TSA Administrator, Safety Of The
Traveling Public Is Our Top Priority
February 6, 2011 - After
Senate Republican, Roger Wicker (R-Miss)
put forth an
amendment that would exclude Transportation Security
Administration (TSA) employees from collective
bargaining rights, on Friday, TSA Administrator John
Pistole said 'We Will Not Negotiate on Security'
U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John Pistole on Friday issued a Determination that provides a framework to protect TSA?s ability to respond to evolving threats while allowing Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) to vote on whether or not they wish to be represented by a union.
the purposes of engaging in limited, clearly defined
collective bargaining at the national level only on
non-security employment issues. If a union is chosen,
each security officer will retain the right to choose
whether or not to join the union.
?The safety of the traveling public is our top priority
and we will not negotiate on security,? said TSA
?The safety of the traveling public is our top priority and we will not negotiate on security,? said TSA Administrator Pistole.
?But morale and employee engagement cannot be separated from achieving superior security. If security officers vote to move forward with collective bargaining, this framework will ensure that TSA retains the capability and flexibility necessary to respond to evolving threats, and continue improving employee engagement, performance and professional development.?
framework is unique to TSA in that it allows for bargaining at
the national level only ? while prohibiting local-level
bargaining at individual airports ? on certain employment issues
such as shift bids, transfers and awards. Pistole?s
Determination prohibits bargaining on any topics that might
affect security, such as security policies, procedures or the
deployment of security personnel or equipment , p
, pay, pensions and any form of compensation, proficiency testing, job qualifications and discipline standards. Additionally, the Determination strictly prohibits officers from striking or engaging in work slowdowns of any kind.
legislation that created TSA, Congress expressly granted the TSA
Administrator sole authority to establish the terms and conditions of
employment for security officers at airports.
federal, state, and local government agencies such as the NYPD and
Customs and Border Protection and employers of unionized guards at a
number of national security facilities such as secure nuclear weapon and
Department of Defense facilities, as well as experts on labor relations
in high performance organizations. Interviews were also conducted with
management at two airports that are part of TSA?s Screening Partnership
Program that have unionized contracted screeners.
?This decision and the upcoming representation election at
TSA will give these officers a voice in their workplace and a chance at
a better future,? said National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU)
President Colleen M. Kelley. ?The sooner NTEU is certified as the
exclusive representative of the TSA workforce, the sooner we can begin
improving the lives of employees at this key agency.? The election
period has been tentatively set for March 9 through April 19.
?The administrator has studied this issue carefully and made the right decision,? Kelley said. ?While long-delayed, I am very pleased to see that TSA leadership has recognized the value to the agency and the traveling public of a union-represented workforce.? In an NTEU survey, 85 percent of TSA employees said collective bargaining rights would make TSA a more effective agency. She added: ?I am fully confident this decision will bring much-needed stability and professionalism to this critical transportation protection agency, and because of that, the public will be well-served.? TSA ranks among the lowest federal agencies in employee morale.
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