WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) today achieved the cornerstone of its plan to improve the work lives of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees and, through them, help improve the effectiveness of this key national security agency.
That cornerstone is the issuance earlier today of a determination from TSA Administrator John S. Pistole granting TSA employees their long-delayed collective bargaining rights.
NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley, who earlier today met with Pistole, called the determination "a huge victory for NTEU, for TSA employees, their agency, and the traveling public." NTEU has been working hard on securing these rights for some time, engaging the administration, members of Congress and the public.
President Kelley said NTEU now is eager to move promptly on to the next two steps in the process—a union representation election, then bargaining a contract that will significantly improve the lives of the TSA workforce.
"This decision and the upcoming representation election at TSA will give these Officers a voice in their workplace and a chance at a better future," she said. "The sooner NTEU is certified as the exclusive representative of the TSA workforce, the sooner we can begin improving the lives of employees at this key agency." The election period has been tentatively set for March 9 through April 19. It will be conducted by the Federal Labor Relations Authority.
The NTEU leader said, "Administrator Pistole has made the right decision. I am pleased to see that TSA leadership has recognized the value to the agency and the traveling public of a union-represented workforce." In an NTEU survey, 85 percent of TSA employees said collective bargaining rights would make TSA a more effective agency.
She added: "This decision will bring much-needed stability and professionalism to this vital transportation protection agency."
Achieving collective bargaining is the cornerstone of the five-point plan NTEU has advanced for TSA employees. Once the election winner is certified, NTEU will focus on the other elements in its plan: developing uniformly-applied fair workplace policies; changes to TSA's current pay system; improvements in training and certification; and negotiating a fair grievance and arbitration procedure with neutral third party arbitrators.
NTEU is the largest independent federal union, representing 150,000 employees in 31 agencies and departments.
SOURCE National Treasury Employees Union