Congress pushes for more TSA worker protections

A letter (.pdf file) signed by 80 members of Congress urges the newly elected head of the Transportation Security Administration to ensure policies provide workplace and employment rights.

According to a press release from the House Homeland Security Committee, the letter, sent to TSA Administrator John S. Pistole on July 30, asks for comprehensive workplace and employment rights for transportation security officers and mentions legislation (H.R. 1881) aimed at providing TSOs with standard government employment rights to ensure a professional, experienced screener workforce. The group argues that providing standard government employment rights -- such as veterans' preference, uniform pay, whistleblowing and collective bargaining -- will enhance security by increasing employee retention. Not doing so would lead to high turnover and continuous investments in training, resulting in wasted taxpayer funds, the group claims.

Pistole was sworn in as TSA Administrator on July 1. This month he announced plans to conduct visits to airports and other transportation facilities to gain feedback from colleagues across the transportation security community and hear from TSA staff. He also is soliciting feedback on the TSA website.

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