Supporters of the contract believe its initiatives will succeed at improving employee morale and behavior, while critics think it will insulate its bloated workforce and impact security operations.
Workers at the Transportation Security Administration made history today when they voted to ratify the first-ever collective bargaining agreement at the agency. The agreement between the American Federation of Government Employees and TSA was ratified with a vote of 17,326-1,774.
“AFGE is proud that TSA workers finally have a union contract that will improve their working lives and bring stability to the workforce,” said AFGE National President J. David Cox.
“This agreement will mean better working conditions, fair evaluation practices and safer workplaces, and in doing so, it will improve morale. This is important because low morale leads to unsafe levels of attrition in an agency where a stable, professional workforce of career employees is vital to its national security mission.
“This union contract is eleven years in the making. AFGE was told from the start that there would never be a union at TSA, that there would never be a collective bargaining agreement. And AFGE’s response was always the same: These dedicated frontline employees deserve better,” Cox said. Through every battle, every testimony on the Hill, every meeting with management, every union event, every sleepless night, and every rally AFGE and these TSA officers never lost focus on making this contract a reality.”
“With this new contract, we hope to turn a new page in the history of this agency while we help make TSA a great place to work,” said AFGE TSA Council 100 President Hydrick Thomas.
This national collective bargaining agreement will:
Provide improved uniforms and permits uniform variations to account for weather and temperature;
Provide a greater degree of consistency and fairness on issues like annual leave bidding and shift trades; and,
Provide a stable and consistent process for shift bidding and movement between full- and part-time.
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Photo credit: The American Federation of Government Employees met with TSA management in a historic, first-ever formal labor-management meeting in July 2009. AFGE / Flickr.com