(WASHINGTON) –The American Federation of Government Employees today announced that it has come to an agreement with the Transportation Security Administration on the first-ever labor contract at the agency.
“For 10 long years AFGE has fought hard so that Transportation Security Officers would have collective bargaining rights. We have often looked back and wondered why it was taking so long,” said AFGE National President John Gage. “Today we begin to look forward.”
“This collective bargaining agreement will better the working lives of 45,000 hard-working, dedicated employees, and that’s a fantastic feeling,” AFGE TSA Council 100 President Kim Kraynak-Lambert said. “TSOs come to work every day in the face of intense public and congressional scrutiny and, to the best of their ability, protect this nation from terrorist attacks. Now we can look forward to new rights and new working conditions, and a chance to form a true labor-management partnership. And, contrary to some of the misinformation circulating about TSA, an agreement will not adversely affect security – security related matters were strictly excluded from negotiations. In fact, this agreement will strengthen our ability to carry out TSA’s vital mission of protecting the American people.”
“What this contract will do is provide for increased uniformity on fair treatment and the other issues important to employees across the nation’s airports,” Gage added. “Both parties believe the agreement will also provide much needed schedule flexibility. Improvements in working conditions will also benefit both TSA and the officers by fostering a family-friendly workplace where the employees have greater job satisfaction and feel supported in performing their important security work.”
The parties were also able to finalize terms of a new dispute resolution process. “This new procedure will enhance fairness and due process for TSOs,” Gage said. “Independent, third-party review is a right that ensures transparency and will improve the working lives of our officers.”
The entire TSA workforce will have the opportunity to vote on whether to ratify the collective bargaining agreement. That ratification process will take place in the coming months.