POLITICS

TSA uniform perks more expensive than Marine Corps

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Under their new collective bargaining agreement, Transportation Security Administration officers get to spend more taxpayer money on their uniforms every year than a United States Marine Corps lieutenant can spend in a lifetime.

“TSA employees will see their uniform allowances nearly double to $446 per year,” the House Transportation Committee noted in a press release on the TSA’s new collective bargaining agreement.  “By comparison, a combat Marine Lieutenant receives a one-time uniform allowance of $400.  The cost of the increase in TSA uniform allowance is an estimated $9.63 million annually.”

Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., faulted TSA for failing to streamline its bureaucracy or address criticism of security failures, such as the recent inspector general report on the failure to screen checked baggage at the airport in Honolulu, Hawaii.

“While we must respect employee rights to be represented by organized labor, TSA has failed to represent the flying public and has missed the mark on improving procedures and protocols while focusing on tie tacks and tattoos,” Mica said in a statement today. “Even though the army of TSA screeners has reached a labor agreement, it is my prediction they will never be happy while they must deal with this gigantic and often mindless bureaucracy. Many of these hard-working TSA workers are being left in the lurch.”

TSA has about 44,000 employees, who voted 17,326 to 1,774 to ratify “their first-ever collective bargaining agreement, giving them more say in what they wear on the job, the shifts they work and the time off they take, whether they can change from part-time to full-time work or back,” The Star-Ledger reported today.

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