The Aerospace Professional Staff Association (APSA) is the national organization of the employees of
the Aerospace Corporation, representing approximately 1600 engineers and scientists in 11 states at 20
locations. Currently we are the official bargaining agent for all non-management MTS level I, level II,
and level III employees. We are dedicated to making sure all of our members are treated with justice
and dignity in the workplace. Our primary job is to give you a voice in your pay, benefits, and work
conditions and support you when there are problems at your workplace. Our yearly, negotiated contract
with the corporation has, over the years, helped to improve many benefits while staving off the erosion
of others. Our main negotiation goals are to improve employment stability, layoff benefits, future
retiree medical benefits, current employee benefits, the performance management/pay raise process.
In addition our officers and other volunteers will assist you with walking through the companies
corrective action and our negotiated grievance process if you have problems with discipline,
harassment, discrimination, or other unfair treatment.
MTS who are non-supervisory MTS levels I,II and III, are official members of the bargaining unit APSA
represents. There is no cost to being a member of the bargaining unit. To be an official member of APSA
as well as the bargaining unit, you must become a member of APSA. APSA serves both members of the
bargaining unit and members of APSA with equal vigor. To become a member of APSA, you need to fill out
a membership form, and pay dues. Since 1974, the dues for APSA have been 2.25 per week. We know of
no other union whose dues are so low. We are able to keep these dues low by relying solely on unpaid
volunteer from among the MTS as well as retired and former employees of The Aerospace Corporation.
There are two categories of membership. First, if you are an MTS Level I,II or III, you can become a
full member. If you are not a member of the bargaining unit, you can become an Associate member. APSA
has a significant number of individuals who are not MTS level I,II, or III who are Associate Members.
You have a contract which gives you fairly stable pay, benefits, and work conditions for the duration
of the contract. You can only be laid off if the company runs out of work for you and you are the least
qualified to do the remaining work. You are given a performance evaluation which gives an indication
of your risk of being laid off. Employees at other companys, who do not have an association like APSA,
do not have these rights.
BENEFITS OF FULL MEMBERSHIP AND BEING PART OF A BARGAINING UNIT
Your membership in APSA gives you a voice in determining your future and employment environment at the
Aerospace Corporation. Members have the right to vote for officers, to run for office, to petition for
change within APSA, or to serve on any of our many committees. The most important aspects of membership,
however, is that each additional member strengthens our position at the bargaining table and our
ability to assist members. Member dues in part, allow us to send out bulletins (30 percent of dues)
as well as pay for legal assistance for both APSA and the employees we help (65 percent of dues).
Even if you are not a dues paying member of APSA, as a member of the bargaining unit, you have a
contract which gives you stable pay, benefits, and work conditions for the duration of the contract.
You can only be laid off if the company runs out of work for you and you are the least qualified to do
the remaining work - you are NOT an at will employee. You are given a performance evaluation which is
meant to give you an indication of your risk of being laid off. Employees at other companies who do not
have an association like APSA, do not have these rights, rather, they are considered as at will
employees. At will employees may be fired for pretty much any reason at all.
THE STRUCTURE OF APSA AND NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE COMPANY
The APSA members elect the APSA Board which in turn appoints Regional Representatives and assigns
volunteers to committees. APSA currently has Negotiations, Grievance, Membership, Nomination, Election,
Ratification, Policy and Practice, Sexual Harassment Committees. The APSA Board runs all the
day-to-day operations of APSA in tandem with our committees. Both the board and the committees
operate democratically on the principle of majority vote. Each year in February, the Nomination
Committee Chairperson asks the membership for officer nominations for half of the current officer
positions. The Committee then nominates candidates and at the March General Meeting, the candidates
give their reasons for wanting to run for office in a series of speeches. In late March, ballots are
sent out and in April, the Election Committee counts the ballots and informs the APSA Board as to the
results of the election. Finally, the APSA board then informs the members and the company of the new
roster of officers. The Negotiation Committee is appointed in April to May timeframe. The Negotiation
Committee is in charge of solicitation of negotiation topics from member of the bargaining unit.
These suggestions are then combined with several long running negotiation requests and the package is
then sent to the APSA board for approval. Sometime the board has additional negotiation topics that
get bundled into the final package. The approved set of negotiation topics is then sent to the company
and presented for comment to APSA members at the June General Meeting. It is our goal to make this
process as transparent as possible. From June to July, the Negotiation Committee typically meets with
the company twice a week to negotiate the contract. The APSA Board is kept informed of the negotiations
on a weekly basis. The board votes on all agreements with the company that involve changes to the
contract. It is APSA's goal to finish negotiations before the contract expires on July 31.
The Negotiation Committee sends the tentatively agreed to contract to the APSA Board for approval.
Once the contract has been approved, it then is moved to the Ratification Committee for a full members
vote. If it is not approved, the Negotiation Committee has to reopen the negotiations with the company.
If APSA and the company can not reach an agreement, we typically will continue to negotiate until
impasse. Currently, our contract prohibits strikes for the duration of the contract. APSA rather,
believes, that arbitration is a more fruitful path to a resolution.