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February 09, 2016

Thompson, Lowey Introduce Bill to Grant Rights to the TSA Frontline Workforce

(WASHINGTON) – Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, along with Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ranking Member of the Committee on Appropriations, introduced legislation to ensure that the more than 40,000 Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) who serve on the security frontlines at our Nation’s airports are provided basic Federal workplace protections and rights that are provided to other Federal employees under Title 5 of the U.S. Code. They include collective bargaining, whistleblower protections, and protections against discrimination based on age or handicap. Today, TSOs do not have the right to appeal personnel decisions to the Merit Systems Protection Board and subject to a compensation system that bears little resemblance to the well-established General Services wage system. H.R. 4488, the “Rights for Transportation Security Officers Act of 2016” will ensure that TSOs are afforded the rights and protections that are conferred to most other Federal employees. 

Congressman Thompson released the following statement upon introduction:

“Unfortunately, TSA’s personnel system to attract, retain, and develop a strong workforce has fallen short. We introduced the ‘Rights for Transportation Security Officers Act of 2016’ because we believe that the time has come for TSA’s personnel and labor management systems to be brought in line with the rest of the federal government under Title 5. 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. We believe these changes will increase security and will lead to an improved workforce with better morale.”

Congresswoman Lowey added the following statement:

“Transportation Security Officers perform an essential public service each and every day at our nation’s airports. Yet, these professionals – who are trying to pay mortgages and rent, send their kids to college, and save for retirement – are not guaranteed the same collective bargaining, health, leave, and other basic rights afforded to most federal employees. That’s why I’m proud to introduce the Rights for Transportation Security Officers Act of 2016 with Congressman Thompson. This bill, modeled on a similar bill we introduced in the 111th Congress, will provide equal footing, improve morale, and ensure stability for the screening workforce. It’s long past time to extend the protection of the Federal Civil Service system to our valuable TSOs.”


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Media contact:
(Thompson) Adam Comis at 202-225-9978
(Lowey) Matt Wojtkun at 202-225-6506