When the TSA was formed it wasn’t supposed to be unionized, since all decisions were supposed to be made on the basis of promoting security at the nation’s airports.
At the beginning of February 2011, however, TSA Administrator John Pistole declared his intention to enter into union negotiations with the screening workforce.
As of yesterday, the federal government has agreed to a union contract for screeners.
The agreement, which must be ratified by the membership, would create a new performance management system, provide an increased clothing allowance and a standardized vacation bidding process. A side agreement allows officers to take certain issues to the Merit Systems Protection Board or a neutral arbitrator.
They’re replacing certification tests with “employee execution of goals and supervisor observations over a year’s time,” increasing screener clothing allowances by 92%, giving employees more choice over uniforms (short sleeves, and they can have agency baseball caps).
They also get greater appeals when discliplined (as though it wasn’t already hard enough to deal with the few bad apples who in no way undermine the hard work that thousands of men and women at the TSA do to keep us safe, day in and day out).
[U]nder a side agreement worked out between Gage and TSA Administrator John S. Pistole, issues that could result in a suspension of more than 14 days could be taken to the Merit Systems Protection Board. Some less-serious issues could be decided by a neutral arbitrator.
(HT: Reader Alan H.)