NTEU Moves Quickly To Build Senate Opposition To
By Bill Goldston
June 13, 2011 - The National Treasury Employees Union
(NTEU) has moved quickly and forcefully in an effort to
ensure the Senate rejects two House-passed amendments
that would seriously hurt not only the Transportation
Security Administration (TSA) but the traveling public
whose safety is largely in its hands.
letters to four key senators, NTEU President Colleen M.
Kelley urged the Senate to exclude from its version of
the fiscal 2012 Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
appropriations bill language that would prevent funding
to implement collective bargaining rights at TSA and
strip nearly $300 million in agency funding. That
reduction in resources would result in the loss of 8,000
Moreover, the loss of collective bargaining rights ?would deal a significant blow to morale at the agency,? President Kelley wrote. She added: ?Poor morale at TSA contributes to inefficiencies at the agency.
"Poor workforce management has led to one of the highest attrition rates in the government, and high on-the-job injuries. Concerns have been voiced about increased costs and potential security gaps in our aviation systems because of this turnover and job dissatisfaction.?
leader voiced her serious concerns in letters to Sen. Daniel
Inouye (D-Hawaii), chairman of the Senate Appropriations
Committee, and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), chair of the
Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security. She buttressed
that effort with companion letters to Sen. Joseph Lieberman
(D-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and
Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sen. Daniel Akaka
(D-Hawaii), chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on
Oversight of Government
Management and the Federal Workforce.
letters to Senators Lieberman and Akaka, President Kelley
emphasized the importance of their leadership positions on the
Homeland Security Committee, which is primarily responsible for
DHS and TSA policy and their strong and ongoing support of an
effective TSA?including collective bargaining rights and asked
them to express to Senators Inouye and Landrieu their firm
opposition to these amendments.
that, after a long effort led by NTEU, TSA Administrator John
Pistole in February granted collective bargaining rights for TSA
As to the other
dangerous amendment, it was introduced by Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) and
would effectively reject the idea that passenger and baggage security
screening is an inherently governmental function. The Mica language
seeks funds to privatize the security workforce at the nation?s
airports, and would provide the funds to do so by cutting TSA resources.
?TSA has opposed the cuts, indicating that they seek a seamless security system that is more easily achieved with federal employees,? Kelley wrote. ?Cuts of this magnitude are unwarranted and will damage the traveling safety of the public. It will have a significant impact on TSA Officers? ability to do their jobs.?
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