To President Bush and Secretary Chertoff, I say, we don’t need your patronage; we need a fair and balanced workplace. For five years, this administration and leaders at DHS have ignored the needs of the Transportation Security Administration workforce and instead built a dictatorial agency full of strife.
In 2007, this administration single-handedly stopped TSA employees from being afforded the same basic workplace rights as all other federal employees—including those in DHS. As a result, this country is left with a TSA that has among the highest attrition and injury rates in the entire federal government. Employee morale is virtually nonexistent. This agency—one that stands at the forefront of the battle against terrorism—has become the butt of jokes to the American public.
How dare Bush and Chertoff praise the efforts of a workforce that they have continued to treat like sub-class employees? Had this administration and management done its job, TSA today would be a fully-staffed agency with content employees who were fully trained, using the most up-to-date technology, were free to speak on issues of national security without repercussion, and were afforded the same basic workplace rights as all other federal employees.
Five years later and all that’s changed is the date.
—John Gage, president, American Federation of Government Employees