WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) today blasted a decision by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to hire part-time employees.
“First TSA lays off 3,000 fulltime screeners who have gone through extensive training at taxpayer expense, then it starts hiring part-time workers from college campuses instead of re-hiring those with experience and training,” states AFGE National President John Gage.
Gage’s statement was made following a report that TSA has begun recruiting part-time federal security screeners at 72 regional airports and 18 of the nation’s largest airports.
AFGE filed a class action suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Aug. 13, 2003, because of the way TSA was implementing its reduction-in-force (RIF). In its suit, AFGE points out that TSA is ignoring veterans’ preference in its RIF decisions and laying off older employees and union activists, many with spotless performance records. In addition, TSA has not established retention registers, re-employment rights have been denied to employees who have been let go and no consideration is being given to employees’ length of service.
“When you mistreat your workforce, your employees will only stay around as long as it takes them to find other employment. And when they leave, there also goes your training investment and experience,” Gage emphasizes. “With large turnovers and part-time employees, this country will once again be dependent upon an unprofessional, ill-trained workforce to protect the flying public,” he added.