In a meeting with Machinists union officials today, Boeing presented its initial offer for a new contract outlining proposed wage and pension...

Share story

In a meeting with Machinists union officials today, Boeing presented its initial offer for a new contract outlining proposed wage and pension increases and a new extra pay incentive plan, along with changes to benefits.

The offer contains the first small concession to the International Association of Machinists (IAM): Boeing has dropped its proposal that the Wichita Machinists be separated into a distinct bargaining unit.

However, the other details of the offer contain elements that the union has already publicly said are unacceptable. And the offer is unlikely to be seen as being very generous by the union after five years in which Boeing has seen $13 billion in profits.

The general wage increases, pension increases and lump sum cited are all less in percentage terms than those in the contracts agreed upon without a strike in 1992 and 1999.

The main points of the initial Boeing offer:

• Pay raises totaling 6.5 percent, paid in three installments over the three-year duration of the contract.

• Retention of the current cost of living adjustment formula, which Boeing estimates will add a further 3 percent pay hike over the three years.

• A single lump sum payment after contract ratification of $2,500.

• A new incentive plan that will pay out up to 20 days extra pay annually, depending on performance as measured by company profits, quality of work and days lost due to injury.

• Pension increased to $75 a month for each year of credited service, a 7.1 percent increase from the current $70 figure.

• Improved health care benefits, but with higher premiums in two of the health plans offered. One Boeing health care plan has zero cost to employees. Of the two plans for which employees must pay, in one the monthly premiums double while in the other they go up 28 percent.

Among the proposals detailed, those the union has previously objected to include:

• Early retiree medical coverage will not be offered to future hires from 2010.

• Future hires will switch from the current traditional pension plan to a 40(k)-style plan, with the company contributing 4 percent of base pay each pay period.

Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or dgates@seattletimes.com