AFGE activists in Arizona are pushing their senators to support Title 5 workplace rights for Transportation Security Officers (TSOs).
AFGE Local 1250 representing TSOs in Arizona recently conducted a petition drive to gather signatures to push Arizona senators – Sens. Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema – to support S. 1856, a bill that would put TSOs on the same pay scale as other federal workers and provide them with much needed workplace protections.
The bill, introduced by Sen. Brian Schatz (D- Hawaii), currently has 40 co-sponsors. The Biden administration is committed to granting TSOs full collective bargaining rights and a better pay. But AFGE has been trying to win passage of a Title 5 rights bill to give TSOs permanent workplace rights and protections that can’t be taken away by a future administration. TSOs are an integral part of our national security framework. They deserve the same workplace rights and protections enjoyed by other federal workers.
Local 1250 President Juan Casarez and Steward and Legislative and Political Coordinator Pascual Contreras took the lead with the support of Legislative Political Organizers Ryan Mims and Adam Orlovich. LPC Pascual was a recent graduate of District 12’s Legislative and Political Action Training Institute.
They did Lunch and Learns to discuss Title 5 at three airports -- Phoenix Sky Harbor, Mesa Gateway, and Tucson – and collected 352 signatures, which will be submitted to the senators to ask them to support Title 5 rights. The events took place the week following Labor Day weekend leading up to the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11.
“It’s important for senators to hear from their constituents,” said Casarez. “We hope they will be responsive to this overwhelming support among those Arizonans directly affected by this legislation.”
“The TSOs I approached were more than enthusiastic to be part of the process and understood how important title 5 is in improving our work life,” said Contreras. “The workforce wants to come to work and know they are able to take care of their families, which frees them to concentrate on the mission. We are hopeful Congress will see how vital our mission is and pass S.1856 and H.R. 903, its companion bill in the House."
Prior to the events, the local leaders met with AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler at an AFL-CIO voting rights event on Aug. 28. Shuler told the local leaders they have the AFL-CIO’s full support in organizing and mobilizing to get Title 5 rights.
AFGE is urging TSA locals to reach out to their members of Congress to support S. 1856 and H.R. 903. Momentum is on our side. Let’s keep it going!