Following the news last week that screeners with the Transportation Security Administration would be granted limited collective bargaining rights, TSA Administrator John Pistole issued a statement saying that the agency will not compromise on security.
“The safety of the traveling public is our top priority and we will not negotiate on security,” said Pistole in a statement that was published on the TSA website. “But morale and employee engagement cannot be separated from achieving superior security. If security officers vote to move forward with collective bargaining, this framework will ensure that TSA retains the capability and flexibility necessary to respond to evolving threats, and continue improving employee engagement, performance and professional development.”
According to the statement, the collective bargaining framework for TSA workers allows for bargaining at the national level only and prohibits bargaining on issues that may affect security, such as; security policies, procedures or the deployment of personnel or equipment; pay, pensions and any form of compensation; proficiency testing; job qualifications; and, discipline standards.
TSA workers will also be prohibited from striking or engaging in work slowdowns. TSA employees are expected to vote in March between two unions for representations, the American Federation of Government Employees or the National Treasury Employees Union.