Wichita-Hutchinson Labor Federation of Central Kansas, AFL-CIO



Wichita  engineers reject Boeing offer


 (Dec 5). – Engineers at The Boeing Company’s Wichita Integrated Defense Systems are planning to return to the negotiation table after voting to reject the company’s offer for a new employment contract.

The tally showed 71 percent of the voting members cast ballots to reject the offer. The final count was 205 members voting to reject and 86 voting to accept. More than 84 percent of the members cast ballots on the contract offer delivered by Boeing on Nov. 18 to negotiators for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001.

SPEEA and Boeing opened main table talks Nov. 8 to negotiate the contract for 802 engineers at the Wichita Boeing plant. The existing contract expires today, Dec. 5.

 “A clear majority of our members are not satisfied with this contract offer,” said Bob Brewer, SPEEA Midwest director. “However, there are some good things in this initial offer. We believe we’re just around the corner from an agreement that works for everyone.”

Members voted down a contract offer that would have driven the wages of the engineers further below market averages and extended the length of their contract to separate them from union-represented engineers in the Puget Sound bargaining units.

“Our team is very disappointed in the approach management took,” said Brewer. “For the first time in history, Wichita management tried to give us lower wage pools than are provided to Puget Sound engineers.”

SPEEA Recommends Rejections


Protest Lee Scott Wal-mart CEO

   Restore the Right to Organize

December 7

  Workers Rights= Human Rights

9:30 CAC Theater WSU

                       December 9 1:30

11:30  Wichita Boathouse

 150 S. Ida (UTW building)

Wichita Teachers Recognize Friends of Education



American Education Week is observed annually during November and is sponsored by the National Education Association and other education organizations and institutions as an effort to recognize the important contributions of all education personnel. This year American Education Week is November 13-19, and the theme of this year's observance is "A Strong America Starts With Great Public Schools."

United Teachers of Wichita has established the Friend of Education Award to be presented during American Education Week to deserving institutions or individuals for their outstanding support of public education. This year UTW recognizes thirteen area state legislators for their favorable voting records regarding public education during the 2005 legislative session and especially during the special session last summer. The awards were presented to the legislators at the November 14 Wichita Board of Education meeting and again at the UTW Building Representatives meeting on November 21. The 2005 UTW Friends of Education Award winners are:

Senators Donald Betts,Carolyn McGinn, and Jean Schodorf

Representatives: Nile Dillmore, Oletha Faust-Goudeau, Geraldine Flaharty, Delia Garcia ,Judy Loganbill, Melody McCray-Miller, JoAnn Pottorff, Tom Sawyer.Dale Swenson, and Jim Ward.


Disturbing Record of Century II’s Likely New Manager


The Friends of Century II has learned that city staff have decided to award a contract to manage Century II to SMG  .In the last five years SMG’s and Aramark’s management of arenas around the country have prompted negative coverage in the press.

  The unfavorable publicity has focused on six areas of mismanagement: underpayment of wages to workers, alcohol sales, accounting practices, facility deterioration, general poor performance, and conflicts of interest in contract awards. Of the cases of mismanagement discussed here, at least one touches on each of these half-dozen issues.


Kansas AFL-CIO 2005 Convention


Stewart Acuff gave an inspiring talk.

The 2005 Kansas AFL-CIO convention was held in Topeka, November 2-3. Highlights included speeches by Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and national AFL-CIO organizing director Stewart Acuff.   We hope to have a detailed report on the convention on-line sometime next week.  Until then, we through our readers might enjoy our extensive photo gallery from the 2005 Kansas AFL-CIO convention.


Kansas Action Network presents

Kansas Progressives Conference

December 2-3
Rock Springs 4-H Center
near Junction City (5405 West Highway K 57

This second biennial conference is organized by the Kansas Action Network, a coalition of farm, labor, independent living, religious and peace and justice groups across the state. Its purpose is to gather Kansas progressives for fun, self-education and planning. For more information and to request a registration form, contact Bill Beachy at 785-232-4388785-232-4388 or KSAction@aol.com.

The conference will feature workshop on the history of populist movements in Kansas, minimum wage and living wage issues, and the state tax structure.

Registrationfor the conference is $50 (includes lodging and 3 meals); Saturday only: $30. Student/low income $30.

To download a flier with the conference schedule and registration form click here.

Angel Tree Program

This Holiday Season District 70, The Wichita/Hutchinson Labor Federation, and our Local Union’s Community Service Committee’s and Women’s Committee’s will be sponsoring our 2005 ANGEL TREE CHRISTMAS PROGRAM. This program will benefit the children of our laid off workers, as well as assisting the Salvation Army’s with their Angel Tree Program.

You may pick up an Application for Assistance for The Angels Tree at District 70 3830 S. Meridian, Wichita 67217 or The Wichita/Hutchinson Labor Federation 3219 W. Central, Wichita 67203. Deadline to turn in a request for assistance will be Nov 14, 2005.

Angels will then be ready for pick up, at District 70 or The Wichita/Hutchinson Labor Federation. On November 16, 2005. Ideas for gifts will be on the Angel Cards. We ask that you spend $20.00 to $25.00 per child. “Enjoy your Christmas shopping”. We will
also get the Angels out to the job sites for your convenience, so that everyone has the opportunity to take part in this worthwhile cause. Gifts need to be returned to IAM&AW District 70 or the Wichita/Hutchinson Labor Federation no later than December 7, 2005.


To download an application, click here.    Flier on the Angel Tree program.

TABOR Can We Afford It?


State services in Kansas will deteriorate substantially if the proposed “Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights” (TABOR) is enacted in Kansas. A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, released by Kansas Action for Children, warns that major cuts will be necessary to accommodate TABOR limits.

The report, entitled “A State of Decline: What a TABOR Would Mean for Kansas,” estimates that if TABOR had been in place in Kansas since 1993, when it first went into effect in Colorado, a cumulative total of $8.4 billion would have been cut from state expenditures for programs and services over the ensuing twelve years.

Potential cuts could include:

• cutting 10,000 K-12 teachers
• increasing the average student-teacher ratio from fifteen to twenty-three
• eliminating the HealthWave insurance program for low-income children
• increasing university tuition by an average of $1,400
• incarcerating 1,300 fewer inmates

Read the Report:

Coalition Forms to Protect Education and Healthcare in Kansas
The formation of the Coalition for a Prosperous Kansas was announced Tuesday  in a series of press conferences across the state. The Coalition is dedicated to maintaining and improving the quality of life for all Kansans and will present information illustrating how TABOR would damage two “fundamental pillars” of the Kansas economy, education and healthcare.

Among the members of the Coaltion for a Prosperous Kansas are the Kansas AFL-CIO, Kansas Action Network, and the Kansas National Education Association.

75% of American Workers Lack Decent Wages and Benefits


Washington, DC -- Only 25.2 percent of American workers have a job that pays at least $16 per hour and provides health insurance and a pension, according to a new study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

The report, "How Good is the Economy at Creating Good Jobs?" found that between 1979 and 2004 the share of American workers in good jobs remained unchanged at about 25 percent, despite strong economic growth over that period. (The report defines a "good job" as one that offers at least $16 per hour or $32,000 annually, employer-paid health insurance and a pension.) In the last quarter century, the U.S. workforce has become older, more experienced and better educated, but 75 percent of workers are still struggling in jobs that do not provide health insurance, a pension and solid middle-class wages.

"The U.S. economy has failed to convert long-term economic growth into better jobs," said John Schmitt, CEPR economist and author of the report. "Despite huge improvements in the average educational level our workforce, most American workers still don't have a job that pays a decent wage and provides health insurance and a pension."

Press release

Full Report "How Good is the US Economy at Creating Good Jobs?"(PDF format)




Social Security Calculator


A new Social Security calculator allows Americans to simply plug in their average annual salary and year of birth and see a side-by-side comparison of the benefits between the Bush Privatization Plan and the current Social Security system. The calculator shows the expected annual benefits under both systems, the difference between the two plans as well as the percent reduction that Americans will face under the Bush Privatization Plan.

To use the calculator, click here or on the graphic.



Service Employees, Stakeholders Campaign to Save Century II


Members of Service Employees 513 are working with Century II stakeholders, such as the Wichita Symphony, to prevent the privatization of Century II.  They've set up a  website Save Century II. and handed out leaflets at recent Century II performances. 

Century II was funded through the passage of a special bond issue in 1961 with the promise that it would provide a venue for private and public gatherings, including the performing arts, conventions, trade shows, banquets, public exhibits and special events.
As was stated in Century II's original mission statement: "The City of Wichita recognizes the need for community access and for this reason the City offers, through subsidy, affordable rates, which encourage maximum use." For 36 years Century II has fulfilled this mission, enhancing the City's quality of life and creating community involvement through the performing arts and other organizations.

It makes no sense to significantly change the very nature of what has been, without question, one of Wichita’s greatest success stories-- Century II.

To send emails to our city leaders asking them to save Century II, click here. 


Protect Workers’ Right to Form Unions & Bargain

The right of America’s workers to form unions and bargain is under constant attack.

Help preserve these embattled rights this International Human Rights Day by signing our petition to protect the freedom to form unions.


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