TSA Bargaining Bill Gets Vote in Congress
A bill to restore bargaining rights to TSA employees gets a vote in the House, faces veto by Trump
Since the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in November of 2001, employees have had limited union rights. Already as federal workers, they couldn’t negotiate things like raises, but TSA employees were also barred from the General Schedule (GS) pay system, have limited access to union representation, and do not have the same due process rights as other federal employees.
A bill making its way through the House of Representatives seeks to change that. The bill, HR 1140, would grant TSA employees Title 5 Civil Service protections. This would put them on par with other federal employees and give them access to raises through the GS pay system.
The bill, which is scheduled for a vote on March 5th, is seen as a huge day in the fight to make the TSA a better working environment. AFGE, the union that represents the officers, cites the lack of collective bargaining rights as a factor that has led to traditionally high turnover rates and low employee morale at the agency. Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS), a sponsor of the bill, also said that 2019’s government shutdown showed just how important it was to have collective bargaining rights. “This last Trump Shutdown put on sharp display the incredible amount of stress our TSOs are under. It’s time to bring TSA’s personnel and labor management systems in line with the rest of the federal government under Title 5. By improving TSO workforce protections, we will be improving frontline workforce morale and improving our national security.”
While the bill has a good chance of passing the Democratic House, the White House has promised to veto it if it comes across Trump’s desk.