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Legislation Would Grant TSA Officers Basic Rights Enjoyed by Other Feds

Written by FEDagent on .

For years, Transportation Security Administration officers have failed to receive the same basic rights afforded to most other federal employees. A new piece of legislation introduced Tuesday plans to change that.

The 2016 Rights for Transportation Security Officers Act, introduced by the House Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., would expand the collective bargaining rights of TSA workers. This bill would bring 40,000 TSA officers in line with all Title 5 federal workers.

"Implementing basic worker protections for this critical workforce has been a lengthy fight and it is time for Congress to come together and enact legislation that will grant these frontline security workers the rights and benefits that they deserve," said Congressman Thompson. "We believe these changes will increase security and will lead to an improved workforce with better morale."

These officers are represented by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), who has had a tumultuous relationship with TSA in the years since the TSA officers won representation in 2011.

AFGE TSA Council President Hydrick Thomas voiced his support for the legislation, saying “We work very hard under some of the most stressful and dangerous conditions, but are treated like second-class employees as compared to the rest of the federal workforce,” he said. “We just want equal treatment.”

AFGE is pushing for Congress to pass the Rights for Transportation Security Officers Act to recognize the  sacrifices made by TSA Officers who protect the 1.73 million Americans who fly each day.

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