July 30, 2010
Emily Ryan
(202) 639-6421

FLRA Agrees with AFGE That Review is Necessary in TSA Election Petition


(WASHINGTON)-The Federal Labor Relations Authority today granted the American Federation of Government Employees application for review of a May denial of the union’s petition for a union election, stating that AFGE’s “application demonstrates that review of the RD’s decision is warranted.”

FLRA Chicago Regional Director Peter Sutton on May 28 denied AFGE’s petition for exclusive union representation. AFGE appealed that decision to the full FLRA on June 4.

“AFGE wasted no time in filing our appeal to the full FLRA, and we are pleased they have granted our application for review,” AFGE Membership and Organization Deputy Director Cathie McQuiston said. “We are sure when the FLRA reviews the RD’s decision, and in doing so reviews the 2003 question of jurisdiction, they will find there is jurisdiction and will quickly remand the petition back to the RD for election.”

In dismissing AFGE’s petition, Acting RD Peter Sutton cited AFGE’s 2003 petition to be the exclusive union representative, and in which the FLRA ruled that it had no jurisdiction over which to process the petition. AFGE believes that FLRA majority confused the issues of allowing for an election without collective bargaining rights, but that the current Authority members may now understand the distinction. Significantly, in 2003, FLRA member (and current FLRA chair) Carol Pope dissented from the majority opinion, asserting that there are many things a union representative can do for workers absent collective bargaining.

“While AFGE has encouraged swift action on its petition, it is unfortunate that there now is an interruption in the FLRA’s ability to issue a ruling because of delay tactics by the treasury union,” McQuiston said. “That union argued that a vote for union representation before collective bargaining is granted would be confusing to Transportation Security Officers. Those actions have the direct impact of denying the TSOs the right to elect the union they want to represent them once the bargaining rights are granted. In so doing, it also delays an end to PASS, a further delay to dignity on the jobsite, and has the very real impact of keeping the wages of all TSOs depressed.”

AFGE is the only union to represent TSOs since the agency’s inception, and currently has more than 12,000 dues-paying members in 38 AFGE Locals across the country.

For more information on AFGE’s election petition, please visit


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