WICHITA, KS - Engineers at The Boeing Co.’s Wichita Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) will cast votes today on the latest contract offer. The vote this time includes a second issue to grant strike authorization power to the union negotiation team.

Members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001, will vote during a special meeting, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., Thursday, March 5, in the auditorium of Curtis Middle School, 1031 South Edgemoor, Wichita. The meeting is open to all 700 represented employees in SPEEA’s Wichita Engineering Unit.

The SPEEA negotiation team and bargaining unit council each recommend members vote ‘no’ to reject Boeing’s offer and then vote ‘yes’ for strike authorization. Votes will be tallied at the SPEEA Midwest Hall, 973 S. Glendale Street, Wichita. The union office is in the lower level of Parklane Shopping Center. Union tellers will announce the results after the count is complete.

SPEEA and Boeing started Main Table talks Nov. 17 to negotiate a new contract for 700 engineers at Wichita Integrated Defense Systems (IDS). Boeing’s first contract offer was rejected by 88% of union members on Feb. 5. The company refused to address union issues when negotiations resumed, prompting this second vote and the addition of strike authorization to the ballot.

In December, Boeing and SPEEA settled contracts for 20,400 employees that included 20% wage increase pools over four years. Those contracts, covering engineers and technical workers in Washington, Oregon, California and Utah, included additional 2% promotional money and retained the pension for new employees.

A local of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), SPEEA represents 24,600 aerospace professionals at Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems, Triumph Composite Systems Inc., in Spokane, WA, and BAE Systems Inc., in Irving, TX