Federal TSA workers only acquired collective bargaining rights earlier this month

    I just ran across this, and thought it might be of interest to some.

    The February 4 announcement is here:

    NTEU Welcomes TSA Bargaining Rights; Achieves Cornerstone of Five-Point Plan

    In the following Feb. 14 press release, they also say they "played a key role" in defeating a Republican Senate amendment that would have blocked them from doing so:

    NTEU Efforts Lead to Defeat of Attempt To Block TSA Collective Bargaining Rights

    These limiting conditions mentioned in the latter should be noted:

    ....many federal employees charged with national security responsibilities—Customs and Border Protection Officers, Border Patrol Officers, Bureau of Prison Guards—already have collective bargaining rights, while excelling in their duties and fulfilling their agencies’ critical missions.

    “Like these federal employees, TSA employees must follow civil service rules that prohibit the right to strike and allow managers to move employees to different areas in the event of an emergency,”....


    In NYC, Mayor Bloomberg wants MORE collective bargaining, not less. And note that his goals are not to be a buddy to teachers unions' wet dreams, rather its a preference to bargain with them directly on a local level rather than submitting to rulings of a state legislature that has been fubar for quite some time (decades, mho.):

    Op-Ed Contributor
    Limit Pay, Not Unions
    Published: February 27, 2011


    ....Yet the problem is not unions expressing those rights; it is governments failing to adapt to the times and act in a fiscally responsible manner. If contract terms or labor laws from years past no longer make sense, we the people should renegotiate — or legislate — changes. Benefits agreed to 35 years ago that now are unaffordable should be reduced. Similarly, work rules that made sense 70 years ago but are now antiquated should be changed.

    In New York City, we share the same goal as cities and states across the nation — less spending and better services. We, too, are seeking to legislate changes to reduce pension and benefit costs and modernize our labor laws. But in some cases, we believe expanding collective bargaining would be more beneficial than trying to eliminate it.

    For example, in New York, state government — not the city — has the authority to set pension benefits for city workers, but city taxpayers get stuck with the bill. The mayor cannot directly discuss pension benefits as part of contract negotiations with unions, even though pension benefits could be as much as 80 percent of an employee’s overall compensation. In addition, members of the State Legislature pass pension “sweeteners” for municipal unions that help attract support for their re-election campaigns.

    These are problems that mayors around the country also face. In New York City, taxpayers will be forced to pay $8.3 billion in pension costs this year, up from $1.5 billion 10 years ago. Our proposal to the state is simple: legislate lower costs this year and, going forward, give us the authority to negotiate fair pension savings ourselves.

    Pensions are not the only area where we would like to expand our collective bargaining authority in order to modernize government. New York is one of only a dozen or so states with a law requiring layoffs of teachers based strictly on seniority — a policy that’s known as “last in, first out.” In New York City, we are preparing to lay off workers across city agencies, including 4,500 teachers. And the only thing worse than laying off teachers would be laying off the wrong teachers — some of our very best.

    That’s why we are asking the state to give us the legal authority to collectively bargain a layoff policy with the teachers’ union — and in the meantime, to conduct layoffs based on common-sense factors like eliminating teachers who have been rated unsatisfactory, found guilty of criminal charges or failed to meet professional certification requirements.

    To the extent that collective bargaining agreements or state laws are no longer serving the public, we should change them. That is what democracy is all about — and that is our responsibility. The job of labor leaders is to get the best deal for their members. The job of elected officials is to get the best deal for all citizens.

    Rather than declare war on unions, we should demand a new deal with them — one that reflects today’s economic realities and workplace conditions, not those of a century ago. If we fail to do that, the fault is not in our unions, or in our stars, but in ourselves.

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