There’s a reason all workers need a collective bargaining agreement AND its enforcement. At TSA, this couldn’t be more true. AFGE recently won a case in which TSA was found violating the plain language of the labor-management agreement regarding annual leave bids. This is the first nationwide TSA contract violation decision to be issued.
AFGE’s first labor-management contract with TSA was ratified in November 2012. Contract violations, however, took place right after. According to the bargaining agreement, TSA managers must use the employee’s entry on duty date as the only qualification when deciding annual leave requests. Instead, managers in several airports based their decisions on factors like seniority within shift, terminal, gender, full-time or part-time status, and position (Transportation Security Officer, Lead TSO, Behavior Detection Officer, etc).
AFGE filed a grievance on the violation in February 2013, but TSA dragged its feet and wouldn’t allow a hearing to take place until June 2015. TSA repeatedly tried to prevent this case from being heard by a neutral party.
At the hearing, TSA provided weak excuses on why it had violated the contract. AFGE attorneys from the General Counsel’s Office pointed out that there is no provision in the contract that allows TSA to disregard the agreement simply because it’s inconvenient for TSA. The panel rightly ruled in favor of AFGE and ordered TSA to abide by the contract, notify each employee electronically that TSA had violated the contract, and post on TSA’s website and bulletin boards at all airports that it had violated the contract.
“The importance of this victory for the TSA bargaining unit cannot be overstated,” said AFGE TSA Council President Hydrick Thomas. “We need to remain vigilant and hold TSA accountable for any contract violations.”
AFGE and TSA are currently at the negotiation table for the second labor-management agreement. Show your support by asking your co-workers to join AFGE!