Friday, February 27, 2015

TSA Guy Wasn't Happy About Possible Homeland Security Budget Failure

As Congress appears close to at least temporarily approving the Homeland Security budget, I am reminded of a conversation I had last week as we were leaving Anchorage.

As I was gathering my stuff from the security conveyor belt in the airport in Anchorage, one of the TSA workers was complaining, in an irritated tone, about the possibility of Congress not passing the Homeland Security budget.  When I asked him his key concerns he said they'd have to work without pay.  I asked why not just stay home?  It's part of our contract that we have to come to work, even if we aren't getting paid.  (I couldn't find the contract* on line and the AFGE hasn't returned my call.)

Last time the government shut down, he said, when they finally got paid - they missed a pay period - the amount was so much that a much larger chunk than normal was taken out for the IRS withholding.  For folks making under $40,000 a year, missing a paycheck and getting a smaller paycheck because of deductions is a big deal.

When members of congress want to make symbolic points, they don't always consider the many impacts those gestures have on real people.

*Finding a copy of the contract is proving a little difficult.  There are lots of articles about it eing signed, but so far no links to the contract itself.  The union AFGE talks about highlights, but I still haven't found a link to the contract.

        Ensures performance-rating payouts are based on a consistent assessment system.

        Guarantees we have safety standards and equipment that help protect you from risks like chemical exposure and extreme temperatures.

        Successfully expanded the parking subsidy program at participating airports
        Nearly doubled your TSA uniform allowance from $232.00 to $446.00 a year.

        Granted officers permission to wear jackets at the checkpoint and shorts in hot weather

        Stops TSA from denying leave without an appropriate reason or as a form of discipline.

        Allows TSA supervisors to excuse tardiness for up to 30 minutes.

        Creates rules for shift bids and a shift trade policy that all airports must follow.

        Learn more about what's in your Union contract

 The learn more link is just as vague.  Obviously the union isn't going to tout a provision that requires employees to come to work when they aren't assured of being paid.  

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