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace have rejected two other offers.

This proposal is improved from the others, union officials say.

SPEEA represents about 785 Wichita engineers.

Voting was scheduled for Wednesday and today (Thursday).

Polls are open from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. at the SPEEA office at 978 S. Glendale.

Negotiations began June 9. A federal mediator was called in for the third round of talks.

The current offer includes a guaranteed 3 percent bonus in 2010, guaranteed minimum increases in 2011 and 2012 and increases from market salary pools that are uncapped.

It also includes bonuses based on whether Spirit meets market targets and compensation for all hours of overtime worked, either in pay or comp time.

In addition, employees will have priority over contract labor during layoffs and shortened work weeks.

The cost of medical insurance premiums will rise from 10 percent to 15 percent for the life of the contract.