Update: TSA Officers Are One Step Closer to Getting Expanded Union Rights

Categories: TSA, The Insider

Thanks to our union, TSA officers are one giant step closer to getting the expanded union rights they deserve.

In June, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas sent a memo directing the Transportation Security Administration to issue a new Determination that will give Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) more workplace rights. TSA has 60 days from the day the memo was issued to provide Mayorkas with a proposed draft Determination and timeline for implementation. Mayorkas also gave the agency 90 days to develop a plan to make TSA’s pay system and worker appeal process more comparable to that of other federal workers.

Here’s what Mayorkas’ memo calls for:

  • Contract renegotiations to reflect the rights and benefits most federal workers have;
  • Evaluation of the current appeal policies to determine what needs to be changed so that TSOs have the same protections as most other federal workers;
  • TSA to provide Mayorkas with a report assessing its already-existing appeal policies and detailing how they need to be changed to provide rights and protections like those enjoyed by other federal employees;
  • A detailed plan to change the pay system so that it is consistent with the GS locality structure; and
  • Expand union rights for TSA workers.

Since that memo was released, AFGE TSA leaders met with TSA and provided the agency with a draft Determination outlining our union’s priorities for ensuring fairness to TSOs and how TSA’s workplace policies should reflect that. We have secured TSA’s commitment to provide us with its final Determination draft for our review prior to it being sent to Secretary Mayorkas in August.

Our union remains adamant in our stance that TSOs deserve full workplace protections, significantly better pay to retain officers and attract new ones, and unconditional access to appeals at the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). TSA Administrator David Pekoske has informed us that as a result of DHS’s directive, the agency is currently negotiating an agreement with the MSPB for TSO appeal rights. We will use every avenue available to us to expand fair appeal and workplace rights for TSA officers who keep us safe as we fly.

In the meantime, AFGE TSA Council 100 holds weekly national conference calls with council and local leaders to keep members informed.

Secretary Mayorkas’ memo is great news for our members, but in order for fair workplace rights to become permanent for current and future TSOs, Congress must pass the Rights for the Transportation Security Administration Workforce Act. Click here to ask your lawmakers to support this critical legislation.

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