WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees is calling on Congress to include provisions extending full workforce rights and protections to employees at the Transportation Security Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs as part of the fiscal 2023 omnibus spending bill to be considered next week.
The House on Thursday passed legislation that would expand the collective bargaining rights of VA physicians, dentists, registered nurses, and physician assistants and put them on equal footing with other VA employees and medical professionals at other federal agencies.
Likewise, the House in May passed legislation that would grant TSA’s transportation security officers the same workplace rights that apply to most other federal employees and boost their pay by putting them on the General Schedule pay scale.
The Senate has not voted on either of the bills yet, so including them in the fiscal 2023 omnibus spending bill is likely the last chance to pass the legislation before the end of the current congressional session.
“Allowing these employees who perform critical jobs on behalf of the American public to work under substandard and unequal personnel systems is simply not right, and Congress has the opportunity and responsibility to fix it before they adjourn,” AFGE National President Everett Kelley said.
Congress this week passed a short-term continuing resolution that will keep the government funded through Dec. 23, allowing lawmakers time to complete work on an omnibus spending bill that will fund federal agencies for the remainder of the fiscal 2023 year that ends Sept. 30.