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Sunday, February 25th, 2024

House advances measure seeking to improve TSA working conditions

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The House of Representatives has advanced the Rights for the TSA Workforce Act of 2022 (H.R. 903), indicating the measure would improve Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel working conditions.

House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) sponsored the legislation to provide the 60,000 TSA employees, including frontline Transportation Security Officers (TSOs), the same worker rights and protections afforded to other Federal workers under title 5 of the U.S. Code.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, TSA Transportation Security Officers have risked their health and safety to keep our skies safe,” Thompson said. “And yet, for 20 years, TSOs have been unable to access the same workforce rights afforded to other Federal employees – and are among the lowest-paid. The pay, protections, and benefits for TSA’s workforce must reflect the importance of the work they do to protect the homeland. It’s long past time that we place this critical workforce under title 5 to provide better pay and full collective bargaining rights.”

Thompson said the bill would reduce attrition, boost morale and improve and professionalize the TSA workforce.

“In recent months, we’ve seen an alarming rise in gun seizures at airports,” Original bill co-sponsor and Transportation & Maritime Security Subcommittee Chairwoman Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) said. “If not for our Transportation Security Officers, these weapons could have made it onto planes and endangered the lives of passengers. TSOs are responsible for keeping our skies safe, yet they are among the Federal government’s lowest-paid employees. They deserve better, which is why I proudly co-sponsored for the Rights for the Transportation Security Administration Workforce Act of 2022. This bipartisan legislation will ensure that our hard-working TSOs have the same fundamental workplace protections as other federal employees.”