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TSA Union Approves Contract That TSA Promised Would Never, Ever Happen

November 9, 2012 at 3:16 PM | by | ()

We've been following TSA unionization for you since it became a thing in the summer of 2010, when we and everyone else expressed trepidation at the possibility that these guys would now be allowed to collectively bargain over pay and performance. To deal with concerns like ours, TSA officials did what they often and aggravatingly do whenever they make a boneheaded mistake or want to implement a moronic policy: they kind of sort of lied.

A few hours ago airport security screeners approved a contract that according to the Washington Post "among other things overhauls their pay for performance system to emphasize actual on the job performance over certification tests." Keep those elements in mind: pay, performance, and testing. We're going to ask you for some patience, because this news is kind of infuriating and we want to make sure that you see just how much.

Here's a fact sheet that TSA published in 2011 to promote unionization. It used to live here on the TSA webpage but has since been removed. You can still find it a cached copy though:

Bargaining would not be allowed on security policies, procedures or the deployment of security personnel or equipment, pay, pensions and any form of compensation, proficiency testing, job qualifications or discipline standards.

Now here's a TSA press release:

Determination prohibits bargaining on any topics that might affect security, such as * Security policies, procedures or the deployment of security personnel or equipment * Pay, pensions and any form of compensation * Proficiency testing * Job qualifications * Discipline standards

Here's the New York Times:

The Transportation Security Administration announced on Friday that a union would be allowed to bargain over working conditions... although certain issues like pay will not be subject to negotiation.

Here's CNN:

The paper... precludes negotiations on security policies, pay, pensions and compensation, proficiency testing, job qualifications and discipline standards.

This is roughly as blatant a bait-and-switch as can be pulled. When unionization was being debated, TSA described it one way. After it happened, the agency implemented it in a totally different way.

When it mattered, TSA insisted that you'd have to be an idiot not to see that bargaining over pay and performance would be explicitly prohibited—it said so right there! Now that it's too late to roll things back, the new contract completely changes how pay is linked to performance and testing.

It's almost difficult to understand why no one trusts the agency, huh?

[Photo: AFGE / Flickr]

Archived Comments:

You Have Missed The Point

Just wait

Just wait until they want to renegotiate and the TSA goes on strike, shutting down all airports. Should be fun.