SPEEA approves Spirit contract offer

SPEEA members in Wichita have approved a contract offer from Spirit AeroSystems, after voting down two previous offers.

Eight-seven percent of the Union’s members approved the 42-month deal, in voting on Wednesday and Thursday. The Union’s bargaining team had recommended approval.

The new contract offer guarantees 3 percent bonuses in the coming year, plus annual salary increases and ensures engineers are compensated for all overtime above the regular 40-hour workweek, either as comp time or paid overtime.

The ratification vote came after months of rancorous negotiations, which started in June. More than 90 percent of members had voted to reject the two previous offers, and 92 percent voted to support a strike sanction authorization in August. “The longer negotiations went, the stronger our position became,” said Chris Black, the chairman of the SPEEA unit in Wichita. “We didn’t get everything, but we met our targets.”

The contract covers about 780 engineers at Spirit, which was previously a unit of Boeing. Some 57 percent of the workers are union members. That number doubled during the course of negotiations, which strengthened the Union’s hand at the bargaining table, observers said.

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