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SPEEA Says Hundreds of Errors Make Spirit’s Employee Evaluations Invalid

Dépèche transmise le 16 février 2012 par Business Wire

SPEEA Says Hundreds of Errors Make Spirit’s Employee Evaluations Invalid

SPEEA Says Hundreds of Errors Make Spirit’s Employee Evaluations Invalid

WICHITA, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Spirit AeroSystems’ decision to lower hundreds of employees’ evaluations to match lackluster company and management performance caused the union representing engineers, technical workers and professionals this week to file a formal grievance to force a meeting on changes to the company’s employee evaluation process.

“An excellent employee doesn’t suddenly become a struggling performer because Spirit stock price didn’t go up.”

Further complicating the issue, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001, was forced to file unfair labor practice (ULP) charges Friday (Feb. 10) against Spirit because the company implemented, without negotiating, a “performance improvement process” to help employees whose ratings drop. Union attorneys filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) stating the company’s actions violate its contracts with 760 employees in the Wichita Engineering Unit (WEU) and 2,270 employees in the Wichita Technical and Professional Unit (WTPU).

The grievance comes after several discussions with Spirit management about the annual “Performance Management” process. Union officials said the most recent process caused so many problems, it should be scrapped.

“We had almost 1,000 represented-employees drop in performance ratings without justification from management,” said Bob Brewer, SPEEA Midwest director.

When some employees asked managers to explain their lower ratings, Brewer said they were told: “The company is not performing well and the performance of employees must correlate with the company’s business performance.”

Filing the grievance forces Spirit to meet with SPEEA.

“Rather than accept responsibility for their own poor decisions, management concocted a scheme to blame employees,” said Ray Goforth, SPEEA executive director. “An excellent employee doesn’t suddenly become a struggling performer because Spirit stock price didn’t go up.”

Spirit’s Performance Management exercise is a year-long, multi-step process. During an initial round of meetings at the beginning of each year, managers meet with individual employees to discuss performance and improvement. Those meetings went as usual in early 2011. Brewer said problems appeared when employees started receiving their final ratings in November.

“Without any notification to employees or the union, Spirit changed the criteria and methodology managers used to determine employee performance,” Brewer said. “It’s like having a manager tell you to prepare for an English test and then when it’s time for the test, it’s on calculus.”

Performance ratings are used to determine raises, give promotions and in extreme cases, terminate employees. Steps in the process are negotiated and included in the union contract.

Union officials said Spirit should return to the agreed upon evaluation process. That process rated employees on their individual work product without regard to an elusive yardstick labeled “company performance” or the price of Spirit stock.

A local of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), SPEEA represents 25,600 aerospace professionals at Boeing Spirit AeroSystems in Kansas Triumph Composite Systems, Inc., in Spokane, Wash. and BAE Systems, Inc., in Irving, Texas.

Business Wire

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