April 12, 2011
AFGE Urges TSA to Protect TSOs from Criminal Charges for Conducting Pat Down
Last week AFGE sent a letter to TSA Administrator John Pistole urging him to speak out against legislation being considered in a number of states that would subject TSOs to criminal charges for conducting a pat down. States with pending legislation that would make TSA pat down procedures illegal are Texas, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. New Hampshire would go so far as to declare an officer a sex offender for conducting a technological or physical pat down in the genital area. Oklahoma, Washington, Alaska, and Florida are considering similar legislation.
“This legislation threatens to put TSOs in an untenable position: risk criminal charges for conducting a pat down or risk removal from employment for refusing to conduct a pat down as part of their duties. AFGE will not allow TSOs to be put in that position,” AFGE President John Gage wrote in the April 4 letter.
President Gage went on to say that TSA’s silence on the issue has only worsened the situation. He urged the Administrator to speak out against these harmful bills and make it clear that the agency will fight to overturn these state laws. TSOs also need to hear from the Administrator that the agency has their back and that TSA will defend them against state laws that try to criminalize the important security work they do to protect the country.
Nashville TSO’s Raise/Promotion Protected, Thanks to AFGE
AFGE successfully represented a TSO at Nashville International Airport who had been given a letter of reprimand for allegedly violating the employee responsibilities and conduct directive. AFGE argued that TSA violated the officer’s right to due process by refusing to allow him to respond to the pre-discipline discussion letter and refusing to disclose all documents reviewed by the deciding official. A letter of reprimand stays in an employee’s file for up to two years and is referenced as a disciplinary action, but the agency agreed to remove the letter in four months, so it won’t affect the officer’s PASS for this fiscal year or any future promotions that he may be eligible to apply for.
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For more information about AFGE representation, go to www.tsaunion.net or call AFGE TSA Hotline at (866) 392-6832. American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO 80 F Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001 | Tel. (202) 737-8700 | Fax (202) 639-6492 | www.afge.org