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THE APSA FAQ

  1. What is APSA?
    APSA-Aerospace Professional Staff Association-is the national organization of the employees of the Aerospace Corporation dedicated to making sure all of its members are treated with justice and dignity. APSA represents 1934 engineers and scientists in 12 states at 37 locations. APSA is recognized as the collective bargaining agent for all non-management IvflS level I, level II, and level Ill employees. Other aerospace engineers and scientists have similar associations. The Boeing engineers have an association called the Seattle Professional Engineers Association. The NASA employees at GSFC and KSC have an association called AEGE Local 513 and Local 1923. Some Lockheed-Martin and L3 engineers have an association called the Association of Scientists and Professional Engineering Personnel. Eleven courageous individuals started APSA in 1974. At the end of 1974, the National Labor Relations Board ran an election in which the majority of the ?vffS chose APSA to be their sole representative.
  2. What does APSA do?
    APSA’s primary job is to give you a voice in what your pay, benefits, and work conditions are, and to make sure that each of you is treated fairly. We do this by negotiating the yearly contract with the company. This contract affects over $270 million in salary and about $126 million in benefits. Our goal is to improve employment stability, layoff benefits, future retiree medical benefits, the performance management/pay raise process; and also prevent erosion of other benefits, and protect our rights by representing you if you have problems on the job with discipline, harassment discrimination, or other unfair treatment.
  3. What does APSA do?
    APSA’s primary job is to give you a voice in what your pay, benefits, and work conditions are, and to make sure that each of you is treated fairly. We do this by negotiating the yearly contract with the company. This contract affects over $270 million in salary and about $126 million in benefits. Our goal is to improve employment stability, layoff benefits, future retiree medical benefits, the performance management/pay raise process; and also prevent erosion of other benefits, and protect our rights by representing you if you have problems on the job with discipline, harassment discrimination, or other unfair treatment.
  4. What are the benefits of belonging?
    Your membership in APSA gives you a voice in determining your future. Members have the right to vote for officers, to run for office, and to petition for change in the association. Membership can help your career growth. Our many volunteer positions can give you valuable training in leadership, finance, negotiations, politics, labor law, employment law, marketing, business communications, organizing, computer networks, and database analysis. Each additional member strengthens our position at the bargaining table. Each additional member’s dues allow us to send out one more bulletin or pay for one more hour of lawyer time. Each additional member, who volunteers, allows us to take on one more project.
  5. How is APSA Structured?
    The APSA members elect the APSA Board. The APSA Board then appoints Regional Representatives and assigns volunteers to committees. APSA has a Negotiations, Grievance, Membership, Nomination, Election, Ratification, Policy and Practice, Sexual Harassment, and Political Committees.
  6. Who runs APSA?
    The APSA Board runs the day-to-day operations along with the APSA committees. The APSA Board and committees operate democratically on the principle of majority vote.
  7. Who can join?
    Any nonmanagement MTS can join APSA as a voting member. Everyone else can join APSA as a nonvoting associate member if they want to receiver our bulletins and provide us with financial and moral support.
  8. How are the officers elected?
    Each year in February, the Nominations Committee Chairperson asks the membership for officer nominations for half of the officers. The Nomination Committee then nominates the candidates. At the March General Meeting, the candidates give a speech. An election ballot is sent out in late March. In April, the Election Committee counts the ballots and informs the APSA Board which then informs the APSA members and the company.
  9. How much are dues?
    The APSA members elect the APSA Board. The APSA Board then appoints Regional Representatives and assigns volunteers to committees. APSA has a Negotiations, Grievance, Membership, Nomination, Election, Ratification, Policy and Practice, Sexual Harassment, and Political Committees.
  10. How are my dues spent?
    a 65 of your dues goes to legal expenses, 30 of your dues goes to send you bulletins, and 5 of your dues goes for administrative expenses.
  11. How does APSA negotiate the contract?
    The Negotiations Committee is appointed in April and May. The Negotiation Committee asks the members for what changes they would like made to the contract. The Negotiation Committee combines these suggestions with their own and makes a recommendation to the APSA Board. The approved set of negotiation topics is sent to the company and presented to the members for comment at the June General Meeting. During June and July, the Negotiation Committee typically meets with the Company once every two weeks to negotiate the contract. The APSA Board is kept informed of the negotiations on a weekly basis and votes on all agreed to changes to the contract. It is APSA’s goal to finish negotiations before the contract expires July 31.
  12. Do I get to vote on the contract?
    Yes. The Negotiations Committee sends the contract to the APSA Board for approval, which, after voting on it, sends it to the Ratification Committee to have the members vote on it via a mail referendum. If not approved, then the Negotiation Committee has to reopen the negotiations.
  13. What about strikes?
    Our contract with company prohibits strikes during the duration of the contract Once the contract has expired, if APSA cannot reach an agreement, we typically continue to negotiate until we do or reach and impasse where the company implements it last offer without our agreement. It is our intent to avoid strikes under all circumstances.
  14. Suppose I have a grievance?
    If you have a grievance — you believe that management has violated your rights, harassed your or discriminated against you — you should talk to the APSA Grievance Chairman immediately. The Grievance Chairman will advise you on the merits of the grievance process, what is likely to happen, and what you should do next. APSA will try to reach a settlement with your immediate management and Human Resources. If this effort fails, APSA can appeal your grievance to the Peer Review Board, whose ruling is final.
  15. What about job security?
    You have a contract that 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 that gives 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.
  16. Is APSA affiliated with other organizations?
    Yes. APSA is affiliated with the Council of Engineers and Scientists Organizations (CESO). Most associations of engineers and scientists belong to CESO. CESO keeps us up to date on what the other associations are doing.
  17. Is APSA involved in politics or legislation?
    Yes. We support candidates who support the space program, the Aerospace Corporation, or strengthening employment and labor laws. We also directly lobby M strengthening and against weakening labor and employment laws.
  18. How can I find out what is going on in APSA?
    By reading our bulletins, by asking an APSA officer, or by going to a General Meeting, or by viewing APSA’s website, www.apsatalk.org.
  19. Does APSA help the Company?
    We sure do. We make this a better place to work that reduces the turnover rate and helps the Company to attract better employees. We also act as independent reviewers of the Company’s proposals to change your pay, benefits, and work conditions. Our grievance process gives the Company the chance to solve problems internally before they become costly external problems.
  20. How can I join APSA?
    Just fill out a membership form and send it to APSA, P08 248, Hawthorne, CA 90251. Call our voicemail at x12559, and we will send you one.
  21. What are you waiting for?

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