We have an election today because AFGE would not take "No" for an answer!
WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Less than one year after the American Federation of Government Employees filed its petition for a union election at the Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Labor Relations Authority today set a date for that election.
Voting will take place from March 9-April 19, with the results being tabulated beginning April 20. The election will be done online and via telephone. Voters will call a toll-free number/log in online and cast a vote using their personal PIN numbers. As agreed to by all parties, the bargaining unit (voters) will include Transportation Security Officers, Lead Transportation Security Officers, Master Transportation Security Officers, Expert Transportation Security Officers, Behavior Detection Officers, Security Training Instructors and Equipment Maintenance Technicians.
"This is great news for the TSOs across the country," AFGE National President John Gage said. "For years, AFGE has tried to work with TSA to change policies and procedures that are outdated and unjust, only to be told that the Agency can't take action because it has to 'remain neutral' because of the presence of other unions. With this election, that matter will be put to bed and the TSOs can get the workplace procedures they deserve.
"TSOs have been waiting for too long and they need a union that will be innovative in its approach to securing the rights to which they are entitled," Gage added. "More than 20,000 TSOs in more than 100 airports nationwide already have expressed interest in having AFGE as their union, and we look forward to welcoming the rest of the bargaining unit workforce into our union.
"AFGE can truthfully and proudly say that we have been the only union at airports around the country for nine years fighting for the respect and dignity due to TSOs. As the only union with strong backing from the powerful AFL-CIO and its 12 million members, we have the utmost confidence that TSOs will join the tens of thousands of other DHS employees already represented by AFGE and vote overwhelmingly for AFGE," Gage said.
Following nine years of AFGE activism, TSOs on Feb. 4 were granted long overdue collective bargaining rights.
"We have come a long way since AFGE first began representing TSOs in 2001 when the union took up the fight for a federalized security officer workforce," Gage said. "The granting of these rights is a step in the right direction and gets us in the door. After AFGE wins the election to be the sole union at TSA, we will move immediately to the table and be ready to negotiate."
Thousands of AFGE activists on Feb. 8 hand-delivered messages to their congressional representatives, urging them to reject an amendment to the FAA Authorization bill sponsored by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) that would prevent more than 40,000 TSOs from being granted basic workplace protections and strip those rights from more than 10,000 other TSA employees who currently have them.
"This country's TSOs are unequivocally dedicated to protecting each and every American, just like the unionized police and firefighters who valiantly ran into the burning buildings on 9/11. It is an absolute insult to say that with a collective bargaining agreement, TSOs couldn't fulfill the mission of TSA, of DHS and of the United States of America," Gage added.
AFGE is the only union to represent TSOs since the agency's inception, and currently has more than 12,000 dues-paying members in 40 AFGE TSA Locals across the country. For more information, please visit www.tsaunion.com. Up-to-date election information can be found directly at www.tsaunion.com/TSAelection.
AFGE is the largest federal employee union representing 600,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia, including tens of thousands of DHS employees in Border Patrol, Citizenship and Immigration Services, Coast Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, FEMA, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Federal Protective Service, Office of Immigration Statistics and TSA.
SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees