Tag Archives: tsa

News Regarding Pay for Feds

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Federal employees facing missing check Friday. Major media reported on the situation for federal employees who are facing a coming payday in which they may not be paid. NBC Nightly News (1/9, story 5, 1:30, Holt, 8.42M) reported, “For millions of Americans, the shutdown is far more than a political fight in Washington.” NBC (Costello) added, “Among those working without pay: the very Secret Service agents protecting the President, US Customs and Border Patrol, marshals, ATF, DEA, most NASA employees, 14,000 air traffic controllers, 51,000 TSA officers. All should receive back pay once the government reopens, though that could be awhile.” NBC also reported “hundreds of thousands of FDA food inspectors” are on furlough, while “a support network is recommending garage sales for furloughed members of the Coast Guard.” NBC added that according to the TSA union, “some officers are starting to quit as they’re unlikely to be paid on Friday.”

The CBS Evening News (1/9, story 2, 2:05, Glor, 6.18M) reported, “So many workers could be forced to live off savings and what’s left from their last paycheck.” CBS (Werner) featured a federal corrections officer who is “making a stream of non-stop phone calls to try to hold the banks at bay. He hasn’t gotten a paycheck since December 29, and he doesn’t expect to get one any day soon.”

The New York Times (1/9, Tavernise, 17.59M) reports that as paychecks for federal employees “begin to stop, the negative effects threaten” the Washington area. The Times adds that Washington “boasts one of the country’s richest, strongest economies, powered by government spending and a large, stable federal workforce.” The Times cites George Mason University economist Stephen Fuller saying that if it is over “before February, the economic effect on the overall region would be minimal.” The Times adds, “for many federal workers, Friday would be the first day without a paycheck.” It also reports, “Many federal workers said they had savings and could manage, at least for now.”

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New Bill Focuses on TSA Employees

tsa

The program that allows airports to use private security screeners may soon get an overhaul. Legislation has been introduced that would reform the Transportation Security Administrations’ Screening Partnership Program. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Screening Partnership Reform Act (S. 3441) to enhance the accuracy of the TSA’s cost estimation process behind the screening partnership program.

In a recent article, Lee said that airports who choose to work a private security contractor can reduce costs up to 11% without compromising passenger safety. Even so, only 22 airports around the country have opted into the program, largely he says because of “bureaucratic red tape that comes with the TSA being judge, jury, and executioner in all aspects of contractor selection.”

He said his bill will simplify the application process for private companies to utilize the screening partnership program by looking more accurately at the costs involved with how the TSA evaluates prospective security contractors.

One of the costs not currently taken into consideration by the TSA is the cost of providing benefits to the federal employees who do the work—the screeners.

“As it stands, the TSA does not currently include the cost of benefits guaranteed to federal employees, which could account for as much as 10% of the total amount the TSA pays its employees for these services. This bill would change that,” Lee wrote in his article.

He also says this legislation would improve the security process by allowing private screening companies to annually submit recommendations on how to improve the screening process and it would also empower airports to make the decision whether to go with a TSA contract or a TSA-approved private screening company.

“While the screening partnership program has existed for almost 20 years, only 22 airports participate in the program, despite its safety record and cost-effectiveness,” Lee said. “This bill would clear some of the bureaucratic red tape surrounding this program to unleash the protentional cost-saving benefits of these private screening contractors, while also simplifying the application process and improving the efficiency of our screenings. Simply put, this bill would save Americans money and make them safer.”

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New TSA Procedures More Enhanced

proceduresThe Transportation Security Administration launched more comprehensive screening procedures on April 14 at airports around the country. These enhanced procedures have been in testing mode since last summer. They require travelers to place all personal electronics larger than a cell phone in separate bins for X-ray screening in standard lanes. This includes tablets, e-readers, and handheld game consoles.

The TSA said these new procedures will help get clearer X-ray images.

Some travelers may also experience changes in what can be brought through security checkpoints. Food and liquid items complying with the 3-1-1 rule, electronics, and books are still allowed to be in carry-on baggage. However, TSA officials may instruct travelers to separate items such as foods, powders, and any materials that clutter bags and obstruct clear images on the X-ray machine.

TSA said travelers should organize their carry-on bags, so they aren’t’ cluttered to help keep lines moving. Items that can’t be identified at the checkpoint are prohibited from entering the aircraft cabin.

Passengers may experience more bag checks and additional screening of some items with these new procedures. TSA says this is for their own safety and officers should conduct screening with quicker, more targeted procedures. Travelers can also request a private screening.

These new rules don’t apply to travelers enrolled in TSAPre√®.

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Agency Spotlight–TSA

tsa

Over the next few months, we will be spotlighting certain federal agencies we work with in a series titled “Agency Spotlight”. The first agency spotlight will focus on the Transportation Security Administration or TSA.

The TSA is an agency of the US Department of Homeland Security and was created in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001. TSA workers include inspectors, security officers, air marshals, and dog handlers. They work to secure airports, screen passengers and baggage and have authority over the security of traveling publicly in the US. While they are responsible for the security of all types of travel, the bulk of their duties is in aviation security.

Some jobs at TSA include:

Transportation Security Officers (TSO’s)—They screen passengers, perform ticketing checks and pat-downs, and screen the metal detectors and x-rays. Also, they control entry and exit points. This group makes up the largest under TSA employing most of the 50,000.

Transportation Security Inspectors (TSI’s)—They inspect and investigate passenger and cargo transportation systems to check how well they are working. There are roughly 1,000 aviation inspectors, 450 cargo inspectors, and 100 surface inspectors.

Federal Air Marshals (FAM’s)—This is the law enforcement arm of the TSA. They are federal Law Enforcement Officers who work undercover to protect the airways. They do carry weapons and can use force in arrests if necessary.

National Explosives Detection Canine Teams Program—Trainers prepare dogs and handlers to serve as a mobile team that can quickly find dangerous materials on aircraft or passengers.

Click below to learn more about issues facing the TSA and how workers can be injured.

Agency Spotlight–Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

If you, or someone you know, is in this situation, we can help! Harris Federal Law Firm has been helping federal workers for more than a decade with their Federal Disability Retirement cases. Call us at 877-226-2723 or fill out this inquiry form to find out how we can help you.

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