Transportation Security Administration Administrator David Pekoske told AFGE members that the collective bargaining rights he’s implementing at TSA will be consistent with Title 5 Chapter 71 just like those in place at other federal agencies.
Speaking at AFGE’s annual legislative conference Feb. 13, Pekoske said the 2023 TSA budget contains funds to implement these full bargaining rights, and he’s doing it as quickly as he can.
“The other thing that was very critical in the 2023 budget is that we asked for the funds to support full collective bargaining. This would be in consistence with Title 5 Chapter 71, just like the bargaining rights at every other agency,” he said to a loud applause. “We’re working really hard to get that in place. I want to do it as quickly as we possibly can.”
Pekoske said TSA has had workplace morale issue since its founding 20 years ago, and full bargaining rights would help address the issue.
“One of the questions I got at a hearing up before the Senate not too long ago was, ‘Hey why you wanted to go full collective bargaining.’ My answer was ‘We tried everything else. It didn’t work,’” he added.
Pekoske is the first TSA administrator to address AFGE’s annual legislative conference.
The 2023 TSA budget also has funds for a big pay bump for Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) who have been making 30% less than other federal workers. As the new pay raise takes effect July 1st, he said TSOs should know next month exactly how much they’re going to get.
“It’s unconscionable that we would have people on the frontline in national security positions in this country making 30% less than if they worked for any federal agency in the government. And fortunately, we were able to get that across the finish line in the FY 2023 budget after years of trying to get this done,” he said to loud applause.
“And so now we have the great task of implementing it. The congress made it effective on the first of July and so we’re working really hard to make sure that every single one of our employees knows next month what you’re going to get on the first of July.”
Pekoske also applauded AFGE Council 100 representing TSOs across the country for having a huge positive impact on the agency. He said he always makes time to meet with the council when it wants to meet with him as he always gets information he can’t get anywhere else.
Read about AFGE’s 20-year efforts to get TSOs full collective bargaining rights here. We will continue to work with Congress to pass a law that would affirm these rights.