TSA, union reach agreement on labor contract

Erik S. Lesser/AP file photo
The Transportation Security Administration and the American Federation of Government Employees have reached agreement on the first-ever labor contract for TSA officers.

Full details of the agreement were not immediately released.

Discussions on the agreement have been underway since January. They culminated in a marathon bargaining session that ended at about 3:00 a.m. Thursday, according to an AFGE press release.

One sticking point in the negotiations involved TSA’s current pay-for-performance system, known as the Performance Accountability and Standards System. PASS evaluates how well screeners are performing and determines employees’ annual pay raises. AFGE claims the system is discriminatory to older workers, minorities and women.

AFGE said the collective bargaining agreement will be submitted to TSA's 45,000 employees for a vote on ratification in the coming months.

"This agreement represents a significant milestone in our relationship with our employees," said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole. "We look forward to a review of the agreement by our covered employees."

“This collective bargaining agreement will better the working lives of 45,000 hard-working, dedicated employees, and that’s a fantastic feeling,” said Kim Kraynak-Lambert , head of AFGE's TSA Council 100. “TSOs come to work every day in the face of intense public and congressional scrutiny and, to the best of their ability, protect this nation from terrorist attacks. Now we can look forward to new rights and new working conditions, and a chance to form a true labor-management partnership."

AFGE President John Gage said both sides agreed that the contract includes "much-needed schedule flexibility." He also touted a new dispute resolution process approved in the agreement, saying it provides for independent, third-party reviews.

The agreement between the agency and the union marks a major milestone in a 10-year campaign by AFGE to exclusively represent transportation security officers. AFGE won representation in June 2011.

This article has been updated. 
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