By Sahid Fawaz
Union workers at Spirit Airlines will receive some pretty hefty bonuses.
"It could be a good weekend for area retailers, restaurants, car dealers [in Wichita].
That’s because on Thursday the roughly 11,500 Wichita employees of Spirit AeroSystems all received bonuses.
A company official would not say just how much employees will take home because of the aircraft supplier’s financial performance in 2017. Spirit reported a 13 percent year-over-year increase in profit on revenue of $7 billion in 2017.
But she suggested the total amount of bonus money is substantial.
'I can’t give you a dollar figure (but) today there will be millions of dollars infused into the Wichita economy through these payouts,' Debbie Gann, Spirit’s vice president of communications, said Thursday.
The bonuses are awarded through the company’s short-term incentive plan.
Gann said the bonuses are awarded annually only if Spirit meets or exceeds the financial and operational goals set by its board of directors.
'I wish it happened all the time,' she said.
The bonuses are greater if the company exceeds those goals.
'The more successful we are, the bigger the payout,' Gann said.
Individual bonuses will differ based on a number of factors, she said, including whether employees are represented by a union.
'Depending on what union they’re in, their percentage might vary based on their contract,' Gann said.
For instance, Spirit engineers represented by the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace’s Wichita Engineering Unit are receiving a bonus of 12.8 percent of their 2017 base salary plus overtime, according to SPEEA’s newsletter.
That means an engineer who made $70,000 at Spirit last year would receive a bonus of $8,960.
Spirit workers represented by SPEEA’s Wichita Technical and Professional Unit will receive a bonus of 9.6 percent of their 2017 base salary plus overtime, according to the union’s newsletter."
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