AFGE applauded the Senate’s approval of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Bill. The bipartisan bill funds the agency for five years and rejects proposals to privatize the agency’s Air Traffic Control function. It also includes $1.7 billion in funding for disaster relief following Hurricane Florence.
“FAA workers and TSA officers provide vital services to the American public by ensuring airline passengers get to and from their destinations safely,” said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. “We are happy the hardworking public servants who work at the FAA no longer face the threat of having their jobs contracted out.”
FAA workers have been in the middle of a privatization battle after AFGE and other unions strongly opposed efforts to privatize the country’s air traffic control system. TSA officers have also faced repeated threats to privatize security operations at a number of airports across the country. Earlier this year, AFGE helped beat back attempts to contract out TSA jobs at Orlando International Airport.
“Privatizing air traffic control would’ve cost taxpayers more and severely jeopardized aviation security,” said Cox.
The legislation also reauthorizes the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for three years and creates, for the first time, an AFGE and TSA management committee to examine the TSA personnel system— including appeal rights to the Merit Systems Protection Board and grievance procedures.
“The turnover rate at some TSA airports is over 30 percent— far higher than the overall attrition rate of the federal government,” said Cox. “Meanwhile employee morale at TSA continues to sink.”
AFGE looks forward to working with TSA management on the newly created committee to determine ways to address employee concerns.