November 2010, Week 2


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Portside Labor <[log in to unmask]>
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Sat, 13 Nov 2010 07:11:06 -0500
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 12, 2010

Contact: 	    	Emily Ryan (202) 639-6421


American Federation of Government Employees

Decision an important step in obtaining a
formalized and recognized voice at work, says

(WASHINGTON) - The Federal Labor Relations
Authority today accepted the petition from the
American Federation of Government Employees to
hold a union election at the Transportation
Security Administration.

"AFGE argued, and the FLRA agreed, that the right
for employees to elect an exclusive
representative and the right to engage in
collective bargaining are two separate and
distinct rights," AFGE National President John
Gage said. "We have always said the choice to
unionize and the task of winning collective
bargaining rights at TSA would be a two-part

"While we wait for the decision on collective
bargaining rights that TSA Administrator Pistole
has indicated will come soon, the election
process can begin to move forward," Gage added.
"TSOs have waited long enough for both formal
representation in the workplace and for the same
collective bargaining rights held by Border
Patrol and Federal Protective Service officers,
ICE agents, FEMA employees, DoD civilians--as well
as those screening officers that work for TSA

"The decision to allow for an exclusive union
representative means that Transportation Security
Officers get to choose which union they wish to
act as their voice at work," Gage said. "It is no
secret that the morale of the TSO workforce is
terrible as a result of favoritism, a lack of
fair and respectful treatment from many managers,
poor and unhealthy conditions in some airports,
poor training and testing protocols and a poor
pay system. The morale problems are documented by
the government's own surveys. TSOs need a
recognized union voice at work, and the important
decision of the FLRA finally sets the process in
motion to make that right a reality."

In accepting AFGE's petition, the FLRA remands
the petition back to its Chicago Regional office
(which originally ruled on the petition) with an
order to begin discussions with all parties on
the terms of the election (known as an election
consent meeting). Based on indications by the
FLRA, AFGE expects the election to be conducted
electronically. Given all this, AFGE believes the
election will be held in early 2011.

For more information and details on every step of
AFGE's FLRA petition, please visit

Your Most Up-to-Date Information on a Union
Election at TSA

On February 22, AFGE filed a petition with the
Federal Labor Relations Authority for exclusive
union representation at TSA. It is this kind of
forward-thinking and innovation that separates
AFGE from other unions, who prefer the sit and
wait course of action. The petition was dismissed
by the FLRA Chicago Regional director. AFGE
appealed to the full FLRA, which on July 28
agreed with AFGE that the dismissal warranted a
review. On Nov. 12, the FLRA accepted AFGE's
petition, clearing the way for a union election
at TSA. All parties now will hold election
consent meetings to determine the terms of the
election. AFGE believes an election will be held
in early 2011. Timeline of events

* Nov. 12, 2010 -- Agreeing with AFGE that the
right for employees to elect an exclusive
representative and the right to engage in
collective bargaining are two separate and
distinct rights, the FLRA accepted AFGE's
petition for exclusive union representation --
essentially clearing the way for a union election
at TSA. AFGE National President John Gage
comments that "TSOs need a recognized union voice
at work, and the important decision of the FLRA
finally sets the process in motion to make that
right a reality."

* July 28, 2010 -- Agreeing with AFGE's timely
argument that the May Chicago Region dismissal of
its petition warranted reconsideration, the full
FLRA grants AFGE's application for review. It
does not, however, rule on the petition for an
election. AFGE issues a statement that "We are
sure when the FLRA reviews the RD's decision, and
in doing so reviews the 2003 question of
jurisdiction, they will find there is
jurisdiction and will quickly remand the petition
back to the RD for election."

* July 19, 2010 -- In a letter sent to the FLRA,
the Treasury Union sides with TSA management in
arguing that a vote for a union representative
before collective bargaining is granted would be
confusing to TSOs. The Treasury Union's actions
have the impact of denying TSOs the right to
elect the union they want to represent them once
the bargaining rights are granted. In so doing,
it also delays an end to PASS, a further delay to
dignity on the jobsite, and has the very real
impact of keeping the wages of ALL TSOs

* June 4, 2010 -- Less than one week after AFGE's
petition is dismissed at the regional level, AFGE
files an appeal with the full FLRA, asking that
the full Authority review and grant AFGE's
petition for exclusive union representation at

* May 28, 2010 -- After AFGE's petition is
transferred from the FLRA Washington Regional
Office to the Chicago Regional Office, Chicago
Regional Director Peter Sutton dismissed AFGE's

* May 27, 2010 -- TSA requests that the election
petition be held in abeyance until June 30. AFGE
immediately responds by opposing any delay in
proceedings, stating that TSOs have waited long
enough. The Treasury Union, however, tells the
FLRA they do not oppose the delay, signaling that
they are unprepared for an election to be held.

* April 27, 2010 -- AFGE filed its Response to
Order to Show Cause with the FLRA Washington
Regional Office, stating that collective
bargaining rights and union representation are
two distinct issues.

* April 26, 2010 -- Even after it has filed a
copycat petition, the Treasury Union says that
AFGE's petition for a union election was
"ill--advised." Ironically, one day later on April
27, the Treasury Union says that an election is
"the smartest and best step to take for TSA

* April 14, 2010 -- TSA responds to AFGE's
petition by telling the FLRA that it does not
have the authority to process the petition. The
FLRA then issued to AFGE an order to "Show Cause"
by April 27 as to why the union's petition should
not be dismissed.

* March 19, 2010 -- Two weeks after saying that a
union election would threaten collective
bargaining rights, the Treasury Union says its
petition is "part of a two--tiered approach" to
address employee rights at TSA, apparently
forgetting that AFGE initiated that approach a
full month earlier.

* March 17, 2010 -- After nearly one month of
saying a union election is "meaningless" and
"unlawful," the Treasury Union files its own
petition for a union representation.

* March 2, 2010 -- The Treasury Union calls AFGE's
petition "unlawful" and says that it "threatens
you gaining your collective bargaining rights,"
clearly not believing that the FLRA does, in
fact, have the authority to grant an election and
not understanding that a union can petition for
an election while at the same time continuing its
eight--year push for collective bargaining rights.

* March 1, 2010 -- The Treasury Union again states
that "having exclusive representation is
meaningless" without first having collective

* February 23, 2010 -- The Treasury Union tells
Federal News Radio it doesn't understand how an
election with collective bargaining rights "would
even work."

* February 22, 2010 --Showing that it does not
understand the value in having an exclusive union
representative, or what a union can do for TSOs
absent collective bargaining rights. NTEU--the
Treasury Union--questions "the timing of pursuing
exclusive representative status without the
existence of collective bargaining rights" and
questions how "having an exclusive
representative, without collective bargaining,
will bring about real, meaningful improvements to
TSOs' work lives."

* February 22, 2010 -- With a 30 percent showing
of interest--including 12,000 DUES--PAYING
members--AFGE filed a petition with the Washington
Regional office of the Federal Labor Relations
Authority for exclusive union representation at


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