According to an Associated Press report the Obama administration has told some members of Congress that it plans to pick a former FBI special agent to head the Transportation Security Administration.
According to the report White House Spokesman Nick Shapiro said Friday that the administration has no plans to announce any nomination for the TSA post at this time. Souther currently teaches at the University of Southern California. A former police detective, he was deputy director of California's homeland security office, overseeing counterterrorism policies.
The American Federation of Government Employees applauded the reported development long considered the final action before the granting of collective bargaining rights to the workforce. AFGE’s members have been dedicated to TSA workers since the beginning of the Agency’s creation. The Bush administration opposed common workplace protections leaving the workforce with the lowest morale and highest attrition rate in the federal government. The union currently has approximately 11,000 dues-paying TSA members in 32 Locals nationwide.
“We are very pleased that the administration has heard AFGE on the dire need for a TSA administrator to be appointed,” AFGE National President John Gage said. “We look forward to working with Mr. Southers to turn this agency around to one that its employees and the American public can be proud of.
“The question of bargaining rights at TSA is not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when,’” Gage said. “We are confident that the appointment of a new administrator will help put that matter to bed.
“This is a great day for Transportation Security Officers across the country. For nearly eight years, TSOs have had to deal with issues of health and safety, discrimination, selective hiring practices, nepotism, management intimidation, and reports of lax oversight at the agency with only AFGE to stand between them and an arbitrary and capricious management. With a new administrator and full workplace protections, they will have the full weight of civil service due process rights and labor law to add to the union protections AFGE has secured throughout the past years,” he added.
“AFGE is the only union that can truthfully and proudly say that it has been fighting for collective bargaining for the entire eight years TSA has been in existence,” Gage said. “This is a battle not just for bargaining rights, but for the respect and dignity long overdue to TSOs.”
Southers would have to be confirmed by the Senate.
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