Federal Air Marshals Fight for Protection and Fair Pay

WASHINGTON, May 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The union representing Federal Air Marshals is leading an effort to ensure their agents receive basic rights and fair pay.

The ‘Rights for the TSA Workforce Act of 2021’ has been introduced by Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, and is the companion bill to H.R. 903 recently introduced by Congressman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi and bearing the same name. These bills seek to extend Title V protections to the TSA workforce, and to correct inherent TSA pay problems by moving the workforce into the General Schedule pay system.

“Since 2001, Federal Air Marshals and other TSA workers have withered under an employee management system that effectively turned them into second class federal employees,” said Air Marshal Association President John Casaretti. “This legislation goes a long way in correcting unfair pay practices, rampant favoritism, criminal discrimination, and nonexistent workplace protections so that TSA employees can refocus on security rather than survival.”

Congress granted the TSA emergency powers and unprecedented flexibility to stand up a new agency in the immediate aftermath of September 11, 2001, but the emergency is long over, and for the past two decades TSA employees have been stripped of the basic pay and workplace protections afforded to the majority of the federal workforce. Consequently, TSA ranks consistently at the bottom of government workplace satisfaction surveys, morale is low, and turnover is high. “I don’t believe Congress intended to decrease efficiency, promote favoritism, create pay disparities between otherwise equal employees, fire Federal workers without meaningful due process, or permanently subject 40,000 workers to the decrees of a single Presidential appointee,” Casaretti said. “We hope that Congress moves quickly to pass this important legislation.”

Included in the legislation is an Air Marshal Association sponsored mandate to provide confidential psychological services to Federal Air Marshals, as well as a requirement for the agency to discuss critical issues with the union. The Air Marshal Association currently operates a peer support and counseling hotline to combat suicides and help agents deal with critical situations both on and off duty.

The Air Marshal Association is the oldest and largest labor organization exclusively representing Federal Air Marshals. Visit www.AIRMARSHAL.org for more information.


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