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Engineering union negotiators to decide later today whether to recommend Spirit AeroSystems' proposal

The negotiating team for Spirit AeroSystems‘ engineering union is going over details of the company’s proposal of a new labor contract today to determine whether to recommend it to members when they vote.

The team is going through all the language and analyzing some costs, said Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace Midwest director Bob Brewer. A recommendation from the team is expected later this afternoon. The team may decide to recommend members accept the offer or reject it when they vote, or it may remain neutral on the offer.

Details of the vote are yet to be determined, Brewer said.

Spirit AeroSystems presented the union with its offer on Thursday. SPEEA represents more than 700 Spirit engineers. The current contract expires July 11, but provisions are in place to extend the existing contract if needed, the union said.

Unlike previous offers, Spirit’s proposal offers wage pools using market benchmarks based on the overall market for engineers. It also includes a variable pay plan.

The good news is there remains a market for engineers around the country, Brewer said. “You just don’t see that going away.”

The plan also contains some risk.

“(The variable pay plan) could be very rewarding if the economy picks back up, and the company performs well,” Brewer said. But “it’s a little risk-reward factor put into this thing.”

The offer increases medical contributions on one health insurance plan, but decreases costs in another plan. Spousal co-payments were eliminated in the offer. But co-payments for office visits increase, Brewer said.

The offer included increases in life insurance and vision coverage.