Heaven Help Us All: TSA Union Vote Ends Today

Which one needs (union) protection?

It’s not a question of “If,” but “Which” union TSA employees will soon use as their armed representative against taxpayers and as protection against travelers who haven’t yet fully resigned themselves to treatment worthy of the Gestapo or KGB.

From the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) “Welcome TSA Employees” web page urging TSA employees to vote it their representative:

Do not let others choose your workplace representation for you. Make your voice heard and vote for the largest, most respected, independent union in the federal sector. Cast your vote for NTEU (#2 on the phone selections) by 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on Tuesday, June 21.

For those of you who are still waiting to speak up for your workplace rights and vote NTEU, here are just a few reasons why NTEU is the best choice at TSA:

NTEU is the exclusive representative of your airport colleagues at CBP. [U.S. Customs and Border Protection]

NTEU is an honest and professional union, one that you can be proud to be a part of;

NTEU has a long track record of success in Congress;

NTEU bargains the best contracts in the federal sector; and

NTEU has trained attorneys and labor relations experts on the ground nationwide.

And don’t overlook the sidebar:

Raise Your Voice !

Join NTEU’s efforts to keep anti-TSA amendments out of a final DHS funding bill.

Which links to this email-ready prepared message for TSA employees to send to “Your U.S. Senators:”

As a federal employee and your constituent, I urge you to oppose the provisions included in the House-passed Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill that would cut funds to TSA by nearly $300 million, resulting in job losses of up to 8,000 at the agency, and would prohibit funding for collective bargaining rights at TSA.

Prohibiting collective bargaining rights at TSA is ill-advised on many fronts. After an extensive review of how collective bargaining could be implemented at TSA while keeping the security of our traveling public the top priority, TSA Administrator Pistole issued a determination that limited collective bargaining, with a flexible standard to allow the agency to act without bargaining in emergency or exigent circumstances, could begin at TSA. Its employees are choosing an exclusive representative in an election already underway. A large majority of the TSA workforce has expressed support for union representation as evidenced by the close to 85% of votes cast for a union in the first stage of the election. Cutting funding for collective bargaining would prevent TSA employees from even the limited collective bargaining just approved and it would deal a significant blow to morale at the agency.

Many federal employees involved in securing our nation already have collective bargaining rights – Customs and Border Protection Officers, Border Patrol Officers, Bureau of Prison Guards. Like these federal employees, TSA employees must follow civil service rules that prohibit the right to strike and allow managers to move employees to different areas in the event of an emergency. Additionally, airports that have had private screeners since 2002 have never been prevented from collectively bargaining and two of those airports have had collective bargaining for years with no impact on the traveling public.

The majority of the TSA workforce has expressed an interest in representation. Poor morale at TSA contributes to inefficiencies at the agency. Poor workforce management has led to one of the highest attrition rates in the government, and high on-the-job injuries. Collective bargaining will strengthen TSA by providing its workers both with a system that is fair, credible and transparent, and with a voice in the development of workplace quality standards that will make all the traveling public even safer.

I ask you to oppose efforts to cut jobs at TSA and prohibit funding for collective bargaining rights.

Notice the smooth segue from “prohibit funding for collective bargaining rights at TSA” to “Prohibiting collective bargaining rights” [emphasis added].

I say: fire ’em all and abolish the TSA.

Mary L. G. Theroux is Chairman and Chief Executive of the Independent Institute.
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