Lawmaker proposes ban on TSA collective bargaining

A Senate lawmaker wants to bar transportation security officers from collective bargaining rights, citing national security concerns.

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., on Wednesday introduced the Termination of Collective Bargaining for Transportation Security Administration Employees Act, an amendment to Federal Aviation Administration authorization legislation that would prevent more than 40,000 TSA workers from being granted collective bargaining rights. The amendment also would strip those rights from more than 10,000 additional TSA employees who currently have them.

"Burdensome and costly union demands could limit the ability of those responsible for security at some of the most high-risk targets to do their job," said Wicker. "The FBI, the CIA and the Secret Service do not have collective bargaining rights for good reason."

"TSA employees labor under a system that has almost completely demoralized them," NTEU President Colleen Kelley wrote in a Feb. 2 letter to Wicker. "Poor workforce management has led to one of the highest attrition rates in government and high on-the-job injuries…Collective bargaining helps to develop fair, credible and transparent processes without interfering with management rights to accomplish agency missions."

Created in 2001, TSA was excluded from federal regulations giving workers collective bargaining rights. Agency leaders have the authority to grant those rights but have chosen not to act. TSA Administrator John Pistole has reviewed the issue but has yet to make a decision.

"Collective bargaining is in fact a benefit for national security because it empowers workers to voice opinions and make suggestions without fear of retribution," American Federation of Government Employees National President John Gage said. "It is an absolute insult to say that with a collective bargaining agreement, TSOs couldn't fulfill the mission of TSA, of [the Homeland Security Department] and of the United States of America."

TSA workers also have been without union representation, but that could change as soon as April. The Federal Labor Relations Authority in January tentatively set the agency's union election to begin March 9. AFGE and the National Treasury Employees Union have been vying for exclusive representation of TSA employees.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.