WASHINGTON – In response to the 22 day and counting partial government shutdown that is causing 800,000 federal employees – including the 44,000 TSA Officers represented by AFGE – to work without pay or be furloughed, American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. issued the following statement:
“The Transportation Security Officers who have worked the last 22 days without being paid in a future unknown date – and will continue doing so until this shutdown ends – are having their livelihoods used as leverage in a political showdown on Capitol Hill.
“These women and men signed up to serve their country, and they do a remarkable job keeping us safe – even when they’re not being compensated to do so. It’s a shame because TSA Officers are already some of the lowest paid officers in the federal workforce, have the least amount of rights of almost any federal employee, and now they’re being asked to put their lives on the line without knowing when they’ll get their paycheck.
“The story here is how these federal workers are already living paycheck to paycheck and face the reality of not being able to afford rent, childcare, or food starting this week. Our members took an oath to do their job, and their focus is on doing just that – everything else is an unnecessary distraction.
“Any questions about personnel, leave, or attrition are not something germane to our members – nor is it something they can comment on. TSA and the Department of Homeland Security are charged with monitoring and approving leave requests, as well as staffing levels. We encourage all queries about those topics to be sent to the Communications Office (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).
“Our officers are devoted public servants who just want compensation for the admirable work they do. They want that story told, and we’ll work tirelessly to make sure the American public knows it.”