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Eye Opener: Airport Security Union Fight Looms

By Ed O'Keefe

A new Transportation Security Agency employee checks a flight attendant as she passes through a security checkpoint at O'Hare International Airport Aug. 6, 2002 in Chicago, Illinois. (Getty)

Eye Opener

Happy Friday! The long-anticipated war between two leading federal workers unions is nearing, as representatives for the American Federation of Government Employees and the National Treasury Employees Union begin a series of meetings with Transportation Security Administration officials.

AFGE leaders held what they describe as an "historic" meeting with TSA leadership on Thursday.

"It was the first-ever formal labor-management meeting between the agency and the union and the beginning of what labor leaders hope will be a relationship that could lead to TSA employees winning the right to collective bargaining in the near future," writes The Eye's colleague Joe Davidson.

"Currently, unions can recruit officers as members, but labor organizations do not have the right to bargain on their behalf. Congress is considering legislation that would provide that ability."

"Topics on the agenda included leave policies, disciplinary actions and the agency’s pay-for- performance system, which has been the target of union criticism."

Alyssa Rosenberg of Government Executive writes that "Both unions have protested against TSA's pay-for-performance and testing systems, which they said are arbitrary and confusing, and have criticized the management culture at the agency, which they said does not incorporate enough employee feedback."

NTEU leadership "had recommended that the Obama administration implement such a policy through [Homeland Security Secretary Janet] Napolitano's office or by an executive order, but she would continue to advocate for legislation that would give TSA employees collective bargaining rights permanently."

As we have written before, whenever TSA gives collective bargaining rights the green light you can expect a classic, no-holds-barred emotional union fight that will account for every last vote.

Which union should win the right to organize TSA employees? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Overseas Voting for Military, Gov't Employees Gets Easier: The Senate unanimously approved a measure on Thursday sponsored by Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) that makes voting easier for military servicemembers and government employees and contractors working overseas. The Military and Overseas Voters Empowerment Act requires states to provide ballots electronically and beefs up the Defense Department's Federal Voting Assistance Program. It was one of several amendments tacked on to the Defense reauthorization bill.

Five Federal Employees Asia-Bound: The quintet is the latest recipient of the Mansfield Fellowships, named for the former Senate majority leader and U.S. ambassador to Japan. Winners spend two years in Japan in a government-to-government exchange. The winners are: State Department Foreign Affairs Officer Jordan Gregg Heiber, Senate aide Rachelle Morgannette Johnson, FAA attorney Taria Siobhan McAfee, Treasury Department economist Matthew Adam Poggi and FAA supervisory travel management coordinator James Timothy Spillane.

Cabinet and Staff News: North Korea calls Hillary Rodham Clinton "vulgar" and "unintelligent." Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the National Mall needs nearly $400 million for repairs. Members of the White House national security team heading to Israel for Jewish settlement negotiations. Former HHS Secretary Michael O. Leavitt worries about Obama's health care proposals. The Post profiles Gary G. Gensler, new chief of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

A $4 Billion Push for Better Schools: President Obama is leaning hard on the nation's schools, using the promise of federal aid -- and the threat of withholding it -- to strong-arm the education establishment to accept more charter schools and performance pay for teachers. LISTEN: President Obama interview with The Washington Post.

FERS Sick Leave Measure Sinks in Senate: An amendment to the Defense authorization bill containing several federal employee benefits, including the sick leave credit, was withdrawn Thursday.

Open-Source Backers March on Washington: The big, rather timely pitch by some of the world's largest technology companies is that open-source applications can help save the government money.

NSA Names Its First Director of Compliance: The official will monitor adherence to rules governing the surveillance of phone calls and e-mails, as well as other agency activities.

Bill Calls for Federal Oversight of Subways: Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) wants secretary of transportation to work with the National Transportation Safety Board to develop safety standards.

GAO: FEMA Took Too Long to Warn of Formaldehyde: The report marked a stinging reprimand of the agency and its slow response to reports in 2006 that air in some trailers registered dangerously high levels of formaldehyde, which can cause cancer and respiratory illnesses.

Report: F-35 Work Falls Behind Two More Years: An internal Pentagon oversight board has reported that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is two years behind schedule, according to multiple congressional aides familiar with the findings.

Follow The Federal Eye on Twitter! Submit news tips here.

By Ed O'Keefe  | July 24, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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Next: The Making of a Secret Service Agent


"Currently, unions can recruit officers as members,
but labor organizations do not have the right to bargain on their behalf.
Congress is considering legislation that would provide that ability."

this union negotiation sounds very much like Tribal casino agreements with "financial management", "resort/hotel", "human resources", "service workers",
companies. Most of the workers are tribal members.

you can manage something in the casino
but you are on sovereign territory
so the tribe negotiates...
the mgmt company cannot impose something, per se.....on said worker without tribal approval.....
as it should be

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 24, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I can only comment on the NTEU. It is the most corrupt and from my experience will sell out an individual employee to obtain its goals. Moreover it did nothing to protect the rights of the workers in the agency I worked for. Unions do not work in the federal government for the simple reason that local union officers are fellow employees. That means they also must look out for their own careers. In my experience the union presidents used the office to obtain promotions by selling out the membership, and the individual members. Until that changes they are a waste of dues.

Posted by: whistleblower1 | July 27, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

There is no question that AFGE is the union to represent this workforce. AFGE took on President Bush when he said that TSOs could not organize. While NTEU sat on the sidelines -- waiting to see what would happen -- AFGE was organizing the workforce to build power and to speak with one voice. AFGE now has over 11,000 dues-paying members and 38 Local Unions in TSA. AFGE has represented over 1,000 TSOs in EEO, OWCP, DRB and other administrative appeals and has been a non-stop advocate on Capitol Hill for full collective bargaining rights for 8 years!
NTEU is a spoiler in the campaign to win workplace rights. Its only true role is to slow down the process by supporting managements "divide and conquer" strategy in hopes of further delaying collective bargaining for TSOs.

The "long awaited battle" between AFGE and NTEU is only awaited by members of the media and TSA management. TSOs have been long awaiting collective bargaining -- and thanks to AFGE's 8 year campaign, that wait will soon be over.

Posted by: pinnos | July 27, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

AFGE is the only union for TSO's they have been the only ones that have actually been there from the beginning. Everyone else said they couldn't help us. AFGE has fought with us for almost seven years to achieve a voice in the workplace for TSO's. I am extremely proud of the work that we have done together. WE were told that we just had to take the abuse, but we said that isn't good enough so we have fought long and hard to get here. No other union can even compare to AFGE. We never stopped believing in what was right. It will be a great day when we have achieved our dream together. AFGE all the way...

Posted by: kjkraynak | July 27, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

"WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL ALONG NTEU" It's easy for anyone who has worked with TSA over the years to know that AFGE has been in this, for (us) since the beginning. NTEU, in their attempt to show up now, when AFGE has fought the battles since the begining. Clearly a wanna be union, NTEU wants nothing but to help themselves grow, and in fact could care less about the struggles we have had for years.Where ever you were then NTEU go back because AFGE has our backs.

Posted by: ashlandhack | July 27, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

NTEU are you kidding me? That is a joke. You show up now, some 8 years later? Give us a break, haven't we been through enough already? O thats right, YOU NTEU, would have no way of knowing what we have been through.AFGE thanks for being with us all along, since the beginning. TSA CLT

Posted by: ashlandhack | July 27, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

The first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution grants all citizens the right to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

AFGE has been involved in this campaign since the Bush Administration chose to ignore the 1st Amendment. It is time for Congress and United States citizens to redress this grievance. TSOs know that there is really only one union that will go the distance for them. The Union I belong to, AFGE, represents its people with all its heart and soul.

I am a local Union President at EPA in Chicago and I have fought for my sisters and brothers in DoD against NSPS and my sisters and brothers in DHS against MaxHR. Now I stand with my brothers and sisters at the airports around the country. We at AFGE are UNITED and will bring bargaining rights to TSOs.

Congressional Representatives and Senators take Samuel Gompers said a long time ago, we will reward our friends and punish our enemies.

Vote AFGE brothers and sisters!

Posted by: Bellovoce | July 27, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Dear Washington Post

As a former Executive Board member and designer of the NTEU first efforts to organize the TSA Officers I must say this. I am now an Executive Officer of AFGE Local 2222 . Our Local covers NY & NJ and all the airports covered under the TSA. Our work with the members and officers has been and is second to none but do not take my word for it just ask the TSA Officers who know who myself,AFGE and Local 2222 are. I perform worked on the national level and in the Federal trenches with our TSA officers along with our National union AFGE . If any Officer or reader would like to know how long AFGE or NTEU has had a serious interest to represent TSA Officers all one needs to do is Google my name " Bob Marchetta "or the prospective unions {AFGE] - {NTEU}. You will then see a clearer picture as to who came to the needs of the TSA officers first.Anyone else is just walking in our foot steps. TSA Officers from around the Country will be the best judge to the many services myself and the National AFGE have rendered to protect TSA Officers rights against all odds, unconditionally 24/7.


Bob Marchetta
AFGE Local 2222
TSA Officers Union NY & NJ

Posted by: cdc1776 | July 27, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

AFGE should be the ONLY union allowed to represent TSO's as they are the only union that has been around supporting the TSO's since the beginning. NTEU thinks they can come out from under the rock they have been hiding under at the last moment and be our union......NEVER

Posted by: msanders61 | July 27, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

I am a local President of AFGE-TSA in Salt Lake City. I know that AFGE has done more for TSOs than any other. They have been there for us from the beginning. They were there for us when we needed them when it was labor intensive and difficult.

NTEU has come on board after the most difficult time frames have elapsed and only when they heard it was promising for TSOs to get collective bargaining. They have not represented or helped any TSO that I am aware and only make promises for the distant future only IF things look promising for them and ONLY WHEN we get collective bargaining. Their concerns are too conditional to help any TSO NOW and they certainly weren't there at the beginning. They aren't doing anything for us now.

There is a reason that NTEU is not affiliated with the AFL-CIO

Transportation Secuity Officers have a much brighter future with AFGE. AFGE has been there for you all along. NTEU has come on board too late.
Vote AFGE my brother and sister TSO.

Posted by: red1234 | July 27, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

I am a true believer that AFGE is the only union for TSO's in this country. The staff at AFGE has helped many TSO's keep their jobs against unfair and unjust management practices across the country. When there has been an issue, AFGE has been here for us since the beginning . The staff at AFGE has never blown off us TSO's because a problem was to big or to hard they only worked harder for us to try to fix the issue with good results. I will always be loyal to The TSO UNION of CHOICE AFGE. They are not some “Johnny come lately” union who look as TSO’s as a quick dollar they have earned our respect and I will spend every moment I can to ensure that EACH and every TSO Knows Who has been there from the beginning !!

Posted by: afgelocal237pres | July 27, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

AFGE has been the only union working to since the beginning of TSA. We became federalized because of AFGE efforts and it was at that monment that they started working to get us collective bargaining rights. AFGE is the only union to fully support us in everyway. AFGE has always been there for us and we will be there for them in this fight. We got your back AFGE.

IAH fighter for AFGE!!!

Posted by: marie44 | July 27, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Hello Fellows TSA Employee

We are all one team when it come to the union AFGE. We stand by them and they have stood with us . It has done a great job in working for the TSO of TSA for collective bargaining we will stand with AFGE no matter what.I am glad that we are not afraid of management any more in regards to them telling us not to talk to the union are we would get in trouble with management. We all did what was best for us in joining the union now we have a voice no longer will we stand on the side line AFGE is the only one that has been here for us.

Thanks AFGE

Posted by: msjackson4985 | July 27, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Puerto Rico is AFGE! Our own TSO's repelled few attempts of recruiting made by NTEU. We asked ourselves the same question, where had you been all this years? and the answer is, sitting on the side watching AFGE do all the work.. and now you want a piece of the action? Not!!! sorry guys you are 8 years too late our Union is AFGE.

Posted by: aaulet | July 27, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

AFGE should represent the Screener workforce, they were there from the start and never gave up on us.

Posted by: lparty2005yahoocom | July 27, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

As an employee of the TSA at Denver International Airport, I have been NOTHING but completely impressed with our AFGE Local 1125. They have supported us from the beginning. Now, NTEU shows up, harrassing employees to join, hanging on the coattails of the progress that employees have seen thru the unyielding lobbying of AFGE, on behalf of TSA employees.

TSA employees have been the treated poorly from the beginning, and it has only been with the support of AFGE that we have seen any relief. We need collective bargaining, NOW! The employees of DIA and all over the nation need to be able to concentrate entirely on our mission of keeping the flying public safe, instead of fighting mangement on a daily basis, in order to keep our jobs & be treated fairly.
Thank you to the national AFGE and our local 1125, for all the assistance you've given us, and for being there from the beginning!!!

Denver BDO-Local 1125 member

Posted by: denver-bdo | July 28, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

With or without collectively bargaining rights, AFGE has made a commitment to our Nation’s Uniformed Officers of TSA and we are making good on that commitment every day. AFGE recognizes the need for Transportation Security Officers to be represented not only in the workplace but also in Congress and AFGE has the resources, expertise and clout needed to provide effective representation for all uniformed officers from the smallest airport to the largest. AFGE has been there from the beginning.

Now is the time for all the men and women of TSA to stand together in solidarity; resolute in their fight for a workplace of dignity, respect and fairness. Come on board with AFGE and let us see what we can do together.

Posted by: AFGE-Organizer-L1125 | July 28, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse





Posted by: donnashw1 | July 28, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I came to TSA in 2005 and quickly learned that representation was a necessity. As a result of that necessesity, I joined AFGE in 2007. I don't regret that decision, and I look forward to collective bargaining rights be granted to TSO's nationwide soon. When that happens, I will cast my vote for AFGE to lead the contract negotiations on my behalf. Not only has AFGE been there for TSO's from the beginning, but they have been one step ahead of NTEU on every issue that has arisen along the way. AFGE received a letter FROM Barack Obama when he was on the campaign trail, informing our President John Gage, that he (Obama) would support Collective Bargaining rights for TSO's. NTEU wrote a letter TO Barack Obama, urging him to stand up for "Federal Employees", not specifying TSO's or collective bargaining. It is clear to me that AFGE which currently has over 600,000 federal employee members, 11,000 of whom are TSA employees is the better choice than NTEU which only has about 150,000 Federal employee members and not nearly as many TSO members.

Posted by: gordonsabum | July 28, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I am a road warrior and have traveled through many aiports across our great country for the past eight years. Most of the TSA workers I speak with recognize AFGE as the Union that has been standing by their side and fighting for their rights on a daily basis since their inception. However, I have met some workers that believe promises of a better deal by NTEU representatives. Trust me when I say, there is no better deal than what AFGE is offering. AFGE has a proven track record of successfully representing TSA workers in all of the matters they have been able to participate in. AFGE has strength in numbers by being the largest federal government employee Union, representing over 600,000 employees, and has a voice in the governing halls of our country that will continue to be heard. Most importantly, AFGE is made up of members that are ordinary working people that care about all of our futures including the future of the generations that will continue to comprise our workforce. The work AFGE is doing for these TSA employees is consistent with the care and commitment AFGE demonstrates on behalf of all represented federal employees and is not a grab for more money or power. The TSA workers should feel confident in trusting AFGE with their future.

Posted by: wdo1007 | July 28, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

To TSO's:

You cannot pick a better union than AFGE. I have witnessed first hand the hard work and dedication of our organization to ensure that TSO's are given the constitutional rights they so richly deserve. As a DOD AFGE union officer and member, we have worked just as hard as the staff to bring the union message to TSO's because that's just what family does......

Posted by: pviers1958 | July 28, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Dear Washington Post, I have been a federal employee for the past 15 years 7 of which is with the TSA. The AFGE has been with theTSA since its inception . AFGE using straight up recruitment methods unlike NTEU who used cheap tactics(girls with low cut tight tee shirts shorts and high heels to attract and recuit members) At our airport the NTEU members do not know who the their local officers are and can not reach any from the national office. Our local has assisted and recruited their members quite often. WE GOT THE NUMBERS TO PROVE IT. NTEU WHERE WERE YOU IN 2002?????

Posted by: vlace | July 28, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Daniel from L915, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (OKC). I too am ready for collective bargaining rights and moving to the Government's Step-Scale System. PASS is too subjective and is a popularity game. As long as I keep my job and perform well, I should progressively move up the ladder. But, being the newest step-child in the Government we (TSA) were the patsy for the new PASS system. It's time we held such a cherished rights as ALL other Federal agencies. Thank you.

Posted by: QuickOK | July 28, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I have never been pro-union, however, AGFE has shown that they are willing to be in and stay in the trenches with TSA. Enough said. AGFE - DONE.

Posted by: janaspring | July 28, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I have been a member of AFGE for 26 years. AFGE has spent money and
resources on TSOs from the beginning. We were there fighting for TSOs
during one of the most anti-Union and anti-Federal employee
administrations. For NTEU to weigh in when it is safe is unconscionable.
NTEU is like a blister -they show up after the work is done. To all the
TSOs, you watch our back in the air, AFGE has yours on the ground. Sam E

Posted by: L915 | July 28, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

It is very clear just by watching NTEU they are trying to weezle their way into these airports using untruthful tactics, BEWARE. Where were they from the very beginning when TSO's from across the country had such an outcry for help?
AFGE has proven their committment to TSO's and now it is time for those who have not joined to step up to the plate, join AFGE and stop looking for excuses not too. What msg are we sending to local TSA management when we do not join?

Posted by: afge7 | July 28, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

NTEU is just poaching. They don't care about the employees the way that AFGE does. AFGE will represent these employees with not only the best interest of the employees at heart but the best interest of the American people at heart. AFGE has the resources, drive, and will to take TSOs to where they need to be.

Posted by: billump | July 28, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

AFGE has my vote. They have been upfront and infomative.

Posted by: Icoachutoo | July 28, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

The unfair practices of the TSA management staff must be put to an end. AFGE will be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to the fair treatment of TSA officers.

Posted by: Icoachutoo | July 28, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

All right, this is the first time I've heard of NTEU. I've been with TSA since August of 2002, and the only Union reps I've ever seen have been from AFGE. Whatever your view of unions, AFGE is the one which has been standing beside TSA employees from the beginning. They should be the ones to represent us.

Posted by: fedguy | July 28, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

NTEU does not have 150,000 members--they represent about 150,000 federal employees, but only about 79,000 of them are dues paying members, according to their report with the Department of Labor. Also, they keep saying they are the largest "independent" union for federal employees. AFGE is the largest union for federal employees, by far. AFGE is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, which is a plus for TSOs and all federal employees. NTEU is not. AFGE is represents a larger number of DHS employees than does NTEU. The majority of NTEU's members are in the Department of Treasury and the largest group work as IRS agents.

Posted by: winchp | July 28, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

At PHL, AFGE was there from the start....a handful of TSO's got together and helped to charter local 1 with TSO's from other airports around the nation. When I came to TSA in 2005, I did not know of any union until a co-worker told me that we did indeed have a union we could join, AFGE. NTEU didn't come on scene at PHL until around spring or summer of 2008, and they were attempting to recruit members by telling TSO's that they wouldn't charge any dues until they chartered their local. What they didn't tell TSO's is that once that local was chartered there would be no notice of dues coming out, they would just start taking it. And some TSO's were being charged double dues. TSO's who left NTEU to join AFGE reported that they were STILL being charged dues by NTEU even AFTER they canceled voluntary deductions. Furthermore, NTEU NEVER informed TSO's what they would be charged in the way of dues, which is according to pay a TSO in D band pays LESS than a TSO in E band but the E band officer gets the same representation as the D band officer. The dues structure of NTEU is NOT fair, and the means by which they recruit their members is deceptive at best. Many TSO's who initially joined NTEU because they "wouldn't be charged dues" have since cancelled with NTEU and come BACK or come OVER to AFGE. I think PHL has made it clear that the union for us is AFGE!

Tom Gordon
AFGE Local 333 Secretary
Philadelphia International Airport

Posted by: gordonsabum | July 28, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

What I want to say about NTEU.

They were right nextdoor and they could have help TSO, but they did not. I went to get help from them way back. They told me since you don't have Rights we can't help you.

They are like the aunt who refuse to take of you because you had no were to go and did not want you in her home. Here is AFGE the aunt who did take you in, and took care of you for years. Now you about to get money from you long lost parents. Here comes NTEU We ready to take you now.



Posted by: donaldt43 | July 28, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Dear Washington Post:

AFGE is the way to go for all TSO’s!! Let me show you some statistics:
1: AFGE has been there from the beginning; first local formed in 2001.
8: Number of years AFGE has been fighting for TSO’s workplace rights!
13: Number of TSO’s that formed the first local.
32: Number of locals a crossed the United States!
100+: Number of airports where AFGE has members!
125 Average numbers of calls received by AFGE’s TSA hotline daily!
300+: Number of workman’s Comp cases handled by AFGE.
320: Number of EEO cases handled by AFGE.
780: Number of TSO grievances handled by AFGE.
11,000+ Number of dues paying TSO’s a crossed the untied States for AFGE.
600,000+ Government workers represented in fair workplace practices by AFGE!

AFGE is the first to hold Labor Union Talks with TSA to protect the workers!!

Now, NTEU wants to come in and “try” to form locals… What statistics can they prove? NOTHING!! They are a Johnny come lately Union that just wants to ride on the coat tails of all of the work AFGE has put forth.

AFGE is on your side from the beginning TSO’s! FORGET THE REST, GO WITH THE BEST, GO WITH AFGE!!

Posted by: duncanje80 | July 28, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I've been a member of AFGE for five years, and they have been the only union helping at the airport. We need to be represented by a union that will actually fight this scum of the earth that pontificate over the tsos like some cheap nobility.jwo local 1125

Posted by: jimotto1 | July 28, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

NTEU, is by any means a trustworthy, they have lied to me about what they have achieved and that their were no dues to pay if I joined. A tactic used by them (nteu) to persuading people to become members.I don't trust them. they show up after AFGE HAS laid out the ground work.
AFGE IS the only union for me and our agency.

Posted by: clairmont_ashby | July 28, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I believe AFGE is the only union that is really helping us get organize. Here in Denver, NTUE was not even interested in us until recently. We need help NOW!! I strongly recommend all screeners chose AFGE to represent us.

Posted by: dannyboone2 | July 28, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

AFGE is the only Union for TSA employees! How can NTE--who? even show their face now ... in 2009? AFGE has been on the scene for TSA employees since our inception. They have stood beside us, fought for us, and encouraged us in any/all workplace issues! I have seen them in action, at our own L915, within the last year. Our L915 was just recently established, after many months of organizing. We have had so much support from our AFGE Organizer, as well as other Unions all around us, especially the BOP. AFGE has helped several of our local TSO's with work place issues. It is high time that TSA, nationwide, recognize the quality and value of their employees by embracing AFGE. Aviation Security is a vital part of fighting terrorism. We are on the front lines EVERY day. Thanks AFGE for having "our back on the ground" so that we CAN ... "have your back in the air"!

AFGE L915 Secretary/Treasurer

Posted by: LadyHawk915 | July 28, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I have been a member of AFGE for 11 years, 1 of those while with TSA. The NTEU never made an appearance at our airport until we already most of our TSO's signed up with the AFGE. That just shows how NTEU is jumping on the bandwagon now that collective bargaining is so close to a reality. Thanks to AFGE for being there for us from the beginning!

Posted by: afgelocal915pres | July 28, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

For the past six years I've been with TSA, I have witnessed an unfairness and a disregard for the rights of people equivelent to that of the fight for civil rights waged in the 1950's and 1960's. AFGE is the only union that has been at the forefront of this battle and is the only union that "ALL" TSO's around the country should be a member of. It is time for our goverment, this administration to step up and do the right thing NOW!

Posted by: edonal7372 | July 28, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I came to work for TSA, just as many of my co-workers did----to serve "our" country. We haven't had a air attack in this country since 9-11. This should tell you we are doing a GREAT job.

As a AFGE Shop Steward, I hear many corncerns and complaints from my co-workers. Many of these concerns have been addressed by AFGE.

AFGE has supported "our" cause---to make it right for us as Federal employees.
AFGE has made important wins for us and continues to fight for our rights.

AFGE has always been honest and provided legal represention for even those non-union TSO's, unlike NTEU who only has a vested interest in CBP Officers and giving TSO's a blanket contract under CBP.

There would be more AFGE members, but TSA management has threatened termination for joining. Low pay is another reason membership is low.

AFGE is the union of choice.

Posted by: 1TSOfromLAS | July 28, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Baltimore-Washington International is for AFGE. They have been there for years and have helped get us face-time (at the airport!) with our congressional representatives outside of control or editing by TSA management. And it's a thing we need... since our airport regularly makes sure that outsiders who come in meet only with the few anti-union workers they can find.

Posted by: omelas | July 28, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

AFGE is AFL-CIO affiliated, NTEU is not. That, in and of itself, speaks volumes.

As an AFGE Steward, I am proud to be part (micro) of the solution for TSA's TSO quality of worklife issues. Too many wrongs, for too long, against too many innocent people have been allowed and must be stopped! and rectified!!

As a sociologist (macro,) and due to the nature of our job at TSA, I know AFGE's goal to make TSA a better place, creates a safer nation and therefore contributes to making the world a better place.

AFGE has the experience, the resources, and the integrity to see us through the "growing pains" of this rogue, yet maturing organization.

AFGE is here to stay! and will continue to promote and protect the best interests of workers in government service by ensuring justice, equality, fairness and dignity so that the principles of freedom, democracy and justice flourish and endure not just in our workplace, but in the nation as a whole.

Suffice it to say: There can only be ONE union. Based on my experiences with AFGE, they get the job done by doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason. Each time. Every time.

AFGE, "there from the beginning." HERE FOR THE DURATION!

Posted by: Kepnthfaith | July 28, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Dear TSO Brothers & Sisters:

As President of AFGE Local 2617 serving Massachusetts & New Hampshire TSA Officers, I am one of those there for you since the beginning TSO union advocate members, after long ago joining AFGE.

In 2003, I got to meet both AFGE President John Gage and NTEU President Collen Kelly. I sought their help as I told both about our serious TSA workplace employee issues problems at Logan International Airport in Boston, Ma.

The cronyism, the denied Veterans Preference, "bait & switch" rehiring of once TSA contracted screeners at salary rates $2 to $3 dollars less an hour versus what they were promised and had signed for, favoritism, retaliation, bullying of TSOs injured in while working and illegally implimented local absence policies way outside what TSA HQs authorized...we have seen and endured it all.

John and his top notch AFGE HQS staff and lawyers have always called me back, had my and our backs through it all, but, poor unreliable Colleen went permanently AWOL on me and... on all of my equally frustrated co-workers.

I, nor, they...never heard from her again.

Yet now, eight years later, after I converted my once AFGE TSA Local 1 union membership group into a permanently chartered AFGE Local 2617 last year,
more than a year NTEU comes strolling in with the hefty unproven promises of the century.

My TSO colleagues nation-wide, don't believe the hype. Yes, fight the power...of NTEU's misinformation.

All they really want is to get the 10% they need to get on the ballot between us, then, you know's clobber them time at the ballot box!!!

By the way, last week on July 23, 2009, as I joined AFGE President John Gage, Organizer Peter Winch whom recruited me back in the day, Local 332 President Kimberly Kraynak, Local 1234 Cris Soulia, Local 2222 Bob Marchetta, Local 556 Don Thomas, Local 777 Ricky McCoy, at the first ever with TSA's Gale Rossides and her senior leadership staff TSO union "Labor-Management" meeting, I knew our time as 11,000 and counting AFGE TSO of all ranks union members...has come.

We TSOs are not asking for special treatment, merely, to be made whole and equal the eyes of the law.

Our days of being TSA forced to sit at the back of the lacking our federal employee rights, protections, and collective bargaining nearly over. I know it, our TSA leaders now know it, and, you my brave and dedicated colleague TSOs all know it.

Don't throw your hard earned money at a lemon [NTEU]. That's what my grandfather Lewis taught me!!!

See all of you at the finish line!

In solidarity:

AJ Castilla, President
AFGE Local 2617
Serving Massachusetts & New Hampshire

Posted by: tsalogan | July 29, 2009 3:40 AM | Report abuse

As a member of AFGE, I find it appalling that NTEU shows up with girls with tight clothes, high heels, cheap t shirts and expect us to be sold! SPARE ME PLEASE! As a red blooded American Male, I enjoyed the eye candy and went right to my AFGE brothers and told them to do the same, enjoy the sights because those pleasures will last abotu as long as NTEU's committment to US! NTEU's recruiting practices leave much to be desired as well. Many times, I have been approached on EXIT lane duty (which is a non disturb funtction-signs up all over the checkpoint stating "Do NOT approach officer on duty") and I've told them to take a walk or I will contact a LEO. Love the idea of taking a "blue card" for information only so they can give you a free meal. Amazing what people will do for a free meal, also!

AFGE Brothers and Sisters-READ BEFORE YOU SIGN!!! Understand what you are filling out!!! They have nothing, AFGE has been here since the beginning!

Posted by: yankyfan26x | July 29, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I am very familiar with both large federal unions and must applaud AFGE for making TSA screeners' rights a cause celeb from the beginning. The fact that AFGE filed and won a complaint against the Bush Administration with the International Labor Organization for violation of workers' rights in 2005 put this issue back on the map.
NTEU is simply a law firm masquerading as a union. When the bottomline started to look promising they made a business decision to try and get "the pie."
AFGE has shown that this is a "cause" for them.
Kudos AFGE, you are one union I can respect.

Posted by: maxwell6 | July 29, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Post and readers,

I belong to the huge community of TSO's seeking for equal treatment as others federal employees. For many years AFGE has made their presence feel with their support in every case and situation that has surface in our airports, on occasions it has been without any tools to defend ourselves and we still win cases. That my friends is what NTEU lacks, history with TSA and will to help. Is pretty obvious that if an election takes place, we will all vote for AFGE without second guessing ourselves. NTEU doesn't impress us with their history with CBP or any other agency they may represent (things are real simple when you have collective bargaining already).

Posted by: manny7 | July 29, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

AFGE is the only union that will and has supported the TSO's in the workplace. It is a proven fact that AFGE has been here since the beginning of TSA and support us in everyway. AFGE is the union of choice to represent my airports in Houston, TX. I know of all the hard work and effort they have put forth in getting us to this point.
If it was not for AFGE HR 1881 would not be in the house now. As local president for L1039. I stand in full support of AFGE. I constantly talk about the wonder of it all to my co-workers and express my graditude to AFGE for being here for the TSO's to get them Collective Bargaining Rights.

Wille Phlegm,
President l1039
IAH & Hobby Airports
Houston, TX

Posted by: phlegm1039 | July 29, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

NT-WHO? I have been a TSO since the very beginning. AFGE was there fighting for my rights. I worked every terminal at Ohare airport and has never seen NT-WHO ever, not until President Obama stated in his letter written to AFGE President John Gage stating that he would grant collective bargaining. I tell you what. under the Bush administration AFGE was there representing officers with EEO, Leave restrictions, Suspensions, recertification terminations and the list goes on and on...where was NT-WHO? I gladly pay my union dues if for nothing else the benefits that comes with being a member. I support AFGE and await the day they negotiate one of those strong contracts like the one they negotiated for all those other agencies in Department of Homeland Security. Local President Rick McCoy and the Organizer Don Evans (who by the way once worked as a TSO for over six years and is a former BDO) has been very vocal about AFGE and energetic with this "take no prisoner" mentality. I know the day will come when all eyes will see the coming of our union AFGE!!!

Posted by: TIREDOFWAITING | July 29, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I ask you this-
Who has been fighting for you since our agency began? AFGE.
Who has stood by our brothers and sisters in wrongful dismissal cases? AFGE.
Who has stood by our brothers and sisters in OWCP cases? AFGE.
Who has stood by our brothers and sisters in administrative appeals? AFGE.

NTEU????? Who the heck are do they think they are? Their not worthy to be in the same comment as AFGE.
United we stand.

Posted by: bro_at2617 | July 29, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm a TSO at LAX Local 1234. It's been years now that AFGE has been fighting for us.

Last month, NTEU showed up having a bbq for CBP and us being invited as an afterthought. They were pushy and have gotten several TSOs introuble because they pass out information at the check point even after we tell them we can't talk while on duty. My co-worker got an LOR because of that. Luckily he was an AFGE member and got the LOR removed. Our LAX Reps helped him.

I don't know much about NTEU and don't want to know! But what I do know is that they want us to be just like CBP.


AFGE is my union. It is LAX's ONLY UNION!

Posted by: afgemember | July 29, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

NTEU promised a bunch of Phoenix TSOs that they would get them LEO (law enforcement officer)status as part of a new contract. However, one of the TSOs is a former DOD employee and busted the NTEU organizer out citing that LEO status is a determination of Congress and not a negotiable item. He said the NTEU guy was flabbergasted. The TSO told his co-workers that NTEU was flat out lying. He said this is the reputation that they are starting to develop at the airport, although if you didn't know better one could be fooled.

Posted by: pinnos | July 29, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I am a TSO at COS and have been a member of both Unions. Needless to say, I am with AFGE now and will remain with them. NTEU did nothing for me but take my money. AFGE has been available every time I needed them and represented me every time management has tried something that is not even in their realm of responsibility.

AFGE is the only representation we want or need to keep DHS/TSA in check. Congress said in Title 5 that it is a good thing for federal workers to be represented by an outside source and to provide checks and balances to the system.

As our own government's foundation was founded by providing for the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches, DHS/TSA must be brought to its senses and not allowed to run amok against its workers who only want to protect the country against terrorism without threat of reprisal, intimidation, and threats of termination.

Posted by: Sammie69 | July 29, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I was one of the original MSF/STSO's that rolled out TSA from the start in 2002 and served TSA in many capacities for over 6 years in the Bay Area of California. Over that 6 years I witnessed TSA Managament cause and insight the need for Union involvement through it's unfair labor practices. I was a AFGE Local 1234 Executive Board Member for 2 years as a TSO and left TSA to become an AFGE Activist. AFGE has been fighting for TSO's rights from the beginning! AFGE has also represented countless TSA Uniformed Officers and won many cases!
I never heard of NTEU or saw any one from NTEU at any of the airports until this year! NTEU brags about beating AFGE on the CBP elections 8 years ago but CBP still doesn't have a Union Contract. NTEU is not helping the TSA Uniformed Offices unless NTEU has 35% of an airport signed up, which in my mind goes agianst the principles of unionism... AFGE helps TSA Uniformed Officers if they are members or not! NTEU is a very poor choice for the TSA Uniformed Officers that are in fact patriots serving our great nation!

To the House and Senate,
Please push HR 1881 through!

Posted by: MikeMcI | July 29, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that TSA is being compared to Customs? I will tell you why. Because NT-WHO does not have testimonies about TSO's. they (NTEU) have not represented a TSO, they (NTEU) have not fought EEO cases for TSO's. they (NTEU)have not had suspension reversed for TSO's. they (NTEU) don't charge dues becasue they (NTEU) don't represent you. I don't know but maybe you like inconsistencies and "make it up as you go" FSD staff. Maybe you like being overlooked for promotions. where were you NTEU when I didn't have whistleblower protection? where were you NTEU when I was denied the right for an equal oppurtunity? WHERE WERE YOU NTEU WHEN THE AMERICAN DISABILITY ACT DID NOT APPLY TO A TSO OFFICER? I don't remember seeing your name NTEU when the airports were federalized. where were you NTEU when the Bush administration said that I don't deserve protection? why are you here now? i will answer that, money. you see an oppurtunity to make money. LEAVE MY AIRPORT NTEU! we have a union and their name is American Federation of Government Employees, but you can call them AFGE

Posted by: TIREDOFWAITING | July 29, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

AFGE the only union for TSO'S. They will help you out from begining to end. they are always there for you.

Posted by: alichicago1826 | July 29, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

AFGE has been there since the TSA was formed and has changed the way the TSA looks at their officers. They have been able to force the TSA to rehire officers after the "tribunals of discipline" were held, usually a one way meeting with the officer being fired for almost any reason. They have saved officers every year since 2002, NTEU has done nothing but talk. AFGE has lobbied to change our status to real employees, with all benefits, whistleblower etc. AFGE did this against the most anti labor administration possible and has won victories benefiting the officers. Actions speaks louder than words, if you want a union that has your best interest as their goal, vote AFGE and continue the drive to recruit new officers into a better organization.

Posted by: moorlock1506 | July 29, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Of course screeners need a good Union which is AFGE. Do we really need management to write Management Directives on a whim when ever it benefits them? In any large corporation you need work rules so each side knows what the rules are. Yes, management will still interpret our contract rules that best suits them but at least we will have collective bargaining. Morale has always been the prime issue at TSA since day 1 and will continue to nose dive if we keep our present course without a Union.

Posted by: DenTSO | July 29, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Speaking as a former TSO and now an AFGE Organizer, I would like to add that AFGE has worked aggressively for TSO's rights since the beginning. During the 4 1/2 years with TSA I never heard mention of NTEU.

It was an AFGE organizer, reaching out at the airport in the middle of the night who took the time to listen to my concerns.

TSO's do not need representation by desperation, they need a steady hand that has walked side by side from the beginning, truly aware, and connected with the pulse of the TSO.

AFGE all the way
organizer EWR

Posted by: meccagrant | July 29, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I have been working for the agency for 2 years, and from my experiences, I can say that the reluctance of the agency to let TSOs unionize has both angered and frustrated me. It is unfair to let nearly every other group of workers within the agencies under DHS unionize, but then turn around and, year after year, tell us that we have no such right. They are dead wrong; we have EVERY right to do so, and in the very near future, we will win the fight and receive equal pay and treatment.

The AFGE has been THE only union to be there for us since the inception of the agency and the position that has evolved to the current TSO status. If anyone is thinking the NTEU is the right choice for us, they need to put their head back on straight and do some research. We will be a happy, successful and powerful workforce under the workplace rights leadership the AFGE is ready and willing to take charge of. I am both excited and anxious to get started with the AFGE being recognized as THE officially recognized TSA Union.

Posted by: anytime275 | July 29, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

It should be AFGE! It "HAS" been AFGE from the beginning! They've been there for us any day, any time, any way and in any situation!
"WE" members(or non members)have never been turned down for a request for vany help or assistance.
Don't even think that the "other guys" will be there for us like AFGE has.
Denise, TSO,AFGE member/officer in St.Louis

Posted by: tiptopdreamin | July 29, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I think AFGE is the best union to represent the screening officers. Theres more communication. They seem connected to our problems. And, they have been there from the beginning.
The other union NT something seems to follow AFGE, when we need leaders in these important times. ( Dues are cheaper too, in addition to better representation.)
It's definately AFGE for me.
Charlie St. Louis, Missouri

Posted by: Chuckb9 | July 29, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm a TSO from MCO airport in Florida. The TSO'S at this airport strongly support A.F.G.E. and their local A.F.G.E. union leaders that have been here for us since day one. Thanks to them we are close to getting bargining rights. Because of A.F.G.E. and their mission to get us bargining rights I feel we have a more secured future for TSOs and their families. Thanks to our local union leaders for supporting us in our time of need on the job to correct management when they are wrong. Thank you A.F.G.E. please don't give up on us. If N.T.E.U. gets in we might as well not have a union !!!!!

Posted by: thegoods57 | July 29, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm A TSO and have been a proud member of AFGE. I also have been a member of NTEAU, and I can state that they are not an organization that I want dealing with my concerns or problems that are connected with my employment!! They do things in a unprofessional manner. AFGE has been there since the very Beginning for the TSO's making changes for the better. That's the Union that will make the workforce a better place for employment.

Posted by: shirleyshelman | July 29, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

TSO's have the stongest Federal Union in the world on their side and the name is the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) TSO's keep the faith!

Posted by: mikadl | July 29, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

By a TSO

My fear wakes me.
Afraid I go to work
Afraid of being late
Afraid of the supervisors
Afraid of my manager
Afraid of my managers who lie, threaten, do not keep faith, and withhold information
Afraid from watching corrupt managers get promoted up the chain to Headquarters.
Afraid of missing an internal test
Afraid of missing a tip
Afraid of missing a real weapon
Afraid of missing a compromised document
Afraid of making a stupid mistake
Afraid of missing a detonator
Afraid of missing an external test
Afraid of missing an explosive
Afraid some one looking over my shoulder sees something I missed
Afraid of missing an IED
Afraid of not completing my on line courses
Afraid of offending a passenger
Afraid my uniform is not right
Afraid of a real attack in a terminal
Afraid of an airport becoming the Madrid Spain Train Station
Afraid of watching friends die because we do not have the proper training
Afraid of speaking my mind and telling the real truth
Afraid for my employment
Afraid because I care
Afraid because some screeners see this as only a job or a paycheck
Afraid being on break to long
Afraid of garbage policies like Dual Function
Afraid being on lunch for to long
Afraid of a bag search
Afraid of the Explosive Trace Detector not being in calibration because the calibration is done wrong and not signed
Afraid my higher managers do not listen
Afraid of my next bid for schedule which will throw my life into disarray again
Afraid flights may be delayed
Afraid the passenger is late
Afraid the flight is overbooked
Afraid I may have to work late
Afraid my friends may get hurt because they were assigned wrong
Afraid I may get home late
Afraid of waking up, I go to sleep; worried that NTEU may be here.
Afraid I wake up, knowing there will be no change from the day before till AFGE gets here.

Posted by: Shadowalker | July 29, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

AFGE has been with the TSOs from the begining. They have proven time and time again their commitment to the Tsos thru their political contacts in Washington.

AFGE is the union for the TSOs.

Posted by: ray50 | July 29, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I a proud member of AFGE. AFGE is only union that has been with the TSOs from the beginning. AFGE will be there in the future for us.

Posted by: ray50 | July 29, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

AFGE is the only union for TSA and the TSOs. I am with AFGE Local 1039. AFGE has been here for us since TSA was created. They represent us and actually care about us unlike NETU, who are crooked people who deceive TSOs just to try to get their numbers.
AFGE, holds local meetings, setup lunchons, and are out at the airports listening to the TSOs concerns. AFGE also fought for us in having TSA provide us with health equipment during the Swine Flu/H1N1 Flu. Where was NTEU?
NTEU does not do any of those except try to take TSO's hard earned money.
AFGE also supports HR bill 1881 and takes steps and sets up meetings with local House Representives. NTEU does not even do that.
AFGE is the only union for TSA.
Support and vote for AFGE.

Posted by: wingman713 | July 29, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Without a doubt,I'd pick AFGE over NTEU because they were fighting for TSA before we were an agency.They have our best interests at heart. All of AFGE's top management came from the ranks as members.They weren't hired from the outside like NTEU's staff.NTEU joined the game late and take credit for every issue that AFGE initiates. They haven't presented an original idea since they became interested in TSA.They always use the Border protection agency as their example of success.They need to step aside and let the big boys (AFGE)help TSA.
A.Wiggins Pres.Local 912 St.Louis,Mo.

Posted by: ray50 | July 29, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

afeg has been there with tso's from the very begining just about eight years now and has shown the ability to get things accomplished that seemed to be impossible tasks. many tso's over the past few years have suffered setbacks jobs lost because of unfair rules and regulations and controversial testing procedures to only have afeg do everything in there power to help the tso's who was wrongfully terminated for whatever reasons get reinstated back on the job. this is what a real union is all about. on the other hand nteu haven't shown tsa the same respect as they have shown customs/border. why didnt nteu fight for tso's between 2002-2008? now they want to step in and claim credit!tso's have been paying nearly $400.00 a year for using the employee parking lot facilities here at mia airport for nearly eight years now!why should tso's or anyone have to pay to park at work!afeg has certainly earned the right to represent tso's across the country they have made a much stronger case.

Posted by: timetobargin | July 30, 2009 1:35 AM | Report abuse

AFGE is the obvious choice. Simply put they are here ever day at MSP (Minneapolis – St. Paul). They are investing the time and resources into helping us TSO’s when we need it the most. AFGE is the real deal.

Posted by: tsachuckyb | July 30, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

NTEU is now walking our halls trying to catch up to the AFGE at Logan Intl Airport. Many of us have asked where were you? the response I got was, Well, we were getting things squared away for Customs here at Logan but we're here now. My response was well AFGE has been here and werent too busy with Customs to fight for our rights. Personally I want a union that is consistent and will not put me on the wayside. That is why I am a member of the AFGE! Actions speak louder than words folks Just look at what each union has done on our behalf and the decision is a no brainer.

Posted by: Zookeeperof7 | July 30, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I joined NTEU because it was free. What I paid is what I got. (NOTHING). Ive heard so much many good things about AFGE and how they fight for TSO's that I think I'll just pay the money for good representation. I know they will fight for me and my fellow TSO co-workers.(I've seen them in action and I was impressed). I look at it this way. I have isurance on my car and my house why not have insurance on the job that pays for these things. GO AFGE, GOODBYE NTEU

Posted by: NTEUmember | July 30, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I would like make an heartfelt appeal to NTEU. If you at NTEU have an ounce of regard for TSA Officers, their families, and current NTEU Members you would step aside now so that AFGE can represent us as soon as possible. As you know we've been suffering blatant, unfair, and sometimes boarderliine illegal management practices for far too long. Thousands of TSA Officers across the country feel the disparate need for collective bargaining and can wait no longer. If NTEU contest AFGE for our representation NTEU will be contributing to our unfair treatment. You can't win, the membership numbers show that most Officers have already choosen AFGE as their union of choice. AFGE has been there from the beginning, we'd like them to continue their hard work. They've earned our loyalty because of their loyalty. Please step aside and let's all move forward. Thank you.

Posted by: dezines13 | July 30, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I am a TSO at MSP. I was there when MSP rolled out. AFGE was there at the rollout too, but I did not join. I was wrong. Since the beginning we were promised the moon. After a couple of weeks (sorry I was a slow learner) I saw through their lies. I watched incompetence rewarded, a buddy-buddy system installed for promotions, and outlandish behavior rewarded. AFGE still worked tirelessly for us. AFGE now is working for our rights, our representation, and our protections. You may not see the need for the union now, but when you find yourself in the crosshairs of a "management inquiry" AFGE is the only one looking out for you!

We do not have the following rights: to review evidence against you, to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, to representation at any stage of discipline short of an Letter of Reprimand, to face your accuser(s), to bring witnesses on your behalf, to have input in final report(they write what they want regardless of what you say), to pay or leave lost because of improper decisions, to even have any written copies of what they have against you, and an impartial hearing. This sounds like alot, but it is true.

Posted by: Scowharf | July 30, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I am truly glad that AFGE is here for us. when we have problems at Ohare airport, I can call Rick McCoy or Don Evans and they help me out. NTEU all of a sudden shows up and for what. they say you don't charge you dues, you get what you pay for. nothing plus nothing equals nothing

Posted by: TSAORD | July 30, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

AFGE – There from the beginning! AFGE has and continues to help us with our issues here at MSP - Minnesota. I’ve never even seen the other guys. Don’t know how they plan to represent us.

Posted by: deanwjohnson | July 30, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

A third choice, I hope not for your sake. I have a friend and former coworker who went to work for NTEU, he didn't stay long and resigned. He and I have fought many labor battles together and if he says NTEU was NOT looking at the interest of the workers, you should believe him. The third choice I refer to is SEIU, as many know there has been talk of them getting involved at a later date. With Andy and the circus I hope for your sakes that doesn't happen. AFGE is the ONLY union that should be there for you at TSA. My friend supports you and left NTEU to be with AFGE because he believes in what he is doing. I trust his judgement and so should you.

If NTEU has any interest in helping TSA people they would walk away and let you have what you need now instead of a long hard fought battle between two unions while mgt. sits along side and smiles.

From what I see from the words in these posts (that are impartial and open to all), AFGE has done the hard work.

NTEU on behalf of working people please step aside. If you truly care about these people you will walk away. With the small percentage of members in your own shops you represent why not use your efforts to internally organize? Instead of getting involved in a fight that you won't win.

My friend has told me all along what is happening, now I read it for myself. GOOD LUCK to you at TSA. AFGE sounds like the way to go.

Posted by: SEIUfarmer | July 30, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

NTEU is a waste of space as a union. They make frivolous promises that they do not even attempt to honor and just further hamper the collective bargaining process. NTEU should cease its myopic attempts to manipulate the workforce for its benefit. The only union for TSA is unmistakably AFGE; the union that has stood by the workers from the beginning and consistently pushes for better work conditions for all workers unionized or not. Here at LAS we have seen the lies spewed from NTEU first hand when they did not support their own members in job critical cases. It is AFGE that truly holds the TSOs interests in mind and consistently strives to achieve the much-needed changes for us.

Greg Murrell
AFGE Local 1234

Posted by: GregM702 | July 30, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

As a former Union Member and current AFGE Member I can smell a good one from a bad one. Usually the good one is the one that shows up and cares about the whole work force and wants them to bargain all together and not tear apart the strength of the work force.

It also helps that they are here every day in Minneapolis. If I have a problem I yell down the terminal, “Hey Joe, get on this!” and he is there.

Posted by: lproskin | July 30, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Who needs a Union anyway?? Let’s just continue the way we have been,

1.Low morale
2.Low pay
3.Unfair pay for performance system (PASS)
4.Poor working conditions
5.Poor management decisions
6.No collective bargaining
7.Current leave policies
8.Unfair disciplinary actions

Do we really need AFGE? If you like the way things have been I guess not.

Posted by: DenTSO | July 30, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

AFGE is AFL-CIO affiliated, NTEU is not. That, in and of itself, speaks volumes.

As an AFGE Steward, I am proud to be part (micro) of the solution for TSA's TSO quality of worklife issues. Too many wrongs, for too long, against too many innocent people have been allowed and must be stopped! and rectified!!

As a sociologist (macro,) and due to the nature of our job at TSA, I know AFGE's goal to make TSA a better place, creates a safer nation and therefore contributes to making the world a better place.

AFGE has the experience, the resources, and the integrity to see us through the "growing pains" of this rogue, yet maturing organization.

AFGE is here to stay! and will continue to promote and protect the best interests of workers in government service by ensuring justice, equality, fairness and dignity so that the principles of freedom, democracy and justice flourish and endure not just in our workplace, but in the nation as a whole.

Suffice it to say: There can only be ONE union. Based on my experiences with AFGE, they get the job done by doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason. Each time. Every time.

AFGE, "there from the beginning." HERE FOR THE DURATION!

Local 558, Ft Lauderdale Airport
It's time to be heard!

Posted by: Kepnthfaith | July 30, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I work as a TSO in the San Diego airport for about 3 years, and I have never seen an NTEU organizer ever. AFGE has been fighting the good fight since the time when it was impossible(During the Anti-Labor Bush Administration) and to me that is the sign of a good union, fighting the battle on behalf of the workers even if it is unwinnable. So that's the one for me, and the Union I will be voting for should we ever get some semblance of workers rights at TSA.

Posted by: JuhMogie | July 30, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Hi, my name is Dennis Acevedo; I am the President of Local 558 in South Florida. I have been working for TSA since 2002. Now about NTEU back in 2003 I called this suppose union and ask them if they could assist us with some issues at my Airport, well they told me that we TSA were not even a recognized Federal Agency. They then proceeded to tell me on how and why they could not assist.
I then was turned on to AFGE, as soon as I called and explained to the National Organizer what was occurring Ms. Jill McCullar was at my airport the very next day. Since then AFGE has been assisting my fellow Officer. Now back to Jonny come lately (NTEU) where have they been for the past seven years . Now that AFGE has done all the fighting they want to come in and attempt to grab the glory, I think not. If I want anyone to have my back in a fight I want the people that have been in the Trenches fighting from the beginning not someone who sits on the fence and waits for the dust to settle. This is why AFGE is the only Union for the TSO and that is why at my airport we are 99% AFGE members.

Posted by: elcoqui3963 | July 30, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

As a retired federal employee with over 40 years of service, an AFGE member since 1966 and a local officer since 1974 (still serving) who participated in the campaign against the NTEU raid of the Social Security bargaining unit several years ago, I can attest that NTEY is all bluff an no substance.

AFGE has provided, through local officers, first call service by people who know the workplace problems firsthand. AFGE has consistently provided the needed wupport of Local officers in the many years I have served with them.

NTEU, from my personal experience, showed up with professional organizers when the "window opened," at the expiration of the national agreement, with all sorts of promises but then disappeared quickly when they saw SSA employees were satisfied wiih the work of their co-workers. Today, they represent several small units of SSA employees who never see or hear from them while my Local represonds to scores of inquiries annually from their bargaining units.

Before making an decision on who they want to represent them, TSA officers should carefully consider HTEU's presence in their workplace since the creation of the agency more than five years ago. From the first moment TSA began hiring AFGE was theere trying to do the job of representing federal employees. NTEU, like they did in SSA, showed up at the last moment when they saw an opportunity to enhance their treasuries.

Smart TSA employees will look at the record of both unions and easily see that AFGE is the one union with their interests at heart

Posted by: jamesarmet | July 31, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

AFGE is the real deal. I am a former TSO of six years at Ohare airport. I have personal testimony about AFGE. I filed an EEO discrimination Title VII violation suit in 2005 when the previous administration had denied all rights. I tried to hire a personal attorney and they would not take the case. I spoke to other attorneys and when they heard federal government, they ran away. AFGE was there, but I was skeptical about unions because of hearing what unions do. I proceeded without representation. The road became long and dark. I got tired reading all those law books. My GPA went from 4.0 to a 3.4. My family suffered, my health was getting worse and finally somebody convince me to join AFGE. Without question, AFGE assisted me in my case. I had no out of pocket expenses outside of my monthly dues. I was victorious in my case. I have been with AFGE ever since. AFGE was there in the very begining and they are still here. I am loyal to AFGE and I am ready for AFGE to be TSA's exclusive representatives. When my friends couldn't help me, AFGE was there. When my chain of command let me down, AFGE was there. When TSA attempted constructive termination against me, AFGE was there. I now have an oppurtunity to support my fellow brothers and sisters in TSA, and I give you my word that I will do everything in my power to help secure bargaining rights for TSO's and with the continued support of AFGE, we shall have the victory

Posted by: Evans777 | July 31, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Hello I am a TSO at LAS and I joined NTEU because it was free. What I paid, is what I got.(NOTHING). I've heard so many good things about AFGE and how they fight for TSO's that I think I'll just pay the money for good representation.The've been here since the very beginning and i'm tired of NTEU trying to take the credit for everything that AFGE fought for years to achieve for TSO'S here at LAS.I know AFGE will fight for me and my fellow TSO co-workers.(I've seen them in action and I was impressed). I look at it this way. I have isurance on my car and my house why not have insurance on the job that pays for these things. GO AFGE LAS, GOODBYE NTEU leave and don't come back. LAS TSO's have already chosen AFGE. Now a dedicated AFGE member.

Posted by: NTEUmember | July 31, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

My name is Pablo Alvarado Jr.Iam a TSO at MCO Orlando Florida not only am I a member in good standing with AFGE I am also Vice President of Local 556.AFGE has been here from the begining and will be the last man standing after the smoke clears.That other Union should back off And observe AFGE so they can learn how a real union conducts business." AFGE LEADS THE WAY WHOOA".In Solidarity Pablo Alvarado Jr. Local 556 VP

Posted by: dafneopr | July 31, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

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