AFGE and Transportations Security Officers (TSOs) ushered in a new year with great news we’ve been waiting for. We won a historic pay raise to bring TSO pay in line with the general schedule that most federal workers receive and expanded workplace rights under Title 5, which covers most federal employees.
Since the beginning, AFGE has taken the lead to win better pay, collective bargaining, and workplace rights for the TSOs, the workforce that keeps air travelers safe. Thanks to the continued hard work of AFGE TSA Council 100, the historic raise and expanded rights became a reality.
On Thursday, Dec. 29, President Biden signed into law the 2023 omnibus government funding bill that funds the pay hike for TSOs, giving the severely underpaid workforce an average 30% raise. The $398 million allotted to the agency to improve the pay and bargaining rights for TSOs, who are currently among the federal government’s worst-paid employees, would move them closer to an equivalent to the general schedule. The new pay rates will take effect July 1, 2023.
A day later, TSA Administrator David Pekoske issued a new determination, expanding the bargaining rights of TSOs, including key provisions of Title 5 rights enjoyed by most other federal employees. This determination is a positive step forward for both workers and the agency itself. The omnibus bill also funds the implementation of these expanded rights.
“These transformational improvements to pay and rights were made possible by 20 years of activism on behalf of union members at the TSA, and I thank these AFGE leaders for their tireless efforts to remedy the shameful treatment of employees at TSA. I look forward to working closely with Administrator Pekoske and the administration to ensure the swift implementation of this new determination and pay equity to improve the quality of TSA jobs as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said AFGE President Everett Kelley.
“We also sincerely thank the members of Congress of both parties who voted to improve the conditions of TSOs, as well as TSA Administrator Pekoske for his support for improved rights and pay for TSA employees,” Kelley added.
The move towards better pay and improved rights on the job is a positive development for an agency that has long been plagued by low retention, high turnover, and difficulties in attracting employees.
“As a Transportation Security Officer myself, I know firsthand the frustrations of the TSOs we represent,” said Hydrick Thomas, president of AFGE Council 100 which represents 44,000 TSA employees nationwide. “Our members work at airports across the United States, at every hour of the day, to protect our nation. For too long, that work was taken for granted.”
“There’s still work to be done, but the increase in funding in the 2023 budget and the Administrator’s recent determination to improve our rights on the job shows that the issues we face are finally being taken seriously by our elected officials and the TSA administrator. We look forward to continuing to work with Administrator Pekoske moving forward.”