(WASHINGTON)—Transportation Security Officers (TSO) are outraged at the performance-based pay raise package recently handed down by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). TSOs are calling the new system unfair and inadequate.
The current performance evaluation system creates four levels or designations—“Role model”, “Exceeds”, “Achieve Plus”, and “Achieves”, in contrast to last year’s system which only had three tiers, TSOs who qualify will receive lower payouts at each level. In 2006 for example, an individual who received the designation “Exceeds” received a 3% pay raise + $2000, but inexplicably this year TSO’s who rate as “Exceeds” will only receive a 2% raise + $1000 even though they continue to perform their duties in an exemplary manner.
In order to qualify for the pay raise or PASS package, TSOs undergo rigorous testing designed to gauge their proficiency in screening passengers and detecting explosive devices, and to assess their knowledge of TSA procedures. The supervisors who administer the evaluations receive no special training to perform this difficult task, and are not equipped to properly determine the skills and/or knowledge of TSOs.
“The execution of TSA’s evaluation process is severely flawed,” said American Federation of Government Employees National President John Gage. “As the TSA union, AFGE will seek congressional action to address these inadequacies and bring about reforms.”
The average income for a TSA employee is $30,000. TSOs receive considerably less than other federal employees performing in the same capacity—law enforcement and security positions.
“TSO’s are drastically underpaid,” Gage added. “The TSA PASS package can only be taken at face value and in no way provides due compensation for years of insufficient pay.”
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 750,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.