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Posted at 5:08 PM ET, 04/ 2/2009

Collective Bargaining Rights for TSOs Proposed

By Ed O'Keefe

By Steve Vogel

A bill introduced in the House today would give collective bargaining rights to Transportation Security Administration officers who screen passengers at airports around the country.

As reported by The Post today, unions representing the TSA complain that the lack of collective bargaining rights contributes to low morale and high attrition at the agency.

The Transportation Security Workforce Enhancement Act of 2009, introduced by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), grants TSOs the same collective bargaining rights and workforce protections as other federal workers.

"Extending basic workplace protections to TSOs is not only the right thing to do for 42,000 individuals performing grueling work to protect us,it will also decrease the cost and improve the results of our efforts to increase air security," Lowey said in a statement, adding that he lack of protections for screening personnel, combined with poor workforce management, increases costs and decreases security.

Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, called the legislation "an important step toward fair treatment and fair pay in the TSA workplace."

"This is a great day for the undervalued and unappreciated TSOs, and for the continued security of the flying public," said John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 2, 2009; 5:08 PM ET
Categories:  Congress, Workplace Issues  
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