AFGE "Application To Review The Regional Director's Decision"
Goes To Full FLRA
The American Federation of Government Employees filed an appeal
with the Federal Labor Relations Authority Friday, asking that the
full Authority review and grant AFGE's petition for exclusive union
representation at TSA.
"We have known from the day we filed our petition [with the
regional FLRA] that the ultimate decision would come back to the
full FLRA," AFGE Membership and Organization Deputy Director Cathie
McQuiston said. "This is something we have been prepared for, and
are now ready to take the last step toward having a union election
AFGE filed its first petition for a TSA election with the FLRA
in 2003. That petition was dismissed on the basis that the FLRA did
not believe it had jurisdiction over the questions concerning
representation at TSA. AFGE believes that FLRA majority confused
the issues of allowing for an election without collective
bargaining rights, but that the current Authority members may now
understand the distinction. Significantly, in 2003, FLRA member
(and current FLRA chair) Carol Pope dissented from the majority
opinion, asserting that there are many things a union
representative can do for workers absent collective bargaining.
"The agency has already voluntarily recognized AFGE as the
representative of TSOs in a limited fashion," McQuiston said. "For
example, it has engaged in partnership activities at the national
level with AFGE. It processes voluntary dues deduction requests on
behalf of TSOs who wish to join AFGE. The agency has established an
administrative grievance process and allows TSOs to have
representation as part of that process. Finally, the agency trains
its managers and supervisors not to discriminate against employees
on the basis of their union activity and to remain neutral as to
union matters. These processes demonstrate the ability of AFGE to
act as the representative of employees even absent the ability to
engage in collective bargaining.
"AFGE is proud to have thought outside the box by seeking an
election without bargaining rights," McQuiston added. "Other unions
have said they believe 'having an exclusive representative is
meaningless' without bargaining rights, but our 12,000 TSA members
"AFGE has spent the past eight and a half years representing
Transportation Security Officers across the country, including
acting on their behalf before the EEOC, in the courts and at TSA's
own Disciplinary Review Board," she said. "AFGE already is the
union of choice at TSA. We now are looking to formalize that
relationship, and are hopeful that the current Authority will
reconsider and reverse the 2003 decision, and in doing so will
grant AFGE's petition for an election."
The FLRA has 60 days to respond to AFGE's appeal.
AFGE is the only union to represent TSOs since the agency's
inception, and currently has more than 12,000 dues-paying members
in 38 AFGE Locals across the country.